Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Barbara Carmichael

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


This dissertation explores methodological approaches to the study of the pleasure travel decision-making process. Specifically, this dissertation explores methodological approaches to studying the relative importance of motivations and constraints in the travel decision-making process. Three segmentation approaches were used, principle components analysis, cluster analysis and unidimensional sequence alignment. 522 students from two South-western Ontario, Canada universities participated in this study examining their decision-making in relation to potential travel plans for reading week (February 2005). The results indicate that individuals potentially have a multitude of constraint levels to over-come as part of the initial travel decision-making process. If these base constraints can be addressed successfully, the decision to travel becomes more likely. When the individual does decide to travel, interpersonal reasons were found to be the most important component to choosing a potential destination. This was followed by traveler's intrapersonal rationales followed by structural considerations. Where variation in the results occurred, purchase involvement differences were found to be a possible explanation. Three purchase involvement types, 'laissez-faire,' `modestly discerning,' and 'highly discerning' were found. Those who were 'laissez-faire' were more likely to by motivations driven as opposed to those who were 'highly discerning' who were more constraints oriented. Finally, this study introduced a new methodological approach to segmentation analysis. Unidimensional sequence alignment was used to segment individuals by their rank order of motivations and constraints in relation to their travel choices. The results of using this technique were insightful. The results indicate that this technique with further development could be a potentially useful tool in studying travel decision-making. This technique would be especially useful in situations where an intricate segmentation analysis is required. Overall, the results of this study demonstrated the need to examine motivations and constraints in conjunction with each other. The role of both motivations and constraints in the travel decision-making process is dependent on a variety of factors such as purchase involvement. This research indicates the importance of examining each component of the travel decision-making process, not in isolation, but using an integrative approach to studying this phenomenon.

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