Profiling for sustainable tourism: Young travellers’ self-transcendence values and motivations

Elena Cavagnaro, Simona Staffieri, Angelo Carrieri, Kevin Burns, Nan Chen, University Macera

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Young people seek meaningful, participative, and co-created experiences. Yet young tourists seem less attracted than expected by tourism offers that emphasise involvement, such as sustainable tourism. A possible explanation lies in values and travel motivations specific to young travellers. Although travel motivations have been extensively researched, few have attempted to categorize the resulting list of travel motivations. Research on values is systematized but has limited predictive power because it is generally conducted without reference to immediate causes of behaviour such as motivations. This study proposes to segment young travellers using values and motivations simultaneously and, to account for socio-economic conditions, to investigate young travellers in China and Italy. Multivariate analysis revealed clusters that offer strong opportunities for a sustainable tourism proposition both in the Italian and the Chinese sample. Out of the other identified clusters, some offer similar opportunities yet require a different framing of the tourism offer, while some seem only interested in hedonic experiences. How this more sophisticated picture of young tourists may account for their tepidity towards sustainable tourism is discussed, alongside limitations, suggestions for future research, and a reflection about the re-start of European tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Youth tourism
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Youth tourism segment
  • Chinese culture
  • Italian Culture
  • After Covid-19 tourism


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