Evaluating and extending the Travel Career Patterns model

Institute for Tourism
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 2007, 55 (1), pp. 23 - 38
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This paper examines a newly created approach to exploring travel motivations, the Travel Career Patterns (TCP) model. Through an analysis of the TCP model, the authors advance travel motivation theory by making three contributions: a refinement of the definition of travel experience; the use and evaluation of essays as a qualitative tool for interpreting travel motives; and an extension of the TCP model to a new setting. The first contribution is made by defining travel experience as a function of general experience with a de-emphasis on the use of age as a predictor of tourist experience. As part of the second contribution, essays are used to provide an insightful and emic understanding of travel motives through descriptions of a perfect day at a destination. It is demonstrated that such descriptions can effectively replicate results from quantitative approaches. The third contribution is made by extending the TCP model to the study of the motivations of study-abroad university students. These contributions improve the TCP model in light of the following elements of a sound theory of tourist motivation: ease of communication, ability to measure travel motivation, and employment of a dynamic approach. Contextual recommendations for future research include further TCP studies with small tourist groups, studies of eccentric tourist groups, and studies of complex, higher order motives such as self-actualisation and the 'flow' state. Methodological recommendations arising from this paper encompass the application of projective techniques to study motives using TCP and the use of software for qualitative analyses.
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