Navigating tourist preferences: The role of cognitive shortcuts in destination choice




Cognitive Shortcuts, Tourist Destination Choice, Destination Image, Consumer Behavior, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs)


Theoretical research explores the intricate process of tourist destination selection, focusing on cognitive psychology and cognitive shortcuts. These cognitive shortcuts, which simplify decision-making, are studied in the context of visitor choices. Drawing from cognitive psychology, consumer behavior, and tourism studies, the study comprehensively examines cognitive heuristics, how they relate to perception, motivation, trust, and preferences. Influential factors include destination image, marketing, risk perception, and culture. The study not only enhances understanding but also offers practical insights for Destination Management Organizations. Strategies include shaping destination image, addressing travel risks, and reducing choice overload. In essence, this research illuminates the cognitive shortcuts shaping tourist preferences and provides guidance for adapting to the evolving travel landscape.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Yusuf Karakuş, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University

He completed his undergraduate education at Erciyes University, Department of Tourism Management and Hotel Management. He prepared his Ph.D thesis titled "New product development model for touristic regions: An application on Nevsehir province" at Nevsehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University in 2017 and earned the title of Doctor. He started to work as Assis. Prof. at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Ardeşen Vocational High School in 2021 and as of 2023, he has been working as Assoc. Prof. at Ardeşen Tourism Faculty.

His reserch interest areas: Tourism product, Destination marketing and management, Decision making in tourism research.


Ali, M. R., Khan, A. G., Islam, M. N., & Akram, U. (2022). Determinants of Panic Buying During COVID-19: Causes and Consequences. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences.

Bandara, D. M. D. (2021). Impact of Social Media Advertising on Consumer Buying Behaviour: With Special Reference to Fast Fashion Industry. Sri Lanka Journal of Marketing.

Baoku, L., Cuixia, Z., & Weimin, B. (2010). An Empirical Study on the Decision‐making Styles of the Chinese Peasant Consumers. Journal of Consumer Marketing.

Barberis, N. C. (2013). Thirty years of prospect theory in economics: A review and assessment. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27(1), 173–196.

Belisle, F. J., & Hoy, D. R. (1980). The perceived impact of tourism by residents a case study in Santa Marta, Colombia. Annals of Tourism Research, 7(1), 83–101.

Bilynets, I., Cvelbar, L. K., & Dolnicar, S. (2021). Can Publicly Visible Pro-Environmental Initiatives Improve the Organic Environmental Image of Destinations? Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Bilynets, I., Knezevic Cvelbar, L., & Dolnicar, S. (2023). Can publicly visible pro-environmental initiatives improve the organic environmental image of destinations? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 31(1), 32–46.

Blanchette, I., & Richards, A. (2010). The influence of affect on higher level cognition: A review of research on interpretation, judgement, decision making and reasoning. Cognition & Emotion, 24(4), 561–595.

Chi, C. G.-Q., Chua, B. L., Othman, M., & Ab Karim, S. (2013). Investigating the Structural Relationships Between Food Image, Food Satisfaction, Culinary Quality, and Behavioral Intentions: The Case of Malaysia. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 14(2), 99–120.

Chon, K. (1992). The role of destination image in tourism: An extension. The Tourist Review, 47(1), 2–8.

Dan, N. T. T., & Ngoc, P. T. K. (2023). Factors Influencing Consumer Buying Behavior of Confectionery Products of Domestic Enterprises: An Empirical Study in Hanoi.

Dao, N. T. B. (2019). A Perception Into Food Image and Revisit Intention for Local Cuisine From Foreign Tourist Perspective – The Case of Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam. European Journal of Business Management and Research.

Del Campo, C., Pauser, S., Steiner, E., & Vetschera, R. (2016). Decision making styles and the use of heuristics in decision making. Journal of Business Economics, 86, 389–412.

Ehrlinger, J., Readinger, W. O., & Kim, B. (2016). Decision-making and cognitive biases. Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 12(3), 83–87.

Erasmus, A. C., Boshoff, E., & Rousseau, G. G. (2001). Consumer decision-making models within the discipline of consumer science: a critical approach. Journal of Consumer Sciences, 29.

Falcone, R., Colì, E., Felletti, S., Sapienza, A., Castelfranchi, C., & Paglieri, F. (2020). All we need is trust: How the COVID-19 outbreak reconfigured trust in Italian public institutions. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 561747.

Frederiks, E. R., Stenner, K., & Hobman, E. V. (2015). Household energy use: Applying behavioural economics to understand consumer decision-making and behaviour. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41, 1385–1394.

Goldsmith, R. E., & Goldsmith, E. B. (2002). Buying Apparel Over the Internet. Journal of Product & Brand Management.

Herz, M. F., & Diamantopoulos, A. (2013). Activation of country stereotypes: automaticity, consonance, and impact. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41, 400–417.

Hisrich, R. D., Langan-Fox, J., & Grant, S. (2007). Entrepreneurship Research and Practice: A Call to Action for Psychology. American Psychologist.

Isa, N. F., Akhir, I. M., & Osman, S. (2021). The Effect of Consumer Experience on Food Delivery Apps. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences.

Jamali, N., & Jamil, M. (2021). The Effect of Marketing Communications on Consumer Decisions in Using the XL Cellular Card in Banda Aceh: Consumer Motivation a Mediation Variable. Ijer.

Josiassen, A., Assaf, A. G., Woo, L., & Kock, F. (2015). The Imagery–Image Duality Model. Journal of Travel Research.

Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Kahneman, D., & Kahneman, D. (1975). Attention and Effort. The American Journal of Psychology.

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (2013). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. In Handbook of the fundamentals of financial decision making: Part I (pp. 99–127). World Scientific.

Kahneman, D., Tversky, A., Evstigneev, I. V, Bahsoun, W., Taksar, M., MacLean, L. C., & Ziemba, W. T. (2013). Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk. Handbook of the Fundamentals of Financial Decision Making: Part I, 99–127.

Kannengiesser, U., & Gero, J. S. (2019). Design Thinking, Fast and Slow: A framework for Kahneman’s Dual-System Theory in Design. Design Science.

Karl, M., Muskat, B., & Ritchie, B. W. (2020). Which travel risks are more salient for destination choice? An examination of the tourist’s decision-making process. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 18(January), 100487.

Khan, S., Jamil, S., & Seraj, S. S. (2022). Consumer Buying Behavior Towards Online Shopping: A Sem Analysis of Financial Capability. Journal of Journalism Media Science & Creative Arts.

Khuong, M. N., & Ha, H. T. T. (2014). The influences of push and pull factors on the international leisure tourists’ return intention to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam--a mediation analysis of destination satisfaction. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 5(6), 490.

Kim, N., Lee, S., Lee, C.-K., & Suess, C. (2022). Predicting preventive travel behaviors under the COVID-19 pandemic through an integration of Health Belief Model and Value-Belief-Norm. Tourism Management Perspectives, 43, 100981.

Kusev, P., van Schaik, P., Ayton, P., Dent, J., & Chater, N. (2009). Exaggerated risk: prospect theory and probability weighting in risky choice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(6), 1487.

Li, C., McCabe, S., & Li, X. (2017). Digging Deeper Into Decision-Making of Chinese Long-Haul Outbound Tourists: A Two-Stage Preference - Estimation Approach. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management.

Li, Q., McCabe, S., & Xu, H. (2019). Always best or good enough? The effect of ‘mind-set’on preference consistency over time in tourist decision making. Annals of Tourism Research, 75, 186–201.

Lieder, F., Griffiths, T. L., Huys, Q. J. M., & Goodman, N. D. (2017). The Anchoring Bias Reflects Rational Use of Cognitive Resources. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Ling, K. C., Daud, D. Bin, Piew, T. H., Keoy, K. H., & Hassan, P. (2011). Perceived risk, perceived technology, online trust for the online purchase intention in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(6), 167.

Little, A. S., & Wu, S. J. (2021). Cognitive bias and neurosurgical decision making. Journal of Neurosurgery, 137(1), 307–312.

Lockton, D. (2012). Cognitive biases, heuristics and decision-making in design for behaviour change. Heuristics and Decision-Making in Design for Behaviour Change (August 5, 2012).

Mahliza, F. (2020). Consumer Trust in Online Purchase Decision. Epra International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (Ijmr).

McRorie, C. (2016). Rethinking Moral Agency in Markets: A Book Discussion on Behavioral Economics. Journal of Religious Ethics.

Minh, D. H. T., Linh, P. T. Y., Nhan, H. T., Trang, N. T. T., Uyen, T. L. N. T., Van, T. T. H., & Xuan, P. T. (2020). Factors Affecting Consumer’s Bargaining Behavior: the Case of Fashionable Clothing. Proceedings.

Molina, A., Gómez, M., & Martín-Consuegra, D. (2010). Tourism marketing information and destination image management. African Journal of Business Management, 4(5), 722.

Mubarok, M. S. (2018). The Effect of Brand Image and Consumer Attitudes on the Decision to Purchase Batik Jetis Sidoarjo Mediated by Interest to Buy. Journal of Economics, Business &Amp; Accountancy Ventura.

Pittman, M., & Haley, E. (2023). Cognitive Load and Social Media Advertising. M, 23(1), 33–54.

Putra, B. W., Rochman, F., & Noermijati, N. (2017). The Effect of Trust, Risk, and Web Design on Consumer Intention by Means of Consumer Attitude to Purchase Online. Jurnal Aplikasi Manajemen.

Salman, I., Turhan, B., & Vegas, S. (2019). A controlled experiment on time pressure and confirmation bias in functional software testing. Empirical Software Engineering, 24, 1727–1761.

Samsuranto, S. (2021). Perception and Motivation Analysis of Purchase Decisions in Lumajang. Jurnal Ilmu Manajemen Advantage.

Seneviratne, B. L. D. (2015). The Influence of Music Congruence and Message Complexity on the Response of Consumers to Advertisements.

Sharot, T., Fleming, S. M., Yu, X., Koster, R., & Dolan, R. J. (2012). Is Choice-Induced Preference Change Long Lasting? Psychological Science.

Thai, N. Q., & Yuksel, U. (2017). Choice Overload in Holiday Destination Choices. International Journal of Culture Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Trepel, C., Fox, C. R., & Poldrack, R. A. (2005). Prospect theory on the brain? Toward a cognitive neuroscience of decision under risk. Cognitive Brain Research, 23(1), 34–50.

Tsvakirai, C. Z., & Zulu, N. M. (2022). Investigating the motivations driving meat analogue purchase among middle-income consumers in Mbombela, South Africa. Agrekon, 61(2), 138–150.

Uyarra, M. C., Côté, I. M., Gill, J. A., Tinch, R., Viner, D., & Watkinson, A. R. (2005). Island-Specific Preferences of Tourists for Environmental Features: Implications of Climate Change for Tourism-Dependent States. Environmental Conservation.

Weng, Y. (2021). An Empirical Study on the Influence of the Mobile Information System on Sports and Fitness on the Choice of Tourist Destinations. Mobile Information Systems.

Yiamjanya, S., & Wongleedee, K. (2014). International tourists’ travel motivation by push-pull factors and the decision making for selecting Thailand as destination choice. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(5), 1348–1353.

Yucha, N., Ardianto, T., & K, B. P. (2022). Consumer Attitude, Consumer Trust, and Price Perception on Purchace Decision. Journal of Applied Management and Business (Jamb).




How to Cite

Karakuş, Y. (2023). Navigating tourist preferences: The role of cognitive shortcuts in destination choice. Tourist Destination, 1(1), 15–23.



Theoretical paper