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A cannabis festival in urban space: visitors' motivation and travel activity

Soo K. Kang (Hospitality Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)
Jaeseok Lee (Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macao SAR, China)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 5 March 2021

Issue publication date: 14 May 2021




The present study aimed at classifying cannabis festival attendees based on their motivation and travel activities, profiling the resultant latent groups with demographic and travel characteristics and examining the association between the groups.


With a quantitative-exploratory approach, this study collected 392 out-of-state visitors' responses to a cannabis festival in Denver, Colorado and classified them according to their motivation and activity participation. Using the classification results, the study profiled the festival visitors based on their demographic and travel characteristics. Latent class analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and cross-tabulation were employed.


The results revealed that festival visitors were categorized into four latent groups by motivation and three latent groups by travel activity participation. Regarding motivation, the cannabis seekers (relatively young, White/Caucasian and residents in liberal states) and multi-purpose seekers (relatively young, Black/African American and residents in conservative states) were strongly motivated by cannabis-related factors. For travel activity participation, moderate participants were more likely to be first-time visitors, whereas active and passive participants were classified as repeat visitors.


The current study filled the research gap in the quantitative exploration of cannabis tourism industry in general and cannabis festival segment specifically. The findings contribute to (1) better understanding of out-of-state visitors' motivation and travel behaviors while attending a cannabis themed festival and (2) serving as a seminal work in the context of cannabis tourism literature since the recreational cannabis legalization in the United States.



Kang, S.K. and Lee, J. (2021), "A cannabis festival in urban space: visitors' motivation and travel activity", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 142-162.



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