The collective effect of national culture and tourist culture on tourist behavior

Seong Seop Kim, Robert Douglas McKercher

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-cultural understanding in tourism is a well-researched area, but in spite of great amount of time and money spent on cross-cultural training programs, this study suggests miscommunication continues to exist, caused by differences between expected and actual host or guest behavior. A gap, therefore, appears to exist between theory and practice. This article argues that much of this gap can be attributed to international tourists behaving in a manner that diverges from their expected cultural norms when they travel. They join a temporary "tourist culture" that sanctions, and indeed, encourages alternate behavior. Tourist behavior, therefore, represents a combination of national and "tourist" cultures. This proposition is tested by comparing the expected and actual behavior of Korean tourists visiting Australia. The study found that both tourists and frontline hotel staff noted that tourists behaved in a less restrained manner than expected. These findings have significant implications for cross-cultural training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Cross cultural
  • National culture
  • Tourist culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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