Celebrity fandom and its relationship to tourism and leisure behaviors: the case of Korean wave



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This dissertation research was conducted to help understand this under-researched area particularly in the field of leisure and tourism. It is argued in this study that the celebrity fandom is a novel form of leisure/tourism activity, which should be understood in relation to other leisure and tourism constructs. Two separate models were proposed: one model was concerned with the impacts of celebrity involvement on various tourism perceptions, and the other model investigated the efficacy of celebrity involvement within the constraints-effects-mitigation model. The results corroborated several hypothesized relationships within the first proposed model. The level of celebrity involvement positively affected destination familiarity and visitation intention. Destination images and familiarity were also positively related to visitation intentions. The positive association between affective images and cognitive images was empirically supported as well. However, contrary to the expectation, the posited relationship between celebrity involvement and destination images was not empirically supported. The results supported all the hypothesized relationships within the second model. The level of celebrity involvement positively affects constraints negotiation and frequency of participation in celebrity fandom activities. The study also found that the level of leisure constraints positively influence constraints negotiation and frequency of participation. The positive relationship between constraints negotiation and frequency of participation was empirically supported as well. This dissertation study makes several significant contributions to existing literature in the field of tourism and leisure studies. First of all, it introduces a concept of celebrity fandom to the field of tourism studies. Second, although leisure involvement has received widespread attention over the last two decades, its application to celebrity fandom has gone virtually ignored. Third, in spite of conceptual and operational parallels between leisure involvement and motivation, the possible interchangeability between the two concepts has never been empirically examined. Lastly, this research helps clarify the effects of leisure involvement on the leisure negotiation processes, which eventually contributes to making this mitigation model more comprehensive.