The effect of destination source credibility on tourist environmentally responsible behavior: an application of stimulus-organism-response theory

Hongliang Qiu, Xiongzhi Wang, Mao-Ying Wu, Wei Wei, Alastair Morrison, Catherine Kelly

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    A lack of credibility in the tourism sector is becoming a social and environmental concern. This article argues that destination source credibility as a destination-level stimulus can have significant influences on tourist environmentally responsible behavior (TERB). Based on the stimulus-organism-response theory, this article developed an integrated model of the relationship between destination source credibility and TERB, with destination image (cognitive and affective) and place attachment as mediators. Three sets of survey data were collected at a Chinese national wetland park (N = 451), a world heritage cultural landscape site (N = 453), and a world cultural heritage site (N = 450). The serial multiple mediation model was tested through combining bootstrapping and Bayesian approaches. Results indicated that destination source credibility enhanced tourists’ cognitive and affective image, place attachment, and TERB. In addition, the effect of destination source credibility on TERB was partially and sequentially mediated by (cognitive and then affective) destination image and place attachment, among which place attachment emerged as the most powerful mediator. Robustness of these findings was confirmed across different destination types. Theoretical contribution and practical implication for sustainable destination management are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1797-1817
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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