Tourist motivations are factors influencing tourists to travel to certain areas. The motivations influence the behavior of tourists. Tourists chose certain vacation areas with an aim of healing their psychological depletion and have an opportunity to restore and replenish. Tourists desire to break from their normal daily routine to interact and change the norms to have a rest.
Tourist motivations and their effect on destination and choice of activity
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations
Push factors are intrinsic motivations while pull factors are extrinsic motivations. Push factors include socio-psychological motives such as a desire to escape from mundane environments, to explore and evaluate self, relaxation, regression, prestige, and to enhance kinship relationships as well as facilitate social interaction. Push factors allow versatile response to various external situations (Mahika, 2011). They originate from unique psychological states among individuals needs and feelings. They explain desires to go for a vacation. Pull factors are cultural motives including education and novelty. Pull factors brought by attributes of the goals identified among tourists in their experience. They depend on cognitively penetrable parameters and differ from one person to another. Pull motives explain the choice of destination.
Push motivation are internal forces influencing tourist destination. They include psychological, physical, seeking/exploration and social interaction. Psychological factors include escape and self-actualization. Physical factors include rest and relaxation, medical treatment, health and fitness. Social interaction factors include visiting friends and relatives, and meeting new people.
Seeking/exploration factors include novelty, culture exploration, and adventure, enjoying nightlife, and shopping. Pull motivation are external forces including tangible and intangible factors (Mahika, 2011). Tangible factors include transportation facilities, friendliness of people, variety, and quality of food, accommodation facilities, personal safety, price, culture and historical resources, good shopping, environmental safety and quality. Intangible factor include destination image and expected benefits.
Escape from mundane environment
Tourists travel to gain a temporary change of their ordinary environments. They desire to attend environments that are different physically and socially. People desire to escape from anomic societies, filled with wars, conflicts, economic instability, and violence. They desire to have fulfilled aspirations. Moreover, people desire to run away from isolation and go for vacations where they will have new people to interact (Mahika, 2011). New socialization meets personal recognition needs. Tourists visit new places where they feel superior since their social position is unknown.
Exploration and evaluation of self
Tourists travel to re-evaluate and discover more of themselves. They act out of their self-images to realize areas requiring modification. Travelling to unknown and new destinations motivates them to think more and undergo a transformation process.
Relaxation involves spending time to pursue interesting activities. Tourists desire to travel to new locations and get away from their normal daily routines (Mahika, 2011). They get various tourist destinations that will allow them participate in their hobbies and self-fulfilling interests. Tourists in new locations behave in different attributes and characteristics.
Tours and travel allows people to participate in inconceivable activities away from their usual lives. Vacation offers opportunities of engaging in withdrawal behaviors from normal obligations to gain experiences from different places. The motive regresses tourists to simpler lifestyles. Motivation theory explains that a person’s needs are aroused when the mental equilibrium state is disturbed (Mahika, 2011).
Enhancement of kinship relationships
Vacation brings families and relatives together. As a result, relationships are enriched and enhanced.
Facilitation of social interaction
Tourists visit new places with a goal of meeting new people and gaining extra ideas from their own. Moreover, there are socializing opportunities offered which enhance social status.
Tourists travel to new places and engage in new activities to gain new experiences. Curiosity among tourists motivates them to visit new places (Mahika, 2011).
Tourists chose certain areas to have quiet locations for learning. They organize workshops, short courses, museums, among other education forums. Tourists also visit areas having rich historical reenactment where tourists learn historical events through participation (Mahika, 2011).
Push factors drives tourists away from their homes while pull factors attracts them to certain destinations. Resorts are best places to travel with an aim of relaxing and resting. Tourists attracted to quality of the environment, food, drink and accommodations attend popular places with high numbers of tourists for overnight stays. Travelers attracted by culture and history travel to countries with major cities and higher population densities. Travelers in search of places for entertainment destinations prefer countries having large cities, many hotels, and lower GDPs. They prefer Mediterranean countries (LaMondia, Snell, & Bhat, 2010). Families wishing to look for destinations with children activities during the holidays prefer large cities with many children opportunities. Travelers wishing to visit friends and relatives on holiday choose destinations with many large cities. Many large metropolitan areas present opportunities to connect with people. People interested with culture and language travel to far distant places.
Travelers purchasing products on holiday such as clothes travel to destinations with many large cities. Those buying books and music on holiday prefer going to countries with many large cities. Those buying crafts on holiday chose destinations with lower DDPs. Travelers purchasing food products on holiday prefer large cities. Travelers wishing to visit national parks and nature reserves during the holidays travel to countries having large areas of land and densely populated areas with long coastlines (LaMondia, Snell, & Bhat, 2010). The travelers enjoy beautiful landscapes, destinations with wilderness and people activities with ease of access.
Tourists traveling with children or alone chose closer vacation destinations compared with other groups. People traveling with children prefer traveling to nearby places to meet biological needs of children while adult travels aim at getting to their destinations to begin their pursuits (LaMondia, Snell, & Bhat, 2010).
People traveling with spouse, children, and other individuals prefer using a personal vehicle since the travel is itself an experience. The vehicle provides opportunities for side-stops and enjoyment with friends and family. People who have completed a full-time education prefer visiting places to explore potential areas of study during their highereducation levels. Highly educated people travel to large cities because of the rich culture and heritage (LaMondia, Snell, & Bhat, 2010). They use public transport since it is cheaper as compared to private transport. Household travels cover short distances and chose nearby tourist area to minimize expenses and enhance coordination. The unemployed and retired persons travel to Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy. Low-income travelers prefer surface ground transport while high-income travelers opt for air travel.
Females engage in tourist activities to learn new ideas and spend time with families and friends. Both genders desire to escape from monotony of life and spend extra time with their partners. People aged between 41 to 60 years conduct family visits to strengthen their bonds. Youths aged between 18 to 20 years visit new places to strengthen their relationships with friends and spouses. Young people aged 21 to 40 years visit places to explore themselves compared to people aged 41 years and above (Guha, 2009, and Jonsson & Devonish, 2008 ).
External motivators include the attractiveness of the destination site such as available tangible resources including beaches, recreational activities, and cultural attractions (Hsu, Tsai, & Wu, 2009). Moreover, the perception of travelers and their expectations include marketing image, benefit expectations, and novelty. Shopping is a destination characteristic influencing tourist choice. Food available and safety adds value to destination image.
Hong Kong and Taiwan travelers prefer areas with plenty of food and adequate security. People organize to tour developed countries in search of improved medical facilities. Taipei 101 is the most visited place in Taiwan because it seeks novelty, it is a place to meet new friends, it offers medical treatment and transport facilities as people enjoy nightlife (Hsu, Tsai, & Wu, 2009).There is a variety of high food and accommodation. Personal safety is enhanced and good shopping among other additional benefits.
Many people visit Taiwan because of its excellent medical technologies and medical charges, which are lower than other countries. It performs surgery for hip joint replacement, laser eye, cosmetic and liver transplant. It performs health examinations, assisted reproduction, and cancer screening services for lower prices. Hepatic medicine in Taiwan receives the highest accreditation in the whole world (Hsu, Tsai, & Wu, 2009). The clinics are located near from Taipei 101. As a result, tourists prefer visiting Taipei 101 to access competitive and affordable medical treatment.
Kenting national park offers cool places to form friendships and strengthen existing ones. The citizens in Taiwan are enthusiastic and offer a warm welcome to visitors. Taroko National park facing Pacific Ocean has many ethnic groups who follow their custom and share friendliness (Hsu, Tsai, & Wu, 2009). Sun, Moon, and lakes are good places for relaxation and when visiting friends.
People visit far-off destinations to view spectacular scenery, connect with nearby local communities, and encounter wildlife. Sparkling beaches and treks along pristine rainforest brings a relaxing and adventurous feeling to tourists. Urban tourism comes from a great interest in cultural activities such as museums, art galleries, and theatres (Pikkemaat, 2004). Historical and modern architecture are among factors motivating people to tour urban areas.
Cityscapes have entertainment parks, districts, and recreation areas and established shopping centers. Coastal and resort tourism are characterized with sea, sand and surf.
Tourists sit in deckchairs, lying on the beach to watch the sea. They engage in physical water activities such as windsurfing, snorkeling among others to change from normal daily activities and relax. Town dwellers embrace rural tourism since it is free from pollution and congestion, which is making life uncomfortable in big cities (Pikkemaat, 2004). Rural tourism is diverse and fragmented due to availability of many activities and markets. There are synthetic attractions, transport and information systems.
Educational tourism is growing to enhance careers, self-actualization, and development of jobs. School trips, spring break travels, study abroad opportunities, seminar vacations, and educational cruises are forms of educational tourism. Schoolchildren visit new places such as museums to observe world creatures. Seminars allow teaching various programs from astronomy to archeological works. Various vacations enhance skills such as protecting the ecology and building houses. Educational cruises educate specific subjects (Pikkemaat, 2004). Various educational destinations include Rome, Italy, which houses best museums and iconic sights from Roman Empire ruins to 18th century Trevi fountain. Tourists learn the Italian society modern artwork. London in England is famous for its museums and cultural sights. Its British Isles, Trafalgar square, tower of London, and Rosetta stone contain famous artifacts. New York City presents every culture in New York. Metropolitan Museum Art has art collection for study.
The image of the destination includes measurable attributes and immeasurable attributes. Tangible attributes are measurable and includes availability of different sites, scenery, comfortable environment, nightlife, and entertainment, shopping facilities, recreational and cultural facilities. Availability of local traffic, cities, accommodation, and restaurants, fair prices of goods and good climate attracts people to various places (Pikkemaat, 2004). Intangible resources include accessibility of the site, hygiene, safety, and contact with the locals, high quality accommodation, tradition and culture and food quality. Open mind among locals, freedom in the country, and quality of service, honesty, and interesting experience attract tourism.
Students visiting Australia value fair prices of goods as the major factor driving them to choose the destination. Other factors include experience, adventure, fun and variety, hygiene, scenery are attributes of the image destination (Pikkemaat, 2004). Austria is a tourist destination site because of its luxurious sites, quality accommodation, and restaurant facilities. The locals are open-minded and free to interact.
In conclusion, most tourists travel to rest and relax. Their destinations depend on available money, push and pull factors.