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Categorization of Destinations Based on Tourists’ Emotional Responses

Abstract
It is important for destination marketers to understand tourists’ emotional reactions to tourism experiences in order to initiate successful marketing efforts. Therefore, this study aimed to categorize tourist destinations based on tourists’ emotional responses, by utilizing a circumplex model of emotion, which describes emotional responses to environments along two main dimensions—pleasure and arousal. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from sixteen Japanese destinations. The emotional evaluation of the pleasure and arousal dimensions for each destination was plotted on a two-dimensional grid. The results suggest that the majority of destinations that received a positive evaluation were perceived as exciting (high pleasure and arousal), rather than relaxing (high pleasure and low arousal), by tourists.
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