Abdallat, J Tourism Hospit 2012, 1:4
Tourism & Hospitality
Actual Self-Image, Ideal Self-Image and the Relation between Satisfaction and Destination Loyalty
Muhannad M A Abdallat*
Assistant Professor, Chairman of Management and Marketing Department, Kingdom University, Kingdom of Bahrain
Past research efforts in the tourism industry focused on what tourists buy, when they buy, where they buy, and how they buy, but not so much on why they buy. This question of “why” brings us to a micro-level analysis tourism development. In this context among other things, the literature explains the self concept literature in consumer research which helps to explain the psychological underpinnings of travel self-congruity that involves a process of matching a tourist’s self-concept to a destination visitor image. Traditional research methods, which assume a piecemeal process, may not adequately capture the holistic nature of self congruence and, therefore, may have limited predictive validity. The new method will be more predictive of a variety of tourist behaviors such as satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Data for this study were collected from international tourists whom had visited Penang. A total of 400 questionnaires were sent out and 145 were returned (response rate of 36.25%), out of which only 100 were usable (usable rate of 68.97%). This research focused on two types of self-image (ideal and actual). Specifically, ideal self-image had a positive influence on customer satisfaction, while it had a negative influence on actual self image. However, both were found to influence destination loyalty. The mediating support of customer satisfaction was found for only the relationship between ideal self image and loyalty. The data of 100 respondents were gathered through convenience sampling from the departure hall of the Penang International.
Keywords: Self-congruity; Self-image; Product image; Customer satisfaction; Tourism; Destination loyalty
The model identifies factors that are likely to affect the development of the destination visitor image, such as destination location, and other destination environment cues. In addition, factors that are likely to moderate and mediate the relationship between self-congruity and travel behavior are identified and explained.
Consumer research has shown that a consumer’s attitude toward a product (and product purchase) is influenced by the matching of the product user image with the consumer’s self-concept . Indeed, consumer research has had a long tradition of addressing how selfconcept is used as a cognitive referent in evaluating symbolic cues. Product symbolic cues refer to stereotypic images of users of a product or store (example sexy, classy, fashionable, young). The same can be said in relation to a tourist’s attitude toward a destination (and travel behavior). That is, tourists perceive destinations differently in terms of the destination’s typical clientele or visitors. This stereotypic image of the kind of people who typically visit a given destination is referred to here as destination visitor image.
The greater the match between the destination visitor image and the tourist’s self-concept, the more likely it seems that the tourist has a favorable attitude toward that destination (and the more likely it seems that the tourist would visit that destination). This matching process is referred to as self-congruity. Objectives of the study:
1. To explicate issues pertaining to Penang’s image as tourist destination with a view to improving the contribution of tourism to economic development. a) To analyze the motivation of individuals to visit Penang;
b) To analyze the impact of self-concept on consumer satisfaction; c) To analyze the impact of product image on consumer satisfaction; d) To explain the implication of self congruity for...
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