Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Farabi School, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran
Today, tourism is one of the most important economic activities that not only creates many jobs, develops services and infrastructure and a large amount of income, but also a means to promote harmony, peace, cultural exchange and the creation of intangible but sustainable values. Destination is a key feature in tourism research, and its proper marketing and management is essential. Tourist destinations are places that attract visitors for temporary accommodation from all continents to countries, from states to cities, from cities to resorts, or even uninhabited places. Destinations are spaces that arise from social interactions, exchange of values and meanings, not physical divisions. In fact, a tourism destination is a combination of different tourism products, services and stakeholders that provide a unified experience to tourists. Tourism destinations need to differentiate and develop their tourism offerings so that consumers reach experiential value. If the destination succeeds in creating such value, it will create positive emotions in tourists, such as buying souvenirs or gaining and sharing experiences through social networks. Consumers, on the other hand, are more likely to fall in love with hedonistic products and brands that have more symbolic value. On the other hand, the destination is a symbolic sight for tourists. Therefore, tourists may also fall in love with a destination. The more people fall in love with a destination, the more inclined they are to return, and they also recommend visiting this destination to their friends, family and acquaintances. Love with the tourism brand is defined as the level of emotional dependence of a tourist in a particular destination.
Materials and Methods
The present study is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-survey method. The statistical population of the study includes those foreign tourists who traveled to Mashhad in the March 2019. Since the number of members of the statistical population of the research is unlimited; A sample of 384 people was selected by non-random and available sampling method. Cochran sampling method was used to determine the sample size. To collect research data, a questionnaire containing 27 questions was designed by reviewing the research literature on research variables. The reliability of the questionnaire was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. In order to review the research data and test the hypotheses, descriptive and inferential statistics and SPSS and smart PLS software were used.
Discussion and Results
After studying and reviewing previous researches based on personal characteristics, values, culture and customs of the Iranian people, five variables of positive experience, emotional connection, positive attitude, mental image and attractiveness of place as a precursor Target brand love and the three variables of price insensitivity, emotional commitment and word of mouth were identified as the benefits of love for the destination brand. Findings The research showed that the antecedents of love for the destination brand, positive tourist experience (β = 0.261 and t-value = 3.094), attractiveness of place (β = 0.219 and t-value = 5.204) and emotional connection (β = 0.320 and t-value = 4.694) has a positive and significant effect on love for the destination brand, but, mental image (β = 0.073 and t-value = 0.991) and positive attitude (β = 0.012 and t-value = 0.170) towards the destination Tourism has not affected the love of the destination brand. Also, love of the tourism destination brand on word of mouth (β = 0.317 and t-value = 5.101), price sensitivity (β = 0.535 and t-value = 9.677) and emotional commitment (β = 0.441 and t-value = 7.442) As a consequence of love for the destination brand has a positive and significant effect. On the other hand, positive experience also has a positive and significant effect on emotional attachment (β = 0.568 and t-value = 11.156), positive attitude on mental image (β = 0.356 and t-value = 4.828), attractiveness of place on mental image (β = 0.398 and t-value = 5.204) and finally has a mouth-to-mouth emotional commitment (β = 0.440 and t-value = 8.548).
One of the necessities of examining the situation of tourism branding in the country and its promotion is that branding in tourism reduces the problems caused by the invisibility of tourism products, maintains coherence and stability in different markets and times, and facilitates the process of accurate market segmentation. It makes the efforts of the service provider more coherent and focused, thus people strive for uniform and coordinated results. Since destinations are places that people choose to stay and travel for a specific experience based on an understanding of a particular feature of the attraction, a brand can be created for them using planning methods. Thus, when choosing between a destination that has become a brand and its competitors, tourists prefer the branded destination because of the better position that the brand has in mind. Given the importance of tourism, which has a great impact on the environment, culture and economy, in this article, an attempt has been made to examine the antecedents and consequences of love for the destination brand. Therefore, the present study, by identifying the antecedents and consequences of love for the brand of tourism destinations, has tried to help marketing managers to attract tourists as much as possible. The results of the research showed that the positive experience of the tourist, the attractiveness of the place and the emotional bond affect the love of the destination brand, and is the result of love to the tourism destination brand. In this research, tourism destination brand image and positive attitude did not affect destination brand love. Also, tourism destination brand is influenced by word-of-mouth communications, price sensitivities, and emotional commitment as consequences of tourism destination brand love. On the other hand, positive experience also has a positive and significant effect on emotional connection, positive attitude on mental image, attractiveness of place on mental image and finally emotional commitment on word of mouth.