Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor


Committee Members



The primary objective of this dissertation was to examine the phenomenon of slow tourism by exploring tourists’ motivations and end-state values of slow tourism. Two research questions were developed: What are the important attributes, consequences/ benefits, and end-state values of slow tourism that travelers perceive? What are the structural relationships among attributes, consequences, and values of slow tourism? To address the questions, this dissertation applied a mixed method design by which both qualitative and quantitative investigations were performed.

First, building upon means-end chain theory (Reynolds & Gutman, 1988), in-depth interviews with slow travelers were conducted and were analyzed by laddering and hierarchical value map (HVM). The findings of the qualitative study (Study 1) identified nine important attributes of slow tourism (i.e., hiking, self-paced activities, slow mobility, solo travel, culture/history/art, volunteering, local cuisine/restaurants/cafés, local shops, and concern for the environment) representing local and personal attributes); ten consequences associated with attributes in slow travel experiences (i.e., intimate contact with nature, flexibility in planning and time constraints, exploring local destinations, connections with people, supporting communities, environmental cleanup, mental unwinding and relaxation, fun/enjoyment/excitement, local immersion, and enrichment.) reflecting operative and psychological consequences; and seven personal values driving from the consequences of instrumental and terminal values (slow lifestyle, defying stereotypes, genuine and authentic experiences, happiness, self-awareness, self-confidence, and sense- of achievement) in slow tourism context.

Next, based on the findings of Study 1, the survey study (Study 2) tested the proposed conceptual model and hypothesized relationships using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis. The findings of Study 2 offered overall support for the dynamics of attributes – consequences – values – loyalty intentions links while two paths (local attributes to psychological consequences and operative consequences to terminal values) associations were turned out to be insignificant. Slow tourists may not experience psychological effects from experiencing certain local attributes in that local features may attract travelers to a destination and involved them in travel activities, rather than directly influencing their emotional outcomes. In addition, a variety of slow travel activities may not motivate tourists to achieve end-states.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."