More than a decade has passed since the Travel Industry Association investigated adventure travel as a promising market. Despite growth in the adventure industry, studies of adventure travelers remain scarce, particularly in the identification of the psychological underpinnings of consumer adventurers. Mowen’s (2000) 3M Model of Motivation and Personality provided an organizing framework to explain the psychological roots of adventure tourism behavior. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to a random sample (N = 1000) of National Geographic Adventure magazine subscribers with a response rate (n = 339) of 34%. Guttman Scaling Procedure was employed to categorize respondents in hard and soft adventure traveler categories as a context for understanding the demographic and travel behavior characteristics. The personality trait interest in cultural experiences was a consistent predictor of adventure travel propensity for hard and soft adventure traveler groups. The traits need for arousal and need for material resources were significant predictors for the hard adventure traveler group, while competitiveness was the other trait found to be a significant predictor for the soft adventure traveler group. Findings of this study enhance knowledge and understanding of the relationship between personality and tourism behavior.
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