The influence of destination image on the attitude, desire, and intentions to visit

Marques, Carlos Peixeira
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Tourists’ perceptions and feelings about a destination, subsumed in the concept of destination image, are usually considered one of the main determinants of intention to visit. Most studies on the subject establish a direct relationship between destination image and the pre-trip behavioural intentions. A few have proposed more sound theoretical foundations, resorting to models extensively used in the consumer behaviour literature, such as Model of Goal-directed Behaviour. In this framework this paper assesses how different components of destination image affect: the attitude towards visiting; the desire to visit; and the intention to visit in a specified near future. The model was tested in a random telephone sample of 513 potential travellers living in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto, Portugal. Results from PLS- SEM show that the proximal antecedent desire is the only direct predictor of intentions, but nevertheless image significantly impacts intentions via the proposed mediators. The study also offers support for a hierarchical conception under which affective image depends both on attribute beliefs and holistic impressions, while attributes influence both the holistic and the affective components. The relative importance of these image components in explaining attitudes, desires and intentions is discussed from academic and managerial viewpoints.
Destination image , Goal-directed behaviour , Visiting intention , Destination marketing