Consumer Behavior in Tourism

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1 Introduction Along with the improvement of living standard and changing consumption structure, the tourism industry in China is now a blooming industry. There has been a variety of definition regarding tourist product since the early 1970s. One of those definitions that became most influential was proposed by Middleton and Victor (1988), in which a basic distinction was made before defining tourist products. The total tourist product can be defined as the combination of all the elements consumed by a tourist during his or her trip. The specific tourist products are regarded as the components of the total tourist product which can be individually offered to tourists, such as accommodation, transport, attractions as well as other…show more content…
For low-involvement products, consumers tend to pick up the product their friends recommend, which is on account of “the word of mouth” marketing effect. On the contrary, there is a weaker relationship between consumers and their friends in high-involvement products (Eszter, 2008). For instance, the selection of travel destinations for the new couple in Group 2 was relatively high-involvement process. Although they sought information from a few couples about the recommended places for their honeymoon, they finally abandoned their friends’ suggestions after evaluation and determined to go to the Maldives according to their original intention. In another case, consumers are likely to be well impacted by friends who are opinion leaders possessing substantial knowledge about the product. In Group 3, the reason why the amateur backpacker selected Tibet as his first choice was just because his friend, a professional with ten-year experience, recommended that Tibet was the best choice for greenhorns. Moreover, young people are more likely to be influenced by friends compared to elder people (Eszter, 2008). Just like Group 4, the student traveler once hesitated to choose Changzhou Theme Park or Shanghai Happy Valley as her destination, and her friend’s suggestion against the latter greatly influenced her final decision. By contrast, the elder couple in Group 5 did not even ask their friends for advice when they wanted
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