What drives people to travel: Integrating the tourist motivation paradigms

Chen Yong, Lui Ming Mak, Robert Douglas McKercher

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


People's motivation to travel has long been discussed on a multidisciplinary basis characterized by three distinct motivation paradigms, namely, Plog's (1974) "travel personality," P. L. Pearce's (1988) 'travel career ladder,' and Cohen's (1972) concept of "strangeness-familiarity." This study uncovers the underlying consistence of these paradigms by proposing an integrated motivation framework and justifies it by applying this framework to tourist behavior research. This study concludes by arguing that a comprehensive perspective should be taken for conceiving a more accurate pattern or image of tourists, in the sense that tourist behavior patterns can be interpreted on an individual level by applying the travel personality, in a diachronic dimension by the travel career ladder, and from a holistic perspective by the concept of strangeness-familiarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-136
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Strangeness-familiarity
  • Tourist motivation
  • Travel career ladder
  • Travel personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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