[Publication] Predicting World Heritage site visitation intentions of North American park visitors
A co-authored article written by CTR Researcher, Dr. Shintaro Kono (CTR Visiting Fellow / Southern Illinois University) has been published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology.
Predicting World Heritage site visitation intentions of North American park visitors
Elizabeth Halpenny, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sports, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Shintaro Kono, Department of Public Health and Recreation Professions, College of Education and Human Services, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA
Farhad Moghimehfar, Recreation and Tourism Management, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 2018
*Indexed in Scopus
Purpose – World Heritage sites (WHS) can play an important role in promoting visitation to emerging and remote destinations. Guided by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this study aims to investigate factors that predict intentions to visit WHS.
Design/methodology/approach – Survey questionnaires were used to collect data from visitors (n = 519) to four Western North American WHS. Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to identify three reflective models (attitude toward visiting World Heritage, perceived behavioural control and intention to visit WHS in the future), three formative models (attitude toward World Heritage designation, social influence (subjective norms) to visit World Heritage and World Heritage tourism brand equity) and a structural model.
Findings – World Heritage tourism brand equity and social influence were strong positive predictors of intentions to visit WHS in the future. Attitudes towards World Heritage designation, followed by World Heritage travel attitudes and perceived behavioural control, were progressively weaker, yet positive predictors. However, the latter two concepts’ impact was negligible.
Originality/value – This study addresses four deficiencies in tourism studies: TPB studies have failed to find consistent predictors of intentions to visit destinations; very few studies have attempted to verify the factors that predict visitation to WHS, despite the opportunities and costs that can arise from WHS-related tourism; few studies of tourists’ perceptions of World Heritage and related WHS travel intentions have been conducted in North America; and PLS-SEM was used to perform statistical methods not commonly used in tourism studies including formative models, importance-performance mapping and confirmatory tetrad analysis.
Brand equity, Brand attitude, Brand loyalty, Travel intentions, World heritage, Theory of planned behaviour (TPB)