PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1590-1596.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.12.017

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Structure of the Tourism Destination Image

ZHOU Yongbo1,2, SHA Run1,3, YU Ziping3   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China;
    2. Tourism Management Department, Institute of Commerce,Wuxi 214153, China;
    3. College of Tourism, Sanjiang University, Nanjing 210012, China
  • Received:2010-01-01 Revised:2010-07-01 Online:2010-12-25 Published:2010-12-25


Over the past, tourism destination image (TDI) studies generally considered that the functional-psychological continuum theory could be a reasonable explanation of TDI structure. However, due to the absence of further analysis of the psychological attributes, this continuum theory is also flawed in the measurement and evaluation of TDI. In this paper, the psychological properties of TDI were further analyzed in order to improve the operability of TDI’s abstract concept in actual research.
According to the findings from group interviews and content analysis, the researchers designed a questionnaire survey of 291 random tourists in Zhouzhuang and Wuzhen, and the topics covered included TDI experience level and demographic characteristics. Then, this paper used SPSS16.0 for exploratory factor analysis, and used LISREL8.70 for a confirmatory factor analysis, revealing that the fitting degree with three factors was much better than that with two factors. Empirical study concluded that: firstly, the original functional-psychological continuum should be further deconstructed to form a function-time-space coupling structure; secondly, the coupling structure contains three basic dimensions of time characteristics, space characteristics and functional characteristics; thirdly, each dimension contains either cognitive components or affective components of TDI and should be a part of cognitive-affective continuum of the TDI structure. In this paper, psychology, geography and marketing theory were applied to TDI research. In the 291 samples analyzed, this paper concluded that tourism destination image had a tourist-centered coupling structure, in particular, it contained three basic dimensions, and each dimension was a part of the cognitive-affective continuum. Therefore, the tourism destination image structure is the unity of the function-time-space coupling structure and the cognitive-affective continuum.

Key words: continuum, coupling structure, image, tourism destination