Cross-cultural Differences in Tourism Product Preferences



Cross-cultural Differences in Tourism Product Preferences


Maria Johann


Classification JEL

L83, M31


Tourists can discover a variety of benefits in tourism products, which are intended to satisfy their needs. However, their preferences differ according to travelers’ characteristics. The current study tries to examine favored choices made by tourists as well as their preferences regarding package holidays, and more precisely internal tourism product attributes (i.e. package tour attributes) and external tourism product attributes (i.e. destination attributes). The study attempts to answer the following questions: How are the motives behind traveling and tourism products preferences affected by cultural differences? How do the tourists perceive the importance of particular product attributes depending on the country of their origin? The surveyed sample of 463 tourists spent their holiday on coach tours in Poland in 2014–2015. They participated either in English-guided tours or Spanish/Portuguese-guided tours. Two sample groups differ with respect to travel motivations. The US, Canadian, and Australian travelers indicated Polish origins, interest, and family member as main factors influencing their decision to visit Poland, whereas tourists from Spain, Brazil, Portugal, and Argentina listed interest as the most important travel motive. Moreover, such factors as recommendations, tourist catalogues and travel agents influenced significantly Spanish and Portuguese speaking tourists’ decisions. All surveyed tourists attach high importance to such tour attributes as tour leader, organization and attractiveness of the program, and to the following destination attributes: safety, cleanliness, tourist attractions, and tourist information. However, a great number of product attributes was more important for English speaking tourists (e.g. social factors such as opportunity to meet new people, entertainment, possibility to communicate in English). Managers can draw many conclusions from this study. The most important one, however, is that they should concentrate on offering their clients a tailor-made, and culturally customized packages and adapt product sales strategies and communication strategies to selected target segments. Moreover, it is important to consider cultural differences in the product development process and to emphasize cultural sensitivity and competence as an important factor in providing services for tourists.


tourism product, tourism product attributes, package holidays, tourist motivation, cross-cultural differences.

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Please cite this article as: mbd (2017) Cross-cultural Differences in Tourism Product Preferences. International Conference on Marketing and Business Development.