The four stages of on-site behavior for a long-stay relaxation holiday
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Previous studies largely treat the on-site travel experience as a single stage of homogenous tourist behavior, despite widespread recognition that tourist behavior is complex and consists of temporal decision processes. In particular, little attention has been given to what changes during the course of the long-stay holiday. The purpose of this exploratory study is to understand changes in tourist behavior, if any, from point of arrival through to the end of a long-stay relaxation holiday. In-depth interviews were conducted with mature-aged international travelers from the United States, Europe, and Australia visiting Phuket, Thailand. The findings illustrate changes that can be characterized, into four distinct stages of on-site behavior, through key activities, uncertainty levels, intercultural interactions, information needs, and sources of information. Important implications for destination marketing organizations are suggested which require innovative strategies to match the changing needs and activities of long-stay tourists at various stages of the holiday.
Journal of Vacation Marketing