Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management., Cultural and economic geography, Urban studies (Planning and development)

Publication Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. Vol 5 (2), pp 158-172.



The purpose of this paper is to examine the city break travel decision and in particular to develop a decision making model that reflects the characteristics of this type of trip taking.


The research follows a sequential mixed methods approach consisting of two phases. Phase One involves a quantitative survey of 1,000 visitors to Dublin, from which city break and non city break visitor cohorts are separated and compared. Phase Two entails a qualitative analysis (involving 40 in-depth interviews) that specifically examines the decision making behaviour of city break visitors.


City break trips were shown to be relatively inexpensive, uncomplicated, and discretionary in nature. The city break travel decision was seen to emerge from quite distinct motives where situational factors proved particularly influential. The decision process mostly entailed low involvement / limited problem solving behaviour with strong internet usage evident throughout.


The findings show that many traditional decision making models have problems incorporating contemporary travel decisions such as city breaks. This is because they generally fail to recognise a non systematic approach to decision making, where the process is not necessarily undertaken in distinctive stages, and where emotional elements are just as relevant as functional ones. This study supports the need for a range of models that are reflective of the differences that exist in travel decision making - models that can distinguish the specific nuances and characteristics of particular decision situations.