Dynamics of tourists’ decision-making

From theory to practice

Authored by: Antónia Correia , Metin Kozak , Manuel Tão

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism Marketing

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415597036
eBook ISBN: 9781315858265
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936206


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Tourism marketing is all about tourists. The effects of marketing on tourists start well before the trip, and finish long after, if they end at all. A tourist displays a particular behaviour when purchasing tourism products. First of all, the acquisition of services takes place prior to their consumption. Such a lag between the act of acquisition and consumption can be typified by the fact that a given journey begins long before the act of boarding a plane to reach a certain holiday location. Far from their own domestic environment, the tourist becomes emotionally fragile and to alleviate this they search for more information about destination features. Even when the holiday time is over, the consumption of the tourism product may not have been completed, in the sense that registered emotions are captured and ‘frozen’ by photos and films, to be shared with relatives and friends. Finally, the decision-making is also constrained by the difficulty of having full information prior to the consumption of tourism products; this constraint arises on information sources available and cognitive processing limitations (Correia 2002). These effects have to be measured throughout the tourist decision-making process.

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