The choice overload (CO) phenomenon, whereby having many options leads to negative consequences, has been studied widely in psychology and marketing. However, empirical evidence of CO in the tourism context is limited, even though people often encounter numerous choices (e.g., vacation destinations, airfares, hotels, tours) at different stages when planning their holidays. Investigating CO in tourism and hospitality is important because (online) travel advisors are providing tourists with numerous choices, yet they do not know whether or not these decision makers are content after choosing from these large choice sets. This chapter proposes to review and apply insights garnered from the CO literature to tourism research. Accordingly, the chapter proposes five groups of solutions for tourists and travel advisors to avoid CO effects: reducing decision task difficulty, reducing choice-set complexity, reducing preference uncertainty, focusing on decision goals rather than the means to achieve those goals, and adopting appropriate decision-making styles.
The authors gratefully thank Prof. Alain Decrop for his helpful comments and suggestions.
Thai, N.T. and Yuksel, U. (2017), "What Can Tourists and Travel Advisors Learn from Choice Overload Research?", Consumer Behavior in Tourism and Hospitality Research (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1871-317320170000013001
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