Consumer Behavior
for Tourism & Hospitality
Week 1
Consumer Behavior
‘The study of why people buy the
products/services they do and how they
make their decisions ‘(Horner &
Swarbrooke, 1996)
How differences between these 2
Customer vs. Consumer
– Customer = someone who make a purchase ( ‘monetary
exchange’ takes place)
– Consumer = someone who consume the products or
In Tourism and Hospitality , Customer and Consumer may
not be the same person
e.g. When having a restaurants meals with family OR when
travelling for a trip with family….one person make a payment
but the rest are just eat or travel with the one who make a
In this case, the person who pay = ?
and other people whom not make a payment = ?
An ideal goals for any companies should be
to survive and making enough profit
Attracting or finding new customers may be
an essential…
however, it is more desirable and much less
expensive to retain current customers.
Therefore, loyal customers who will always
come back are the necessity.
HOW? the first stage is to make them feel
If we can meet or exceed what they expect ,
they will feel satisfied.
order to meet or exceed the expectations of
our consumers ,
- it is needed to understand the consumer’s
needs, motives, and preferences ( that generate
those expectations )
Although companies & organizations often
consider their consumer’s wants & needs ,
however, they rely more on persuading them to
buy products and services rather than putting the
consumer at the core
Without knowing real wants and needs ,
how could the right marketing mixes can
be designed and offered?
For this reason, Understanding CB is
crucial for marketing strategies and 4Ps
which is carried out by organizations to be
Understanding CB enabling companies to:
1) Forecast consumer behaviors in the
future ( not to be over optimistic or
underestimate the situations)
Correctly Persuade consumers
3) Developing new products/ services to
suit their needs & wants
Therefore, it could be said that, understanding
CB is crucial for marketing strategies and 4Ps
to be carried out by organizations effectively
Overview of Tourism &
Tourism : A short term movement of people to places
Hospitality: ‘The provision of food, drink, and
accommodation away from home’
distancing from their normal place of residence to indulge
in pleasurable activities, so as travelling for business
( adapted from Horner & Swarbrooke, 1996)
Word’s definitions:
‘The reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or
strangers with liberality and goodwill’
• The term ‘Hospitality’ comes from the word ‘ Hospice’
- In the old days, ‘Hospice’ is a term for the places of rest for
travellers and pilgrims
Both hospitality and tourism are umbrella terms for a
wide range of commercial activities. For example,
 the hospitality industry comprised of commercial
organizations offering food, beverage and lodging
consists of lodging, foodservices in restaurants,
planes and cruise ships, clubs, cafeterias, etc.; and
recreational facilities ranging from casinos to resorts
 The tourism industry supports a traveler's need for
transportation, food, lodging, amusement, and
entertainment. It involves tour operators, rental
cars, hotels, bars, gasoline stations, theme parks,
and attractions.
 While sometimes both terms are used
interchangeably, they are not quite synonymous.
The tourism industry serves people away from home.
Hospitality also includes businesses that serve
people in their local town.
Source: Zabel, D. (2003). The Best of the Web: Hospitality and Tourism Web Sites. Journal of Business & Finance
Librarianship, 8(3/4), 167-179.
Hospitality Industry and Tourism industry
are interrelated
◦ Without one of each, another cannot be
Top 10 destinations of the
world, 2013
( source : Tripadvisor)
What is a ‘Tourist’?
Tourist could be defined as ‘A person whom travel
out of his/her usual environments and stay there at
least 24 hours but not more than 1 consecutive year
for leisure, business, and other purposes’
(adapted from WTO)
2 forms of travel
o Domestic travel
 Tourism activity of residents of one country traveling only
within that country
o International travel
Tourism activity of people visiting destinations outside their
own country's boundaries
Majority of tourists are domestic tourist
 However, In terms of spending,
International tourists usually spend much
higher and stay longer in general.
Overview of Tourism in
The main marketing slogan for promoting Thailand
internationally was "Amazing Thailand"
 The main marketing slogan for promoting Thai tourism to
the Thai is ‘Unseen Thailand’
4,078 baht is the average spend per head per day of
foreign visitors to Thailand in 2010. An average stay was
9.12 days, resulting in 592.79 billion baht gross foreign
tourism revenue
The average spend per head per day of domestic tourists
was 1,736 baht. They made 101 million domestic trips and
stayed 2.59 days on average in 2010, contributing 402
billion baht in domestic tourism revenue
 In 1997 – 7.2 million visitors
 In 2012- 22.3 million visitors
Forces driving growth in Tourism
& Hospitality
1) The economy :
Economic growth in developed economies during 80s –
 rise in stock market + very low unemployment rate
Higher disposable income
= People have more leisure time , early retirement
 Due to higher income, more leisure time , early
retirement …
People want and can afford more goods & services
 For many people, consumption of services such as
hospitality has become a major form of recreation
Forces driving growth in Tourism
& Hospitality
The growth of the youth market
Companies see the importance of increase in
Children’s roles within their family decision-making
‘Pester –Power’-- the ability that children have to make their
parents buy things, by repeatedly asking them until they agree
companies market directly to them
E.g. fast-food restaurants  Children meals = promotional gifts or premium
is the key
Forces driving growth in
Tourism & Hospitality
3) Technological change : the most important
Development in transportation links as a primary
e.g. cars, motorways, jet travel
Development of Television and delivery technology
Development in Computer : the most important
factor , as it linked most of the other developments
e.g. hotel reservation via internet<< websites are
more attractive and user-friendly, e-payment, e-banking,
kiosk-self check in at the airport
Forces driving growth in
Tourism & Hospitality
4) Social changes
Shifting from ‘production oriented ‘ to focus on
5) The Mass media
 Consumption relies on the media to disseminate
its messages and to mold its images  associating
goods and services in particular brand with
- McDonald’s , KFC and Burger King spend
billions of pounds every year ….breaking traditional
eating cultures
Forces driving growth in
Tourism & Hospitality
6) Facilitating means (for consumption)
The growth of credit cards
‘While earlier generations saved until they could
afford to buy in cash, today’s consumers
operate on ‘ the buy now, pay later’
The growth of consumption has been facilitated
by this together with mail order, television
shopping channels, and internet (increasingly
The growth of store cards
Forces driving growth in
Tourism & Hospitality
7) Globalization
to processes that increase world-wide exchanges of
national and cultural resources.
Advances in transportation and telecommunications
infrastructure, including the rise of the Internet, are major
factors in globalization
These factors generate further interdependence of
economic and cultural activities.
‘All the world become more interconnected’
e.g. McDonald’s : open up their first store in 1955
By 2000, over 30,000 stores in more than 100 countries ,
including China, Russia, India, Israel etc.,
The value of theory in
researching consumer behavior
in hospitality
• Researchers have developed valuable
models and frameworks to simplify
complexes variables (factors) which
affect hospitality consumption of
consumers in regards to consumer
preference, his/her choice, and
purchase behavior
The development of consumer
behavior research
The development of an academic theories
within the area of consumption began within
the marketing department in the business
school of 1950s
The main purpose for its development was to
help marketing managers understand more
on specific causes on consumer behavior ,
particularly, consumer buying decision
This focuses on what the consumer would do
under certain specified conditions became
known as ‘the positivist ‘ approach
• However, the ‘positivist’ approach is
acceptable for a specific, particular sets of
situation only, not for more complex
situations where other factors come into
Therefore, the ‘positivist’ approach is acceptable
for a specific, particular sets of situation only, not
for more complex situations where other factors
come into play
In sum , consumer behavior has to be understood
within the context of human interaction, which is
known as ‘ the interpretivist school of research, or
‘ the interpretivist approach’
Contemporary reviews of literature
would indicate three broad approaches
to consumption (cont.,):
The economic consumer
2) The behavioral consumer
3) The experiential consumer
Contemporary reviews of literature would
indicate three broad approaches to
1) The economic, positivist (rational) or
cognitive consumer
2) The behavioral, interpretivist
consumer (learning)
3) The experiential consumer
(postmodern )
The Positivist/economic consumer
The fundamental assumption here is…
human behavior has objectively identifiable causes
and effects ,all of which can be isolated, studied , and
are logical and make rational decisions based
on analysis of potential and losses
When faced with a problem or a decision, people
process all the information relevant to it
processing this information, people make a rational
decision about the best choice or decision to make
E.g. Marketers assumed that ;if best deals/
quality/fair prices are offered--> consumers will
marketers view consumers as
Interpretivist/ Behavioral
Consumption is a learned response to stimuli,
punishment or reward
People are not simply rational information processors or
decision makers
Each consumers' experience is unique
'experience' (past experience or experiences of others) lead to
buying/consumption decision
No emotions are involved in buying decision, what involves
is ‘past experience’
Experiential Consumer
Rejects a structural response to experience
Buy because of emotions
Consumption is beyond explanation or
Decision and learning are seen as modern
constructs and are replaced by fantasy,
hedonism, or symbolism
 For
 To
fulfill Fantasy needs : One day,
an old woman is fantasizing
about being a teen again . In
order to suit her fantasy need, she
goes to theme park where she
always went when she was 17
To fulfill Hedonism (pleasureseeking) needs: People whom
love entertainment and want to
hang out all night goes to Casino
or entertainment venue that
operates 24/7
To fulfill Symbolism need:
Some persons need something that
symbolized or posed meaning within it to
express themselves.
E.g.1 The Fashionista chooses ‘Paris’ as a
travel destination because the city is the
icon of fashion.
E.g.2 A high-income honeymoon couple
choose Switzerland as a honeymoon
destination because the country
symbolizes romanticism.
E.g. 3 A person who pay very high price
for the hotel room in which famous people
used to stay in to acquire status

Forces driving growth in Tourism & Hospitality