Cognition, emotion and trust: a comparative analysis of Cambodia’s perceived and projected online image

Iordanova, Elitza ORCID: and Stainton, Hayley (2019) Cognition, emotion and trust: a comparative analysis of Cambodia’s perceived and projected online image. Tourist Studies, 19 (4). pp. 496-519. ISSN 1468-7976

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A comparative analysis of information on Cambodia as a tourist destination published on official tourism websites and amateur travel blogs suggest that there are substantial differences in the way Cambodia’s destination marketers and commercial enterprises promote the destination and the way travel bloggers perceive it and write about it. Cambodia’s projected online image elicited through the analysis of official tourism websites consists of mainly cognitive image elements (knowledge and beliefs about Cambodia), whereas its’ perceived image obtained from amateur travel blogs contains both cognitive and affective (feelings and attitudes towards Cambodia) image elements. Furthermore, the ‘friend’-style relationship that the reader develops with the travel blogger can be attributed to personal projections and thus induces an element of trust not established between the reader and the websites.
Findings suggest that a lack of perceived trust amongst destination marketers and an increased level of trust amongst authors of user generated content (UGC) and their readers, destination marketers are at a distinct disadvantage compared with their blogging colleagues. The use of affective evaluations of destinations by bloggers alongside their perceived credibility is likely to weigh more heavily in consumer’s decision making process than promotional material presented by the likes of tourist boards and commercial enterprises. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1177/1468797619837970
Keywords: online destination image, cognitive image elements, affective image elements, trust, amateur travel blogs
Subjects: Social sciences
Depositing User: Elitza Iordanova
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 12:10
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:59


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