- Economizing on vacations: the role of information searching
- International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 7 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Purpose - The consumer is currently feeling the consequences of the global economic crisis, leading to decreased spending by tourists. An important economizing strategy appears to be that vacationers do not give up their holiday but are likely to travel closer to home, a phenomenon called "staycation", but this is just one of a variety of options vacationers can use. If they make economies within a holiday, where do they get their ideas about economizing from? The purpose of this paper is to study information searching from the perspective of economizing on vacations.
Design/methodology/approach - The work reported on is a survey of Dutch vacationers who stated that they economized on their 2009 holiday.
Findings - The research shows that different sources have strong and weak points in relation to the different subdecisions that constitute a vacation. Information sources are used in concert for subdecisions; the strongest joint use involves marketer-generated sites and e-WOM, and brochures and travel guides. In the family context, a tendency is found to use more information sources the more economizing decisions are discussed.
Practical implications - For tour operators, it seems to make sense to make it easier to compare vacation alternatives that differ on subdecisions such as booking moment and period, and to offer a range of options from expensive to inexpensive. Also, making options more flexible in terms of downgrading on vacation features could assist vacationers who want to economize. Consumer-generated sources could focus more on providing information and comparison opportunities for subdecisions.
Originality/value - Information searching is a widely studied area in vacation decision making. Two extensive literature reviews give an overview of factors influencing this search process. In this literature, a contribution on information searching to obtain economizing ideas in difficult times is absent. In this article, with the aid of five research questions, the role of information searching in relation to economizing on vacations is investigated.
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