In tourism, motivation is considered a critical variable and a driving force behind tourist behavior (Crompton, 1979). Tourist motivation is considered as the core of a tourists’ continuous behavioral process. Although motivation explains a large portion of the variance in tourist behavior, motivation can only partially explain tourist behavior (Crompton, 1979). To understand tourist behavior, it is necessary to investigate the relationship between tourist motivation and behavior or the interrelations among motivation and other behavioral determinants.
This study aimed to provide comprehensive understanding of a structural model explaining tourist behavioral intention. The main constructs in the model included tourist motivation, attitude and behavioral intention (figure 1). A theoretical framework for the study was proposed based on the literature review.
Tourist motivation, attitude and behavioral intention
Tourist motivation is multidimensional. Understanding tourist motivation is complex and generally multifaceted (Crompton, 1979; Uysal, Gahan, & Martin, 1993). Various theories are applied to explain and understand complex tourist motivation. According to Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs, tourist needs are normally related to higher needs for self-esteem, self-actualization and social needs. The push–pull model of travel motivation, which effects on tourist destination choice and experiences, was developed by Dann (1977) and Crompton (1979). According to this model, the push force causes a tourist to leave home and seek some unspeciﬁed vacation destination, while the pull force compels a tourist toward speciﬁc destinations that are perceived as attractive because of their attributes. From a social psychological perspective, Iso-Ahola and Mannell argued that seeking and escaping are the basic dimensions of tourist motivation (Iso-Ahola, 1982; Mannell & Iso-Ahola, 1987).
Existed studies provide insight into the effects of tourist motivation on attitude and tourist behavioral intention. Gnoth (1997) conducted an in-depth conceptual study on tourist motivation, and discussed the relation between motivation and attitude. The study derived a conceptual framework in which attitude was determined by tourist motivation. Ajzen (1988, 1991) assumed that individuals’ attitude towards behavior is determined by behavioral beliefs, which suggests that cognitive motivation may influence affective attitude. Empirical research proved that motivation has both indirect and direct effects on post vacation attitude change (Fisher & Price, 1991). Fisher and Price (1991) conceptualized pleasure travel motivations, along with intercultural interaction and vacation satisfaction, as antecedents to post-vacation attitude change and tested the model with American pleasure travelers. Five types of pleasure travel motivation (education, escape, coping, kinship, and knowing new people) were integrated into the theoretical framework. The results indicated that the...