Personal Prestige through Travel? Developing and Testing the Personal Prestige Inventory in a Tourism Context

Friedericke Kuhn, Florian Kock, Martin Lohmann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Leisure travel has long been seen as a means of conspicuous consumption in pursuance of personal prestige; yet, there is no empirical evidence that travel affects personal prestige of tourists. The aims of this study are to develop a scale measuring personal prestige and to experimentally test prestige evaluations based on amount of leisure information, tourism participation and different types of leisure.

In an experimental online survey, 477 respondents were presented with a manipulated social media profile and asked to evaluate personal prestige of the person on the profile.

Results present evidence that representation of travel experience has a positive effect on personal prestige evaluations of tourists. The authors found significant differences in personal prestige depending on experimental variations.

This study advances methodological approaches towards the study of tourists’ prestige by providing a reliable, multidimensional measurement scale for personal prestige. The findings yielded by subsequent application of the scale in an experimental setting provide empirical evidence that sharing travel experiences has measurable and experimentally testable personal prestige benefits for tourists.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConsumer Behavior in Tourism and Hospitality
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 18 January 2023.


  • Personal prestige
  • Travel experience
  • Optimal distinctiveness
  • Social media
  • Online experiment

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