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Consumer Behavior in Tourism


In this course, we deal with a special context of consumer behaviour: consumer behaviour in an experiential setting. This context is closely related to a service context, where

  • we lack tangible goods (experiences are intangible);
  • purchases are often highly emotional and/ or associated with risk;
  • consumers are highly involved in the purchase decision (sometimes even also highly engaged);
  • the uno actu in services results in special consumption settings (co-production, pricing, and the like).

We shall discuss a number of general consumer behaviour models but also go in-depth with a number of different issues related to the topic of the course. We further discuss selected empirical results mostly with the scope of the country in which USI is in: Switzerland.

At the end of this course, the students are familiar with the following topics related to consumer behaviour in tourism:

  • general models describing and explaining consumer behaviour
  • specifics in tourism influencing the way we view consumer behaviour in tourism (mostly stemming from a service perspective)
  • model specifics with regard to consumer behaviour in tourism
  • selection of special topics in consumer behaviour in tourism

The marking (grades given) will be based on a 60’ written exam, closed book at the end of the course/ semester. Students are expected to prepare the lectures by scanning the 1st tier readings/ papers in such a way that they can participate in a discussion about the content of the papers. 2nd tier papers are for further reading.



Laesser C.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
Master of Arts in Economics and Communication in International Tourism, Core course, Fundamental knowledges, 1st year