Americans really are different: modeling the visitor motivation for cultural attractions and testing for cultural differences between Western tourists


Kay, Pandora; Meyer, Denny


Understanding tourists' motivation for cultural attractions and experiences is important because tourist markets represent potential new audiences for cultural attractions and events. Cultural group differences are pivotal in understanding consumer behaviour as suggested by Hofstede (1980). This study adopts a process approach to motivation based upon Marmell's (1999) motivational process model from the leisure literature, with the focus of this paper being the first stage of psychological predispositions. It measures the cultural experience motivational constructs of attitudes, motives, and expectations, and explores their underlying dimensionality, and then models the relationships between these constructs. Cultural group differences within the construct dimensionality and between the construct relationships are also tested and found to be significant. In this study, differences between four groups of Western English-speaking tourists are proposed based on Hofstede's (1980) theory of cultural differences, and early indications that North Americans are different from other markets of Western English-speaking tourists are examined. That North Americans differ, in terms of the dimensionality of and relationships between all three motivational constructs, is a significant finding with marketing implications. These quantitative fmdings substantiate exploratory qualitative research findings in the literature that cultural experience visitors are seeking complex bundles of experiences such as edutainment.

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Conference paper


Freedom to travel, the 39th Annual Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 15-17 June 2008 / Kathleen L. Andereck (ed.), pp. 343-352


Travel and Tourism Research Association

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Copyright © 2008 Travel and Tourism Research Association.