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Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or
organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, and dispose
of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the
impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.
a) It attempts to understand the decision-making processes of buyers,
both individually and in groups.
b) It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as
demographics and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand
people's wants.
c) It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such
as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general.

Simply Consumer behavior refers to the study of why

people buy the products they do and how they make
decisions. It attempts to understand the decision-making
processes of buyers, both individually and in groups. It
studies characteristics of individual consumers such as
demographics and behavioral variables in an attempt to
understand people's wants.
Consumer Behaviour In Tourism: Consumer behaviour
is the study of why people buy the product they do, and
how they make their decision. Horner and Swarbrooke

Why study consumer behavior?

Understanding consumer behavior will help you become

better marketers as it is the foundation for
Market segmentation
product positioning
pricing decision
selection of promotion methods
Demand forecasting

Consumer Decision-Making
Process/ tourist buying process
The consumer buying process is defined as the
process which involve sequence steps by which a
consumer chooses to purchase or use a product or
service, those step commonly known as PIECE
1) Problem recognition
2) Information search
3) Evaluation of alternatives
4) Choice of purchase/ purchase decision
5) Evaluation of post-purchase experience

Consumer Decision-Making

Problem/need recognition
Problem recognition The buying process begins with the
buyer recognizes a problem or a need. Although the
buyers need is sometimes triggered by internal stimuli
(ex. you feel hungry now and need to eat), it can also be
advertisement may trigger your need for a vacation.
At this stage, hospitality marketers must identify such
factors that trigger consumers problem recognition and
deliberately relate their products and services as the best
solutions for their customers.

Information search
Information search At this stage, the buyer seeks
information about the hospitality products and services. The
buyer now may visit different travel agencies for information
on packages to destination before making his/her final
decision. At the same time, the buyer may also talk to friends
and family who have been to destination for more information.
Therefore, hospitality marketers can take advantage of this
stage by making sure that such information is readily
available and accessible to customers, and most importantly,
communicate about the features and benefits of their
products and services to customers through these sources.

Evaluation of alternatives
The buyer is now ready to compare information gathered
about the hospitality products and services, the buyer
will evaluate the different travel packages to destination.
There is no single process that can be used to explain
how the buyer chooses among the alternatives. However,
it is likely that the buyer will evaluate each travel
package in terms of a variety of product attributes such
as price, itinerary, airline, departing time.
Knowing what these attributes are and the importance
that consumers attach to these attributes should enable
hospitality organizations to come up with effective

Criteria Used by tourist to

Evaluate Tourism Destinations
Accommodation (luxury, budget) Historical
attractions (buildings, museums)
Accessibility Image of the destination
Activities (indoor, outdoor) Industrial
Amenities (variety and quality) Local prices
Architecture/buildings Natural attractions
(national parks, wildlife)
Assistance with foreign language Nightlife
Atmosphere (relaxing, peaceful) Opportunity
for adventure
Availability of tourist information Opportunity
for socializing with locals
Beaches Opportunities for shopping

Cost of airfare or transportation to get to the

Rest and relaxation
Climate Safety and security of the destination
Cultural attractions (theatres, galleries) Scenery
and landscape
Different culture/customs Service quality
Different food and drink Social acceptance of
Ease of getting to the destination Special events
(exhibitions, festivals)
Ease of local transportation Sport activities
Entertainment (live concerts, cinemas) Theme
Exotic environment Tour guides speaking foreign
Friendliness of the locals Transportation (local)
Unpolluted environment

Purchase decision
Purchase decision The buyer is now ready to commit
to the alternative selected in the prior stage. However,
hospitality marketers should note that unexpected
situations may still occur at this stage that lead to
changes in consumers final purchase decisions.
For instance, the buyers choice on the travel package
to destination may change because of an unexpected
car repair expense for the month.

Post-purchase Following a purchase, the buyer may
(may not) repurchase from the same travel agency for
his/her next vacation trip based on his/her previous
experience with the company.
Hospitality marketers need to identify customers post
purchase behaviors in order to take necessary actions.
For instance, the travel agency may ask the buyer to fill
out a short survey about his/her overall impression on
the trip to Spain and his/her post-purchase intention

NOTE : consumers may not go through every stage of the

process for every purchase. For instance, routine
purchases such as fast food purchases may not involve
information search and evaluation of alternatives. A
relatively expensive purchase such as a vacation in Spain
may require the 5 stages and the whole process may
take longer for customers to reach their final decisions.

Levels of Decision Making

1. Extended problem solving: In this situation, such as the decision to
take a long-haul holiday, the consumer is likely to have a deep level of
commitment, to make a detailed search for information, and to make an
extensive comparison of the alternatives.
2. Limited problem solving: In this situation, the consumer will have
some degree of knowledge or experience already, but many factors will
be taken for granted and the information search will be far more limited.
A second holiday at a favorite skiing destination may be purchased in
this way.
3. Habitual problem solving; this is a repeat purchase of a tried and
tested short break or day excursion, which requires little or no
evaluation. The purchase is made primarily on the basis of a previous
satisfactory experience and a good understanding of the destination or
brand name of the tourism or hospitality offering.

Main applications of consumer behavior

Market segmentation
Product or service decisions
Pricing decisions
Distribution decisions
Promotion decisions