Travel Motivations and Destinations Activities of Young Travelers of Different Ages: Article Review

Travel Motivations and Destinations Activities of Young Travelers of Different Ages: Article Review

The motivation of specific age groups may be of interest to managers of travel and tourism related businesses, as it may help them to gain a better understanding of the motivations and demographics of potential business users - Travel Motivations and Destinations Activities of Young Travelers of Different Ages: Article Review introduction. This essay presents a review of a recent research article by Dotson, Clark and Dave (2008), which examines this theme.

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Research Justification

The main focus of the article by Dotson et al. (2008) appears to be that of segmenting the population into different groups according to their travel motivations. In the first paragraph of the article there is a brief review of the previous literature related to segmentation. This discusses various other pieces of work which have examined segmentation, but there is little discussion as to the actual findings of this work. In addition, there is little research presented from the most recent years, with most of the research coming from around 2000 or earlier.

The article then moves on to justify the research study. The reasons which predominate are that changes in the young population as they mature to adults may result in different travel motivations and preferences than have been previously noted. While this would appear to be a suitable justification for the study there is no evidence presented of how the researchers have come to this conclusion. It may have been better here if there were other studies mentioned which may support that this is true.

Methodology

At this same level the essay does however justify the specific groups which are examined, having determined them in relation to previous generational research that indicates a distinct difference in American youth born pre-1982 and post-1982. There is substantial evidence given as to differences between the values and motivations of the two distinct age groups identified, which therefore gives substantial support of the hypothesis that there may be travel preference differences between the two groups also, even though this is not directly referenced in the reviewed literature.

Although the article discusses pilot focus groups which were conducted there is no mention of how young adults were recruited for these groups. This is important as it is possible that selection bias could have affected these groups and then subsequently impacted on the questionnaire developed from the pilot focus groups. In addition, it would appear that at this stage there was already a hypothesis formed that there would be segmentation between participants aged above and below 23 years old, even though this was not mentioned to this point. This is evidenced in the fact that the sample was split equally between these two age ranges. Similarly, there was also a mention of pre-testing of the questionnaire used, but no mention as to who this was tested with and the changes which this resulted in.

The mall intercept technique that was mentioned for participant selection is likely to have introduced a significant level of selection bias into the study as visual bias may have led researchers to question as specific type of person. Also it is possible that certain types of young person may have been more inclined to stop than others. The number of participants which were surveyed should however minimize the effect of this bias.

Results and Conclusions

The method of perceptual mapping that was chosen was useful for answering the specific research question posed as it allowed for an analysis of differences in the link between motivation to travel and destination activities. The charts which were composed indicate that the conclusions which were drawn from the study were valid. In turn, the conclusion that there were differences within the 18-30 age group appear to discount the original theory that there may be consistency within that group.

References

Dotson, M.J., Clark, J.D. & Dave, D.S. (2008). Travel motivations and destination activities of young travelers of different ages: An empirical study in the United States. International Journal of Management, 25(3): 665-672.

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