Activities as the critical link between motivation and destination choice in cultural tourism

Anneli Douglas, Gijsbert Hoogendoorn, Greg Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to determine the motivations of a select group of South Africans in terms of their potential engagement with cultural tourism; more specifically, the study set out to show whether these motivations influence the cultural activities that the tourists want to participate in and whether their interest in specific cultural activities determines their destination choices. Furthermore, the mediating role of activities in the relationship between cultural motivations and destination choice was also assessed. Design/methodology/approach: An online panel survey collected responses from 1,530 potential cultural tourists across South Africa. Hypotheses were tested, using structural equation modelling. Findings: The results show that tourists' motivations for cultural tourism influence their likelihood of participating in specific cultural activities. Cultural tourism is shown to be influenced by more than learning and includes entertainment, relaxation, novelty and escape dimensions. There also seems to be a difference in the activities engaged in by destination type. For example, tourists likely to take part in indigenous cultural tourism activities are more likely to do so at hedonic destinations. Practical implications: This paper contributes to the understanding of cultural tourism activities, aiding destinations in attracting cultural tourists. Destinations need to develop activities that match visitor motivations, increase satisfaction and encourage visitors to return. Originality/value: The paper increases the understanding of cultural tourism in South Africa and underlines the importance of communities in providing distinctive tourism activities. The study also has an important social dimension, highlighting the role of social status in cultural tourism consumption and destination selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-271
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2024


  • Activities
  • Cultural tourists
  • Destination choice
  • Indigenous tourism
  • Motivations
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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