Leisure is the time available to the individual when work, sleep and other needs have been met. Leisure as a construct involves a number of dimensions.
· Absorption and concentration of ongoing experience
· Lessening of focus on self
· Feelings of freedom and lack of restraint
· Enriched perception of objects and events
· Increased intensity of emotions
· Increased sensitivity to feelings
· Decreased sensitivity to passage of time
The Components of Leisure Motivation
Beard and Ragheb identified four motivational needs derived from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These needs form the components of leisure motivation. They are –
· Intellectual component
· Social component
· Competence mastery
· Stimulus avoidance
Intellectual component is the extent to which individuals are motivated by mental activities such as learning, exploring, discovering, thought, imaging. This can be a primary high need (a visit to Madurai to study temple architecture) or a low need triggered by a specific event or environment.
Social component is the need for friendship, self-esteem and interpersonal relationship. The holidays are not only status- or ego- enhancing experiences. There is also a sense of belonging with the place visited. People tend to identify with a place visited. This is higher for people who are more satisfied with their holidays and for those with three or more visits. The relationship not only involves social identification but also a relationship with the geographical place.
Competence mastery component is in order to achieve, challenge, master and compete. This is often physical (i.e. sports) but also includes fine arts and other intellectual pursuits. Competence mastery is coupled with other components of leisure motivation. A course in wind surfing (competence mastery) can also mean meeting like -minded individuals (social need).
Stimulus avoidance is drive to escape and get away from over-simulating life experiences. The most obvious component of leisure motivation, a chance to rest and unwind.
The components of leisure motivation vary within holidays and between holidays. On a holiday, a tourist may rest for few days (stimulus avoidance); thereafter explore the place (intellectual component). The holidaymaker may assign different purposes to holidays. One holiday might be family centred (social need), the other for playing golf (competence mastery) etc.