Author: Deng, Qian Claire
Title: Leveraging the mega event : the event-destination image transfer model and the moderating effect of image congruity
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2012
Subject: Tourists -- Psychology.
Special events.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: 224 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: The overall objective of the current study is to understand the psychological mechanism and responses of tourists involved in a mega-event hosted in a tourism destination. Specifically, informed by the image transfer theory, the current study investigated how and why the event image changes the destination image. The study also intended to understand the psychological responses of tourists to the event-destination image transfer. Lastly, the perceived image congruity between the destination and the event was tested to identify the optimal situation for evoking positive responses from the tourists. This was done to help destination practitioners use the events better. Based on these objectives, a conceptual model was developed around the perceived destination image of the tourists, the event image as an antecedent, the overall attitude and behavioral intention of the tourists as the two consequences, and the event-destination image congruity as a moderator. This study was conducted in the context of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The major findings of this study are as follows. First, the event image of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo consisted of five key dimensions: Benefit, Facility, Service, Theme, and Event Content. Second, the destination image of Shanghai was composed of five underlying factors: Cultural Environment, Infrastructure, Tourism Infrastructure, Political and Economic Environment, and Benefit. Third, the event image directly and positively affected the destination image, which empirically supported the image transfer theory. Fourth, as outcomes of the event-destination image transfer process, the psychological responses of the tourists, containing their overall attitude and behavioral intentions toward the destination, are significantly and positively affected by the destination image. Fifth, the effect of the event image on the overall attitude of the tourists toward the destination is statistically insignificant due to the mediation effect of the destination image. Sixth, the image congruity between the event and the destination significantly moderated the event-destination image transfer model. Specifically, the effects of the destination image on the overall attitude of the tourists and their behavioral intentions toward the destination, and the effect of the overall attitude of the tourists on their behavioral intentions were significantly stronger for the moderate level of image congruity group than for the high level of image congruity group.
This study contributes to the literature by extending the body of knowledge on destination image in the context of event tourism. The discussion and investigations around event image provide a useful reference in this construct's psychological formation mechanism, conceptualization ground, and dimensionality framework. In addition, the established event-destination image transfer model greatly enriches the understanding of the phenomenon of events held by tourism destinations from the psychological perspective of the tourists. Moreover, the findings about image congruity offer valuable insights for tourism destinations on how to better utilize events in destination branding strategy. Furthermore, the present study also gives rich practical implications for event organizers, tourism destinations, and other relevant stakeholders.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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