1.1 Purposes of the study
2 Literature review
2.1 Consumer behavior in tourism
3.3 Statistical procedures
4.1 Latent structure
4.2 Correlation relationships
4.3 Mediating relationships
List of Figures
4.1 The distribution of tourist perception
4.2 The distribution of tourist attitude
4.3 The distribution of tourist behavior
4.4 Direct pathway
4.5 Indirect pathway: Partially mediating relationship
B.1 Correlation relationships
List of Tables
4.1 Means, standard deviations and correlations
This paper reports on a study of consumer behavior in tourism: A mediation analysis of attitude. Authors surveyed approximately 550 tourists in the north of Vietnam to assess levels of consumer behavior including perception, attitude and behavior. Independent variables included region and the gender of tourists. Although there are no region and gender differences in consumer behavior, correlations and mediating relationships are found.
Keywords: Consumer behavior, tourism, perception, attitude and behavior
In recent years in Vietnam, a considerable amount of effort has been devoted to understanding the processes by which consumers arrive at some type of decision (usually a choice to purchase). Despite the attention this topic has received, a large portion of the variance in consumer choice has yet to be explained. The present paper is an attempt to account for some of this unexplained variance. Some researchers have tended to apply decision models which have been borrowed from other areas of inquiry (e.g., social psychology, economics, and cognitive psychology). Other researchers have focused on cognitive processing that occurs immediately prior to the act of purchase (or selection). Yet many decisions are made repeatedly or frequently over time and thus involve continuous-as opposed to discrete-processing . Deshpande et al. (1983) proposed a view which attempts to describe consumer decision making in situations that involve repeated purchases over time and that can be typically considered as low in importance or involvement. There are some tactics, these tactics could be related to price (e.g., “buy the cheapest brand” or “buy the brand on sale”), performance (“buy the brand which works the best”), affect (“buy the most pleasing brand”), or normative factors (“buy the same brand my mother buys”) . It is important to note that these tactics are even more simple and involve less effort than many of the heuristics already suggested in the consumer literature . Ivan Wen et al. (2016) examined the relationship between the Internet and purchase decision making. The authors paid attention to issues such as causes and consequences of information overload and consumer confusion, and interacting effects associated with communication channels and consumer behavior .
1.1 Purposes of the study
In this paper, we address the limitation in the literature, and examine the mediator role of Attitude on the relationship between Perception and Behavior in consumer behavior of the tourists in Vietnam.
The following hypotheses (Hs) are proposed in relation to the consequences of the main factors:
H1: The survey will show adequate factorial validity as a measure of consumer behavior in tourism
H2: The mean levels of perception, attitude, and behavior are significantly different
H3: The latent factors of consumer behavior are correlated
H4: There is a significant relationship between attitude and behavior
H5: The effect of perception on behavior is partially mediated by attitude.
2.1 Consumer behavior in tourism
Consumer behavior involves certain decisions, activities, ideas or experiences that satisfy consumer needs and wants. Consumer behavior in tourism is more than buying things; it also embraces the study of how having (or not having) things affects our lives and how possessions influence the way we feel about ourselves and each other-our state of being .
The analysis of consumer behavior in tourism requires the consideration of various processes internal and external to the individual. To understand behavior, it is necessary to examine the complex interaction of many influencing elements. Moutinho (1987) dealed with determinants of behavior, culture and reference group influences, the relationships between individuals and their environments, perceived risks, and family decision processes . Dimanche et al. (1995) examined the literature related to four prevalent topical areas associated with consumber behavior in recreational and touristic contexts: Ego involvement, loyalty and commitment, family decision-making, and novelty seeking .
The complex decision-making process leading to the choice of a travel destination has not been well researched. Lam and Hsu (2006) test the applicability of the theory of planned behavior to destination choice decisions and suggest that it can explain the link between attitudes and behavior in this context .
The emergence of social commerce has brought substantial changes to both businesses and consumers. Hence, understanding consumer behavior in the context of social commerce has become critical for companies that aim to better influence consumers and harness the power of their social ties. Zhang and Benyoucef (2016) conduct a systematic review of social commerce studies to explicate how consumers behave on social networking sites. They classify these studies, discuss noteworthy theories, and identify important research methods. More importantly, they draw upon the stimulusorganismresponse model and the five-stage consumer decision-making process to propose an integrative framework for understanding consumer behavior in this context . This framework can provide a useful basis for future social commerce research.
Recently, social media has become a recognized important channel for tourism information, with user-generated content being more trusted than official channels, yet there is little knowledge about its potential role in activating pro-environmental norms. Han Wei et al. (2018) proposed a hypothetical model to explain the direct and indirect effects of pro-environmental user-generated content in activating tourists’ pro-environmental behavioral intentions. The study highlights the effectiveness of social media channels with user-generated content providing persuasive communications able to impact sustainable behaviors .
Perception is described as “the process by which an individual selects, organises and interprets stimuli in a meaningful and coherent way” . Stimuli affect the senses, whether auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory and/or taste, and individuals selectively organise perceptions into meaningful relationships, with interpretation influenced by social and personal factors. Consumers typically perceive what they are expecting; this is usually based on familiarity, previous experience, values and motivations . Accordingly, perceptions remain one of the most engrossing concepts in marketing. Studies of perceptions are abundant in tourism; however, few define or discuss the concept of perception before employing it. As theory on perception is drawn into consumer behavior from cognitive psychology, research on consumer perceptions tends to analyse cognitive elements in the perceptual process , often at the expense of affective elements.
Differences in perceptions often lead to variations in conation, or behavioral intent; a key implication of this for tourism is that perceptions, like attitudes, are crucial in constructing visitor involvement, destination image, satisfaction and service quality . Similarly, perceived service quality remains another topical area of research in tourism where perceptions are of importance. It is well accepted that differences may exist between consumers’ expected and perceived service quality .
Besides studies of image formation and service quality, perceptions research in tourism often focuses on perceptions of risk and safety, dealing for example with visitors’ perceptions of crime , terrorism and disease, sensation seeking and trips to risky destinations . Recent novel applications concentrate on tourists’ perceptions of medical tourism across differing national cultures , how wine and food festival managers can manipulate event attributes to shape positive consumer perceptions . These studies, amongst others, signal that the vitality of perceptions research in tourism is likely to continue as researchers track consumer perceptions of changing social, political, environmental, technological and service-related issues.
Attitudes are generally understood as a person’s degree of favorableness or unfavorableness with respect to a psychological object . It is a learnt behavior and a function of the consumer’s perception and assessment of the key attributes or beliefs towards a particular object. Evaluation is thus the main component of attitudinal responses, as individuals evaluate, based on their accessible beliefs, concepts, objects and behavior along dimensions such as good-bad or like-dislike . Attitudes are central to the theory on consumer decision-making, as classical views on attitude theory suggest attitudes predict behavior . However, contemporary social psychological research on attitudes questions the stability of attitudes, as they may shift as contextual factors (such as how issues are framed or affective states) change . This challenges the predictive and explanatory power of the Theory of Planned Behavior, which is premised on attitudes towards a behavior (along with subjective norms and perceived behavioral control) leading to the comparable behavioral intention. This dilemma is central in relation to the reported “attitude-behavior gap” in consumer behavior , which we examine the mediator relationship when we put Perception as independent variable.
Studies on consumer attitudes in the tourism literature address a diverse range of issues, such as post-trip attitude change towards hosts , attitudinal differences towards complaining across hotel customers of different nationalities , cross-cultural female evaluations of souvenir cultural textile products  and the attitudes of air travellers to using registered traveller biometric systems . Additional work in tourism is needed on the impacts of emotions and moods in attitude formation, as affective states are shown to colour evaluative judgements  such as satisfaction, destination/brand loyalty and personal involvement of consumers. This includes, for example, accounting for consumer mood and affect when measuring attitudinal responses to service, destination and supplier brands . Furthermore, consumer behavior research in tourism should aim to contribute back to the wider consumer behavior and social-psychological literature on attitude-behavior relations, as the affective elements bound up with spaces of hedonic tourism consumption are of significance for broader consumption and human behavior modelling.