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Vacation stress: the development of a vacation stress model among US vacation travelers

Anita Zehrer (Deputy Head Tourism Business Studies, Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Innsbruck, Austria)
John C. Crotts (Professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 24 August 2012




The purpose of this study is to develop a vacation stress model that shows the influence exerted by internal and external stressors on the overall stress appraisal of US residents.


The paper undertakes a review of the relevant literature and develops a SEM model for vacation stress, which is tested with data from a national panel of 110 US residents who report on taking a recent vacation.


The model shows that vacation stress is a multi‐dimensional concept. Vacation stress can be operationalized by pre‐trip stressors, travel stressors and destination stressors, which again can be internally or externally caused and correlate with one another. Destination stressors are the strongest dimension determining overall vacation stress. Vacation stress has more impact on the willingness to revisit than on the willingness to recommend the same destination to friends and relatives.

Practical implications

The study presents some practical implications for tourism marketers revealing that stress is multi‐dimensional and influenced by several types of stressors.


The notion that leisure activities such as taking a vacation may act as a means of coping with stress, is a common belief. However, research framed under transactional theory suggests that taking a vacation trip may actually cause stress. The paper attempts to provide a model to determine which factors cause overall vacation stress.



Zehrer, A. and Crotts, J.C. (2012), "Vacation stress: the development of a vacation stress model among US vacation travelers", Tourism Review, Vol. 67 No. 3, pp. 41-55.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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