Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Tourism Literature Review

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Push and Pull Factor In Tourism


Modern tourism has become one of the strongest and most remarkable phenomena of the time. To discover its true nature, one must attempt to understand how the various components are connected to each other, and what are the causes and effects, the conjectures and the realities. One must first grasp the workings of the mechanism before he can determine the means of controlling, changing, and improving it. But the connections are discernible if one limits himself to a narrow, sector-based view (Krippendorf, 1987).

The greatest reason for travel can be summed up in one work, “Escape”, escape from the dull, daily routine; escape from the familiar, the common place, the ordinary; escape from the job, the boss, the customer, the commuting, the house the lawn, the leaky faucets.

The benefits of tourism can be wide ranging, extending to benefits to the economy, social life for people living in destinations as well as personal benefits to tourist (UNWTO 1999; Bureau International du Tourisme Sociale (BITS) 2006). These tourism benefits have been found to include: rest and recuperation from work; provision of new experiences lading to a broadening of horizons and the opportunity for learning and intercultural communication; promotion of peace and understanding; personal and social development; visiting friends and relatives; religious pilgrimage and health (Dann, 1977).

Push / Pull Factor

Although a universally agree-upon conceptualization of the tourist motivation construct is still lacking (Fodness, 1994), the push/pull model is accepted by many researchers (Dann, 1977; 1981; Crompton, 1979; Zhang and Lam, 1999; Jang and Cai, 2002; Hsu and Lam, 2003). Push factors are defined as internal motives or forces that cause tourists to seek activities to reduce their needs, while pull factors are destination generated forces and the knowledge that tourists hold about a destination (Gnoth, 1997). Most push factors are instrinsic motivators, such as the desire for escape, rest and relaxation, prestige, health and fitness, adventure and social interaction. Pull factors emerge due to the attractiveness of a destination, including beaches, recreation facilities and cultural attractions (Uysal and Jurowski, 1994). Traditionally, push factors are considered important in initiating travel desire, while pull factors are considered more decisive in explaining destination choice (Crompton, 1979, Bello and Etzel, 1985).

Crompton (1979) identifies two clusters of motives among pleasure vacationers, namely socio-psychological motives and cultural motives. Nine motives were generated based on an analysis of 39 unstructured interviews. the seven socio-psychological motives are; escape from a perceived mundane environment, exploration and evaluation of self, relaxation, prestige, regression, enhancement of kinship relationships and facilitation of social interaction; those classified as cultural motives are novelty and education. Although not explicit, Crompton hopes to link these motives to push and pull factors by arguing that push factors for a vacation are socio-psychological motives, while pull factors are cultural motives.

Similarly, Dann (1977) builds his theory based on two conceptualizations: anomie and eo-enhancement. By taking a sociological approach to tourist motivation, Dann identifies anomie and ego-enhancement as two important travel motives. He further argues that both motives are ‘push’ factors. Anomie represents the desire to transcend the feeling of isolation obtained in everyday life, where the tourist simply wishes to ‘get away from it all’. On the other hand, ego-enhancement derives from the level of personal needs. Just as in the need for social interaction people wish to be recognized. The need to have one’s ego enhanced or boosted is analogous to the desire for a ‘bodily tune-up’.

Dann (1977) distinguishes the characteristics of anomic tourists and ego-enhancement tourists. The anomic tourists are typically young, married, male, above-average socio-economic status, from small towns and rural areas, and repeat visitors. Ego-enhancement tourists represent the opposite end of spectrum. This group is more likely female, first-time visitors, from lower socio-economic strata and older than anomic tourists.

Dann favours ‘push’ factors, and argues that an examination of ‘push’ factors is logically, and often temporally, an antecedent to ‘pull’ factors. Moreover, he argues that the question of ‘what makes tourists travel’ can only relate to the ‘push’ factors, as this question is devoid of destination or value content requirements of ‘pull’ factors. While Dann admits that both the anomie and ego-enhancement concepts stem from ‘push’ factors, he does not regard the relationship between these two concepts as dichotomous. Instead, he constructs his theoretical framework as a continuum, with anomie and ego-enhancement as the polar coordinates.

The pull factors are active sports environment, unique natural environment, safety, sunshine, inexpensiveness, cultural activities, entertainment, sightseeing, local culture, different culture and cuisine and uniqueness of small towns/villages/mountains.

From the above descriptions of anomie and ego-enhancement, it should be clear that not only does travel represent the fulfilment of certain basic needs in the potential tourists, but that in so doing it offers him an alternative world to that in which he daily lives. It can be argued, for instance, that in the monotony of suburbia, the faceless city or the public village, life only becomes tolerable with the thought that there are chances of periodic escape from such an existence, and that travel provides the ideal outlets.

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