Why Not This Destination? The Effects of Travel Constraints of Independent Travelers on Destination Image Formation

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International Journal of Tourism Research

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In spite of diverse measures by national governments and destination marketing organizations (DMOs), the statistics related to international tourist destinations, including those of independent travelers, show that the rankings of the most popular tourist destinations have undergone minimal changes over the past decade. The aim of this study is to understand the factors that prevent independent travelers from selecting smaller regions (i.e., relatively less popular destinations) and examine the impact of these constraint factors on destination image formation. Using both qualitative and quantitative data collected from independent travelers, this study found that intrapersonal, interpersonal, structural, and awareness constraints are the major constraint factors. Intrapersonal constraints were found to be negatively associated with the cognitive and affective image of a destination, while awareness constraints were found to be negatively associated with the cognitive image of a destination. Cognitive and affective images were also found to be significant antecedents of conative image. The study includes a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications of these findings and directions for future research.


Destination image formation; Destination-choice process; Independent traveler; Travel constraints


Tourism and Travel



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