Vacation posts on Facebook: A model for incidental vicarious travel consumption

Ben Marder, Chris Archer-Brown, Jonas Colliander, Aliette Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


Vicarious consumption of travel is ubiquitous. However little is known about the psychological processes this initiates or the potential for resultant behaviors beyond direct steps toward patronage. We address this gap through developing and testing the incidental vicarious travel consumption model (IVTCM), which draws from well-established knowledge of the self-concept and compensatory consumption. In the context of vicariously consuming idyllic vacation posts on Facebook, the model identifies the following: individuals’ travel-related self-discrepancies may become active, leading to feelings of dejection, initiating five possible compensatory consumption behaviors (Direct, Symbolic, Dissociation, Escapism, Fluid). A sequential mixed-method design (total n=860) provides support for the IVTCM. The primary contributions of the paper are as follows: first the IVTCM can be used to understand different forms of vicarious travel consumption. Second, specific understanding on the impact of idyllic vacation posts is contributed, furthering knowledge on the role of social media within tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1033
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


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