Expert opinion: Travellers and their decision-making

Dr Nguyen Thai is an associate lecturer and Dr Ulku Yuksel is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School. Their research revolves around the decision-making process of travellers. 

Q: Do travellers face an overabundance of choice of destinations, and is this often a source of disappointment?

A: As one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world and with the advancements of the Internet, travellers nowadays have access to many holiday destinations and accommodation opportunities. Consequently, travellers face an overabundance of choices. Travellers may think more is better when it comes to decision-making, but research shows otherwise. Recent research by Dr Ulku Yuksel and Dr Nguyen Thai from The University of Sydney Business School finds that travellers are more content with their choice if they are given fewer options as exposure to abundance induces uncertainty with the final decision. Yet, intense competition prohibits travel companies from being able to supply limited offers. Some 610 lab and online experiments with Australians and Americans help researchers find a solution to destination marketers' dilemma: uplifting travellers' self-confidence with subliminal messages in advertisements mitigates the negative effects of overload. For example, reminding travellers of their skills in other areas of life such as food, sports, photography serves the purpose.