Evaluating and extending the travel career patterns model

Sebastian Filep, Luke Greenacre

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines a newly created approach to exploring travel motivations, the Travel Career Patterns (TCP) model. Through an analysis of the TCP model, the authors advance travel motivation theory by making three contributions: a refinement of the definition of travel experience; the use and evaluation of essays as a qualitative tool for interpreting travel motives; and an extension of the TCP model to a new setting. The first contribution is made by defining travel experience as a function of general experience with a de-emphasis on the use of age as a predictor of tourist experience. As part of the second contribution, essays are used to provide an insightful and emic understanding of travel motives through descriptions of a perfect day at a destination. It is demonstrated that such descriptions can effectively replicate results from quantitative approaches. The third contribution is made by extending the TCP model to the study of the motivations of study-abroad university students. These contributions improve the TCP model in light of the following elements of a sound theory of tourist motivation: ease of communication, ability to measure travel motivation, and employment of a dynamic approach. Contextual recommendations for future research include further TCP studies with small tourist groups, studies of eccentric tourist groups, and studies of complex, higher order motives such as self-actualisation and the 'flow' state. Methodological recommendations arising from this paper encompass the application of projective techniques to study motives using TCP and the use of software for qualitative analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Career
  • Experience
  • Model
  • Motivations
  • Patterns
  • Travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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