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A Structural Theory of the Vacation

Kenneth Hyde & Christian Laesser

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abstract This paper presents a structural theory of the vacation incorporating four premises: (1) vacations have structure, (2) such structure consists of a composite of elements, (3) vacation structure results from situationally-constrained decision-making by the vacationer, and (4) many vacationers desire and seek structure to their vacation experiences. The paper proposes that three macro types of vacation structure exist - stay put vacations, arranged touring vacations, and freewheeling touring vacations. The timing of the vacationer’s choice of key elements of the vacation – including their choices in travel routes and places of accommodation - is inherently different for each of the three vacation types. An empirical study identifies these three vacation types amongst the trips undertaken by a representative sample of Swiss households. The study also observes differences between the three vacation types in destinations chosen, duration of vacations, levels of vacation expenditure, composition of travel parties, choices of transport mode, and motives for travel. By understanding how tourists structure their vacations, tourism operators may be more able to create value in tourists’ vacation experiences.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords vacation tourism; vacation decision-making
   
project Travel Market Switzerland
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 1-4-2009
journal Tourism Management
publisher Elsevier
volume of journal 30
number of issue 2
page(s) 240-248
review double-blind review
   
citation Hyde, K., & Laesser, C. (2009). A Structural Theory of the Vacation. Tourism Management, 30(2), 240-248.