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May 14, 2012

You’ll be a happier traveler if you don’t idealize the places you visit

“Professor James Petrick of Texas A&M, who focuses on psychology and marketing and their application to tourism, has studied when tourists return to destinations or hotels they’ve visited before. Like many in the field, he believes meeting expectations is a key factor. The take-away for travelers: don’t idealize the places you’re visiting and you’ll be much happier in the end. In an interview, Professor Petrick said that one way we can do that is to distinguish between “organic” and “induced” images of a place. In other words, if travelers can discern what a beach destination or a hotel room really looks like (rather than being suckered by a misleading ad campaign or Web site), they will be much happier in the end — a call for us to look carefully for honest photos and unbiased information.”
–Seth Kugel, “Travel Lessons From the World of Academia,” New York Times, Dec. 12, 2011

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