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Past Experience and Willingness to Pay: A Comparative Examination of Destination Loyalty in Two National Parks, China

Jianqiong Yuan (), Jingjing Li (), Jinyang Deng () and Douglas Arbogast ()
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Jianqiong Yuan: College of Tourism, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, Changsha 410004, China
Jingjing Li: College of Tourism, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, Changsha 410004, China
Jinyang Deng: Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Resources Program, School of Natural Resource, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Douglas Arbogast: Family and Community Development, WVU Extension Service, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 16, 1-26

Abstract: The long-term sustainability of China’s national parks depends on the appropriate use and management of park resources and the provision of positive experience opportunities for tourists. While past experience, in terms of frequency of visits to the same destination and behavioral intention measured as willingness to revisit/recommend, have been extensively examined in a typical destination loyalty model using structural equation modeling (SEM), past experience with other destinations and willingness to pay (WTP), another form of behavioral intention, have received less attention from researchers. This paper, for the first time, simultaneously examined these two types of past experience and WTP using both second-order and first-order SEMs, based on data collected from two national parks in China. Results show that, while frequency of visits had no significant impacts on attribute satisfaction (AS) nor on overall satisfaction (OS), previous experience with other destinations significantly influenced AS, which, in turn, significantly predicted OS. While OS significantly and consistently predicted visitors’ intentions to revisit/recommend for both samples, its impact on WTP was significant for one sample, but not for the other. This suggests that asymmetric beliefs in destination loyalty may exist, depending on how and where behavioral intention was measured. The study endorses norm theory in studying destination satisfaction.

Keywords: behavioral intention; norm theory; entrance fees; satisfaction; ecotourism; SEM; WTP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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