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Tourists' vacation choice structure: Influence of values and implications for green tourism
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the vacation choice structure, denoting how vacation choices such as choice of destination, travel mode, and accommodation, are related and prioritized by tourists, every choice plays an important and unique role. Although it has been recognized that vacation choices inter-relate in several different aspects, previous research has primarily studied the primacy aspect. It can however be argued that to only study the primacy of vacation choices is too limited and that it is necessary to also include other aspects, especially how important a certain vacation choice is to the tourist. This knowledge is important in order to get a more holistic picture of the vacation choice structure, but also for understanding the demand for green tourism. It can be argued that the vacation choice structure has an influence on tourists’ possibility to make green choices. This thesis extends present knowledge by analyzing the inter-relation between vacation choices and providing a framework for how the vacation choice structure is related to tourists’ green choices. The influence of personal factors such as values and green attitudes on the vacation choice structure and tourists’ green choices are also examined. Four studies with quantitative data are included in the present thesis.

The findings of the first study show that the vacation choice structure varies with regard to primacy, importance, inflexibility, and impact on other choices, which further explains the inter-relation between vacation choices. The findings also show that familiarity with a destination has an effect on how important and inflexible the destination choice is experienced. The second study shows how value orientation mediates the relationships between socio-demographic factors and tourists’ green attitude. The findings suggest that the relationships vary depending on what vacation choice that is in focus, indicating that it is not possible to talk about a general green attitude in tourism. The study thus contributes to the knowledge about how values and green attitudes in tourism are related.

In the third study, the findings from the second study are advanced by showing a positive relationship between the value type universalism, green attitudes, and tourists’ green buying intentions. This further enhances the knowledge about determinants for tourists’ green buying intentions. In the final study, the inter-relation between vacation choices are examined by studying the trade-off tourists make between and within various choices in a vacation package. If and when green alternatives are included in the different choices are also studied, as well as the influence of value orientation of tourists’ green choices. The study advances the knowledge about the vacation choice structure and its relation to green tourism. The results also suggest that value orientation does not directly affect the vacation choice structure.

To conclude, the findings of the present thesis show that it is not possible to define a universal vacation choice structure. It is suggested that the motive of the vacation and the choice situation play important roles here. Further, it can be concluded values do influence green buying intentions through green attitudes, but that it is not likely that this intention results in an actual green behavior if the behavior does not give any individual benefits to the tourist. Finally, the findings demonstrate that the vacation choice structure can influence tourists’ possibility to make green choices as the most important vacation choice governs to what extent other less important choice alternatives are possible to consider. Taken together, the findings develop theory about the vacation choice structure and its relation to values and green tourism as well as it provides practitioners with important knowledge and suggestions on how to make their work more efficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 91 p.
Series
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 83
Keyword [en]
vacation choice structure, values, green attitudes, green tourism
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63801ISBN: 978-91-7459-537-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-63801DiVA: diva2:583361
Public defence
2013-02-01, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal D, Umeå universitet, 901 87, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-11 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2013-01-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Inter-related summer vacation choices by Swedish tourists
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inter-related summer vacation choices by Swedish tourists
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 11, no 1, 42-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of our study was to investigate whether and how different vacation choices vary with respect to a number of attributes and whether there are differences in this respect depending on how familiar the tourist is with the destination. In a web-based survey conducted in the fall of 2007, 681 Swedish residents (response rate 15%) retrospectively reported their vacation trips during the summer. The results warrant the conclusion that it is possible to rank choices of destination, departure date, primary activity, and travel mode according to primacy, importance, inflexibility, and impact on other choices. However, the different measures did not converge in identifying an invariant order of the choices. Individual and situational factors may play important roles for the order. A sequential decision-making process was still identified for the majority of the respondents and the examined choices were to a large extent made before departure. Familiarity with the destination only had an effect on the importance and inflexibility the respondents experienced in their destination choice. Both managerial and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2011
Keyword
vacation, vacation decision making, vacation choices, tourism
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43420 (URN)10.1080/15022250.2011.533045 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-28 Created: 2011-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. The mediating effect of value orientation on the relationship between socio-demographic factors and environmental concern in Swedish tourists’ vacation choices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The mediating effect of value orientation on the relationship between socio-demographic factors and environmental concern in Swedish tourists’ vacation choices
2012 (English)In: Journal of Ecotourism, ISSN 1472-4049, E-ISSN 1747-7638, Vol. 11, no 1, 16-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A survey of 681 Swedish tourists was conducted to examine how tourists’ value orientation mediates the relationships between socio-demographic factors and environmental concern (EC) in six specific vacation choices. Overall, the results showed that sex, age, education, and income have an effect on EC in choice of destination, time of departure, activity, travel mode, accommodation, and length of trip. Value orientation fully and partially mediated these effects of socio-demographic factors. The partial mediation implies that the socio-demographic factors also have direct effects on ECs. It was further concluded that each vacation choice should be examined separately since both the effect of socio-demographic factors on EC and the mediating effect of value orientation differ depending on which vacation choice the respondent is considering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Clevedon: Channell View Publications, 2012
Keyword
vacation choices; environmental concern; value orientation; sociodemographic factors
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49299 (URN)10.1080/14724049.2011.626859 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-11-07 Created: 2011-11-07 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. The impact of values, environmental concern, and willingness to accept economic sacrifices to protect the environment on tourists’ intentions to buy ecologically sustainable tourism alternatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of values, environmental concern, and willingness to accept economic sacrifices to protect the environment on tourists’ intentions to buy ecologically sustainable tourism alternatives
2011 (English)In: Tourism and Hospitality Research, ISSN 1464-2700, Vol. 11, no 4, 278-288 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examines the impact of values, environmental concern, and willingness to accept economic sacrifices to protect the environment on tourists’ intentions to buy ecologically sustainable tourism alternatives. The data were collected in a web-based survey and analysed by using structural equation modeling. The results show that universalism is related to environmental concern in the hypothesized direction. Significant positive relationships were found between environmental concern and the willingness to accept economic sacrifices to protect the environment, as well as between environmental concern and the intentions to buy ecologically sustainable tourism alternatives. Further, a positive relationship was found between willingness to accept economic sacrifices to protect the environment and the intentions to buy ecologically sustainable tourism alternatives. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2011
Keyword
environmental concern, sustainable tourism, values, vacation choices, willingness to pay
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50111 (URN)10.1177/1467358411423330 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-11-28 Created: 2011-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Tourists’ vacation choice structure: Exploring the relationship between values, vacation choices, and green tourism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tourists’ vacation choice structure: Exploring the relationship between values, vacation choices, and green tourism
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In order for charter tourists to be able to go on vacation, they have to make several different sub-choices, for example regarding what type of destination to visit and what travel mode and accommodation to choose. These sub-choices can be seen as part of an individual’s vacation choice structure. The outcome of one sub-choice can have an impact on other choices in this structure and also be more or less harmful to the environment. The present study used conjoint analysis to explore the trade-off between and within vacation choices as well as to see if and when green aspects are included in the choice of vacation packages. It also explored how value orientation influences tourists’ green vacation choices. The results indicated that charter tourists clearly make a distinction between vacation choices with regard to their importance in a trade-off situation and that travel mode is the most important choice. The findings also showed that green preferences only could be found in choice of accommodation and that individuals’ value orientation does not affect vacation choices to a large extent. Implications of the findings and recommendations for further research are also provided.

Keyword
vacation choice, trade-off, conjoint, tourism, green tourism, value orientation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63799 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-07 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2013-01-08

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