Sydney, NSW Australia

Choosing where to go

People don’t choose to visit a place for a single reason. There are several motives, and at any given time, some are more important than others.

An audio graphic equaliser with its coloured bars moving up and down is a helpful image.

Among the motives are:

  • Exploration - learning, discovering, exploring
  • Bonding - being with others, social rewards, company
  • Simplification - destressing, relaxing, being more focussed.

Apart from libraries, very few people visit leisure venues alone in their home city or town. People visit in groups of family, friends, or workmates. Each group tends to have an organiser—a “social secretary”—for whom a visit must go well. The “bonding” motive is a key driver for them and so, is important in shaping the group decision..

Differing views within a group of possible experiences at a particular place can be a significant but usually undiscussed reason for a person to reject a possible destination. For example, some people visiting a folk museum to see old farming machinery might want to see the machinery restored and shiny as if it came straight from some old-world showroom. Their companion might want it to be “as discovered” and still attached to the invisible “cobwebs” of the past. One of them will surely be disappointed and say, “I said I wasn’t interested in museums”.