The Effect of Resident-tourist Interaction Quality on Destination Image and Loyalty


"more knowledgeable other"; "zone of proximal development"; affective image; cognitive image; Interaction quality; satisfaction


Despite the widely recognized core position of the local community within tourism, a paucity of research has considered how the quality of interaction between residents and tourists shapes visitors' image formulation, overall satisfaction, and destination loyalty. Building on the "zone of proximal development" theory and the concept of "the more knowledgeable other," this study expands recent research on interaction quality by showcasing the vital role it plays as a model antecedent to the destination image-satisfaction-loyalty framework. Data from two studies (n1 = 353, n2 = 397) conducted in Greece in 2019, indicate that interaction quality positively affects image, which in turn shapes satisfaction and loyalty, predicting 68% (study 1) and 57% (study 2) of the variance in loyalty. The findings shed light on the process by which visitors develop their knowledge of and feelings towards destinations via interactions with locals. The study proposes the design of activities with locals whereby quality interactions are reinforced. When residents engage as information providers, then tourists are more likely to gain better insights into the place and develop bonds with locals. Such engagement serves as a positive feedback loop where visitors develop a greater appreciation of the destination, contributing to sustainable forms of development.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Stylidis, D., Woosnam, K. M., & Tasci, A. D. A. (2022). The effect of resident-tourist interaction quality on destination image and loyalty. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 30(6), 1219–1239.

Document Type




Source Title

Journal of Sustainable Tourism






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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