Contemporary Tourist Behaviour: Yourself and Others as Tourists

As the World Tourism Organisation (2009) reports that the volatile world economy and subsequent decline in consumer confidence is starting to take its toll on the tourism industry, destinations and tourism organisations have little choice but to acquire far greater knowledge of contemporary tourist behavior in order to understand and predict present and future demand. This &lsquo,small book with bold ambitions&rsquo, provides an aptly-timed, fascinating and in-depth exploration of some of the dominant conceptual and emerging empirical themes and issues which influence the behavior of tourists. The sixteen chapters take the reader as a tourist, and therefore the principal actor in the tourism system, on an insightful and thought-provoking contemporary tourist behavior journey from both a spatial and temporal perspective. The authors adopt an unashamedly interpretivist and pragmatist multidisciplinary approach to present a rigorous examination of what motivates tourists&rsquo, travel and destination choice decisions, and the individual and collective impact of their behavior. Whilst participant observation is the authors&rsquo, preferred methodology, this reviewer cannot support their questionable assertions of the value of positivist large-scale surveys which can provide equally meaningful contributions to the tourist behavior discourse when employed effectively. The interrelated and complementary lifestyle and life cycle concepts are, however, carefully examined with reference to a myriad of well-chosen academic and industry examples. The &lsquo,logical decision or lucky dip&rsquo, chapter provided a concisely critical review of the importance of perceived image and its influence on the tourist&rsquo,s ultimate selection of, and behavior towards, destinations and other tourism products. The text achieves its primary objective by adequately addressing the &lsquo,how, why and so what?&rsquo, tourist behavior questions. It is rightly targeted at a graduate audience, but is also highly recommended for lecturers and practitioners. Equally, experienced consumers of place and culture who are interested in enhancing their own understanding of themselves and others as tourists should also enjoy this book.