Title of Paper

“Heidi’s Alps mean a lot to me”: Factors affecting travel intention and the moderating role of imagination capacity

Presenter Bios

Daniela Buzova is a PhD candidate in marketing (awarded a fellowship by the Spanish Ministry of Education) at the University of Valencia, Spain. Her research, focusing on destination marketing, tourist behavior and eWOM, has been published in Psychology & Marketing, Current Issues in Tourism and International Journal of Tourism Research.

Sameer Hosany, PhD, is an associate professor of marketing at the Royal Holloway University of London (UK). His main research interests lie at the intersection of marketing and tourism, focusing on tourist behavior and emotional experiences. His academic work is primarily grounded in survey research methods and multivariate modeling techniques.

Silvia Sanz-Blas, PhD, is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Valencia (Spain). Her primary research interests include consumer behavior, e-commerce and mobile commerce and her work has been published in Tourism Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Service Management and Internet Research, among others.

Abstract

The paper aims to extend the current knowledge on travel intention to destinations featured in media programs, using the Swiss Alps from the famous novel and TV-series “Heidi” as a stimulus. A structural model including place attachment, positive affect, and motivation as antecedents to travel intention and imagination capacity as a moderator was examined. The results, tested on 410 individuals who had never visited the Swiss Alps, demonstrated the significant influence of the proposed antecedents on travel intention, while the magnitude of their impact was found to differ depending on respondent’s proclivity to imagine. The study’s contribution is three-fold: (1) empirical support to the assertion that place attachment may be stimulated by narratives is provided; (2) the underlying foundations of place attachment are further elucidated by applying the symbolic interactionism and media effects theories; (3) the moderating role of cognitive imagination ability in decision-making stimulated by imagery is evidenced.

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Research paper

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“Heidi’s Alps mean a lot to me”: Factors affecting travel intention and the moderating role of imagination capacity

The paper aims to extend the current knowledge on travel intention to destinations featured in media programs, using the Swiss Alps from the famous novel and TV-series “Heidi” as a stimulus. A structural model including place attachment, positive affect, and motivation as antecedents to travel intention and imagination capacity as a moderator was examined. The results, tested on 410 individuals who had never visited the Swiss Alps, demonstrated the significant influence of the proposed antecedents on travel intention, while the magnitude of their impact was found to differ depending on respondent’s proclivity to imagine. The study’s contribution is three-fold: (1) empirical support to the assertion that place attachment may be stimulated by narratives is provided; (2) the underlying foundations of place attachment are further elucidated by applying the symbolic interactionism and media effects theories; (3) the moderating role of cognitive imagination ability in decision-making stimulated by imagery is evidenced.