Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Can Stressful Events Affect Our Tourism Consumption? Empirical Results of Preliminary Focus Group Analysis to Student Groups in Greece with the Use of a Life Stress Inventory Model

Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Can Stressful Events Affect Our Tourism Consumption? Empirical Results of Preliminary Focus Group Analysis to Student Groups in Greece with the Use of a Life Stress Inventory Model

Article excerpt

Introduction

Day by day stress influences and determines the lives of modern people, and as a result it preoccupies the academic community more and more. Despite the fact that the concept of stress and the research around this gathers more and more attention to the social sciences and behavioural sciences, it has been almost ignored in the field of marketing and particularly of tourism and little has been done to examine and to connect the role of stress with the behaviour of future consumers of tourist services. For example, an unfortunate event such as death may create the need for a consumer to go on a trip. Houge Mackenzie and Kerr (2013), suggest that stress should be more thoroughly examined related to tourism and consumer behaviour. Several tourism academic researchers examine the effect of stress (Ellenberg, Setiawan, Cree, Houston, & Seddon, 2007; Law, Pearce, & W oods, 1995; Maréchal et al., 2011; Romero & Wikelski, 2002) but none of them examine it in relation to stressful events and tourism customer consumption.

The aim of this paper is to study the connection of stress, caused by the various events of life contained in the Social Readjustment Rating Scale of Holmes and Rahe (1967), with the general consumer behaviour by focusing on the possible modification of the tourist behaviour of students of the University of Macedonia. For the carrying out of the research, in the first phase and based on literature, the facts a new amended scale social transformation would have included were established, which should be compatible with the characteristics of the sample and the values of Greek society.

Literature Review

The term stress is derived from the verb ?γχω (anho), which in ancient Greek means choke or smother. Stress is an unpleasant feeling, which appears in situations where the person is in danger or is facing a problem and more generally when confronted with a difficult situation. Stress can be of psychogenic origin or may be a consequence of some physical disorder. In addition, it depends on the cognitive and emotional processes, the lifestyle of the individual and its way of thinking. Each person experiences a certain level of anxiety, which is considered normal under certain circumstances. In some other cases, however, increased anxiety, can do harm and contributes to the person's malfunction in activities and it can adversely affect its health.

On the other hand, the consumer's behaviour is the study of how, where, when and why people buy or do not buy a product. It combines elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology and economics (Fotiadis, Vassiliadis, & Piper, 2013; Fotiadis, Vassiliadis & Rekleitis, 2013; Kamenidou, Mamalis, & Priporas, 2009; Kamenidou & Priporas, 2010). It tries to understand the decision-making process of purchasers both individually and in groups. It studies the characteristics of individual consumers, such as the demographic and behavioural variables, in an attempt to understand of their wishes (Vassiliadis, Priporas, & Andronikidis, 2013). It also tries to assess the influences the consumer experiences from various groups, such as family, friends and society in general.

In almost every moment of his life, the modern man adopts a form of consumer behaviour. By watching an advertisement on TV, commenting with friends on a movie that we have seen recently, buying a new CD, or even throwing away an old pair of shoes, we behave as consumers. In particular, Statt (1997) argues that the act of consumption is an integral part of our everyday life.

The term consumer behaviour normally refers to any human behaviour intended to purchase products and services. Various definitions have been formulated for the consumer behaviour. According to Narayan and Prasad (2008) and Blackwell, Miniard, and Engel (2006), the consumer behaviour is a multidisciplinary science which not only studies the decision-making process and the actual purchase of the product, but also the further activities of the consumer after the purchase of the product, such as use, evaluation and disposal of the product or service. …

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