Predicting tourist role preference across the life course

Date of Completion

January 2001






Prior research shows that age, gender, education, income, marital status, and family composition all influence vacation style. Another body of research suggests that vacation style may also be associated with psychological needs. The proposed study addressed the question: which needs and sociodemographic characteristics predict tourist role preference at different stages of the life course? Using the Tourist Role Preference Scale (TRPS) developed by Yiannakis and Gibson (1992) and Gibson (1994), the potential for needs and sociodemographic characteristics to predict tourist role preference over the life course was examined. Separate models for males and females were generated. A purposive sample ((N = 2076), stratified by gender and age) was used for this research. Logistic regression models were employed to determine which needs and sociodemographic variables predict tourist role preference at each stage of the life course. The results support three conclusions concerning the use of needs and sociodemographic variables to predict tourist roles: needs alone predict roles across the life course; sociodemographic variables alone are marginal predictors of tourist role preference; and the combination of needs and sociodemographic variables offers the best prediction of tourist role preference across the life course. The findings are discussed in the framework of Levinson's (Levinson et al., 1978; Levinson, 1996) theory of the adult life course. ^