Motivation and Tourism

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. (
[March 18, 2011] [Online UN website]


As it is a human right to have a holiday, this report discus the motivating reasons and the appeal factors why people choose their tourist destination. The report will start with definitions of tourism and motivation, followed buy a few theories of motivation, and ending with a conclusion. Theses theories are relating to the push of individual/s to embark on a holiday, and the pull of the tourist destination.


• According to the UK Tourism Society and cited in the BTEC National Travel and Tourism book, by Elise James, Joanne Thirlaway and Ursula Woodhouse. (2007, pg3) Their defection of tourism is as follows. “ The temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work, and their activities during their stay at these destinations.”

• Motivation as defined in the in the book Tourism: Principles and Practices. By Cooper, Fletcher, Gilbert, Shepherd and Wanhill, 2nd edition. (1998, pg32) Is “ Derives from the word ‘motivate’, which is to course a person to act in a certain way, or to stimulate interest”.

Definitions of Tourism and Motivation

There’re as many different types of holidays and tourists destinations, as there are people. Personality traits have a lot to account for in the decision making process, of where we choose to go on holiday. Mr Stanley Plog in 1974 (Holloway 6th ed, 2002) developed a theory, which classified the general US public into two desictive groups.

• Psycho-centric
A tourist that is more concerned with himself or herself, more than often is anxious about the security of travelling. They enjoy a resort or group package style holiday. Would more than likely be a return visitor for the comfort of familiarity. Example of this would be a Packaged style holiday to Spain. Were the tourist has purchased the transport and accommodation as one product. • Allocentric

A tourist that seeks excitement, novelty, and mostly likes being out of his or hers comfort zone. They would have no qualms of travelling alone to or from a destination by them selves, or stay outside the resort or hotel environment. Examples of this would be a backpacker, staying at a hostel in Budapest. Not only is it a non-English speaking country, it is also out side of the European Union. Making it more exciting to the true allocentric.

As this is only a theory, one cannot just place every body into two boxes. So of course in practice, holidaymakers fall somewhere in between these to extreme examples as mid-centric. Plog’s theories are also discusses in Tourism: Principles and Practices (Cooper et al, 1998 pg35) they suggest his theories are hard to apply inside the tourist industry. “Tourist will travel with different motivations on different occasions.” They also follow on to suggest, that out of these individuals that gravitate more towards the psycho-centric are of a lower incomes. This in turn would limit the style or type of holiday they would go on. There motivations wouldn't be different just the tourist destination. It would just mean that having a domestic holiday would be more appealing to save money. The family might opt for a low-key holiday like going camping in the Lake District, or to a Butlins seaside resort.

Incomes are one of the major factors in deciding where to travel. As we have briefly discussed a budget holiday and Plog’s theories. He would suggest that on the other side of the scale tourists with more expendable funds would certainly have different destinations in mind. But with money comes affordability, witch fashion and trends are a by-product of. Just like keeping up with the latest cloths fashions, is the appeal of...
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