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Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE)   winter 2019 , Volume 10 , Number 4 ; Page(s) 815 To 834.

The Intervening Role of Tourists’ Perception in the Effect of Word of Mouth Advertisement on the Intention to Visit Religious Tourism Destinations (Case Study: Mashhad)

Author(s):  Pourashraf Yasanolah, TOLABI ZEINAB, NASROLAHI VOSTA SIMIN*
* Department of Business Management, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran
Objective Successful development of tourism in many tourism destinations around the world depends on how to manage tourists’ perceptions by marketing managers and tourism planners. Thus, any information source about the tourists is of high importance that can be used to affect their beliefs towards the religious destinations. Therefore, it is important to identify the formation of such perceptions of a destination and the affecting factors, esficifically word of mouth (WOM) advertisement, in order to develop religious tourism industry and plan for appropriate related marketing. The aim of this study is to identify whether tourists’ perception of religious destinations can play an intervening role in the effect of WOM advertisement on tourists intention for a destination. Methodology The present study is practical in nature and is considered a descriptive-exploratory research. The statistical population includes the residents of Ilam and KhoramAbad cities. The sample size was determined based on Krejcie and Morgan’ s range of participants. So a sample of 450 available residents was selected. Descriptive and inferential data analyses were conducted. Then, factor analysis was run and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses. Findings The findings showed that WOM advertisement had a positive effect on tourists’ mental image of reigous destination which is in line with the effect of religious leaders’ WOM advertisement on tourists’ perception i. e. WOM helps create an image of more abstract and intangible characteristics of a destination such as the atmosphere or the friendliness of people for tourists. WOM was proved effective on tourists’ awareness of the religious destinations. In fact, face-to-face interactions, WOM advertisement builds a database for tourists and affects his/her beliefs about the characteristics of the tourism destinations. It was also shown that WOM can help visualize the religious destination in the mind of the tourists. The more the desirable information about the destination, it makes it easier and quick for tourists to choose that destination among other tourism options. WOM was also influential on tourists’ intention of visiting a religious destination. In addition, the mental image of the religious destination affects tourists’ intention of such trips. If tourists have a more psychologically desirable perception of the destination in mind and if they are more informed about the intangible (the quality of hotels or restaurants and hospitality of the people) and tangible (transfer, the quantity of hotels and restaurants) features of a destination, they would have a more desirable image of the destination in mind. Conclusion Positive beliefs and excitements in the minds of tourists can result in the selection of that destination by the tourist. Moreover, awareness of a religious tourism destination affects the tourists’ intention of travel. This can prove the positive relationship between brand awareness and the purchasing intention of the customers which means the more desirable the awareness of the destination, the easier for tourists to give priority to that destination. Finally, the mental image of a religious destination affects the intention of travel to that destination which is in line with the fact that there is a significantly positive relationship between brand image and customers’ purchasing intention.
Keyword(s): Word of mouth,Destination brand,Travel intention,Tourists perceptions,Religious tourism
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مباني نظري و تجربي ونداليسم: مروري بر يافته هاي يك تحقيق Persian Abstract Yearly Visit 211
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