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Heritage Image and Attitudes toward a Heritage Site: Do They Really Mediate the Relationship between User-Generated Content and Travel Intentions toward a Heritage Site?

Shafaqat Mehmood (), Changyong Liang () and Dongxiao Gu ()
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Shafaqat Mehmood: School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Changyong Liang: School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Dongxiao Gu: School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-26

Abstract: Traveling to heritage sites represents a growing sector with great potential in the context of heritage tourism, which is a relevant topic but has received little scholarly attention. The present study tries to bridge this gap by investigating the mediating role of heritage image and attitudes toward a heritage site in the relationship between user-generated content (UGC) and travel intention toward a heritage site. In particular, we applied partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), which is a relatively popular new method, instead of the traditionally used covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) method. The rise in popularity of PLS-SEM has been particularly noticeable since 2013, but in the area of heritage tourism, research is still in an early stage of development because the heritage discipline has hardly exploited the benefits of this approach. We proposed a multimediation model for heritage tourism to address this relatively new research avenue. It was discovered that exogenous variables directly and indirectly influenced travel intentions toward a heritage site through their mediators (i.e., heritage image and attitudes toward a heritage site). The findings provide an appropriate empirical and theoretical conclusion as well as valuable insights for heritage management organizations (HMOs) into the performance of heritage tourism, both for local professionals and the host communities that assist in increasing the development of heritage tourism.

Keywords: heritage image; heritage tourism; attitudes toward a heritage site; user-generated content; travel intentions toward a heritage site; word-of-mouth; SEM; UNESCO World Heritage Sites (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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