Important Factors That Motivate People to Travel

Following are the different types of motivates according to “McIntosh” and “Goeldner” :

1. Physical Motivations:

These are related to refreshment of body and mind, health purposes, sport and pleasure. These groups of motivations are seen to be linked to those activities which reduce tension.


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2. Cultural Motivations:


These are identified by the desire to see and know more about other cultures, to find out about the natives of a country, their lifestyle, music, art, folklore, dance, etc.

3. Interpersonal Motivations:

These include a desire to meet new people, visit friends or relatives, seek new experiences. Travel is an escape from routine relationship with friends or neighbors and the home environment or it is used for spiritual reasons.

4. Status and Prestige Motivations:

These include a desire for the continuation of hobbies and education and are also seen to be concerned with the desire for recognition and attention from others, in order to boost the personal ego.

There are two broad groups of travelers. The first group comprises those who have to visit a particular place and those visiting friends and relatives. The decision to travel—where to go and when to go is to a great extent outside their control. They are not much influenced by price or distance.


The second group holiday tourists or pleasure travelers have a freedom of choice. They decide for themselves whether they should spend a part of their income and leisure time for tourism. Their demand for travel is highly price elastic.

The prime motivation in tourism is the desire to be elsewhere and to escape the routine, constraints and stress of everyday life. From this basic motivation two distinct motivations may be seen which have been described by Prof. Gray as wanderlust and sun lust.

Wanderlust indicates the desire to exchange the known for the unknown and to go and see different places, people, cultures or relics of the past in places of historical importance.

On the other hand, “Sunlust” indicates a type of travel which depends on the existence elsewhere of better amenities for a specific purpose than are available locally. It is prominent with particular activities such as sports and with the search for the sun.


A hunt for the sun is typified by tourist flow to the Mediterranean, Caribbean or South Pacific. Wanderlust might be thought of as a push factor whereas sunlust is largely a response to ‘pull’ factors elsewhere.

The essence of ‘break from routine’ is, in most cases, either locating in a different place or changing the dominant social context from the work milieu.

Crompton has identified seven socio-cultural motives as follows:

1. Escape from a perceived mundane environment,

2. Exploration and evaluation of self,

3. Relaxation,

4. Prestige,

5. Regression (less constrained behaviour),

6. Enhancement of kinship relationships,

7. Facilitation of social interaction,

8. Novelty and education.

Grinstein explained the regressive element as: lying on the warm sand, being buried in the sand, being in the nude, are all examples of pleasures which represent manifestations of partial regression.

Tourism enhances leisure opportunities for rest and relaxation. Leipet distinguishes between recreational leisure and creative leisure which produces something new. He sees three functions of recreation as:

1. Rest, which provides recovery from physical or mental fatigue;

2. Relaxation, i.e., recovery from tension; and

3. Entertainment, i.e., recovery from boredom.

Iso-Ahola has proposed a theoretical motivational model in which the escaping element is compounded by a seeking component. One set of motivational forces are obtained from an individual desire to escape his personal environment (personal Problems) and /or the interpersonal environment (co-workers, family members and friends).

Another set of forces result from the desire to obtain certain psychological rewards by travelling to a different environment.

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