‘Need For Arousal’: What Drives Adventure Travelers


Adventure travel, from camping and canoeing to scuba diving and safaris, is a growing market. Consumers who are willing and able to dash off on such adventures have a distinctive set of personality traits–one which tourism and marketing managers would do well to understand, according to a new article in the Journal of Travel Research. Paige P. Schneider of East Carolina University and Christine A. Vogt of Michigan State University published “Applying the 3M Model of Personality and Motivation to Adventure Travelers” in the November issue of JTR:

More than a decade has passed since the Travel Industry Association investigated adventure travel as a promising market. Despite growth in the adventure industry, studies of adventure travelers remain scarce, particularly in the identification of the psychological underpinnings of consumer adventurers. Mowen’s (2000) 3M Model of Motivation and Personality provided an organizing framework to explain the psychological roots of adventure tourism behavior. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to a random sample (N = 1000) of National Geographic Adventure magazine subscribers with a response rate (n = 339) of 34%. Guttman Scaling Procedure was employed to categorize respondents in hard and soft adventure traveler categories as a context for understanding the demographic and travel behavior characteristics. The personality trait interest in cultural experiences was a consistent predictor of adventure travel propensity for hard and soft adventure traveler groups. The traits need for arousal and need for material resources were significant predictors for the hard adventure traveler group, while competitiveness was the other trait found to be a significant predictor for the soft adventure traveler group. Findings of this study enhance knowledge and understanding of the relationship between personality and tourism behavior.

Click here to read the article in the Journal of Travel Research. To stay abreast of the latest research on travel and tourism behavior, management and development, follow this link to sign up for e-alerts.

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One Response to “‘Need For Arousal’: What Drives Adventure Travelers”

  1. Tomas Wollenburg Says:

    i love to do adventure travel since it is very exciting and fulfilling activity to do.’

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