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Tourism Motivation Categories Essay (Critical Writing)


What makes tourist go to one place is of as much importance as when and how frequently they go there. It is, therefore, of critical importance to fully or largely understand what really motivates a tourist to tour one destination and not another.

Motivation Categories

Physical Motivators

It is true and rightly, so the writer highlights this motivator. However, tourists go to other countries to have a different experience as compared to what they get at home. This includes mountains and other physically appealing things (Julian, 2000).

Cultural Motivators

This is true to say that most tourists go different places to have an experience of other peoples culture, their way of life, see great architectural structures and take part in their activities. This is a great motivator for people want to have a taste of variety.

This could however not be a strong point where a tourist tours another country without having been to at least half of the tourist attraction sites in their own country or even having experienced all the cultural events that take place in their home country (Beaver, A2002).

Social Motivators

Not all tourists have relatives where they go touring. Besides, people always want to go where their close relatives and friends have not been. This could not therefore be a great motivator for tourists. On the other hand, it is very rare to find someone travelling for travel’s sake. They must have a specific reason that necessitates travel to one place and not another.

Rightly, put is the point that some people find themselves touring places because they went there on business trips or for further studies.

Spiritual Motivators

I highly agree with the writer that some tourists travel for religious reasons only. Muslims tour the Islamic city of Mecca whereas most Christians will go to Israel or Rome (Linda, 1999).


It is true that people become tourists in order to have a break from their normal everyday life. However, the author should have captured the fact that people do not only tour places to get a break from the normal but as they do that they want to go to places they have not been before or to a place where they had a good experience in the past (Gaines et al. 2000).

Tourist Defined

To say that a tourist is someone who visits a place away from his or her own country is actually beating the true meaning of internal tourism, which I believe, is the origin of all tourism. On the other hand, the author says that a tourist visits a country not their own for more than twenty four hours. I believe that this is not the case. What about a pilot who takes visitors on a twenty-three hour tour to a neighboring country’s animal park?

He, his crew and passengers are all Tourists to that country. Therefore, the parameter of time may not be an appropriate one in defining a Tourist. The author is right to say that things they lack or would want to have, seen or experience motivates tourists. Push and Pull factors are indeed great motivators leading to tourism.

It is also important to explain tourist motivation in terms of purpose- why tourist decides to go to a destination (Sutton 1967).

Rightly put, what is of importance is customer experience in motivation. It is indeed true that Tourists will intend to go to a specified destination for a particular experience, whether experiential, experimental or existential.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is especially appropriate to explain tourist motivation Depending on an individual’s level in the hierarchy of human needs, they may want to satisfy the desire to explore or tour different parts of the world before embarking on other subsequent needs.

The most likely level for a tourist to go to other countries would be at ‘Self-actualization’. The expectancy theory may not be a possible tool to explain tourist motivation, but rather Destination selection and budgeting. Tourism motivation is not too much about how much tourists spend but why they choose to spend it.

Points Left Out By Author

Performing Artists and Heads of State

Most artists have shows and concerts away from their own countries. In most cases, these artists travel with their families, support staff and even close friends. All these groups of people find themselves as tourists in destinations they never imagined.

National leaders accompanied by their government official’s move to different parts of the world on State official duty and by this virtue become tourists (Effland, 1998).

Humanitarian Groups

Refugee groups, the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups like the UN’s UNICEF, UNHCR have officials and volunteers of different nationalities. These people enjoy being tourists in places they initially went to help suffering communities (Wilkerson, 2003). People for example who go to Somalia or the4 Democratic Republic of Congo on Peace or Humanitarian Mission become tourists in Africa (Christensen, et al. 2003).


There are many motivators of tourism, which are important and should be considered when laying down strategies for tourist attraction. This is what makes a country a better attraction site than others. Governments should look at the critical areas of interest to tourists. This will auger well with what they are actually looking for (Gaffney, 2004).


Beaver, A. (2002). A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism Terminology. Wallingford: CAB International.

Christensen, K. et al. (2003). Encyclopedia of Community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Effland, R. (1998). The Cultural Evolution of Civilizations. London: Mesa Community College.

Gaffney, S. (2004). Gestalt at Work: A Gestalt Organizational and System Dynamics Case Study. Gestalt Review, 8(3): 263-290.

Gaines, K. et al. (2000). Criminal Justice in Action. Belmont, CA: Wiley.

Julian, B. (2000). Community Development Principles and Practical Actions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Linda, R.B. (1999). Leadership Effectiveness in Community Policing. Bristol, Indiana: Wyndham Hall Press.

Wilkerson, C. (2003). Travel and Tourism: An Overlooked Industry in the U.S. and Tenth District. Economic Review 88 (Third Quarter), 2.5: 45–72.

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"Tourism Motivation Categories." IvyPanda, 20 Aug. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/tourism-critical-writing/.

1. IvyPanda. "Tourism Motivation Categories." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/tourism-critical-writing/.


IvyPanda. "Tourism Motivation Categories." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/tourism-critical-writing/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Tourism Motivation Categories." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/tourism-critical-writing/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Tourism Motivation Categories'. 20 August.

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