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A Canyon of Doubt:

Exploring Post-Purchase Dissonance Amongst Luxury Travellers During the Pre- and Post-Travel Phase

A Canyon of Doubt:

Exploring Post-Purchase Dissonance Amongst Luxury Travellers During the Pre- and Post-Travel Phase

Samenvatting

This research was conducted in cooperation with TravelEssence, a growing tour operator specialised in Australia and New Zealand. TravelEssence provides Dutch luxury travellerss with an authentic experience by creating a customised itinerary including flights, car rental, unique accommodations and activities. As many customers book their holiday far in advance, a perceived drop in the personalised service after the booking may occur. It is believed this drop could create uncertainty and doubt amongst some customers and may still be present after the customer has returned from their holiday. These feelings have been identified as aspects of the psychologically uncomfortable state known as post-purchase dissonance. Therefore the following objective was set:
The objective of this project is to gain insight in the post-purchase dissonance experienced amongst luxury travellers in the pre- and post-travel phase in order to identify and implement effective ways for TravelEssence to reduce post-purchase dissonance amongst their clients.
From this objective, a main research question was formulated as well as an advisory question:
v  In which ways do luxury travellers experience post-purchase dissonance in the pre- and post-travel phase of the consumer decision-making process?
v  What can TravelEssence implement or change to reduce post-purchase dissonance amongst their clients?
A theoretical framework was developed to provide a coherent understanding of the core concepts within the research, which are underlined in the main research question. The core concept of luxury tourism and its consumers, the time frame between purchase and departure of the consumer decision-making process and the measurement of post-purchase dissonance are all underdeveloped research subjects. Nevertheless, after exploring the available literature, the relationship between these concepts becomes clearer.
Consumers who purchase luxury travel products are likely to experience complex buying behaviour and therefore go through all the stages of the consumer decision-making process. The time between purchase and departure is widely ignored within the tourism literature. However Toedt (2012) does recognise this timeframe and defined it as the pre-travel phase. As advanced purchasing is common within the tourism industry, it is surprising this is widely ignored. Furthermore, advanced purchasing can lead to buyer uncertainty, also known as post-purchase dissonance. Some debate this psychologically uncomfortable state is best measured in the pre-travel phase however it has been established it appears throughout the consumer decision-making process, including the post-travel phase. Few attempts have been made to measure post-purchase dissonance. These attempts were mainly based on purchases of tangible products. Koller and Salzberger (2007) developed a measurement scale that was based on previous measurement scales and considered characteristics of the tourism industry. The latter measurement scale was used within this research.
As many of the core concepts are underdeveloped research subjects, this led to the choices made for the methodological framework of this research. An exploratory quantitative research strategy was selected with a cross-sectional case study design in which the customers of TravelEssence were defined as the case. As this research used the post-purchase dissonance measurement scale developed by Koller and Salzberger (2007), their survey method was replicated as well. Due to the indirect implementation of the survey method in this research, an online semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. As this research wanted to compare those yet to and those that had already travelled, the questionnaire was sent to two groups, one of which was in the between

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OrganisatieSaxion
OpleidingHoger Toeristisch en Recreatief Onderwijs
Datum2015-03-01
TypeBachelor
TaalNederlands

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