Advancing Tourist Destination Image Theory: Formation Antecedents and Behavioral Consequences

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Alwan, Mohammed Hasan




The purpose of this thesis is (1) to examine the effect of four personal factors (institutional trust (IT), consumer ethnocentrism tendency (CET), consumer cosmopolitanism (COS), and personality type (PT)) on the formation of domestic tourist destination image (DTDI), (2) to examine the effect of DTDI on destination brand experience (DBE), tourist satisfaction (TS), and behavioral intentions, and (3) to assess the potential applicability of various relevant theories on the tourist preference of international versus domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia. A sample of 1,564 Saudi citizens was collected. A theoretical model of DTDI was designed. The data was statistically analyzed using structural equation modeling. Personal factors were found to influence tourists’ perceptions of DTDI. IT, CET, COS, and PT were found influential to DTDI. DTDI was found to influence DBE, TS, and all behavioral intentions. DBE was found to partially mediate the relationship between DTDI and TS. TS was found to mediate the relationship between DBE and both behavioral intentions. The context of the study involves only one destination and the sample consists of only Saudi citizens. Although this was useful to test the model, generalizability cannot be confidently claimed before multiple replications. Also, the scales selected to measure the different constructs, although chosen carefully, come with their own limitations. This research informs Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) about the existing relationship between IT and the images of the destinations they are promoting. The results revealed the roles played by CET, COS, and PT on DTDI formation, which should be beneficial for both tourist segmentation and marketing communication. The research also confirms to DMOs the pivotal importance of DBE as an influential construct. This is the first study to examine the effect of IT on TDI research. The relationship was confirmed and thus has advanced our understanding of how TDI is formed and perceived. The study has also examined the role of CET and COS among the citizens of the same country in which the destination is found, which is a novel pursuit that is added to the knowledge of domestic tourism, CET, and COS.






Carleton University

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