GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 1129-1140.doi: 10.11821/yj2010060017

• Culture and Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The effect of tourists' host-guest contact preference on perceived destination image and tourist satisfaction: A case of domestic tourists in Yangshuo, Guilin

ZHANG Hong-mei, LU Lin   

  1. College of National Territorial Resources and Tourism,Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000,China
  • Received:2010-01-23 Revised:2010-04-12 Online:2010-06-20 Published:2010-06-20

Abstract: The tourist-host contact is generally considered helpful for improving mutual understanding and respect, but empirical studies have not obtained convincing results. Some studies show that tourist-guest contact can lead to positive attitude change, but others do not, and some studies even show negative attitude change. Factors such as the short duration and superficial nature of the tourist-guest contact make it difficult to obtain good results. Previous studies of the tourist-guest contact effect mostly focus on international tourism, but few studies have been done about domestic tourism. This study investigates the effect of tourist-guest contact on perceived destination image and tourist satisfaction in domestic context-the case of Yangshuo, China. The constructs' measurement questionnaires are adapted from previous researches. The tourist-guest contact preference scale is adapted from Reisinger & Turner's study on cultural differences. The destination image scale is adapted from Baloglu & McCleary's study on destination image formation. The tourist satisfaction scale is adapted from Yoon et al.'s study on relationship among motivation, satisfaction and loyalty. The data from 292 domestic tourists visiting Yangshuo were collected during October and November 2008, and the response rate was 91.3%. In this study, a structural equation model is used for theoretical testing and development. First, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are used to test the applicability of tourist destination image and tourist-contact preference scales. Second, confirmatory factor analysis is used to test the total measurement model. Finally, structural model analysis is used to test the hypothesis. The results show that tourist-guest contact preference has a direct significant effect on perceived destination image, perceived destination image has a direct significant effect on tourist satisfaction, but tourist-guest contact preference has no direct significant effect on tourist satisfaction. Specifically, tourist-guest contact preference is comprised of two dimensions: close contact and moderate contact. Close contact has a positive direct significant effect on cognitive image, and has a negative effect on affective image though it is insignificant at 0.05 level. Close contact has an indirect effect on satisfaction through the mediate variable of destination image, cognitive and affective images have direct significant effects on satisfaction, cognitive image has an indirect effect on satisfaction via affective image. The theoretical and managerial significance of these findings is discussed in the final section.

Key words: tourist-guest contact preference, perceived destination image, tourists&rsquo, satisfaction