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Individual Values and Holiday Preferences

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INDIVIDUAL VALUES AND
HOLIDAY PREFERENCES
Tamara Jovanovic
ABSTRACT
This chapter aims to explore relationship between individual values and
holiday preferences. Values as standards of assessing behaviors are often
used in tourism research and have been connected to tourists’ behaviors
and activities preferences. In this chapter, Schwartz Value Survey
(Schwartz, 1992) was used to determine individual values. Holiday
preferences were evaluated on a Likert scale using two separate lists:
types of destination (e.g., seaside, city) and forms of holiday (e.g., local,
short). Sample consisted of 120 university students in Serbia. Results
show that there is a correlation between values and holiday preferences.
Implications are further discussed in the chapter.
Keywords: Individual values; holiday preferences; correlation; Serbia
INTRODUCTION
The assumption of this research is that since values influence activities
they should also influence holiday preferences because they imply different
possible activities and goals that can be achieved on that holiday. People
Tourists’ Behaviors and Evaluations
Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Volume 9, 4957
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travel to different destinations with the expectations of what those destina-
tions have to offer. Also, people choose how a holiday is going to look like,
is it going to be short or long, will they travel individually or in groups,
depending on their plans of behavior on that destination.
THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Values represent concepts or beliefs about life and desirable behavior
(Jago, 1997). They go beyond specific situations and guide the process of
selection and evaluation of behaviors or events (Schwartz, 1992). They are
more stabile over time than attitudes and many authors claim that they are
an important part of personality (Crick-Furman & Prentice, 2000;
Madrigal & Kahle, 1994; McCleary & Choi, 1999; Muller, 1991; Pitts &
Woodside, 1986; Schwartz, 1992).
Schwartz and Bilsky (1987) offered eight basic value (motivation)
domains but later (Schwartz, 1992) this list was extended into 11 value
domains (see “Method” section). Ten of these value domains have been
conceptually distinguished and empirically identified in a multitude of cross-
cultural samples (Schwartz, 1994; Schwartz & Sagiv, 1995). However,
Spirituality has not had a consistent broad meaning in cross-cultural studies
and Schwartz (1994) has excluded this value domain; he deemed it near-
universal, even though ultimate meaning in life has been shown to be a dis-
tinct and basic human need (Schwartz, 1992). In this research, older model
with 11 value domains has been used since it is our belief that Spirituality is
a value domain of significance and should not be excluded from the research.
Researchers have been exploring the influence of individual values on
tourism behavior (Backman & Crompton, 1990; Beatty, Kahle, Homer, &
Mirsa, 1985). Studies have shown that values influence the choice of holi-
day destination and activities during holiday (Beatty, Kahle, & Homer,
1991; Jackson, 1973 AU:1; Morrison, Hsieh, & O’Leary, 1994). Values have been
proven useful in marketing of tourist offers while developing the product
and in marketing strategies (Muller, 1991; Pitts & Woodside, 1986). They
have also been connected with the preferences of certain holiday activities
(Beatty et al., 1985; Crick-Furman & Prentice, 2000; Madrigal & Kahle,
1994; Muller, 1991; Pitts & Woodside, 1986). However, there are no avail-
able studies that directly explore relationship between values and holiday
preferences types of destination (e.g., seaside, mountains) and forms of
holiday (e.g., individual, mass).
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METHOD
Respondents of this study were 120 students of the Faculty of Sciences,
University of Novi Sad, Serbia. They were mostly female (73%), aged from
19 to 26 (95%).
Questionnaire used in this study consisted of three parts. First part
measured socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents: gender,
age, place of residence, and marital status.
Second part measured with Likert scale (17) holiday preferences which
were divided into two lists: type of destination and form of holiday. List
type of destination consisted of seven most popular types of destination
in Serbia (Jovanovic, Majstorovic, Dinic, & Armenski, 2012): seaside,
mountain, city, spa, village, river, lake. List form of holiday included eight
categories that can describe one’s holiday: abroad, local, long, short, mass,
individual, active, relaxation.
Third part of the questionnaire measured individual values using
Schwartz Value Survey (SVS) (Schwartz, 1992). SVS consists of 56 items,
30 terminal and 26 instrumental values. These items measure 11 value
domains: Spirituality (4 items), Achievement (6), Self-direction (6),
Hedonism (3), Security (7), Tradition (5), Universalism (7), Benevolence
(7), Conformity (4), Stimulation (3), and Power (4). Importance of each
value as a guiding principle in respondents life is assessed on the 9-point
scale, labeled: 7 (of supreme importance), 6 (very important), 5, 4 (unla-
beled), 3 (important), 2, 1 (unlabeled), 0 (not important), 1 (opposed to
my values). Unlike other typical scales, this scale enables respondents to
express opposition to certain values. Reliability of each value domain
ranges from α=0.61 for Tradition to α=0.75 for Universalism.
FINDINGS
Analyses were conducted using SPSS 17.0. Value domains were calculated
by averaging scores on each of the corresponding items in SVS. Pearson’s
correlation between value domains and holiday preferences was calculated.
Table 1 shows correlation between types of destinations and value
domains. All correlations are with coefficients between r=0.185 and
r=0.312, which are not high but still statistically significant (p<0.05).
Tourists that prefer the seaside as destination have high achievement
and security values. Those who prefer mountains highly value benevolence
51Individual Values and Holiday Preferences
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and universalism. City as destination attracts tourists who value stimula-
tion and power. Spas have only marginally significant correlations with
benevolence and universalism. Villages are popular with people that have
high benevolence, universalism, and tradition values. Tourists that prefer
rivers value benevolence, universalism, self-direction, stimulation, spiritual-
ity, and tradition. Lakes have similar relationship with values as rivers but
without significant correlations with tradition and stimulation values.
Relationship between individual values and forms of holiday can be seen
in Table 2. Significant correlation coefficients vary between r=0.181 and
r=0.463. People who prefer to travel abroad value benevolence, universal-
ism, stimulation, and achievement. Those who like to touristically visit
local destinations have high benevolence, universalism, and tradition
values. Longer holiday is attractive for those who value benevolence, uni-
versalism, self-direction, stimulation, and achievement. Tourists who prefer
short holiday value benevolence. Mass holiday is for those who have high
Table 1. Correlations between Individual Values and Types of
Destinations AU:2.
Seaside Mountain City Spa Village River Lake
Benevolence AU:3r0.156 0.214* 0.045 0.17 0.212* 0.270** 0.208*
p0.09 0.019 0.625 0.064 0.02 0.003 0.023
Universalism r0.003 0.206* 0.109 0.17 0.185* 0.312** 0.324**
p0.973 0.024 0.235 0.064 0.043 0.001 0.000
Self-direction r0.12 0.012 0.027 0.027 0.065 0.186* 0.253**
p0.19 0.899 0.767 0.768 0.48 0.042 0.005
Stimulation r0.083 0.059 0.225* 0.07 0.05 0.211* 0.156
p0.369 0.524 0.014 0.446 0.591 0.021 0.089
Hedonism r0.148 0.132 0.045 0.034 0.033 0.072 0.079
p0.107 0.149 0.626 0.714 0.719 0.432 0.39
Achievement r0.241** 0.031 0.152 0.055 0.069 0.157 0.148
p0.008 0.736 0.097 0.552 0.454 0.086 0.107
Power r0.117 0.002 0.203* 0.057 0.039 0.119 0.06
p0.202 0.981 0.027 0.537 0.669 0.195 0.515
Security r0.200* 0.06 0.135 0.113 0.007 0.145 0.074
p0.028 0.518 0.141 0.217 0.942 0.115 0.425
Tradition r0.055 0.089 0.031 0.141 0.249** 0.238** 0.124
p0.549 0.333 0.739 0.125 0.006 0.009 0.176
Conformity r0.037 0.075 0.01 0.126 0.004 0.083 0.1
p0.692 0.415 0.915 0.17 0.969 0.367 0.278
Spirituality r0.025 0.119 0.038 0.007 0.043 0.207* 0.223*
p0.783 0.194 0.678 0.938 0.642 0.023 0.014
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Table 2. Correlations between Individual Values and Forms of Holiday.
Abroad Local Long Short Mass Individual Active Relaxation
Benevolence r0.213* 0.326** 0.256** 0.236** 0.105 0.054 0.201* 0.089
p0.02 0.000 0.005 0.01 0.253 0.561 0.028 0.335
Universalism r0.204* 0.206* 0.209* 0.129 0.06 0.024 0.271** 0.009
p0.026 0.024 0.022 0.162 0.517 0.796 0.003 0.923
Self-direction r0.11 0.035 0.247** 0.111 0.126 0.047 0.361** 0.039
p0.231 0.702 0.006 0.229 0.171 0.608 0.000 0.669
Stimulation r0.208* 0.052 0.349** 0.102 0.303** 0.005 0.381** 0.115
p0.023 0.572 0.000 0.266 0.001 0.959 0.000 0.211
Hedonism r0.003 0.103 0.157 0.084 0.181* 0.213* 0.171 0.185*
p0.975 0.262 0.087 0.362 0.048 0.019 0.062 0.043
Achievement r0.269** 0.022 0.278** 0.046 0.156 0.052 0.463** 0.093
p0.003 0.814 0.002 0.617 0.089 0.571 0.000 0.311
Power r0.107 0.021 0.178 0.106 0.162 0.117 0.244** 0.185*
p0.246 0.817 0.052 0.25 0.077 0.203 0.007 0.043
Security r0.152 0.074 0.134 0.11 0.007 0.001 0.179 0.138
p0.098 0.425 0.145 0.23 0.942 0.991 0.05 0.132
Tradition r0.105 0.208* 0.139 0.09 0.005 0.008 0.06 0.099
p0.255 0.023 0.13 0.326 0.954 0.927 0.513 0.281
Conformity r0.091 0.169 0.104 0.135 0.048 0.103 0.14 0.027
p0.322 0.064 0.26 0.141 0.602 0.264 0.128 0.769
Spirituality r0.08 0.086 0.157 0.114 0.055 0.144 0.059 0.037
p0.387 0.349 0.087 0.213 0.55 0.117 0.522 0.685
53Individual Values and Holiday Preferences
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stimulation and hedonism. Active holiday has a similar relationship with
values as the form of long holiday except that it also correlates with power.
Tourists who search relaxation on their holiday have high hedonism and
power. Interestingly, preference of individual holiday has negative correla-
tion with hedonism.
Additionally, correlations between types of destinations and forms of
holiday were tested. Correlation coefficients range from r=0.184 to
r=0.343 (p<0.05). Seaside is correlated with traveling abroad, for longer
period of time and active participation. Mountains correlate with abroad
and local traveling, for longer period of time and individual traveling. City
is connected with longer traveling, in both large groups and individually and
requires active participation on the holiday. Spa is correlated to traveling
abroad and local, for longer period of time, individually. Visiting villages is
correlated with the local traveling, individually with longer stays. Holiday
on river is usually longer, in large groups and individually, with active parti-
cipation and relaxation. Lakes are correlated with traveling abroad, longer
holiday, both large groups’ and individual travel and active participation.
Finally, average preference values and standard deviations, for each type
of destination and form of holiday, were calculated. Most preferred type of
destination is the seaside and least preferred is spa. Highest variations in
responses were for city destination. Tourism abroad has the highest average
of preference values while individual tourism has the lowest. Individual
tourism has also the highest variation in responses.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
The goal of this research was to examine the relationship between indivi-
dual values and holiday preferences. Both, types of destination and forms
of holiday, are indirectly connected to holiday activities. Tourists expect to
engage in certain activities depending on the type of destination (swimming
on the seaside, skiing on the mountains, etc.) and depending on the form of
holiday (short stay requires activities that are not time consuming, traveling
abroad includes cultural exchange activities, etc.). Results indicate that
there is a meaningful relationship between these two constructs.
Results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the tourism
market and experts could use them in developing and improving marketing
strategies for each type of destination and form of holiday. People who pre-
fer seaside for their holiday are focused on personal success and stability.
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These tourists are more rigid and prefer to travel to familiar, secure desti-
nations and they are focused on themselves more than on other people.
Most of the tourists from Serbia nowadays travel to abroad seaside (such
as Greece, Turkey, and Montenegro), since Serbia is a landlocked country.
Many tourists go to the same seaside destination every year which is in
accordance with the security value.
Mountain tourists are invested in others’ well-being. They are helpful,
loyal, and forgiving to others and believe that all people are equal. They
also believe that nature and local community should be protected and pre-
served. Tourists from Serbia visit both local and abroad mountains and
they prefer to go alone. So mountains attract strong individuals with love
for nature and appreciation of diversity between people.
City tourists like freedom of thought and action but are also focused on
self-interest. They need variety and stimulation from the surrounding and
city seems to fulfill this need. They also seek prestige and social status
which is apparently gained when visiting cities. Serbian tourists visit cities
on their own or with large groups and they like active holiday which is in
accordance with stimulation value domain.
Villages, on the other hand, visit people who value benevolence, univers-
alism, and tradition. These are values that describe people who are con-
cerned for others but rigid and dislike change and novelty. They need close
friendly contact with people and local, traditional holidays. Villages seem
to satisfy these needs. Rivers and lakes as destinations are correlated with
the largest number of values.
Lakes have similar relationship with values as rivers but without correla-
tions with values stimulation and tradition. This means that lake tourism
attracts people with less rigid opinions, that don’t need that much excite-
ment but still require active participation in a certain amount. Visiting spas
is not correlated significantly to any measured values. Spa tourism in
Serbia is highly undeveloped and is still considered more a form of medical
treatment for elderly than relaxation.
Traveling abroad highly attracts wide variety of people. It was some-
thing that was uncommon for a long period of time in Serbia, because of
the sanctions and strict visa regime. Today, it is much easier to travel
abroad because Serbia has an EU candidate status and no visas for most of
the EU countries. People who travel abroad value other people and are tol-
erant. They also seek adventure and novelty and social acknowledgment of
others.
Those who travel local also value other people and their opinions, but
they are more rigid and love their country and customs. Longer, active
55Individual Values and Holiday Preferences
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holidays are for social people who prefer independent thought and creativ-
ity, who look for experience and strive for success.
Short holidays seem to be attractive for selfless people. People who enjoy
life’s pleasures and seek stimulation will travel with lots of people.
Relaxing holiday draws people who need enjoyment in life and who like to
feel powerful. Curiously, people who prefer to go on holiday on their own
have negative relationship with hedonism. Those might be people who like
to postpone their pleasures in life in order to achieve something in life.
However, there were no significant correlations with achievement or self-
direction. There is low positive correlation with spirituality, which might be
significant with a larger and more diverse sample.
It is interesting to note that conformity has no significant correlations
with any holiday preferences; it was only marginally positively correlated
with local tourism. Every holiday is a time to let go, to enjoy, forget about
the pressure for awhile. Self-restraint because of social norms seems to be
relinquished when on holiday.
As every study, this has several limitations. One limitation is that for
this research, only students were included in the sample. For more reliable
results, different age and occupation groups should be included. Second
limitation is that correlation coefficients were rather low but nevertheless
significant. With larger, more diverse sample, this limitation should be
overcome. This research should be extended to different cultures, to explore
whether this relationship between values and holiday preferences is invar-
iant. Also, possible moderators and mediators of this relationship should
be explored (socio-demographic characteristics, previous experience with
destinations, and forms of holiday).
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This chapter received support from the Ministry of Education, Science and
Technological Development, Republic of Serbia (Grant Number: 176020).
Research that is presented here is a part of the doctoral research of Tamara
Jovanovic.
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This study of 429 United States pleasure visitors to Canada demonstrates that research based on personal values can be fruitfully applied to the segmentation of international tourism markets. The relative importance attached by a visitor to 16 attributes which describe the touristic attractiveness of a foreign city were used as clustering variables. Three major segments were found, with each segment possessing a unique personal-value profile. These value profiles were meaningful and distinctive enough to offer the international tourism marketer actionable portraits on which to base product development and marketing communication strategies that match a segment's personal-value orientations.