Tourism Management 44 (2014) 140e148

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Case Study

Psychoneurobiochemistry of tourism marketing
Erdogan Koc a, *, Hakan Boz b,1

Balikesir University, Bandirma Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration, Bandirma Kampusu, Bandirma, Balikesir, Turkey b Usak University, School of Applied Sciences, 1 Eylul Kampusu, Usak, Turkey

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 7 March 2013 Accepted 7 March 2014 Keywords: Psychoneurobiochemistry Psychology Physiology Neurotransmitters Tourism Serotonin Consumer behaviour Neuromarketing

a b s t r a c t
This study offers a unique approach to consumer/tourist behaviour called psychoneurobiochemistry and aims to explore the possible and potential influences of psychoneurobiochemical factors on tourism marketing. The study with a multidisciplinary approach analyzes and syntheses the psychological, neurological, biological and chemical research findings in terms of their implications for tourism marketing. The study particularly looks at neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine; melatonin hormone; photoperiod and circadian rhythm and emotions. Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Tourism is the largest industry in the world both in terms of the revenues generated and the number of people employed. Tourism industry’s contribution to worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) and employment was 5% and 7% respectively in 2011 (WTO, 2012). In 2011 over one billion people participated in tourism activities generating an income of $1030 billion (WTO, 2012). More importantly it is estimated that these figures have been reached with the involvement of only 4% of the whole world population participating in tourism activities. This means that the growth potential of tourism industry is phenomenal. It is estimated that in 2020 tourism industry will generate an income of $2 trillion with the participation of 2.6 billion people. Therefore, the studies tourism industry is important both on a macro level, in terms of its contribution to countries’ economies, but also at micro level, i.e. at firm level, in terms of achieving competitive advantage. Based on this background this study through a multidisciplinary approach analyzes and syntheses the psychological, neurological, biological and chemical research findings in terms of their implications for tourism marketing. The study

is important as in most research studies of consumer behaviour data collected from the participants are based on their own accounts and evaluations of consumption situations. However, in many instances, data collected through the accounts and evaluations of the participants may not reflect actual truth. This may be due to two factors. Firstly, the participants in research studies may have hidden motives, which even they themselves may not be aware of Koc (2013a). Secondly, in many instances people may engage in impression management, i.e. a goal-directed conscious or unconscious activity in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of others about a person, object or event through regulating and controlling information in social interaction (Goffman, 1959).

2. Psychoneurobiochemistry of tourism marketing The term psychoneurobiochemistry has been coined by the authors of this study to refer to a group of often studied factors in the disciplines of psychology, neurology, biology and chemistry. These factors influence tourism consumers both in terms of their physiological and psychological existences. These two existences are intertwined, through a continuous interaction in which one influences the other. The physiological and psychological existences of consumers are analyzed and synthesized in this study by exploring neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin; biological factors such as photoperiod

* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ90 266 7380945x422. E-mail addresses:, (E. Koc), (H. Boz). 1 Tel.: þ90 276 2212121x2282. 0261-5177/Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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and circadian rhythm and psychological factors such emotions and mood. 2.1. Serotonin In human brain information as a response to a stimuli, is communicated through neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (Artigas, Romero, de Montigny, & Blier, 1996; Graeff, Guimaraes, de Andrade, & Deakin, 1996; Griebel, 1995). A neurotransmitter, a brain chemical, communicates information throughout the human brain and body. A neurotransmitter (or synaptic transmitter) communicates information between neurons by the movement of chemicals or electrical signals across a synapse, a structure that permits a neuron (or nerve cell) to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise) (Gaspar, Cases, & Maroteaux, 2003; Gross et al., 2002; del Olmo et al., 1998). Serotonin (5-HT), usually referred as the happiness hormone, is a neurotransmitter that influences a vital section of the brain, called the limbic system. The limbic system supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. Serotonin is primarily responsible for emotional life of human beings, and has a great deal to do with the formation of memories (Siegel, 2005). There is plenty of research evidence, across many species including humans, suggesting that as the secretion (discharge) of serotonin decreases, the tendency to aggression increases (Pihl & LeMarquand, 1998; Siegel, 2005). Unusually low levels of serotonin are also associated with impulsive and erratic behaviours (Winstanley, 2007). Impulsive behaviour motivates consumers to seek immediate rewards, rather than choosing the “delayed” reward (or long term positive balance/need satisfaction) by having self-control (Bizot, Le Bihan, Puech, Hamon, & Thiebot, 1999), Therefore, impulsivity may be lead to inappropriate or poor decision making as it favours immediate outcomes over delayed outcomes. Research shows that as much as 95% of all consumer purchases of products and services could be impulse purchases (Bayley & Nancarrow, 1998; Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Bellenger, Robertson, & Hirschman, 1978; Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Coley, 2002; Gutierrez, 2004; Kacen & Lee, 2002; Kollat & Willet, 1967; Parboteeah, 2005; Piron, 1991; Rook, 1987; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Solomon, 2003; Stern, 1962; Tendai & Crispen, 2009; Verplanken & Herabadi, 2001; Virvilaite, Saladiene, & Bagdonaite, 2009; Vohs & Faber, 2007). The level of impulsivity of customers may be increased in purchasing environments through marketing stimuli, despite its ethical repercussions. In the tourism industry the servicescape (the physical surroundings) of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the marketing communications messages of all sorts, e.g. web sites, brochures, etc., may be designed in such a manner to encourage and induce customers to engage in reward seeking behaviour. In this way the potential of stimulation of the interaction with the servicescape and the atmosphere, and the potential of engaging in impulsive behaviour, can be triggered (Donovan & Rossiter, 1982; Hart & Davies, 1996; Oakes, 2000; Tai & Fung 1997; Verplanken & Herabadi, 2001). Serotonin is synthesized in two stages from the dietary amino acid tryptophan. The first stage is catalyzed by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. The low affinity of the enzyme for tryptophan makes this stage rate-limiting for serotonin synthesis e in other words, serotonin can be produced only as fast as this enzyme can hydroxylate tryptophan. The rate of serotonin synthesis is determined, in part, by the availability of tryptophan in the brain. If there is more tryptophan, there will be more tryptophan (Bear, Connors, & Paradiso, 1996). Therefore the dietary alterations of the serotonin precursor tryptophan can influence the levels of serotonin.

Tryptophan is a fundamental amino acid for the synthesis of protein, and it cannot be synthesized by the human organism and hence must be ingested in the diet. After an amount of the intake of tryptophan, the tryptophan is absorbed into the capillaries (minute blood vessels) in the intestinal wall. A small amount of the tryptophan remains free, while the majority of it (about 80%e90%) is transported bound to albumin through the blood and into the brain (Paredes, Barriga, Reiter, & Rodríguez, 2009). Research findings show that concentration of the amino acid tryptophan is significantly lower in psychologically depressed patients. The level of the serotonin appears to play a major role in the generation and modulation of various cognitive and behavioural functions such as sleep, mood, pain, addiction, locomotion, sexual activity, depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, aggression and learning (Artigas et al., 1996; Graeff, Guimaraes, de Andrade, & Deakin, 1996; Griebel, 1995; Meneses, 1999; Ramboz et al., 1998; Rocha et al., 1998). Additionally, failure in serotonergic systems cause of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, migraine, depression, suicidal tryptophan, infantile autism, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder (Heisler et al., 1998; Murphy, Wichems, Li, & Heils, 1999; Parks, Robinson, Sibille, Shenk, & Toth, 1998; Parsons, Kerr, & Tecott, 2001; Ramboz et al., 1998; Rocha et al., 1998), heart disease (Nebigil & Maroteaux, 2001), asthma (Barnes, Chung, & Page, 1998) and phagocytosis (Freire-Garabal et al., 2003). Increasing tryptophan levels can increase serotonin synthesis as much as twofold (Young & Gauthier, 1981), while decreasing tryptophan availability can cause a substantial decline in serotonin synthesis and turnover (Carpenter, Nagell, & Tomasello, 1998; Nishizawa et al., 1997). Moreover, the serotonin pathway plays an indispensable role in brain development processes such as neurogenesis and axonal branching during various stages of development (Gaspar et al., 2003; Gross et al., 2002; del Olmo et al., 1998). Measurement of serotonin levels during normal human aging has shown agedependent decreases in certain, but not all, brain regions. Overall research findings relating to the level of serotonin and aging suggest that the level of serotonin in brain decreases with age (Ko, King, Gordon, & Crisp, 1997; Rehman & Masson, 2001). However, a distinction needs to be made in terms of the phases of aging as in the early to mid-phase of aging, the level of serotonin secretion in the brain increases (Cassel et al. 2005; Murakami, Bessinger, Hellmann, & Murakami, 2008; Sapolsky & Donnelly, 1985; Van Nueten & Janssens, 1986). During the late phase of aging, levels of serotonin are reduced due to the loss of the serotonin-secreting neurons (Mattson, Maudsley, & Martin, 2004). The increase of serotonin secretion in the brain in the early to mid-phase of aging is mainly to do with the relative inability to turn off cortisol production (Sapolsky & Donnelly, 1985). Hypothyroidism increases the formation of serotonin, as does cortisol (Henley, Meng, O’Brien, McCarthy, & Sockloskie, 1998; Neckers & Sze, 1975). This is why, in general, in the early phase of aging people feel less stressed and depressed. In the early to mid-phase of aging people become more tolerable towards things around themselves and be more satisfied with who they are and what they have (Koc, 2013a). This in turn may reduce the personality conflicts emanating from the gap between the actual and the ideal self-concepts of individuals. Exposure to bright light can also trigger tryptophan, serotonin precursor, without the extra intake of drugs and food and beverages. Bright light is a standard treatment for seasonal depression, but a few studies also suggest that it is an effective treatment for nonseasonal depression and it also soothes the depressed mood (Carlsson, Svennerhold, & Winblad, 1980; Golden et al., 2005; Lam et al., 1999). It is known that while 90% of Finnish people experience seasonal affective disorders (Avery et al., 2001), only 10% of Italians experience seasonal affective disorders. Tourism and hospitality


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businesses operating in the sun and sea holidays market (e.g. firms in countries such Turkey and Spain) may target countries with affective seasonal disorders with tourism products specifically designed to reduce seasonal affective disorders. Additionally, doing physical exercise can also trigger the level of tryptophan (Blomstrand, 2001; Chaouloff, Elghozi, Guezennec, & Laude, 1985; Chaouloff, Laude, Guezennec, & Elghozi, 1986; Gomez-Merino, Béquet, Berthelot, Chennaoui, & Guezennec, 2001; Jacobs & Fornal, 1999; Meeusen et al., 1997; Wilson & Marsden, 1996). For instance, as a form of physical exercise, running, on its own, may trigger a 30% increase in Tryptophan levels in the brain (Chaouloff, Laude, & Elghozi, 1989). As tryptophan supplements in the form of drugs can cause cancer and various other serious health complications (Ashida et al., 1998; Nemoto, Kusumi, Takayama, Nagao, & Sugimura, 1979; Suzuki, Sone, Kawamura, & Ishihara, 2008; Yamazoe, Ishii, Kamataki, & Kato, 1981; Yamazoe, Ishii, Kamataki, Kato, & Sugimura, 1980), the triggering of tryptophan through physical exercise and intake of serotonin rich food and beverages is recommended. Based on the above research findings the hospitality establishments may design their marketing communication mix covering the following aspects and issues:  physical and recreational activities  exposure to daylight  the serving of food and beverages The hospitality establishments may be recommended to invest in facilities so that they offer a wider variety of physical and recreational activities. The participation of guests in the physical and recreational activities can be increased through the provision of appropriate information and the use of various inducements. The facilities in the hospitality establishments such as restaurants may be designed in such a way so that guests are exposed to more hours of sunlight. Finally, the menus can be re-constructed with a view to add more foods and beverages with serotonin or serotonin rich food items and beverages. Table 1 shows the amount of serotonin in various food items and beverages (Feldman & Lee, 1985). In addition to the above food and beverages listed in Table 1, a number of other foods and beverages contain serotonin also, though in lower quantities. For instance, food items such as beefsteak (broiled), ham (baked), chicken (baked), fish (broiled), Parmesan cheese, corn, potatoes, rice, and wheat germ contain serotonin of about (<0.1 mg/g). Beverages such as coffee, tea, milk, beer and Chianti wine contain serotonin of about (<1 ml/ml).
Table 1 Serotonin content of various food items. Serotonin content foods Amount of serotonin mg ¼ micro gram Plantain Avocados Haas 30 Æ 7.5 mg/g High serotonin (California) Pineapple 17 Æ 5.1 mg/g >3.0 mg/g Avocados Fuerte (California) Avocados Booth Banana 15 Æ 2.4 mg/g (Florida) Dates Kiwi Fruit 5,8 Æ 0.9 mg/g Plums 4.7 Æ 0.8 mg/g Grapefruit Tomatoes 3.2 Æ 0.6 mg/g Cantaloupe Butternuts 398 Æ 90 mg/g Honeydew Melon Black Walnuts 304 Æ 46 mg/g Olives (Black) English Walnuts 87 Æ 20 mg/g Broccoli Shagbark 143 Æ 23 mg/g Eggplant Mockernut 67 Æ 13 mg/g Figs Pecans 29 Æ 4 mg/g Spinach Sweet Pignuts 25 Æ 8 mg/g Cauliflower Amount of serotonin mg ¼ micro gram

Research also shows that a meal high in carbohydrate increases the rate that tryptophan enters the brain, leading to an increase in the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin which in turn modulates the mood (Benton & Donohoe, 1999). 2.2. Dopamine Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous systems where it regulates physical and psychological activities (Bergman, 2006; Matsunaga et al., 2008; Sallis, 2000). Within the central nervous system (CNS), dopamine is known to regulate emotion, reward, cognition, memory, endocrine functions such as the secretion of insulin, the appetite, the production of erythropoietin and active vitamin D, and motor control. Changes in dopaminergic transmission are known to cause a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and substance use. These disorders are all treated with drugs that either enhance or impede dopaminergic transmission (Madras, Miller, & Fischman, 2002; Suzan, Mark, José, John, & Martin, 1997). Dopamine is a derivative of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine and a precursor of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (Comings et al., 1993; Schetz & Sibley, 2007). Dopaminergic neurons give rise to four dopaminergic pathways: the nigrostriatal, the mesolimbic, the mesocortical and tuberoinfundibular pathways. These pathways are involved in the control of movement, hormone synthesis and secretion, learning, motivation and reward. Rewards are experienced as making things better and hence liked, desired, wanted and pursued (Berridge & Robinson, 1998; Di Chiara & Bassareo, 2007). Therefore, consumption of rewards (e.g. devouring palatable food in an all-inclusive hotel) produces hedonic consequences (pleasure) which induce learning processes that encompass of a wide variety of sub activities to ensure future satisfactions. The learning processes may encompass the following sub activities: liking the rewarding goal, learning cues that predict its availability, actions that allow its consumption; assigning value and motivational status to the reward so that the person can evaluate and select among numerous behavioural options; and determine what level of resources to be used and efforts to be exerted to obtain that specific goal. Need states such as hunger and thirst increase the incentive salience of “reward-related cues” and the reward itself (Kelley & Berridge, 2002). Research studies show that dopaminergic system influence decision making (Schultz, 2007), ability to analyze and evaluate

Distribution of serotonin in areas of fruits Amount of serotonin

mg ¼ micro gram
Pineapple 31.8 mg/g 14.0 mg/g 26.6 mg/g 6.3 mg/g 17.4 mg/g 20.0 mg/g 27.7 mg/g 8.8 mg/g 1.10 mg/g 0.06 mg/g Peel Pulp-Edge Core-Centre KIWI Peel Pulp-Edge Pulp-Centre Tomatoes Pulp Seed Peel

Amount of serotonin mg ¼ micro gram

1.6 Æ 0.40 mg/g Moderate Banana serotonin 1.5 Æ 0.21 mg/g >3.0 mg/g Peel 0.2 Æ 0.04 mg/g 1.3 0.9 0.9 0.6 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Æ Pulp-Slice Pulp-Centre Pulp-Edge Plantain Peel Pulp-Slice Pulp-Centre Pulp-Edge Avocado-Haas Pulp Seed

2.7 mg/g 31.5 mg/g 8.7 mg/g 0.3 mg/g 6.8 mg/g 3.0 mg/g 3.7 mg/g 3.2 mg/g 0.08 mg/g

mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g mg/g

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(de Bruijn, Sabbe, Hulstın, Ruıgt, & Verkes, 2006; Cohen, Young, Baek, Kessler, & Ranganath, 2005; Knutson, Westdorp, Kaiser, & Hommer, 2000; Morris, Nevet, Arkadir, Vaadia, & Bergman, 2006; Salamone, Correa, Farrar, & Mıngote, 2007; Schultz & Dickinson, 2000; Vrshek-Schallhorn, Wahlstrom, Benolkin, White, & Luciana, 2006) (e.g. comparing, analyzing and evaluating various hospitality services and their marketing communications messages) and ability to act towards the chosen decision (Cromwell, Berridge, Drago, & Levine, 1998; Daberkow, Kesner, & Keefe, 2005). The reward mechanism is essential in outward behaviour of people. When making decisions (e.g. purchase and consumption decisions) people may usually engage in cost-benefit analysis. In every transaction the goal of each and every individual is to reduce costs and increase benefits (Phillips, Walton, & Jhou, 2007; Salamone & Correa, 2002; Walton, Kennerley, Bannerman, Phıllıps, & Rushworth, 2006). Having carried out a cost-benefit analysis dopamine enables an individual to engage in approach or not approach behaviour (Both, Everaerd, Laan, & Gooren, 2005; Mclean, Rubinszteın, Robbins, & Sahakian, 2004; Salamone et al., 2007; Satoh, Nakai, Sato, & Kimura, 2003). Dopamine causes the activation of the areas responsible for rewards in human brain. After encountering stimuli the neurotransmitter dopamine becomes active and stimulates the individual to behave in a certain manner. In order to balance the serotonin levels of guests hotels may develop and serve menus which contain high levels of tryptophan such chocolate, oat, beans, bananas, milk, yogurt, eggs, raisins, cottage cheese, fish, beef, turkey, chicken, sesame, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, citrus fruits, tomatoes, pumpkin and green tea. The use of food items containing too much glucose, sodium and fat may trigger the reward and pleasure mechanisms in consumers. However, it is known that the excessive use of glucose, sodium and fat are extremely dangerous for the physiological and psychological well-being of consumers. Westomer and Marangell’s (2002) research in different countries show that there is a strong correlation between glucose consumption and the prevalence of depression in the society. Many of the functions of dopamine pathways closely relate to tourists’ purchase (e.g. to be motivated to buy and consume a particular type of holiday, to learn from marketing communications messages and from other people, to seek rewards in the form of being alert for certain types of sales incentives) reward seeking and monitoring sales incentives and consumption (consumption of food and beverages in a hotel) decisions (Besson & Louilot, 1995; Gerfen, 1992; Graybiel, 1995; Jaskiw & Weinberger, 1992; Koob, 1992; LeMoal & Simon, 1991; Marsden, 1992; Picetti et al., 1997). 2.3. Melatonin, circadian rhythm and photoperiod Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s regular sleep routine and the circadian rhythm (Atkinson, Drust, Reilly, & Waterhouse, 2003; Lewy, Emens, Lefler, Yuhas, & Jackman, 2005; Pandi-Perumal et al., 2006). The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour internal clock that plays a critical role in when people fall asleep and wake up (Lewy et al., 2005). Sleep disorders may have a wide variety of negative consequences ranging from fatigue, depression, bad mood to a lack of cognitive ability in terms of thinking, analysing and making decisions (McCoy & Strecker, 2011). When there is full moon many people may to tend to have restless sleep and experience the negative consequences of melatonin deficiency. When it is dark, human body produces more melatonin; and when it is light, the production of melatonin drops. An exposure to bright light in the evening, or exposure to too little light during the

day can disrupt a person’s normal melatonin cycles (Eastman, 1990; Eastman, Jin, Kyem, & Toledano, 1995). In general jet lag, shift work, and poor vision can usually disrupt melatonin cycles. In human beings circulating levels of the melatonin hormone vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entertainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions (Watson, 2011). Photoperiod is the duration of a human being’s daily exposure to light, considered especially with regard to the effect of the exposure on several functions, including sleep, energy, mood, growth and development. Apart from the daylight, the availability and the level of serotonin also plays a key role in the endogenous regulation of the circadian clock (Glass, DiNardo, & Ehlen 2000). Studies demonstrate that melatonin supplements may help individuals with disrupted circadian rhythms (such as people with jet lag or those who work night shifts) and those with low melatonin levels (such as some elder people and people with schizophrenia) to have a better sleep (Altun & Altun, 2007; Arendt, 2000; Bendz & Scates, 2010). A review of clinical studies suggests that melatonin supplements may help prevent jet lag, particularly in people who cross five or more time zones (Caspi, 2004). Research findings show that melatonin secretion levels may change according to age and the aging process (Paredes et al. 2009) (See Fig. 1). The level of melatonin production normally decreases as people get older and this may make people more prone many types of health problems. For example, sleeping disorders may be associated with low levels of melatonin. People find it difficult to sleep and tend to wake up early in the morning as they get older (Raloff, 1998; Vitiello, 2006; Yoon et al., 2003). Additionally, as people get older melatonin production declines and people may become more prone to several types of cancers. Extreme exposure to daylight, especially at night time, in childhood may cause certain types of cancers such as leukaemia (Leitgeb, 2011). Marketing of services such as the services of hospitality establishments differ from the marketing of tangible goods. In many cases, the consumer, i.e. the tourist needs to travel to the premises of the service provider, for the consumption of services. The duration of travelling may take many hours and this in turn may cause a change in the body clock or the circadian rhythm. As explained above jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (eastewest or westeeast) travel by a (typically jet) aircraft (Waterhouse, Reilly, & Edwards, 2004). Jet lag is worse when people move from west to east as the human body finds it harder to adapt to a shorter day than a longer one. As most of the flow in tourism is from the west to the east (WTO, 2011), jet lag should be considered as an important phenomena in tourism from the perspective of tourist satisfaction. The jet lag impairs psychological and physiological health through sleep disorders, lack of energy and concentration, memory lapses and depressed mood. The condition of jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a suggested guideline (Waterhouse, Reilly, Atkinson, & Edwards, 2007). No matter how good the services of a hospitality establishment, e.g. a hotel, the guest suffering from jet-lag may not be able to enjoy her/ his holidays as much as s/he expected. Consequently, the tourist may finish her/his holiday not as much satisfied as s/he expected. For this reason, the hospitality establishments are recommended to make a note of take the point of departure of the guest. Secondly based on the point of departure, the guest can be advised accordingly. For instance guests travelling to the Mediterranean from the United States may be advised to go out to be exposed to daylight a few hours before people usually wake up in the point of departure.


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Fig. 1. Melatonin levels throughout lifespan. Source: Paredes et al. (2009).

The hotel management may be recommended to make sure that tourists get a good night’s sleep upon their arrival. As dehydration can intensify the effects of jet lag, upon their arrival the tourists may be offered a variety of beverages upon their arrival. Additionally, physical exercise and melatonin supplements can reduce the effects of jet lag and the impairment of circadian rhythm. From a melatonin, photoperiod and circadian rhythm perspectives the hospitality establishment is advised to make sure that when guests draw the curtains no light goes inside the rooms. The outside lights of the hotel should not be directed towards rooms and black out curtains must be used. Additionally, eye masks may be made available in hotel rooms. During day-time a lack of daylight may cause seasonal affective disorders. For this reason, the hotel rooms, restaurants and other facilities of the hotel should get as much daylight as possible, to allow more amount of the secretion of serotonin, during the day (Kripke, 1998; Stain-Malmgrem, Kjellman, & Aberg-Wıstedt, 1998). If this is not possible, artificial lighting could be used. Hotel management are also recommended to take the ages of the guests into account, as the amount production of melatonin varies with age (See Fig. 1). The circadian rhythm of people may change with the changing of work shifts too. Especially in all-inclusive hotels where many of the services (e.g. food and beverage services) are provided on an almost non-stop and continuous manner, the hotel management should be careful about changing work shifts. Changing work shifts of the employees in the middle of the peak season may cause employees to get easily depressed and become aggressive. The depressed and aggressive employees may cause many service failures in their encounters with tourists, especially with those tourists who are suffering from the jet lag. Moreover, the hotel management may be recommended to provide food items that are rich in melatonin (Paredes et al., 2009) so as to reduce the changes relating to the circadian rhythm and photoperiod of their guests and employees (See Table 2). 2.4. Emotions and moods Many research studies show that emotions and moods can play important roles on customer satisfaction evaluations and judgements (Andreassen & Lindestad, 1993; Athanassopoulor, Gounaris, & Stathakopoulos, 2001; Bagozzi, Gopinath, & Nyer, 1999; Bloemer & de Ruyter, 1998; de Rojas & Camarero, 2008; Stauss & Neuhaus, 1997; Vogt & Fesenmaier, 1998; Yuksel, 2007; Yuksel & Yuksel, 2007), especially in hospitality services in which customer-personnel interaction is relatively high. The role played by emotions and moods is not overt, nor apparent and hence, it is not an easy task to detect them from the outside. Moreover, emotions and moods are subjective states and it is not easy to quantify and examine them with objective methods. For this reason, research on emotions and moods has largely been

neglected (Hanoch, 2002) over the past few decades with exceptions of a few studies. The contribution of such seminal works such as Kahneman and Tversky’s (1979) Prospect Theory, Averill’s (1973) Control Theory and Langer’s (1975) Illusion of Control, Damasio’s (1994) Somatic Marker’s Hypothesis can never be overemphasized in understanding the role of emotions against rational decision making. Today, with the developments of medical imaging techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Instrument (MRI Scanner), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Instrument (fMRI Scanner), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Electromyography (EMG), it has become possible physically to explore the precursors of human behaviour. Emotions are tendencies to establish, maintain, or disrupt a relationship with the environment. In other words emotions may be defined as action readiness in response to emergencies or interruptions (Frijda, 1987). Emotions regulate and guide human behaviour through their biological, social, and cognitive components. Emotions are not only experienced but they are also reacted to. The physiological reactions involve changes in the autonomic nervous system, which may be the basis for the ‘feeling’ of emotion. Alternatively this feeling may be based around specific areas of the brain, which in turn control physiological responses of human beings (Gorman, 2004). Emotions, and moods, can be classified as positive and negative ones. However, research shows that in addition to this basic classification or typology, many other classifications or typologies of emotions can be made (Diener, Diener, & Diener, 1995; Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, & O’Conner, 1987). Classifications or typologies of main emotions usually comprises of five to ten emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, disgust, joy, and love (Plutchik, 1994). The limbic system (responsible for emotions) in human brain is larger than the frontal cortex (i.e. responsible for rational processes). Human brain has a more tendency to make emotional processing rather than rational processing (Amaral, Price, Pitkanen, & Carmichael, 1992; Baker, Greenberg, & Hemingway, 2006;

Table 2 Levels of melatonin in representative common vegetables and fruits. Melatonin content foods Amount of melatonin ng/100 g Apple Asparagus Banana Beetroot Cabbage Carrot Corn Cucumber Garlic 47.6 Æ 3.1 9.5 Æ 3.2 65.5 0.2 107.4 Æ 7.3 55,3 Æ 11,9 1366.1 Æ 465.1 59.2 58.7 Kiwi Fruit Onion Pineapple Pomegranate Radish Rice Strawberry Tomato Amount of melatonin ng/100 g 24.4 Æ 1.7 31.5 Æ 4.8 36.2 Æ 8.4 16.8 75.8 1006.0 Æ 58.5 13.6 50.6

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McDonald, 1998). Moreover, the number signals from the limbic system (emotional part of the brain) to the frontal cortex (rational part of the brain) are ten times more than the vice versa (Hawkins & Blakeslee, 2004). It was explained above that impulse purchases, emotional responses in a purchase situation, may constitute of up to 95% of all purchases. The term “affect” is broad in nature and comprises two relatively distinct phenomena of emotions and moods. Moods tend to be longer lasting but often weaker states of uncertain origin, while emotions are often more intense, more short lived, and have a clear object or cause (Frijda, 1993). For instance, one may be in a generally sad or happy mood all morning for no particular reason, or one may feel strongly angry at someone during a quarrel in the afternoon (emotion). Moods tend to be conceptualized as having two dimensions. Depending on how the dimensions are rotated, they can be labelled hedonic tone/pleasantness and arousal/activation (Larsen & Diener, 1992; Russell, 1980), or positive affect and negative affect (Watson & Tellegen, 1985). As explained above moods are less intense, longer lasting and are largely unintentional in that they may occur in the absence of a relevant object. They also incorporate some element of cognitive processing or are ‘moderately mediated’ by cognition. Moods mainly express the subject’s own situation, and in this sense are similar to feelings. However, subjecteobject relationships, which are crucial to emotions, are of lesser importance to moods. Moods differ from emotions in the sense that they are generally are of less intensity and longer-lasting than are emotions. Moods and emotions also differ in terms of their causes. Emotions are mainly activated by events and changes in the social environment that are sudden and urgent, but moods are less specifically tied to an eliciting situation and are ordinarily lacking in urgency (TenHouten, 2007). Table 3 summarizes the main characteristics of emotions and moods (Bagozzi et al., 1999). Research shows that when customers are in good mood, they tend to stay more in the service establishment, spend more time and make more purchases (Alpert & Alpert 1990; Bitner, 1992; Spies, Pau, & Yang, 1997; Swinyard, 1993). Babin, Griffin, and Boles’s (2004) research shows that strong positive moods or feeling states such as “good,” “happy,” “satisfied,” and “wonderful” can lead to an increase in time spent in the service establishment, an increase in the amount of spending, and an increase in judgements of liking for the service establishment. Findings of various research studies show that moods and behaviours have some consistent patterns. There is congruence between mood states and judgements of services (Gardner 1985). When customers are in a positive mood they tend to make more optimistic judgements about evaluations and expectations than those customers in negative moods (Forgas, 1995; Hsu & Liu, 1998). According to Prakash and Hutchinson (1984) when customers are in a positive mood they become more satisfied than they are in either neutral or negative moods. Research also shows that there is a positive relationship between positive mood, satisfaction and loyalty (White & Yu, 2005). Mood is generally associated with neurotransmitters and food intake. A variety of foods may affect mood and health. According to

Prasad (1998) many patients e diagnosed with conditions with a significant depressive component such as seasonal affective disorder (or winter depression), premenstrual stress syndrome, or nicotine withdrawal e consume large quantities of carbohydraterich food to elevate their mood. Consumption of carbohydraterich food may elevate mood in such individuals by raising brain serotonin levels. As mentioned above a meal high in carbohydrate increased the rate that tryptophan enters the brain, leading to an increase in the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin that modulates mood (Benton & Donohoe, 1999). Depressive disorders such as depression, melancholy, seasonal affective disorders constitute more than one fourth of all health problems in the world. It is estimated that after 2020 the depressive disorders will be the second most prevalent health problem in the world (Lecrubier, 2001; Murray & Lopez, 1996). Based on the above explanations relating to emotional disorders managers of hospitality businesses are recommended to design their service offerings, e.g. their servicescapes, in such a way to create positive emotions and moods for their customers. Additionally, mood enhancing foods and beverages (see above), the physical design of the facilities of the hospitality establishment (e.g. using soft colours, freshly cut flowers in terms of both appearance and their smells; ergonomically designed furniture’s; and calming music may create positive emotions and moods). One of the main motivations of tourism is to put back, i.e. a kind of balancing act, what daily hectic life takes away from individuals (Koc, 2013b). Stress in daily e ordinary life e can be a huge drain on the serotonin reserves. As mentioned above serotonin as one of the most important neurotransmitters influences people’s happiness, levels of energy and their cognitive abilities. Tourists may increase their serotonin levels on holidays which have been purposefully designed, i.e. to put back what ordinary life has taken away from them. 3. Conclusion The study suggests a unique approach to consumer/tourist behaviour called psychoneurobiochemistry. This pioneering preliminary study is an attempt to explore and relate some of the potentially relevant studies in psychology, neurology, biology and chemistry to tourism marketing. As this is a preliminary study only a few of the perspectives have been analysed and synthesized. It is seen that psychoneurobiochemistry has significant potential implications for the tourism and hospitality sectors. The practitioners in these sectors may and can design their offerings better by making enhancements on their 7 P s (tourism and hospitality product, price, place, promotion, physical evidences, processes and people) as explained above and hence increase their customer satisfaction and loyalty. Increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty may produce a number of positive outcomes such as increased profits and decreased costs. However, as mentioned above this is a preliminary study, and it must be borne in mind that there is need for further analysis and synthesis of research studies in above disciplines from the perspective of tourism and consumer behaviour. It must also be remembered that there are ethical repercussions of the matter. The practitioners should not see research findings in the field of psychoneurobiochemistry as a means to establish customer captivity. The managers of tourism and hospitality establishments are recommended to follow the recommendations offered, as they are operating in a highly competitive and fast changing market. The move from General Interest Tourism (GIT) to Special Interest Tourism (SIT) alone is enough reason to urge managers to take psychoneurobiochemistry of tourism into account.

Table 3 A summary of the main characteristics of emotions and moods. Emotions Duration Intensity Intention Action Tendency Source: Bagozzi et al. (1999). Last Shorter Higher Intentional Direct and Explicit Moods Last Longer Lower Non-Intentional Indirect and Implicit


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Dr Erdogan Koc is professor of marketing at Balikesir University, Bandirma Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Turkey. He is the chair and head of department of business administration. He has written several journal articles and book chapters published by internationally reputable publishers. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals and has acted as an ad hoc referee for more than fifteen respectable journals. His research primarily focuses on the human element (both as consumer and employee) in tourism and hospitality. He provides consultancy and training services for the service sector businesses.

Mr Hakan Boz is lecturer at Usak University’s School of Applied Sciences. Prior to joining the academia he has held various positions in the tourism and hospitality sector business. He has over ten years of experience in these sectors. He carries out research to better understand consumer and employee behaviour in the tourism and hospitality sectors, especially by using equipments such as EEG and fMRI together with Professor Erdogan Koc.