Abstract

Currently, an understanding of how travelers process promotional travel-related narratives or information sources is lacking in tourism literature. Moreover, when examined in the context of tourism, promotional narratives have been largely examined by literary and history scholars from a more critical standpoint where, in short, conclusions often assume the narratives examined possess a certain level of persuasive power. As such, the purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the general persuasive power of travel narratives. To do so, the study incorporated two consumer behavior scales, Green and Brock’s (2000) Transportation scale, as well as Obermiller and Spangenberg’s (1988) Skepticism Toward Advertising scale (SKEP), to measure individuals processing of travel narratives, as well as their perceived level of skepticism towards travel narratives presented in two different formats—travel articles and travel brochures. The utilization of these consumer behavior scales allowed for an examination of the degree to which presentation format, message cue, skepticism towards travel articles, and skepticism towards travel brochures influenced participants’ narrative transportation. Additionally, the relationship between participants’ skepticism towards travel articles and travel brochures was examined.

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Using Consumer Behavior Scales to Examine the Persuasiveness of Travel Narratives

Currently, an understanding of how travelers process promotional travel-related narratives or information sources is lacking in tourism literature. Moreover, when examined in the context of tourism, promotional narratives have been largely examined by literary and history scholars from a more critical standpoint where, in short, conclusions often assume the narratives examined possess a certain level of persuasive power. As such, the purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the general persuasive power of travel narratives. To do so, the study incorporated two consumer behavior scales, Green and Brock’s (2000) Transportation scale, as well as Obermiller and Spangenberg’s (1988) Skepticism Toward Advertising scale (SKEP), to measure individuals processing of travel narratives, as well as their perceived level of skepticism towards travel narratives presented in two different formats—travel articles and travel brochures. The utilization of these consumer behavior scales allowed for an examination of the degree to which presentation format, message cue, skepticism towards travel articles, and skepticism towards travel brochures influenced participants’ narrative transportation. Additionally, the relationship between participants’ skepticism towards travel articles and travel brochures was examined.