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Research paper

Title of Paper

A Unifying Framework of the Destination Identification Construct

Presenter Bios (50 Words)

Astrid Warncke Nørfelt is a Master’s student at Copenhagen Business School and is currently writing her Master’s thesis while working as a research assistant in the Department of Marketing. Her research focuses on consumer and tourist behavior. She uses a cross-disciplinary approach, drawing on theories from marketing, tourism, and psychology.

Florian Kock is an assistant professor of marketing and tourism research at the Department of Marketing at Copenhagen Business School. He has published in Journal of Travel Research and Annals of Tourism Research on destination image and tourist behavior.

Alexander Josiassen is a professor of marketing at the Department of Marketing at Copenhagen Business School. He has published He has published in Journal of Travel Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Marketing and Journal of Retailing, among others.

Abstract (150 Words)

Tourists’ identification with a destination is a central topic in tourism research because of its usefulness to understand tourists’ predispositions toward destinations. However, the usability of the destination identification construct for academics and tourism managers is considerably hampered by three key shortcomings. Firstly, the current literature often makes no clear distinction between the resident’s and tourist’s perspective of destination identification. Secondly, there is no consensus on the nature and definition of destination identification. Third, the operationalization and measurement of the construct is lacking in construct validity. This study reviews extant literature on destination identification and proposes a new conceptualization and operationalization of the construct. The review leads to a novel understanding of destination identification and proposes a hierarchical destination identification framework consisting of a holistic identification construct and four drivers thereof: Self-verification, self-enhancement, life meaning and need for belonging.

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A Unifying Framework of the Destination Identification Construct

Tourists’ identification with a destination is a central topic in tourism research because of its usefulness to understand tourists’ predispositions toward destinations. However, the usability of the destination identification construct for academics and tourism managers is considerably hampered by three key shortcomings. Firstly, the current literature often makes no clear distinction between the resident’s and tourist’s perspective of destination identification. Secondly, there is no consensus on the nature and definition of destination identification. Third, the operationalization and measurement of the construct is lacking in construct validity. This study reviews extant literature on destination identification and proposes a new conceptualization and operationalization of the construct. The review leads to a novel understanding of destination identification and proposes a hierarchical destination identification framework consisting of a holistic identification construct and four drivers thereof: Self-verification, self-enhancement, life meaning and need for belonging.