How consumption values affect destination image formation

Haywantee Ramkissoon, Robin Nunkoo, Dogan Gursoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars acknowledge the crucial role of values in influencing behavior and market choices. This paper examines the role of consumption values in influencing destination image and travel behavior by proposing a destination image formation model. Having as theoretical base the means-end chain theory and the theory of consumption values, the model suggests that destination image is a function of five consumption values and that these in turn influence travel behavior. The essay discusses some pertinent issues with respect to the measurement of such values. This involves conducting in-depth interviews based on the laddering technique, developing a structured questionnaire based on data from laddering, applying fuzzy logic to quantify the consumption values, and finally using k-means clustering to define segments of travelers holding similar images of the destination. The paper emphasizes that combined use of a qualitative data collection method such as laddering with a structured questionnaire is an effective way of researching consumption values and their influence on image and travel behavior. The study also discusses a k-means clustering approach to define segments of travelers holding similar images of a destination and the degree of membership of travelers to each value. The paper concludes that segmenting travelers based on their consumption values enables destination marketers to better understand travelers' behavior. Value research has particular application for market analysis, segmentation, destination product planning, and promotional strategies. This paper contributes to the very limited number of studies that analyze the influence of consumption values on destination image and travel behavior. The theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches that the paper proposes are also new contributions to destination image studies. However, the paper does not empirically test the theoretical frameworks and methodological steps. To contribute further to this field of study, scholars should attempt to empirically test the approaches that the study discusses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Cross-Cultural, Ethnographic, Brand Image, Storytelling, Unconscious needs, and Hospitality Guest Research
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameAdvances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
ISSN (Print)18713173

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