Investigating the Intention of Tourists to Travel to the World Heritage Destination: The Mediating Role of Familiarity

Prashant Mehta, Debarun Chakraborty, Sangeeta Khorana, Nripendra P. Rana, Neelu Seetaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the intention of tourists to travel to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in India, a conservation area of natural bio-diversity that was accorded World Heritage Site status in 2014. The main constructs that have been used in the study are an image of the destination, homestay preference, destination familiarity and intention to travel. The S-O-R framework has been further used to find the tourists’ intention to travel to GHNP. A closed-ended questionnaire was administered to 1,020 respondents in India. The results show that path coefficients for all constructs are statistically significant. Tourists’ intention to travel is likely to be influenced by the destination image and the preference for a local homestay, which is mediated by destination familiarity. The study is not longitudinal and sheds light on respondents’ perceptions for a specific time period. Policymakers must design policies that focus on developing campaigns that promote lesser-known destinations, thus ensuring a positive destination image and enhancing destination familiarity by providing authentic information. Such a shift in tourism will foster employment in rural and less-known areas of natural beauty. Further, tourists’ preference to stay in homestay arrangements allows them to experience local hospitality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFIIB Business Review
Early online date29 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • World Heritage
  • familiarity
  • homestay preferences
  • image of destination
  • intention to travel

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