Abstract

The correspondence (or lack thereof) between what people say they do and what they actually do has long been of interest to social researchers. Tourism researchers have not been immune to this research conundrum and have sought to address it, giving particular attention to inconsistencies in tourists’ behavior in areas such as consumer behavior and destination loyalty. Missing from the tourism literature are models that allow for systematic comparisons between cultural models, self-reported behavior, and actual tourism behavior, thus making predictions of future behavior more accurate. In this paper I discuss the potential applications of the Cultural Consensus and Cultural Consonance models using an American college travel phenomenon – Spring Break – as a case study. The findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of the role culture plays in tourism behavior and have important practical implications for the areas of tourism destination marketing and marketing segmentation.

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Do Tourists Do What They Say They Do? An Application of the Cultural Consensus and Cultural Consonance Models to Tourism Research

The correspondence (or lack thereof) between what people say they do and what they actually do has long been of interest to social researchers. Tourism researchers have not been immune to this research conundrum and have sought to address it, giving particular attention to inconsistencies in tourists’ behavior in areas such as consumer behavior and destination loyalty. Missing from the tourism literature are models that allow for systematic comparisons between cultural models, self-reported behavior, and actual tourism behavior, thus making predictions of future behavior more accurate. In this paper I discuss the potential applications of the Cultural Consensus and Cultural Consonance models using an American college travel phenomenon – Spring Break – as a case study. The findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of the role culture plays in tourism behavior and have important practical implications for the areas of tourism destination marketing and marketing segmentation.