University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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University of Massachusetts - Amherst

ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst
International CHRIE Conference-Refereed Track 2009 ICHRIE Conference

Jul 31st, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Dream Destination: A concept of perception of leisure travellers BO (Wendy) GAO
wendy.gao@polyu.edu.hk

Hanqin Qiu Zhang
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, hmhanqin@polyu.edu.hk

BO (Wendy) GAO and Hanqin Qiu Zhang, "Dream Destination: A concept of perception of leisure travellers" (July 31, 2009). International CHRIE Conference-Refereed Track. Paper 26. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/refereed/Sessions/Friday/26

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DREAM DESTINATION: A CONCEPT AND PERCEPTION OF LEISURE TRAVELLERS GAO and Zhang: Dream Destination: A concept of perception of leisure travellers GAO, BO (Wendy) PhD candidate The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hotel and Tourism Management Hong Kong, China Email: wendy.gao@polyu.edu.hk ZHANG, Qiu Hanqin The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hospitality and Tourism Email: hmhanqin@polyu.edu.hk ABSTRACT: This exploratory study adopted grounded theory approach to investigate the concept of dream destination and its perception by travellers. The data were collected through three methods: Online travel forum, in-depth interview and focus group. Triangulation of data collected from the above three methods were used to prove that whether several independent sources converge on them, or at least do not oppose them. Based on the iteration of data analysis, the dream destination was classified into six categories and the conceptual framework of dream destination was generated. KEY WORDS: Dream destination, Perception INTRODUCTION Dream destination is a term frequently appearing at destination marketing promotions. A number of books and travel magazines list the top 10 or 100 dream places around the world which must be seen during one’s life, with titles such as Life Dream Destinations: 100 of the World’s Best Vacations; Life Heaven on Earth: 100 Places to See in Your Lifetime (Life); 1001 National Wonders: You Must See Before You Die. In addition, many marketers claim that their destinations provide dream honeymoons or dream vacations for visitors. In order to set a dreamlike image for tourists, they promote elements, such as beach, sunrise and sunset with a romantic atmosphere as evidence of dream destination. Yet, do these elements represent the full meaning of dream destination? In academia, a number of researchers have investigated the concepts of destination image formation and perception. However, the issue of dream destination has been rarely considered with few previous studies mentioning it in destination image research. The term “dream” denotes a vague and abstract concept that lends itself to subjective interpretation. Despite this difficulty, it is important to study the phenomenon as motivations of present day travelers become increasingly complex and are often spurred by perceptions that have little to do with any notion of objective reality. To explore the concept of dream destination and how leisure travellers perceive it, a qualitative research was conducted with following objectives: 1) To identify the concept of dream destination 2) To examine the perceptions of dream destination from viewpoint of leisure travellers 3) To explore the emerging dimensions of dream destination PERCEPTIONS OF TOURIST DESTINATION In marketing and tourism context, perception is considered as a major influential predictor in directing decision making and consumer behaviour (Richardson & Crompton, 1988; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Each individual selects, organizes and...
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