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Measuring Destination Image in the 21st Century: Social Media’s Role in Forming Destination Image and Shaping Tourist Behavior

Abstract
This paper endeavors to discuss the impact of social media on the formation of destination image in the light of its three key dimensions (overall destination image, cognitive image and affective image) and the role of social networking platforms in shaping tourists’ intention to visit and recommend a tourist destination. Based on a conceptual analysis, this paper aims to identify and summarize the factors influencing the formation of destination stereotypes and destination image, analyze their impacts on tourists’ behavior and travel intentions, and assess the effectiveness of promotional tactics and strategies in combatting detrimental destination images and stereotypes. The authors conclude the paper by developing a framework indicating the key factors responsible for destination image formation and by proposing some hypotheses to be tested for measuring the effectiveness of strategies for combatting negative stereotypes and destination re-branding as further research implications.
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