Tourism Motivations


“With the use of examples, define and identify how they are formed and influenced by individuals, society, and the tourism industry”

The International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO) proposed a definition of the tourist, this definition was approved in 1968 by the World Tourist Organization (WTO), stating that international tourists were “Temporary visitors saying at least twenty- four hours in the country visited and the purpose of the whole journey can be classified under the following headings: (a) leisure (recreation, holiday, health, study, religion and sport); (b) Business (family mission, meeting).”(1963)

Tourism motivations are essentially the ‘push and pull’ factors associated with travel and a destination, Traditional models have defined push motives as the desire to go on vacation in comparison to the pull motives explaining the choice of destination. These push and pull factors are made up of internal, psychological and external, situational motivations. Tolman (1932) hinted towards an idea of a dichotomy where internal and external motivations containing the emotions (push) and cognitions (pull). This dichotomy illustrates the universal nature of needs all humans experience as well as including the presence of objects where needs arise.

Goossens (2000) presents a marketing outlook on the subject and concurs that attention from a research perspective shows that pull factors of tourist behaviour, since they are more representative of the specific attractions that the destination offers. This changes the relationship between the push and pull factors as only one of them can be truly examined as most push factors would be unique to the individual, but incorporate similar themes. It is important that we look at them separately, and as part of an interrelated model in order to fully understand Gosossens theory that “the push and pull factors of tourist behaviour are two sides of the same motivational coin”

Tourists are pushed by their emotional needs and pulled by emotional benefits, emotional and experiential needs are satisfied by seeking pleasure through making choices and altering behaviour, directing attention to desirable feelings and leisurely experiences. Generally speaking motivations happen when an individual feels the urge to satisfy a want/ need, the goal of the action causes the motivation to achieve a mood elevating good feeling.

Lazarus’ (1990) depiction of emotion is both related to motivation and cognition (strategic thought) “When we use the term emotion, especially from a cognitive- motivational- relational perspective, we are referring to a great many variables and processes such as the eliciting environmental and internal conditions that produce a person- environment relationship… When people use the term emotion they may have in mind either the whole configuration or one or another of its components” This is important because emotions are not just strictly feelings, there is a huge thought process underneath all the underlying issues. There are many differing opinions on the matter particularly from consumer researchers, as they argue for and against; that the experimental aspects of consumption, for example tourist fantasies, fun and feelings play important roles in consumer behaviour in particular to leisurely activities. Assessment of the strength of the feelings achieved compared to the feelings anticipated is an important aspect in any holiday.

Tourism is an advocate for hedonistic behaviour and the pursuit for pleasure can often direct behaviour into unconsciously disregarding social norms. Drive is the energizer for behaviour and causes the behaviour to occur, eventually leading to the feeling of depravation. Feelings of depravation trigger actions usually leading to hunger or thirst but can be more extensive. Tourists often disregard social norms whilst on holiday in order to truly satisfy themselves and when compared to past attitudes this is usually completely out of character. These aspects trace the behavioural cycle according to Gnoth (1997) which incorporates aspects of the formation of motivations and intentions, the actual behaviour created through experience and the evaluation and retention of the consequences. Tourism motivation models should acknowledge with more strength the emotional influences in the formation of motivation processes.

Historically holidays and tourism are a phenomenon that evolved in conjunction with cultural development creating vacations of purpose, the Western World cultivated this concept and restructured it to become stress relievers, and they also have aspects of personal development and self realisation. This new fundamentally new decision making process eliminates the basic questions that have already been solved, instead of choosing between whether to travel or not, the main concern is now placed on how, when and how to travel, given the necessary parameters of opportunity, time and money. This decision making process was tabulated by Krippendorf. (1987)

A motive is a lasting disposition, where each motive is structured to form behavioural goals. The contents referred to according to Heckhausen (1989) are made up of learned behaviours, as the goals make reference to the consequences of one’s particular actions. This collective term processes the effects within common parameters within particular situations. Each individual has certain behaviours with expected results. There is a clear distinction between motives and motivations; motives are the energy that creates people to act, where as motivations allows these motives to be expressed.

People develop different characteristics and habits that contribute to their individualism, particularly the ability to react differently according to the external stimuli. This is best described by Murray (1938) “In other words, what an organism knows or believes is, in some measure, a product of formerly encountered situations. Thus, much of what is now inside the organism was once outside” Murray presents different perspectives on the situation, which i believe helps us to understand the determination of ones disposition.

Although motives lead to direction and a goal, only motivations actually include them in general, they refer to the interaction between the two. This parallels the approaches by cognitivist and behaviourist psychologists. Knowledge about motivations has the ability of determining to planners the trends in behaviour, constant monitoring is a necessary step as tourists often alter their preferences.

An important part of tourism motivation is that of the behaviour between the guest and host in accordance to Pearce (1982) where the encounters between the two are described as; visitors who are on the move to enjoy themselves interacting positively with hosts, who are usually stationary and who have the function of catering for these visitors.

Change is a regular occurrence in the tourism industry, competition of products and destination changes the rate of holiday experience. Tourists have established habits when looking to travel and when on holiday, their perception differs to somebody who could be travelling for different reasons. Tourists once had limited knowledge of the destinations that they had previously not travelled to. With the ever increasing update in technology many tourists are able to find out about their holiday activities and see much more than photos before they arrive, this is comparatively different when discussed alongside the biggest development that happened in tourism in post World War II times. Parrinello (1993) discusses this with particular interest to the specialisised organisations, such as travel agencies that today are in a strong position to stimulate activity towards motivation with the use of redefined photography and to the extent of videos that are extremely effective amongst target groups.

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A case study on the island of Lanzarote (Canary Islands), Spain is presented by Beerli & Martin (2004) in regard to its tourism allurement as a destination, the tourist’s motivations and their accumulated experience of travel on the island. The island is small in size and in attractions, the island is popular as to its ‘sun and beach’ atmosphere and the relaxation and stress relief that it offers. It is a well established escape from the stress of the regular daily routine. The sun-based destination of the island has high levels of repeat visitation, because of this it has been suggested that it should update and develop a variety of attractions to maintain a portfolio of new activities and attractions. This mirrors the management of such destinations as theme-parks, where they add a new amusement ride or similar attraction to guarantee repeat visitation form tourists and locals of the area. These new developments are greatly influenced by the messages spread through word of mouth, as this is an important tool in social circles; the sharing of the positive experiences as it recruits more tourists and strengthens relationships between the vacation and the vacationer. The study also found there to be significant differences between socio- demographic characteristics related to age, gender, education, social class and country of residence, creating differences between motives and motivations of each individual traveller.

In conclusion it is evident that are influenced by many things particularly images; when these ‘pull’ images are presented, motives lead to motivations. Where there is a strong relationship between the tourist’s motivations and the nature of the destination, the influential image is successful. With the ever increasing acknowledgement of emotions as a separate system rather than part of a larger system of attitudes, we can further identify and the trend it presents in the growing of the tourism industry and inclusion of people who normally wouldn’t travel. Through learning processes we seek to find fulfilment, it is the reward for all the hard work that essentially goes with the construction of a holiday. Retaining this feeling is important as it leads to repeat visits and further travel. This indication of prior motivation leads to an increase in drive representative through mental awareness.

Motives turn into motivations when grouped together with opportunity and a tourist’s value system. According to Gnoth (1997) the interaction between these elements alters a tourist’s perception of an object or destination leading to the tourists future needs and wants. These emotionally driven values are the essence that targets destinations leading to experiences. Outer- directed values target objects of symbolic value that are difficult to replace and it is expected of them to reduce drive once satisfied. The diversity of the possible different motive combinations creates the differences in the outcome of motivations. Both feelings of pleasure and relaxation are the biggest push factors, mirrored by the sun, surf (and associates) and native culture being the strongest pull factors, particularly the combination and relationship between the two factors.




Approximately 250 words