A study on the formation mechanism and spillover effects of tourist destination trust

LIU Weimei1 LIN Derong1

(1.School of Management, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China 361005)

【Abstract】Tourism destination is the spatial carrier where tourists undertake their activities during the process of tourism, and the needs of tourists are basically met and realized through tourist destinations. Thus, it can be seen that tourism destination plays an important role in the tourist’s experience. At the same time, it will also affect the tourist’s attitude and emotion to the tourist destination, and it is embodied in the tourist-destination relation finally. As we all known, the relation between the tourist and the destination has a direct impact on the number of visitors to the destination and tourism income. As a result, the tourist-destination relation has become an important tool for marketing and its sustainable and healthy development depends on the sense of trust and security brought by the destination. As a matter of fact, all kinds of negative news exposed about tourism destinations, such as television and other media, has a strong impact on the destination trust of tourists, and then affects the destination choice of potential tourists and the quality of experience of real tourists. For example, the seafood events that happen frequently in the destination make tourists almost lose confidence in the destination and result in the decrease of destination attraction at last. The rebuilding of confidence in the destination among tourists relates to the building of harmony between destinations and tourists’ visits. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the factors that influence the formation of trust, and also the spillover effect. Hence, this study tried to analyze the effects of self-congruity and functional congruity on destination trust and the relationships among destination trust, personal reciprocity, and place attachment as well as destination loyalty based on the Howard-Sheth model. Data collection can be conducted through online channels and on-site questionnaire distribution, and a total of 810 copies of effective data were collected by the two methods. Then, we made analysis of the data through SEM with AMOS 21. 0. The results show that self-congruity and functional congruity both have significant positive effects on destination trust. To some extent, in addition to the traditional functional attributes, the symbolic meaning of one tourist destination is also attractive to the projection of tourists’ emotion. In addition, the effect of self-congruity on destination trust is also generated from functional congruity, which indicates that destination symbolism is slightly superior than functional attributes for tourists projecting their trust into destinations. As for the results of destination trust, it manifests that destination trust has significant positive effects on tourist-destination reciprocity, place attachment and destination loyalty. Tourist-destination reciprocity plays an intermediary role in the relationship among destination trust, destination loyalty, and place attachment. More importantly, as a new and important construct of tourist-destination relation, reciprocity not only mediates the relationships between destination trust and loyalty partially but also affects destination loyalty indirectly through place attachment. The regulatory role of tourist-destination reciprocity is slightly greater than place attachment in the relationship between destination trust and destination loyalty. As shown, tourist-destination reciprocity and place attachment play a chain dual intermediary role in the relationship between the tourist-destination trust and loyalty, which is the new discovery and contribution of this study, and is different from the existing research results. This study discusses the formation mechanism of destination trust from the perspective of consistency, which is the expansion of the theory of destination trust formation. It also studies the effect transmission mechanism of destination trust, in particular, the evolution of the relationship between destination trust and loyalty, which is the improvement of loyalty theory. Finally, this study provides managers with the corresponding marketing means from the practical point of view to construct the destination trust system. In view of the importance of self-congruity and personal reciprocity, this study puts forward some suggestions for destination marketing and management through the enhancement of destination symbolism and the increase of reciprocity between tourists and destinations with experience products.

【Keywords】 self-congruity; functional congruity; destination trust; tourist-destination reciprocity; place attachment;

【DOI】

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This Article

ISSN:1002-5766

CN: 11-1047/F

Vol 41, No. 07, Pages 121-135

July 2019

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Theoretical model and research hypotheses
  • 4 Research design and methods
  • 5 Empirical results and analysis
  • 6 Conclusion and implication
  • References