Marketing China to U.S. Travelers Through Electronic Word-of-Mouth and Destination Image: Taking Beijing as an Example


Asia pacific; attitudes; behavioral control; destination image; electronic word-of-mouth; eWOM credibility; inbound tourism; online review; theory of planned behavior; tourism marketing; travel intention


The tourism industry in China has grown significantly over the last two decades. Most of the growth, however, is fueled by domestic tourism. As one of the biggest tourism markets in the world, U.S. tourists might be reluctant to travel to China due to reasons such as unfamiliarity, cultural differences, visa requirements, and long flights. Building on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with relevant constructs, this research proposes that building a strong destination image via eWOM may influence the attitude and intention of U.S. travelers to visit Beijing. More specifically, the current research aims to examine the impact of eWOM and destination image on travel intention of tourists. This study used a quantitative research method and online data collection was conducted through Qualtrics. A total of 413 valid responses from U.S. residents were collected. The statistical software SPSS 21.0 and Mplus 7.0 were used to analyze the data. Study results show a strong relationship between eWOM utilitarian function and eWOM credibility, and eWOM credibility has a significant influence on destination image. Although there was no direct impact of destination image on tourists' future travel intention, destination image plays a mediating role between eWOM credibility and perceived behavioral control (and tourists' attitudes as well). Finally, perceived behavioral control and tourists' attitudes mediate the impact of destination image on travel intention.

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Original Citation

Ran, L., Zhenpeng, L., Bilgihan, A., & Okumus, F. (2021). Marketing China to U.S. travelers through electronic word-of-mouth and destination image: Taking Beijing as an example. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 27(3), 267–286.

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Journal of Vacation Marketing






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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