Tourism research has long recognized the complexity of many decisions that tourists make and proposed models to describe and analyze tourist decision processes. This article complements this previous research by proposing a view that moves away from the process of making a decision and instead investigates how tourists mentally represent the decision problem. Mental representations of travel decision problems allow tourists to evaluate the decision utility of the different available alternatives before they are chosen. We discuss the modeling and measurement of tourists' mental representations of complex travel decision problems and provide directions for future research that focuses on the dynamics of tourist mental representations both within a single travel decision framework and over the tourist travel life cycle.

dynamics in tourist decision making, mental representations of decision problems, tourist decisions
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0047287513506297, hdl.handle.net/1765/65526
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Travel Research
Erasmus School of Economics

Dellaert, B.G.C, Arentze, T.A, & Horeni, O. (2014). Tourists' Mental Representations of Complex Travel Decision Problems. Journal of Travel Research, 53(1), 3–11. doi:10.1177/0047287513506297