To read this content please select one of the options below:

Going where the Joneses go: understanding how others influence travel decision‐making

Russell R. Currie (University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada)
Franz Wesley (University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada)
Paul Sutherland (King's Christian School, Salmon Arm, Canada)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




The purpose of this study is to examine if an evoke set exists for pleasure travelers based on the past and future travel destinations of their peer groups.


Researchers distributed a questionnaire to university students enrolled in the same program. The literature review suggests four ways in which peers can influence individuals: not to travel influence, direct influence, indirect influence, and shared goal of future destination influence. Results from the respondents provide data for correlation analysis based on these four types of peer influence.


The findings support previous researchers demonstrating a strong influence of peer reference groups on service purchase decisions, specifically tourism destination choice. Given a relatively small sample population, all four types of peer reference found support in the data.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are related to sample size and the homogeneity of the sample. Because, the respondents were in the same life stage, their peer groups were similar to all. Consequently, no comparative analysis specifically identifying peers and the degree of proximity at different stages of life was possible.


Very few studies focus specifically on the nature of peer group influence on service purchase behavior, related specifically with travel destination decision‐making. By recognizing travel patterns of individuals and understanding the influences causing these patterns, tourism marketers and planners have a greater understanding of the mechanisms of peer influence in pleasure travel destination choice.



Currie, R.R., Wesley, F. and Sutherland, P. (2008), "Going where the Joneses go: understanding how others influence travel decision‐making", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 12-24.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles