The purpose of this paper is to expand and empirically test a model of tourist external information search behaviour.
A conceptual model was developed based on the “three‐pronged approach,” an approach that is used to cross validate among the results from literature review, expert interviews, and an exploratory field study in order to confirm and propose a reliable conceptual model. A confirmatory factor analysis was then performed to ensure that the constructs were valid and reliable. Structural equation modeling was used to test the conceptual model and its hypotheses.
The results revealed six variables that are significantly related to tourists' external information search behavior. Four of these variables had not been identified previously. These are as follows: information sources usefulness and accessibility, subjective norms, perceived personal risk, and ability to search.
The issue of model generalization should be taken into account because the samples were limited to non‐group tour and first time visited tourists. Further research should consider other tourist groups.
The results from this study provide useful information for both government and tourism‐related businesses in planning marketing communication strategies to help promote Thailand as a travel destination.
By proposing a managerial modeling based on theoretical foundations and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative approaches, this study is among the first that expands the model of tourist external information search behavior by fully exploring the determinants of external information search behavior and integrates the theory of planned behavior into the model.
Erawan, T., Krairit, D. and Ba Khang, D. (2011), "Tourists' external information search behavior model: the case of Thailand", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 297-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465661111183702
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