Examining the Antecedents of Behavioral Intentions in a Tourism Context
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The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the structure and antecedents of travelers' behavioral intentions. Understanding travelers' behavioral intentions is an important goal of both destination marketing organizations and host destinations. However, little research has contributed to the theoretical development in this area, and the lack of a solid theoretical framework has negatively influenced the validity of existing research. Thus, this study attempted to explain travelers' behavioral intentions, using a model which was developed based on existing human behavior theories: the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior. Another major objective of the current study was to test the validity of the proposed model. Based on the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior, a conceptual framework was established to explain travelers' behavior intention in a tourism context. Attitude was conceptualized as destination image which is a two-dimensional construct including cognitive and affective components. Subjective norms were conceptualized as the combination of normative beliefs and motivation to comply. Perceived behavioral control was conceptualized as constraints which is a three-dimensional construct including intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural components. An online panel survey was launched in September 2008 to collect data. Respondents were specially asked their perceived image about Texas, what were the barriers preventing them from traveling to Texas, and how their reference groups affected their travel decision to Texas. Totally, 1,448 completed surveys were received and utilized for analysis which included both visitors and non-visitors. The data analysis procedures included six major steps, from descriptive analysis and preliminary data analysis, to model and hypothesis testing. To do so, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 16.0 (SPSS) and Amos 16.0 were utilized. The structural relationships between all variables were tested with using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results of the study showed that destination image and subjective norm positively impacted behavioral intentions while constraints negatively affected behavioral intentions. Hence, this research provides important direction for the development of a more comprehensive theoretical framework to explain travelers' behavioral intentions, and presented a step toward offering practical as well as theoretical implications for future research.