How Couples Approach Making Travel Decisions

“Which hotel looks nicer for the better price? Where should we eat? What excursions did the concierge recommend?” These are all questions couples ask each other when planning a vacation, and when plans change during the trip. For some couples, the decision time on where to eat can take longer than others, and the even bigger decision is where to travel in the first place. So how are couples approaching the decision process, and is there a gender correlation between who makes what decision? I.e. when to travel, budget on the hotel, the bus tour to sign up for.

A recent study entitled “Exploring the Length and Complexity of Couples Travel Decision Making“, published  in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, observes the patterns of how couples decide on the much anticipated annual travel plans. This article is co-authored by Wayne W. Smith, Robert E. Pitts, Steve W. Litvin, and Deepti Agrawal, and is currently free to read for a limited time. The abstract for their article is below:

A quasi-experiment is used to examine the dynamics of the shared decision-making process by cqxb_58_2.cover.pngobserving couples in real time as they make decisions about an overnight stay at a luxury resort. Observations and video recordings of the decision processes of 24 couples were coded and analyzed. The time to final decision, number, and type of tactics used were found to vary with couples’ length of experience with one another. Observation indicated that couples with greater travel experience together relied on “predealing” based on their experience together to avoid conflict, while less-experienced couples’ decisions were more likely to yield winners and losers. These findings and those related to the use of persuasive tactics by members of the couple dyads provide the basis for specific recommendations for marketing travel products.

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A Theory of Lodging: Exploring Hotel Guest Behavior

Traveling is generally looked forward to by most, and when planning where to stay, we rely on reviews from past hotel guests. Does the hotel have consistently clean rooms? A lobby bar to meet up with my coworkers? A pool, spa, or gym? Regardless of our questions, they are approached through a mentality of short-term requirements; that is, we don’t have to reference our list of “deal breakers” like when purchasing a home.

Editor Chris Roberts of DePaul University recently published a study in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research presenting the habits and perspectives of traveler decisions entitled “A Theory of Lodging: Exploring Hotel Guest Behavior,” co-authored by Dr. Linda Shea. Below, Roberts explains the inspiration for this study:

What inspired you to be int4643862699_f8d70fef26_zerested in this topic? The field of hospitality is often classified as an applied field as it appears to lack theory of its own.  Instead, theories from other related fields are used in hospitality research.  However, the authors are asking the hospitality research academy to engage in a discussion about lodging.  Is there a theory that explains human behavior when staying in a hotel?  It appears that many humans behave differently when they are at home versus when staying overnight in a hotel.  The purpose of this paper is to stimulate thought among hospitality researchers to explore this idea.

Were there findings that were surprising to you? We are not declaring there is a distinctive theory of lodging; however, the difference in behavior is observable, suggesting there may be something to explore.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice? Interested researchers are encouraged to attend the ICHRIE Conference to be held July 23-25, 2017 in Baltimore, MD, USA.  An opportunity to explore this will be available.  Please join us as we wrestle with this idea of a theory of lodging.

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Hotel lobby photo attributed to fhotels (CC).

A Review of Adventure Tourism Literature

25451482464_a4c1837cac_z[We are pleased to welcome Mingming Cheng of UTS Business School. Mingming recently published an article in Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research entitled “A Tri-Method Approach to a Review of Adventure Tourism Literature: Bibliometric Analysis and a Quantitative Systematic Literature Review” with co-authors Deborah Edwards, Simon Darcy, and Kylie Redfern.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

When I conducted my literature review at the start of my doctoral study, I realised that the current methods in reviewing literature are mainly with narrative analysis. These reviews are usually conducted by leading experts in a particular field. However, such reviews are highly subjective and might have a range of potential biases. Current Issue CoverParticularly, it seems nearly impossible for me as a young researcher to replicate their studies. Sometimes, I wondered how they have drawn a certain conclusion. Along the way, I realised that some researchers use a systematic review approach that identifies the key categories with the literature to provide a generalization but still it is unclear where the current literature comes from, and who and what theories influence the field. In addition, I also noticed that there are a considerable number of researchers using bibliometric methods to identity the knowledge base and intellectual structure of a particularly field. However, similar questions came to me again: bibilometric methods could not identity whether the argument is supportive or offers a critique. Thus, I wondered what if I combine them together, would it yield different outcomes?

As such, based on previous work and particularly inspired by one of my colleagues’ work (Randawa, Wilden & Hohberger, 2016), we utilized the strengths of three different methods to advance previous reviews on a particular field (adventure tourism in this study) via a more, systematic, objective and integrated review of its literature. Our approach identifies the theoretical foundations, key themes and the conceptual boundary of a particular field.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The findings are very surprising to us as we discovered something that have been overlooked in the literature and this helps us clearly identify future opportunities for emerging research areas. The combination of biblometric methods, content analysis and a quantitative systematic literature review approach gives our researchers multiple lenses to the current literature. In particular, the bibliometric and content analysis in our study shows that adventure tourism still has a great reliance on established disciplines for theories, such as flow theory, edge work, and reversal theory. As such, despite the gradually changing focus (e.g. destination development and impact) and new methods of investigation (e.g. auto-ethnography), scholarship in this field is relatively immature compared to many other tourism areas. As such, future opportunities exist for better integration of other relevant theories through disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary and contextual field with adventure tourism research.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

From an academic point of view, our research provides a clear-cut picture of the adventure tourism literature by understanding its theoretical movement, key themes and its conceptual boundary. Thus, it enables our researchers to visibly position ourselves in the literature to detect potential new directions as well as to locate their work within the field. From a methodological perspective, it advances extant methodological literature on the review of literature by analyzing the field in a holistic, objective and integrated manner that helps reduce the bias that is often related to traditional literature review methods and expert interviews. From a practical perspective, it can serve as an introduction to a rapidly evolving adventure tourism field for students and practitioners.

The abstract for the paper:

This article provides an objective, systematic, and integrated review of the Western academic literature on adventure tourism to discover the theoretical foundations and key themes underlying the field by combining three complementary approaches of bibliometric analysis, content analysis, and a quantitative systematic review. A total of 114 publications on adventure tourism were identified that revealed three broad areas of foci with adventure tourism research: (1) adventure tourism experience, (2) destination planning and development, and (3) adventure tourism operators. Adventure tourism has an intellectual tradition from multiple disciplines, such as the social psychology of sport and recreation. There is an underrepresentation of studies examining non-Western tourists in their own geographic contexts or non-Western tourists in Western geographic contexts. Our findings pave ways for developing a more robust framework and holistic understanding of the adventure tourism field.

You can read “A Tri-Method Approach to a Review of Adventure Tourism Literature: Bibliometric Analysis and a Quantitative Systematic Literature Review” from Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all the latest research from Journal of Hospitality & Tourism ResearchClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Kayak image attributed to Matt Zimmerman (CC)

Introducing Journal of Travel Research’s Incoming Editor!

CrouchWe’re pleased to welcome the incoming editor of Journal of Travel Research Geoffrey Crouch of La Trobe University! Dr. Crouch kindly provided us with some information on his background:

Geoffrey Crouch is Professor of Tourism Policy & Marketing in the La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He is an elected Fellow in the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He has received several research awards including the 2012 Charles R. Goeldner Article of Excellence Award for the Best Paper published in the Journal of Travel Research in 2011, the 2012 Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Executive Dean’s Research Award, the 1997 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research JTR_72ppiRGB_powerpointAchievement at the University of Calgary, the 1994 Best Article Award for the Journal of Travel Research, and the 1993 Best Paper Designation at the 48th Annual Conference of the Council for Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE). He was also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Convention and Visitors Bureau. Professor Crouch has undertaken consulting assignments for organizations such as the Australian Tourist Commission, and the Hong Kong Tourist Association. In the area of space tourism, Professor Crouch organized a conference panel at the 2001 Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference on the future of space tourism that included Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Chairman of ShareSpace Foundation.

Geoffrey’s research interests span four main research themes, as follows: Tourism psychology and consumer behaviour; Destination competitiveness and management; Tourism marketing; and Tourism policy.

Journal of Travel Research, published bimonthly, is the premier, peer-reviewed research journal focusing on travel and tourism behavior, management and development. The first scholarly journal in North America focused exclusively on travel and tourism, Journal of Travel Research provides researchers, educators, and professionals with up-to-date, high quality, international and multidisciplinary research on behavioral trends and management theory for one of the most influential and dynamic industries. The journal is a 4 ranked journal by Association of Business Schools and A* ranked by Australian Business Deans Council. The July issue of Journal of Travel Research can be read for free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

The outgoing editor of Journal of Travel Research, Richard R. Perdue, will continue to process manuscripts under review to completion.

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Will Airline Customers Buy Carbon Offsets?

cost-of-flying-1031410-m In an effort to help combat climate change, a number of corporations have turned to using carbon offsets to help rectify any damage done by their business to the environment. Companies such as United Airlines have even begun offering their customers the chance to purchase carbon offsets to counteract their flight. But how likely is it that customers will choose to purchase these carbon offsets? Authors Andy S. Choi, Brent W. Ritchie, and Kelly S. Fielding explored this topic in their article published in Journal of Travel Research entitled “A Mediation Model of Air Travelers’ Voluntary Climate Action.”

The abstract:

This study developed a behavioral model of intentions to purchase aviation carbon offsets, and tested the model through JTR_72ppiRGB_powerpointstructural equation models. The model draws on the established hierarchical models of human behavior to hypothesize relationships between general and specific attitudes as predictors of offsetting intentions. The New Ecological Paradigm scale, the theory of planned behavior and variables from past literature were employed to measure general environmental attitudes, intermediate beliefs, and behavior-specific attitudes and norms. The current research represents a first attempt to build a theoretical model that helps to understand the relationships between factors that determine whether people will purchase aviation carbon offsets. The results show that a more positive orientation toward the environment could be an important predictor of environmental intentions operating both directly on intentions as well as guiding beliefs that relate to intentions. Policy implications of the findings are discussed, encouraging greater voluntary climate action.

You can read “A Mediation Model of Air Travelers’ Voluntary Climate Action” from Journal of Travel Research for free for the next week by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Travel Research? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Mark S. Johnson on the Travel Promotion Act’s Impact on Hotel Firm Stock Returns

[We’re pleased to welcome Mark Johnson of Michigan State University. Dr. Johnson recently collaborated with A. J. Singh of Michigan State University and Qing Ma of Cornell University on their paper “The Impact of Authorization of the Travel Promotion Act on Hotel Firm Stock Returns” from the February issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.]

I have found that some of the best research ideas arise from comments made by cqx coveraccountants. This occurs because accountants keep close track of firms and industries through the process of auditing and consulting. Our curiosity was peaked when we read a publication from Ernst and Young. In this publication they mentioned the Travel Promotion Act as one of the three most important issues facing the Hotel Industry in 2011.

Our results were surprising to us for two ways. One, the stock price impact from the act was larger than we had anticipated. Two, the way in which a firm is organized, c-corp versus REIT, influenced the degree to which a firm could capture value from the act.

The most important result from our research is that Travel Promotion by the Federal Government produces wealth in the Hotel Industry. This result is particularly important because policy makers are currently reviewing the progress of TPA since its inception. We hope that our analysis encourages policy makers to continue to support the act now and in the future.

You can read “The Impact of Authorization of the Travel Promotion Act on Hotel Firm Stock Returns” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

575c2fc6d81ed395ddc4f8d8f696e987Mark S. Johnson is a Professor of Practice, Finance, at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing. Dr. Johnson’s research interest has focused on the market for corporate control and the impact of government regulations on the market value of firms

d83aa498f991084b6ecf5b866b46d86aA.J. Singh is the International Lodging, Finance and Real Estate Professor in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. Dr. Singh’s research is heavily involved with predicting the U.S. lodging industry’s current and future sources & needs of financing. An integral part of his research is to work closely with industry leaders representing the lodging, real estate and financial services industries.

get.htmlQingzhong (Qing) Ma is an assistant professor of finance in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. His research is in the area corporate finance, especially mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate restructuring, corporate governance, behavioral finance, insider trading, and their applications in the hospitality industries.

Listen to the Latest Podcast from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly!

cqx coverIn the latest podcast from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Robert E. Pitts discusses his article “The Influence of Message Framing on Hotel Guests’ Linen-Reuse Intentions.” The study, conducted with article co-authors Julie E. Blose and Rhonda W. Mack in Charleston, SC, examined participants’ opinion of how they would respond to various message frames.

You can click here to download the podcast. You can also read the article for free by clicking here.

Like what you hear? Click here to browse more podcasts from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and get notifications of all the latest research from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly sent directly to your inbox!

port-blosejuliaJulia E. Blose received her PhD from Florida State University. She is currently an associate professor of Marketing in the Department of Management and Marketing in the School of Business at the College of Charleston.

Rhonda MackRhonda W. Mack received her PhD from the University of Georgia. She is currently professor of marketing and associate dean of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Management and Marketing in the School of Business at the College of Charleston.

120x160xport-pittsrobert.jpg.pagespeed.ic.LOznHRJl4BRobert E. Pitts received his PhD from the University of South Carolina. He is currently a professor of marketing in the Department of Management and Marketing in the School of Business at the College of Charleston. He has served as dean of the School of Business and Economics at the College of Charleston and the College of Business Administration at Creighton University, Omaha.