Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Billy Bai

Second Committee Member

James Busser

Third Committee Member

Tony Henthorne

Fourth Committee Member

Eunsook Hong

Number of Pages



In recent years, pop-culture tourism, in which individuals travel to destinations made famous through pop-culture or relative media themes, has come into the spotlight. The new market segment induced by pop-culture has created a specialized but dedicated consumer, called a "fan." This study examined the impact of pop-stars on a destination from the perspective of fans. Specifically, the research investigated whether fans at different degrees of fandom had different travel attitudes and behaviors with regard to motivation, satisfaction, attachment, and loyalty in the destination context by applying self-expansion theory. In particular, Korean pop-star's fans were chosen as the study example of Korean pop-culture.

This research provided empirical support for the impact of fandom on tourism. Results of the study revealed a new characteristic of fans, a high level of self-expansion. Fans' self-expansion was significant in influencing their fandom and travel motivation. As a result, a high degree of fandom had a significant effect on travel satisfaction and destination loyalty.

Given the growing importance of pop-culture tourism, this research is among the first studies to investigate the impact of fandom on tourism, providing new insights in understanding this niche segment from the pop-culture fans' perspective. The examination of self-expansion theory on fandom and tourism has helped to bridge the link between a fan and a destination, extending the literature on destination studies, and suggesting meaningful implications for destination marketers. The findings of this study suggest that future research continue to investigate destination markets with different and/or broader contexts using diverse research approaches.


Consumer behavior; Culture and tourism; Destination; Fandom; Fans (Persons); Pop-culture; Popular culture; Self-Expansion Theory; Tourism


Leisure Studies | Marketing | Tourism and Travel

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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