Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Mary Ann Littrell


This study was the first attempt to develop and test a causal model of international tourists' souvenir purchasing behavior. The objectives were (1) to identify the variables that may affect international tourists' purchasing behavior for textile souvenirs, (2) to propose a causal model that incorporates those variables, and (3) to test the proposed model for U.S. tourists who are traveling to Mexico;The population of interest was female adults who had traveled to Mexico or were planning to travel to Mexico in the near future. A self-administered questionnaire, along with color photographs of five Mexican textile souvenirs, was mailed to 900 females who had contacted a Mexican Government Tourism Office for travel information. A total of 336 surveys was returned for a response rate of 40%, and of these, 277 were deemed usable. A maximum-likelihood estimation procedure was used via LISREL VII to test the proposed model, which included an examination of the causal relationships among general values, attitude toward other cultures, knowledge of Mexico, travel motivations, tourism styles, attitude toward souvenirs, and purchase intention;Exogenous variables, such as general values and attitude toward other cultures, affected travel-related attitude and behavior that, in turn, influenced attitude toward souvenirs. Then, attitude toward souvenirs affected tourists' intention to purchase the souvenirs. Specifically, materialistic and hedonistic value orientations positively influenced desire to be entertained when traveling, while general interest in other cultures positively affected desire to explore the cultures of the travel destinations. Tourists with stronger entertainment motive were more likely to participate in recreational travel activities and to hold a favorable attitude toward the uniqueness of souvenirs. Tourists with stronger exploration motive were more actively involved in historic tourism. Historic tourism positively influenced attitude toward the aesthetic aspects of souvenirs. Favorable attitudes toward the aesthetic properties and the uniqueness of souvenirs exerted positive effects on purchase intention. Knowledge of Mexico negatively affected attitudes toward the uniqueness of Mexican souvenirs. Some variations in the relationships were found among the five souvenirs. The findings of this study would help the tourism industry to better understand international tourists and to develop appropriate promotional strategies.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Soyoung Kim



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

188 pages