The tourism industry is a major financial contributor in most of the countries in the world. Its substantial size and increasing purchasing power grab the attention of investors as well as governments. The study on motivational factors that affect travel decisions among individuals is focused on providing a better understanding of the influential factors. The basic factors that influence the traveling decisions are tourist need satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and destination loyalty.
Newsome, Moore & Dowling (2002) defined tourist motivation “as the global integrating network of biological and cultural forces which gives value and direction to travel choices, behavior, and experience.” (Banerjea 2009).
A study on travel motivators among Taiwanese seniors reveals that there are so many factors that motivate people for traveling. Using the factor analysis it identified that there are three push factors and three pull factors influencing the individuals for traveling. Most important factor among these is knowledge seeking and cleanliness and safety. (Jang and Wu 2006, p.306-316).
A study on the travel motivation factors among the Japanese travelers, who tour overseas for enjoyment, shows that there are three different groups such as sports seekers, novelty seekers, and family/relaxation seekers. Age and education variables have a greater influence among these groups. (Cha, Mcclearly and Uysal 1995, p.33-39).
A study on the travel motivation of Taiwanese tourists in Australia shows that there are three different travel motivation factors. Those are tourists’ need for satisfaction, customers need satisfaction and loyalty destination. Customer satisfaction has a positive result on the need satisfaction whereas tourist need satisfaction is influenced by travel experiences. (Chung 2008). Tourist motivation factors have a higher influence on the tourist behavior of travelers concerning their destination choice, needs, goals, and preferences. In the case of ecotourism, the social-psychological desire to break out from the habitual ordinary life is the primary push factor. The major pull factors which force travelers to take travel decisions are destination attributes such as natural attractions such as wildlife and immaculate environment. (CHAN, Jennifer Kim Lian., and BAUM, Tom. (2007). As per the theory of Iso-Ahola interpersonal escape and interpersonal seeking motivate tourism and recreation among the individuals. In the case of personal seeking and personal escape dimensions, tourism experiences have a great role in motivation. Sporting events, beaches, amusement parks, and natural parks improve the motivational levels of tourism and recreational activities to a great extent. (Snepenger et al. 2006, p.140-149).
Key Motivational Factors –Discussion
Tourism motivation in holiday trips is the desire to travel for satisfying internal needs and wants. Incentive tourism is a motivational tool among the employees as well as other organizational personnel. Most of the weekend travel decisions are related to the intention to take a rest and spend the weekend for relaxation. Travel behavior among individuals can be described as a function of quantifiable aspects such as socio-demographic characteristics and physical characteristics of the region. Most of the traveling decisions are situational. Travel behavior of individuals is influenced by individual personality, attitudes, and perceptions. The attitude of travelers influences beliefs and behavior in travel decisions such as the frequency of use. Novelty seeking is the prime motivating factor that affects the traveling of most individuals. The positive and negative feedback from the travel affects their future decision to travel to a particular destination. In the European travel industry, city breaks have a prominent position characterized by a higher growth rate. It is an important economic source in the tourism sector. City breaks trips are characterized by the short duration of the trips. The changing trend among the European traveling population towards increasing trips to urban destinations is influenced by certain factors. The factors that lead to the city breaks trips are discussed below:
The main motivating factor behind such trips is the availability of leisure time at the weekends and a greater level of disposable income, to recreate in social and psychological ways. Availability of low-cost air travel opportunities is one of the main factors that influence the city breaks tour. It facilitates quick access to the destination, and more affordable air transport motivates travelers to select short-term city breaks trips. Dublin is a major tourism destination in Europe characterized by attractive technology, capital, and people. “Official figures for 2004 show that overseas tourists to Dublin, including non- leisure visitors, totaled 3.68 million, contributing over €1.16 billion in tourism revenue. The number of actual holidaymakers to Dublin totaled 2.06 million – with the British market providing almost half of this total.” (Dunne, Buckley and Flanagan, p.5). It is one of the premier tourism cities in Europe. The specific feature of Dublin as a tourism destination is its cultural richness, heritage, active pursuits, and domestic festivals ad events which are perfectly fitted to the changing behavior of travelers from using up of standardized holiday packages to more specialized holidays involving destination features capable of active pursuits such as festivals and events.
Motivational factors have a key role in tourist decision-making behavior. The motivational factors push and pull concept was introduced by Crompton and Chon in 1979. Push factors affect the desire for travel whereas pull factors affect the actual destination choice. In the concept of Crompton 1979, nine motive factors are influencing leisure travelers. Seven of them are socio-psychological factors and two are cultural motives. Push factors are internal factors whereas pull factors are external. The seven push factors include making a change in the routine life environment, meeting self needs, relaxation, establishing social relationships, prestige, and social interaction. Novelty and education are the pull factors. According to Iso-Ahola, 1980, there are mainly two motivational factors in tourist behavior. The first factor is approach, focusing on recreational opportunities for intrinsic rewards, and the second factor is avoidance which is escape-oriented. The increasing trend of shorter holiday breaks is a signal of escape dimension among the tourists’ behavior.
The study by Teare ( 1994) on people’s motives for selecting hotel leisure breaks in the UK states that there are six factors such as attending a pre-arranged event, as a break from personal commitments as well as employment pressures, to fulfill the desire for relaxation or visit a particular destination and to exploit the seasonal benefits of short breaks. The personal motivation factor may differ as per individual behavior. (Dunne, Buckley, and Flanagan).
Travel motivation on nature tourism
Nature tourism is the fastest-growing sector in world tourism. It is mainly due to the changing environmental attitude, environmental education, and influence of environmental mass media. In nature tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife, and ecotourism are involved. Pearce, Morrison, and Rutledge (1998) explain the nature tourism motives as involving experiencing the environment, getting relaxed from fed up regular life and to follow special interests and skills, and being healthy and fit. Gray’s travel motivation theory explains that wanderlust and sun lust are the two motivational factors in nature tourism. Wanderlust is the desire to go from a known to an unknown place and sun lust is the desire to enjoy specific facilities that are not available in a normal residence place. (Rhodes). The tours are a solution for relaxing from the tension full life. Most of the companies conduct staff tours to make the employees free and relaxed from the work pressure. The destination selection is mostly based on the desires and interests of the travelers. Another important factor that influences the travel decision of tourists is the cost of traveling. Most of the people make use of flight, train or bus for the long tour and car for short distance tour. If there are two equally interesting tourist places but the cost of traveling to these two places are different, then the people will select a place among these two, to where the cost of traveling is very cheap. Key motivators for tourist trips are linked to the particular appeal factors of many different types of tourist destinations. The tourist places like The Great Wall in China, The Taj Mahal in India became world-famous because of the reason that they have some uniqueness which attracts the tourists. The important factors that influence ecotourism are the attraction of that particular place, heritage, social system…etc.
In the year 2008, there was a two percent growth in the total number of tourist entrance globally and became 924 billion which shows an increase of 16 billion compared to 2007. And also, by the year 2020, it is supposed to cross the number of international travelers by 1.5 million. “Tourism demand slowed significantly through the year under the influence of an extremely volatile world economy (financial crisis, commodity, entrances and oil price rises, sharp exchange rate fluctuations), undermining both consumer and business confidence and resulting in the current global economic recession.” (International Tourism Challenged by Deteriorating World Economy. 2009).
Predicting human behavior is difficult and as such the prediction of motivations for travel behavior is complex. It is difficult because there are many considerations and few truly hard and fast rules. The major motivation for tours and travel is satisfying the travel needs and customer needs,. Loyalty destination is another factor that influences the travelers’ decision. Identification of motivational factors would be useful for tour managers to formulate successful business decisions with improved services with new motivational strategies.
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