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Consumer Behaviour Models And Consumer Behaviour In Tourism

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Consumer Behavior Models in Tourism

Analysis Study

Muhannad M.A Abdallat, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Hesham El -Sayed El - Emam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Tourism and Archeology

King Saud University


The theories of consumer decision-making process assume that the consumer's purchase decision process consists of steps through which the buyer passes in purchasing a product or service. However, this might not be the case. Not every consumer passed through all these stages when making a decision to purchase and in fact, some of the stages can be skipped depending on the type of purchases.

The reasons for the study of consumer's helps firms and organizations improve their marketing strategies by understanding issues such as:

* The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products);

* The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media);

* The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions;

* Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome;

* How consumers' motivation and decision strategies differ between products, that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and

* How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.

2. Consumer Behavior

The study of consumer behavior focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related items (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1997). The field of consumer behavior covers a lot of ground. According to Solomon (1996), consumer behavior is a study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires.

The official definition of consumer behavior given by Belch (1998) is 'the process and activities people engage in when searching for, selecting, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services so as to satisfy their needs and desires'. Behavior occurs either for the individual, or in the context of a group, or an organization. Consumer behavior involves the use and disposal of products as well as the study of how they are purchased. Product use is often of great interest to the marketer, because this may influence how a product is best positioned or how we can encourage increased consumption.

Andreason (1965) proposed one of the earliest models of consumer behavior. This model is shown in Figure 2.1.The model recognizes the importance of information in the consumer decision-making process. It also emphasizes the importance of consumer attitudes although it fails to consider attitudes in relation to repeat purchase behavior.


A second model, which concentrates on the buying decision for a new product, was proposed by Nicosia (1976). This model is shown in Figure 2.2. The model concentrates on the firm's attempts to communicate with the consumer, and the consumers' predisposition to act in a certain way. These two features are referred to as Field One. The second stage involves the consumer in a search evaluation process, which is influenced by attitudes. This stage is referred to as Field Two. The actual purchase process is referred to as Field Three, and the post-purchase feedback process is referred to as Field Four. This model was criticized by commentators because it was not empirically tested (Zaltman, Pinson and Angelman, 1973), and because of the fact that many of the variables were not defined (Lunn, 1974).

Perhaps, the most frequently quoted of all consumer behavior models is the Howard-Sheth model of buyer behavior, which was developed in 1969. This model is shown in Figure 2.3. The model is important because it highlights the importance of inputs to the consumer buying process and suggests ways in which the consumer orders these inputs before making a final decision. The Howard-Sheth model is not perfect as it does not explain all buyer behavior. It is however, a comprehensive theory of buyer behavior that has been developed as a result of empirical research (Horton, 1984).

Schiffman and Kanuk (1997) mentioned that many early theories concerning consumer behavior were based on economic theory, on the notion that individuals act rationally to maximize their benefits (satisfactions) in the purchase of goods and services. A consumer is generally thought of as a person who identifies a need or desire, makes a purchase, and then disposes of the product during the three stages in the consumption process in Figure2.2 (Solomon, 1996)


This model focuses on the relationship between the firm and its potential consumers. The firm communicates with consumers through its marketing messages (advertising), and the consumers react to these messages by purchasing response. Looking to the model we will find that the firm and the consumer are connected with each other, the firm tries to influence the consumer and the consumer is influencing the firm by his decision.

Field 1


Field 2: Search

And evaluation

Of mean/end(s) Experience relation(s)

(Preaction field)


Field 4:


Field 3: Act of



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