Cinema, Destination Image and Place Branding Cinema, Destination Image & Place Branding - Page 177

THE STRUCTURAL RELATIONSHIPS OF DESTINATION IMAGE, AWARENESS, UNIQUENESS AND DESTINATION LOYALTY IN THE PASSIVE URBAN ECOTOURISM DESTINATION Destination Image and Overall Satisfaction: Regarding the structural relation- ship between destination image and satisfaction, Bigné et al., (2001) examined two cities of Spain, Peñíscola and Torrevieja, Chi and Qu (2008) looked into Eureka Springs in the States, and Prayag and Ryan (2012) surveyed visitors of Mauritius, a small island state in Africa, by applying diverse measurement variables consti- tuting destination imag e. Meanwhile, Assaker et al. (2011) conducted a study using online survey data on tourists from France, UK, and Germany, and what made their study different from other research is that they measured destination image with a single variable that measures the degree of being favorable, instead of attributes. Although application of tools measuring destination image varies among scholars, most empirical studies were found to have a significant struc- tural relationship between destination image and overall satisfaction; namely, positive result of destination image affected overall satisfaction positively. From these findings, following hypotheses were generated: H1. Urban ecotourism destination image positively affects tourists’ overall satisfaction Destination Awareness and Overall Satisfaction: Research on destination awareness is related to the theory of destination brand recently studied. In stud- ies on general brands, awareness is a key attribute that affects positively depend- ent variables such as brand value and brand loyalty (Keller, 1993; Aaker, 1996). Such concept of awareness has been theoretically discussed and empirically tack- led as a key attribute in brand equity theory in the field of tourism destination and hospitality (Pike, 2007, 2010; Lee and Back, 2008, 2010). Up to now, places famous for ecotourism destination have been enjoying a high level of awareness. Urban ecotourism destination in this study, however, is a place of passive ecotourism of which reputation stays local. Thus, following hypotheses were raised to test a structural relationship between ecotourism destination awareness and overall satisfaction in an exploratory way. H2. Urban ecotourism destination awareness positively affects tourists’ overall satisfaction Destination Uniqueness and Overall Satisfaction: Destination uniqueness is one of the key attributes which have been applied to brand theory at large like destination awareness. In brand theory, brand uniqueness can be regarded as something special (Netemeyer etal., 2004) which makes a product apparently dif- ferent from competing goods. If the urban ecotourism destination in this study return to the content page 177