Abstract

This study presents a model hypothesizing that intention to travel is influenced directly by two major elements of tourism marketing: responses to advertising and the respondent’s use of the official tourism website for a destination. To test the model, data from two Web-based surveys concerning travel to Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2008 were used: a survey of travel intentions and a follow-up conversion survey. There are four important findings. First, the intention to travel is directly influenced by two major elements of tourism marketing: responses to advertising and the respondent’s use of the official tourism website. Second, actual visitation is influenced directly by travel intentions and indirectly by responses to advertising and potential visitor’s use and reaction to the official website. Third, there is a clear difference in terms of the influences on intentions to visit a destination between potential or actual first-time and repeat visitors. For firsttime visitors, advertising recall was the most powerful predictor of intention to visit PEI; for repeat visitors it was the number of times the respondent visited the website. Fourth, the results of this paper clearly indicate that generating intention to visit leads to actual visits.

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Influencing the Intentions to Visit a Destination: The Case of Potential First-Time and Repeat Visitors

This study presents a model hypothesizing that intention to travel is influenced directly by two major elements of tourism marketing: responses to advertising and the respondent’s use of the official tourism website for a destination. To test the model, data from two Web-based surveys concerning travel to Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2008 were used: a survey of travel intentions and a follow-up conversion survey. There are four important findings. First, the intention to travel is directly influenced by two major elements of tourism marketing: responses to advertising and the respondent’s use of the official tourism website. Second, actual visitation is influenced directly by travel intentions and indirectly by responses to advertising and potential visitor’s use and reaction to the official website. Third, there is a clear difference in terms of the influences on intentions to visit a destination between potential or actual first-time and repeat visitors. For firsttime visitors, advertising recall was the most powerful predictor of intention to visit PEI; for repeat visitors it was the number of times the respondent visited the website. Fourth, the results of this paper clearly indicate that generating intention to visit leads to actual visits.