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Travelling for Umrah : destination attributes, destination image, and post-travel intentions

Gannon, Martin Joseph and Baxter, Ian W. F. and Collinson, Elaine and Curran, Ross and Farrington, Thomas and Glasgow, Steven and Godsman, Elliot M. and Gori, Keith and Jack, Gordon R. A. and Lochrie, Sean and Maxwell-Stuart, Rebecca and MacLaren, Andrew Craig and MacIntosh, Robert and O'Gorman, Kevin and Ottaway, Luke and Perez-Vega, Rodrigo and Taheri, Babak and Thompson, Jamie and Yalinay, Ozge (2017) Travelling for Umrah : destination attributes, destination image, and post-travel intentions. Service Industries Journal, 37 (7-8). pp. 448-465. ISSN 0264-2069

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the links between cosmopolitanism, self-identity, and a desire for social interaction on perceived destination image and behavioural intentions. A model was tested using a sample of 538 Iranian visitors to Mecca for the purpose of Umrah. The result from the structural model suggests that destination attributes influence perceived destination image. Further, such tourists are likely to revisit or recommend Islamic destinations if their experience matches their perceived image of the destination. This implies that, while the religious characteristics of the destination remain important, destination managers cannot disregard the tangential, non-religious attributes of a destination which are crucial in order to satisfy more conventional tourist desires. As such, this study suggests that those managing religious travel destinations should endeavour to foster a welcoming image, where experience, interaction, and tolerance are at the forefront of the destination's offering.