Tourism activities inherently include the liminoid state of mind that impels people to go out of ordinary behavior, some of which is inversionary. The purpose of this paper is to explore travelers’ cruise behavior as related to their needs while entering and experiencing a cruise trip.
A total of 395 vacationers were sampled and surveyed about their selected top three factors for cruising, motivations for cruising and needs while cruising. The sample was grouped into inversioners and rejuvenators to see if there was any evidence of liminoid behavior in cruising needs and what they may be.
The results show that the important reasons to choose cruises for vacation are aligned with past literature showing that people choose cruises for vacation mostly for the good value of the food and beverage bundled with good climate, entertainment appropriate for quality time with family and for rest and relaxation. In addition, the results on motivations to go on a cruise show that lower-level needs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs have more importance than the higher-level needs.
The current study was conducted on an online platform. Future research with panels of cruise travelers across all the stages of liminoid behavior, before, during and after a cruise trip, may provide valuable findings in terms of changes in needs and motivations.
The inversionary tendency of cruise travelers implies for the cruise industry the need to create an alternative (or inversionary) routine restoring the basic needs, while still providing enough opportunities for self-actualization that may foster balanced travel experiences for human growth and development. Providing a more balanced product and service offering may be strategic for the cruise companies because the activities geared for higher-level needs may provide memorable experiences and hence induce consumer loyalty after the trip is completed.
The focus on eating and drinking during cruises may be providing cruise travelers with instant gratification during the span of the cruise. However, the consequences for the individual travelers, the industry, destinations and the environment may not be as gratifying. For a more responsible tourism, cruise travel may need an image makeover highlighting different packages within a cruise to better align with the desired needs of different segments of cruisers.
The study contributes to the understanding of the second or “transition” stage in liminal theory in tourism and is one of the first to examine the liminoid state of mind using a basic-needs approach for studying cruise traveler needs. Further, it contributes by exploring liminoid behavior of a group of people in the context of the same type of travel, cruise, rather than investigating liminoid behavior across different types of travel, thus allowing segmentation possibilities for the cruise industry.
Severt, D. and Tasci, A. (2020), "Cruising back to the basic needs", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-06-2019-0115Download as .RIS
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