Effects of integrated marketing communications (IMC) on visitors' heritage destination selection



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This study explored the theory that visitors¡¦ use many communication sources to make traveling and attraction arrangements of heritage destinations. Two specific objectives include (1) to verify the theory that Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) can affect visitor¡¦s decision-making in selecting heritage destinations; and (2) to examine the factors that affect visitor¡¦s revisit intentions. A self-reported survey was conducted in a popular heritage destination, Lukang, Taiwan, in spring 2007. The main portion of the questionnaire includes 60 items that inquire visitors¡¦ visiting experience, destination image, destination attributes, and communication channels that affect their decision-making. One hundred and ninety-seven (197) usable questionnaires were collected. The results showed the major reason for them to travel to the destination was to experience the rich heritage at the destination. Other purposes of visiting included recreation, religion, personal experience of the destination, and the environmental attributed of the destination. Regarding channel of communication that affected their decision, friends/relatives word-of-the-mouth was rated to have highest influence, followed by TV travel programs, TV travel news, printed travel news, and information on festival activities, respectively. A Multiple Regression test was conducted to establish a prediction model for the intention to revisit the Township (DV). The Recreation, Religion, Personal Internal experience on the Township, and the Attributes of the Township positively affect participants¡¦ intention while the Direct Sales and Promotion negatively influence the decision to revisit the Township. The Coefficient of Determination (R2) shows that 33% of the variations (R2=0.33) can be explained by this model.