The aim of this article is to identify cultural differences
in tourist buying behavior and decision process.
After completing this article the reader should be able to:
- Identify the influence of national culture on tourist personal and psychological characteristics
- Understand the influence of national culture on need recognition, information search, product evaluation, purchase decision and post-purchase behavior - Explain the influence of national culture on buyer's feelings and emotions and the factors which are beyond the purchasing decision
To date, research in the area of cross-cultural differences has identified numerous behavioral differences among tourists from different cultural groups. For example, cultural differences have been identified in the following categories: tourist motivation (Ahmed - Krohn, 1992; Jang - Cai, 2002; Kozak, 2002; Laing - Crouch, 2005; Sangpikul, 2008; You, O’Leary, Morrison, - Hong, 2000); preferences for travel services (Crotts - Erdmann, 2000; Crotts - Pizam, 2003); information search (Chen, 2000; Money - Crotts, 2003); planning and purchases of international vacations (Money -Crotts, 2003), trip characteristics (Richardson -Crompton, 1988; Sussmann - Rashcovsky, 1997), destination perceptions (Reisinger - Mavondo, 2006a); image (Litvin, Crotts, - Hefner, 2004); social interaction (Reisinger - Turner, 1997a, 1997b, 1998a, 1998b, 1998c, 1999a, 1999b, 2002a, 2002b); perceptions of travel risk, anxiety and safety (Dolnicar, 2005; Mitchell and Vassos, 1997; Reisinger - Mavondo, 2005, 2006a, 2006b); travel behavior (Litvin, Crotts, - Hefner, 2004); perceptions and stereotypes of tourists (Pizam - Jeong, 1996; Pizam - Reichel, 1996; Pizam - Sussmann, 1995; Pizam - Telisman-Kosuta, 1989; Pizam, Jansen-Verbeke, - Steel, 1997); perceptions and satisfaction with service quality (Mattila, 1999b, 1999c; Reisinger - Turner, 1999a, 1997a; Tsang - Ap, 2007; Weiermair, 2000), perceptions of hotel facilities (Bauer, Jago, - Wise, 1993; Choi - Chu, 2000; Mattila, 1999a), evaluation of travel services (Crotts - Erdmann, 2000), and consumption patterns (Rosenbaum - Spears, 2005).
Numerous studies have identified cultural differences among international tourists in attaching importance to accommodation (Becker - Murmann, 1999; McClearly, Choi, - Weaver, 1998; Sussmann - Rashcovsky, 1997), travel information (Sussmann - Rashcovsky, 1997), service (Liu, Sudharshan, - Hamer, 2000; Mattila, 1999b, 1999c), service in hotels (Armstrong, Mok, Go, - Chan (1997), restaurants and food establishments (Becker - Murmann, 1999; Sheldon - Fox, 1988), and many others. The above studies have shown that tourist behavior and travel patterns are culturespecific (You,O’Leary, Morrison,-Hong, 2000). As Pizam and Sussmann (1995) put it, behavioral differences among international tourists are attributable to cultural influences. Below are the examples of some studies that have identified cultural differences in tourist behavior and suggested that national cultures of tourists influence their behavior, selection of tourism destinations, products and services, and decision-making. However, before the effect of national culture on tourist behavior is discussed, the influence of national culture on tourist personal and psychological characteristics is identified.
14.1 CULTURAL INFLUENCES ON BUYER'S PERSONAL
14.1.1 Gender roles
Gender roles vary across cultures. For example, there are behavioral differences between men andwomen that reflect the culturally determined differing roles of men and women. In some cultures, the traditional values indicate the need for women to stay at home and take care of children. In these cultures women depend on men as breadwinners: A women’s responsibility is to take care of a family and home; as a result, women are more constrained in their travel than men (Jackson - Henderson, 1995). For...