web analytics

Trip Motivation

Guest (shopper) Trip Motivation design and consulting
An understanding of guest trip motivation helps guide experience design.

We routinely suggest that as a first step in any retail or entertainment design, to review the guest (shopper) “trip motivation” of end users – the customer, shopper, guest, or patron – of the facility. And as well, to evaluate the competitive position of each facility against such end-user trip motivations.


“Trip motivation” is simply … what is the reason for a particular person or group to leave their home or hotel room, to take part in an out-of-home experience? And we’d note that not all out-of-home experiences are leisure-time or as individuals and small groups of friends … some of these experiences are corporate, travel, and larger group oriented.


Some questions that guest (shopper) trip motivation seeks to answer are:


  • How do people decide what to do with their leisure-time, once they decide to leave their home or hotel room?
  • How does this change by day of week, or month, or time of year?
  • Apart from residents, visitors, and daytrippers, businesses have their own reasons for leaving the office, or hotel room …
  • And are consumers acting alone or with others, whether family, friends, associates, or common interest strangers?


Most destination places do not compete strongly in all types of guest (shopper) trip-motivation, but rather, most destination places tend to be (or better be) “category killers” in several.   So-called “location-based entertainment” facilities are a good example of destination places with strong consumer appeal in just a few key categories of out-of-home behavior..  Since first creating and undertaking research about this kind of consumer behavior, we have benefitted by additional data and geofencing capabilities available from 3rd-party providers of consumer locations (footfalls).

Let’s Go Out to Eat!

Most people dine or drink something, as part of taking part in an out-of-home experience.

Let’s Do Something Special!

A destination place can be a location for special and/or commemorative occasions, if a sufficient number of and choice of venues and activities is in place that can be booked in advance (so-called “plan-ahead” events) … to do “something special.”

Let’s Party (Celebrate)!

Providing an overall environment for an exciting “night out” or day excursion, can be a key in making a destination attractive, e.g. a fun setting for revelers at any age – even a “party central” for a region.   A celebratory mood can be a key aspect of out-of-home guest (shopper) trip motivation.

Just hanging out with friends and family, is one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
Let’s Go Hang Out!

Communities typically have a small number of select destination places that all acknowledged as one of the community’s gathering places – a central place where people go for a communal experience.

An activity with one's significant other, a couple, or spouse, is one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
Let’s Have a Couples (Spouses) Night Out!

For many spouses and couples on holiday or simply at home on a night (or day) out, enjoying an evening of fun and togetherness together, in a romantic setting, is an essential part of life’s experience.

Let’s Go to the Movies!

Movie-going is one of the time-tested entertainment activities that has endured more than a century of competition for consumer leisure time;  and most people enjoy dining either before or after their trip to the cinema.

Doing something with the kids - a family outing - is one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
Let’s Do Something With the Kids!

During their available leisure time, most parents look for easy ways to participate in parent-child activities.   Doing something with kids is one of the major categories of out-of-home guest (shopper) trip motivation.

Let’s Go Browsing (Shopping)!

Browsing refers to shopping  when shopping is a recreational activity – an exploration – not typically a  purposeful trip for a particular item.

I’m Feeling Impulsive!

Impulsive behavior is an interesting social phenomena, that can be encouraged while people are engaged in their leisure-time pursuits.  Impulsive behavior is part of the expectation for some destination places – like fairs, festivals, even casinos.

Visiting friends and relatives, are one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
We’ve Got Visiting Friends (or Relatives)!

From time to time, people will host visiting family and friends … in their homes and in their communities.  Destination places regularly fulfill this role by offering a compelling experience to merit a “visitor” trip.  In the leisure-time industry, such visitors are referred to as “visiting friends and relatives.”

The holidays - of all kinds - are one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
Hey, It’s a Holiday!

Gathering places become communal places during holidays, when a host facility accepts the role.  The best of community and regional gathering places (destination places) seek to “own the holidays.

Enjoying one's hobbies at classes or shopping, is one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
I Love My Hobbies!

People have all manner of activities that they pursue in their leisure time, simply because of their own personal interests.   Special event programs, and stores, can include events programmed around special hobbies and interests.

Let’s Learn Something (Enrichment)!

People devote some of their available leisure-time to enrichment, learning, education – whether for themselves or for their spouses, family, or team-mates.

Shopping to buy a gift, is one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
I Need to Buy a Gift!

Searching for just the right gift can lead many out-of-home in their process.  As well, tourists often look for and purchase gifts for their family and friends.   A destination place can be either an explicit gift-buying place or an experiential gift to confer on someone.

Let’s Host a Group Event!

Developers of great destination places typically find that corporate and social event planners seek out such places to host unique group events. Such unique gatherings can include small group events, teambuilding, company events, family celebrations, weddings, and the like.

We’ve Got Errands!

In a busy world, consumers increasingly “bundle” their trips for efficiency. Providing some solutions for errands on-site at a destination place, can be helpful in encouraging bundling.

Working out at gyms and fitness clubs, has become one type of guest-trip motivation for out-of-home behavior.
Let’s Work Out!

Many destination places are not simply entertainment, retail or recreation destinations, but are community “town centers” as well – a hub of local and regional activities.   Those seeking workouts particularly in group settings, are an interesting category of guest trip motivation.

Guest (Shopper) Trip Motivation” methodology implies a design that satisfies the consumer “trip desire,” – the behavioral motivation – not the place-product.   As an example, a parent seeking an excursion with their kids, may find a go-kart track, a children’s museum, or a mall visit, as equal satisfiers among their children.   A children’s museum competes with all these various place-types for satisfying their “do something with the kids” trip motivation.  The children’s museum does not compete simply with other children’s museums for consumer visits.

Contact us for more information, we'll enjoy hearing from you.