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Mementos of Place: Souvenir Purchases at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal in Barbados

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As cultural artifacts, souvenirs can serve as mementos of place for the purchasers. Shopping for a souvenir is a cruise tourism activity, both on board and during port calls. tourists like to take home a reminder of their trip and portray different shopping behaviors when they are away from home. In addition to shopping for a memento of the trip tourists also purchase gifts for family and friends, influenced by the nature and availability of goods and how they are presented. this article contributes a new perspective on tourist shopping by examining purchase intentions, the role of retail atmospherics in the purchase decision, and purchases made by cruise visitors at the shopping precinct in the Bridgetown Cruise terminal in Barbados. A survey of 178 cruise visitors found that gender influences the souvenir purchase decision and that cruise tourists buy souvenirs based both on the nature of the item in terms of authenticity, size, weight, and quality and as a memento of place. further, it was found that high-quality window displays and location are key factors in the decision to enter retail premises. the souvenir memento may be purchased by a visitor for himself or herself or a family or friend, fulfilling a personal need to mark the visit and remember the destination. this article offers recommendations to the industry about design and layout, also adding new information on the importance of gender in purchase decisions.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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