Purpose – This work aims to introduce the usefulness of the concept of value for tourism research both conceptually and empirically. Destination and tourism services can be better understood if analysed through the multidimensionality of value, as the tourist can simultaneously experience several factors: affective and cognitive, social and personal, active and reactive. Design/methodology/approach – From literature review, Holbrook's conceptual framework (definition and typology) is chosen to investigate the dimensionality of consumer value in a travel‐related context (students' tourism behaviour). An empirical investigation on one of his conceptual axes – the relativistic character of consumer value – is presented. Findings – Several research questions are proposed regarding the relativity of value, using the t‐test contrast of hypothesis: dimensions of value (efficiency, quality, play, aesthetics and social value) and a measure of overall perceived value are tested as being personal (they vary across people), comparative (with differences among objects) and situational (specific to the context). Research limitations/implications – The results presented can fully confirm the relativistic character of value dimensions; hence, the value concept is useful for analysing tourism experiences. Nevertheless, the analysis is made interpersonally. Real intrapersonal measurements on these variations with longitudinal studies are recommended for further research. The scope of this work could be broadened by testing additional axes of Holbrook's typology. Practical implications – Tourism managers should regard the helpfulness of perceived value as a segmentation tool. Because of its multidimensionality, different facets of services value can be enhanced for different consumers, reinforcing in this way the strategic usefulness of value. Originality/value – Although Holbrook's types of value have been the subject of several conceptual debates there are very few empirical works on it. Any multidimensional approach to value shows the richness and complexity of the value concept, but Holbrook's dimensionality is particularly interesting because it encompasses and interrelates all relevant facets of the tourism experience.
Tourism Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 29, 2008
Keywords: Consumers; Value analysis; Tourism; Individual perception
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