Pursuing pleasure: Consumer value in leisure travel

Cynthia M. Webster, Vanessa A. Rennie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – Some consumption activities are inherently interesting, pleasurable, gratifying and potentially important to consumers' lives. The primary aim of this paper is to further understanding of the role pleasurable consumption plays in consumers' lives. Design/methodology/approach – To explore consumer value in pleasurable consumption experiences, the consumer value typology in conjunction with the subjective personal introspection (SPI) approach, is applied to experiences captured in travel photographs. Findings – Analysis identifies all eight consumer value types with play, aesthetics and, surprisingly, spirituality the most evident. Pleasure is shown as much more than immediate, self-gratification. Issues of competency, both active effort and appreciation of others' abilities, individual growth and development as well as sharing and feelings of relatedness are all important components of pleasure. Research limitations/implications – The use of consumer value as a conceptual framework in combination with a reflective tool such as SPI suggests not only alternative approaches for future research into pleasurable consumption, but also indicates some innovative strategies to put into practice. Practical implications – Communicating the different value types prior to consumption and incorporating active reflection, possibly could assist in improving consumers' enjoyment of their experiences which, in turn, could reduce post-purchase dissonance. Besides being used as a promotional tool to increase customer satisfaction, the consumer value framework could facilitate product bundling and possibly expand product benefits. Originality/value – The paper illustrates the multidimensional nature of pleasure through two research methods infrequently used, SPI and the photo essay, positioning both as valuable tools for exploring and enhancing pleasurable consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-344
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2011


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