Measuring Legitimacy from the Perspective of Black Travelers

Author Bios (50 Words for each Author)

Charis N. Tucker is a PhD student at Virginia Tech University majoring in business with a specialization in hospitality and tourism management. Her research interests include race and tourism and its impacts on topics such as tourism marketing and entrepreneurship.

Nancy Gard McGehee, PhD is Professor and Co-editor of the Journal of Travel Research. She has published over 44 refereed journal articles, 2 books and 5 book chapters. She is a Fulbright Specialist Program Awardee, received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award, and was cited Outstanding Woman in Travel Research.

Zheng (Phil) Xiang, PhD is the current Department Head and Associate Professor at Virginia Tech University. His research interest includes travel information search, social media marketing, and business analytics for hospitality and tourism. He also serves as co-editor for the Journal of Information Technology and Tourism.

Berkita Bradford, PhD is Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Hospitality Management at Virginia State University. Her research interests are in heritage tourism, diversity and inclusion, and agritourism.

Abstract (150 Words)

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are evolving to include both management and marketing functions. From a management perspective, U.S. DMOs recently engaged in destination social advocacy, identified by their social media posts, aimed at Black travelers, in support of racial justice. One gap in the exploration of these actions is how such actions were perceived as legitimate by Black travelers. However, before such evaluations can be made, a standard measure of legitimacy is needed. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions Black travelers use to evaluate legitimacy and to develop a reliable and valid scale to measure the legitimacy judgments of Black travelers. Results from this study suggest that Black travelers use four dimensions of legitimacy when judging DMOs: relational, sociopolitical, cognitive, and pragmatic. Theoretical and practical implications address the ways in which DMOs can affirm Black travelers through partnerships and authentic representation.

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Measuring Legitimacy from the Perspective of Black Travelers

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are evolving to include both management and marketing functions. From a management perspective, U.S. DMOs recently engaged in destination social advocacy, identified by their social media posts, aimed at Black travelers, in support of racial justice. One gap in the exploration of these actions is how such actions were perceived as legitimate by Black travelers. However, before such evaluations can be made, a standard measure of legitimacy is needed. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions Black travelers use to evaluate legitimacy and to develop a reliable and valid scale to measure the legitimacy judgments of Black travelers. Results from this study suggest that Black travelers use four dimensions of legitimacy when judging DMOs: relational, sociopolitical, cognitive, and pragmatic. Theoretical and practical implications address the ways in which DMOs can affirm Black travelers through partnerships and authentic representation.