South Korea’s destination image: Comparing perceptions of film and nonfilm Chinese tourists

Shiheng Zeng1, Weisheng Chiu1, Chul Won Lee1, Hyun-Wook Kang2, Chanmin Park3
1Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Recreation and Leisure Sports, Dankook University, Republic of Korea
3Nanyang Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Cite this article:  Zeng, S., Chiu, W., Lee, C. W., Kang, H.-W., & Park, C. (2015). South Korea’s destination image: Comparing perceptions of film and nonfilm Chinese tourists. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(9), 1453-1462.

Volume 43 Issue 9 | e4846 | Published: October 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.9.1453

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We examined South Korea’s destination image for Chinese tourists and compared the differences between visitors who had come to that destination because of exposure to movies or television dramas filmed at their destination (film tourists) and those who were nonfilm tourists. A survey of 311 Chinese tourists, consisting of film tourists (n = 132) and nonfilm tourists (n = 179) revealed that South Korea is perceived as a safe, friendly, and clean tourism destination, and that Chinese tourists feel happy and relaxed during their trip. We also found that Chinese tourists believe that Korea lacks food variety and historical attractions, and is not easy to get around. Moreover, we also found that there was a difference between film and nonfilm tourists in regard to cognitive image of the destination, in that film tourists had a more positive image than did nonfilm tourists. However, there was no significant difference in affective destination image between film and nonfilm tourists. Our findings contribute to understanding of Chinese tourists’ perceptions and behaviors in regard to South Korea as a tourism destination. In addition, the implications for film and tourism destination marketers are discussed.

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