This chapter aims to better understand tourists’ motivations to buy souvenirs while travelling or vacationing as well as the meanings, values and symbols that underlie the consumption of such souvenirs. We only consider the material souvenirs, i.e., all the objects that have been purchased, received, or picked up from the destination. For this research goal, we conducted a qualitative interpretive study using in-depth interview, participant observation, and projective techniques. A total of nineteen Belgian informants have been interviewed and observed at home. Grounded theory, which consists in building a local theory through an inductive and logical process, has been used to analyse and interpret the data. Emerging findings provide a series of motives for buying and consuming material souvenirs, i.e., remembrance, extension of the vacation experience, decoration, functionality, exercising an economic power, and gift-giving. The analysis of related meanings leads to a new typology of four types of souvenirs, i.e., the symbolic souvenir, the hedonistic souvenir, the utilitarian souvenir, and the souvenir as a gift. Finally, we propose managerial actions to makers and retailers of tourist souvenirs.
Decrop, A., & Masset, J. (2011). I want this Ramses' statue: Motives and meanings of tourist souvenirs. In M. Kozak (Ed.), Sustainability of Tourism: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives (pp. 17-41). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. https://doi.org/10.5848/CSP.3259.00002