A study on country- destination image and travel intention: the moderating effect of country familiarity
- Building on international marketing research on the country-of-origin image and tourism destination image effect, this research examines how people perceive a culturally familiar country as a tourist destination by proposing an integrated approach. The model included country image, destination beliefs, attitude toward destination as the major determinants of the tourist’s travel intention. In addition, the moderating effects of country familiarity on the relationship between the two types of image were also examined in order to generate new knowledge in tourism research. An online survey was distributed to Vietnamese residents who do not have prior experience about Jeju Island, South Korea. Reliability and validity of the measurement scale were established through average variance extracted, Cronbach’s Alpha analyses, and inter-correlation analyses. A structural equation model test with maximum likelihood estimation was performed to test the relationship among research variables using 293 participants. In addition, by using AMOS, the possible influence of country familiarity on research variables was analyzed. The empirical results from the structural model suggested that: (1) tourist intention to a destination is positively influenced by perceived image of that destination and their attitude toward it; (2) perceived image of a country positively affects only destination beliefs but not influences tourist attitude toward destination, and (3) destination beliefs had a significant relationship with attitude toward destination. Moreover, a moderating effect of country familiarity on the relationship with either type of image was not supported in this research. From these findings, the study concludes with recommendations for destination marketing in the context of international tourism. The empirical evidence obtained supports the proposition that DMOs should focus their marketing efforts on fostering both country and destination image for international tourists. Doing so would require greater stress on communication and promotion campaigns. One limitation is related to the fact that this research focuses on a speciﬁc regional destination (Jeju Island) and a country destination (South Korea), it could limit the generalization of the results. It would be very interesting to replicate the study in other countries and regions with different composition of the sample in terms of nationality of the tourists.
- 도 티 탄 히엔
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- country image; destination image; country familiarity; travel intention
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