Does life satisfaction of tourists increase if they set travel goals that have high positive valence?

Stefan Kruger, M. Joseph Sirgy, Dong Jin Lee, Grace Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The setting of a traveler's goals can influence the traveler's life satisfaction. The travel goal valence principle states that life satisfaction of tourists is high when their travel goals are related more to (1) intrinsic than extrinsic motives, (2) abstract than concrete desired states, (3) growth than basic needs, (4) approach of desired states than avoidance of undesired states, (5) deprived than nondeprived needs, and (6) flow than nonflow activities. The main purpose of this study is to test the theoretical propositions stemming from the travel goal valence principle in the context of leisure travel to a national wildlife park (Study 1) and leisure travel experienced recently (Study 2). In Study 1 a convenience sampling technique was used by means of a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 228 fully completed questionnaires were received. Study 2 made use of a web-based survey and a random sample technique was used. A total of 254 questionnaires were used in the statistical calculations of Study 2. The results from both studies indicated that traveler/tourist's life satisfaction can be increased when they have intrinsic goals, growth-based goals, and goals related to flow activities. To enhance traveler/tourist well-being, it is recommended that marketers in the tourism industry implement programs and services guided by the goal valence model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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