Travel inspiration in tourist decision making

Fengwei Dai, Dan Wang, Ksenia Kirillova

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Searching for inspiration, or travel ideas, is part of the dreaming phase, positioned at the start of the travel process. Yet the ontological and epistemological understanding of inspiration in travel is still in infancy. Based on the inspiration literature in psychology and marketing, this study conceptualizes travel inspiration as a motivational state that drives a prospective tourist to bring newly obtained travel ideas into realization. By explaining the two distinct states, inspired-by and inspired-to, this note further proposes that inspiration can provide a potential shortcut in tourist decision making. The destination choice scenario is used to illustrate the shortcut. Travel inspiration can help researchers explore the neglected dreaming phase and irrational aspects of tourists’ decision making. Tourism marketers can inspire prospective tourists by serendipitously suggesting lesser-known attractions and novel experiences, thereby allowing for a seamless experience from inspiration to booking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104484
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Destination choice
  • Dreaming
  • Tourist decision making
  • Travel inspiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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