This empirical research of tourists’ cultural experiences aims to advance theory by developing a measurement model of tourists’ motives towards attending cultural experiences for samples of Western and Asian tourists visiting Melbourne, Australia. Drawing upon Iso-Ahola’s (1989) seeking/avoiding dichotomy theory for tourist motivation dimensions, the hypothesized dimensions primarily included escape and seeking-related dimensions, and some hedonic dimensions because of their relevance to aesthetic products (Hirschman & Holbrook, 1982; Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982), which are the context for this study. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to crossvalidate the underlying dimensionality structure of cultural experience motives. A four-factor model was extracted from the EFA consistent with some theoretical formulations and was retained in the CFA. Specific cultural language group differences for the motive dimensions were also hypothesized between Western and Asian tourist samples, and within the Chinese- and Japanese-speaking Asian tourist samples, but not within the different cultural groups of English-speaking Western tourists. These cross-cultural hypotheses were tested for the motive dimension measurement model using invariance testing in CFA. The findings for the motive dimensions differing by cultural group were not as expected. Significant cultural differences between Western and Asian tourists were not found, but a new finding of this study was significant differences between English-speaking tourists in their motives for attending cultural experiences. Marketing implications of these findings are also presented.
This article was also published in the book : Cultural experience tourist motives dimensionality : a cross-cultural study, in Marketing of tourism experiences, 2010, Routledge, London, England, pp.230-272.
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