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Models of the purchase decision-making process

Models of purchase decision-making in tourism
We have already considered models of consumer behaviour for
tourism in previous article. Cooper et al. (2005) have identified three stages
in the development of general consumer behaviour theory in relation
to purchase behaviour, as follows:
1 The early empiricist phase covering the years between 1930 and
the late 1940s was dominated by empirical commercial research and
industry attempted to identify the effects of distribution advertising
and promotion decisions.
2 The motivational research phase of the 1950s placed a greater
emphasis upon in-depth interviews, focus groups themselves as a
perception test and other projective techniques. There was a great
deal of activity directed at uncovering real motives for action which
were perceived to lie in the deeper recesses of the consumer’s mind.
3 The formative phase from the 1960s provided the first general consumer
behaviour textbook (Engel, Kollat and Blackwell, 1968) and
other influential books (such as Howard and Sheth, 1969) followed
soon after.
However, the early interest in consumer behaviour tended to focus
on manufacturing industries, and later on general service industries.
It was only in the 1970s that academics began to develop purchase
decision models in tourism. It is important to recognize that these
purchase decision models were being developed simultaneously with
the work of writers like Cohen and Plog on the related subject of
tourist typologies.
We have already considered models such as those developed by
Wahab, Crompton and Rothfield (1976) and Mathieson and Wall (1982)
in previous article. These models all seem to see the decision as a linear
process, and no distinctions are made about which factors might weigh
heavier than others when decisions are being made.
In 1987, Moutinho published a vacation tourist behaviour model
which differed from most previous markets in two respects:
1 It recognized that there are three distinctly different stages in the decision-
making process:
(a) pre-decision stage and decision process
(b) post-purchase evaluation
(c) future decision-making.
The model recognized that the last of these stages would feed back
to the first, through a loop in the system.
2 It explicitly noted that purchase decisions are a result of three behavioural
concepts:
(a) motivation
(b) cognition
(c) learning.
There are many other models, although this brief section has highlighted
the most widely discussed ‘classic’ models.

A critique of purchase decision models in tourism
Most of the models we have discussed so far have some common
weaknesses that:


 

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