Destination Image: A Comparative Study on Pre and Post Trip Image Variations

YILMAZ Y., YILMAZ Y., Îçigen E., EKİN Y., Utku B. D.

JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY MARKETING & MANAGEMENT, no.5, pp.461-479, 2009 (ESCI) identifier identifier


The concept of destination image has gained great significance by both practitioners and academicians. Although there are numerous studies emphasizing the different features and influential relations of image, little research has been conducted to determine the image variations of pre and post trip experiences about the destination. This study aimed to examine the differences-if any-of the destination image between the tourists who just arrived (arriving tourists) and the tourists who are about the leave the destination (departing tourists). Out of 27 image attributes, six factors were obtained: Environmental Conditions, Destination Advantages, Activities, Attractiveness, Facilities and Climate. It is found that there are significant differences in terms of Environmental Conditions, Attractiveness, and Climate factors between two groups, indicating that the destination possesses a more positive image for departing tourists. The study also examines whether the frequency of visits to the destination influences the future travel plans of both arriving and departing tourist groups. The findings show that there is no difference between two groups, but it is also found that the more frequently tourists visit the destination, the more likely they plan to spend their next holiday in the same destination.