The impact of visitors’ experience intensity on in-situ destination image formation

Iordanova, Elitza ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3021-5454 and Stylidis, Dimitris (2019) The impact of visitors’ experience intensity on in-situ destination image formation. Tourism Review, 74 (4). pp. 841-860. ISSN 1660-5373

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Abstract

Abstract
Purpose – This study aims to shed some light on destination image formation by exploring whether image is altered as a result of tourists’ experience intensity with a destination.
Design/methodology/approach – A visitor experience intensity index was developed based on the amount of events and attractions visitors have already attended/visited or were planning to attend/visit during their stay. The data was collected using self-administered questionnaires and the total sample consisted of 400 tourists in Linz, Austria. Principal Component Analysis, MANOVA and Discriminant Analysis were applied to analyse the data.
Findings – The findings indicate that the higher the experience intensity score, the more favourable the cognitive and affective evaluations of destination image, indicating that tourists’ experiences are central in the formation of the in-situ image.
Research limitations/implications – The ‘level of psychological involvement’ with the destination should be considered by future studies, as this paper focused on level of experience intensity.
Practical implications – This paper supports the effective and innovative solutions for place marketing and branding of tourist destinations such as promoting experiences that further enhance destination image. The study also assists places with bad reputation or negative image, like the selected case study (Linz, Austria), in repositioning themselves as attractive experience providers.
Originality/value – The paper’s originality lies in applying ‘mere exposure theory’ in tourism and using an innovative way of measuring tourists’ experience through an intensity index. The study addresses a significant, but still neglected image determinant, that of experience intensity, contributing to a better understanding of the in situ destination image formation process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visitor experience intensity, impacts, tourist destination, mere exposure theory, cognitive and affective image, Linz, Austria
Subjects: Social sciences
Depositing User: Elitza Iordanova
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 10 May 2020 06:58
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5906

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