Understanding the destination choice: a study of the Chinese long-haul outbound tourists
Li, Chunxiao (2013) Understanding the destination choice: a study of the Chinese long-haul outbound tourists. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Among tourism decision making studies, choice heuristics are barely explored. Choice heuristics are a set of rules decision makers use to process information about their choice criteria. The types of rules applied in the process can make a substantial difference to eventual outcomes, which for tourists includes not only the final choice of the tour package but also the choice process (Sen, 1997). Therefore, in order to better understand tourists' decision making behaviour, choice heuristics deserve greater attention. However, whilst compensatory choice heuristics are commonly applied in consumer focused tourism research, and conjoint analysis is often used for modelling compensatory heuristics, mirroring the predominant approach in consumer research, less attention has been afforded to non-compensatory heuristics. Recently, a greedoid method was introduced by Kohli and Jedidi (2007) and Yee et al. (2007) independently to that contributed to methodology for estimating non-compensatory heuristics. The aim of this study was to provide a greater understanding of consumer decision-making processes, based on the exploration of different choice heuristics used by the Chinese long-haul outbound tourists. This thesis makes theoretical contribution by providing insights on (1) how the concept of choice heuristics can be used to better understand the process of decision making and (2) how choice heuristics are used for the selection of complicated intangible services, tourism destinations in this case. The study also sheds light on the possible measurements for evaluating the fit of different choice heuristic models. In addition, the information found regarding the destination preference of Chinese long-haul outbound tourist is of great use for marketers and suppliers to improve their destination products as well as their advertisement campaigns.
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