Empirical investigation of tourists' perceived psychic distance of Iran as a tourism destination

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Faculty of Administration and Economic Science, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to investigate the perceived psychic distance of potential
tourists in relation to Iran as a tourism destination. The concept of psychic distance refers
to perceived similarities/ differences between specific destination and tourist's home
country. The members of couch-surfing virtual community participated in this study. The
statistical data were collected by convenience sampling method. This study contributes to
the body of knowledge by identifying the dimensions of perceived psychic distance in
relation to Iran. The results of exploratory and confirmatory analysis indicated that these
dimensions include infrastructure, culture and legal distance. Furthermore, the result of
one sample t- test revealed that international tourists perceive high psychic distance in
relation to Iran as a tourism destination. In addition, the result of one-way variance
analysis showed that tourists from ten of the world's regions perceived different levels of
psychic distance in relation to Iran. Tourists from the Middle East region perceived less
psychic distance compared to other regions. These findings have several managerial
implications. First, development of Iranian tourism industry requires planning to reduce
perceived psychic distance in terms of infrastructure, culture and legal aspects. Second,
based on the lower psychic distance which is perceived by tourists from the Middle East,
the Iranian tourism policy-makers can consider the region as a more accessible target
market.

Keywords

Main Subjects


Article Title [Persian]

بررسی تجربی فاصلة روانی ادراک‌شدة گردشگران ایران از مقصد گردشگری

Authors [Persian]

  • علیرضا امامی
  • بهرام رنجبریان
دانشکده مدیریت، دانشگاه اصفهان، اصفهان ، ایران
Abstract [Persian]

هدف مطالعة حاضر مفهوم‌سازی و سنجش فاصلة روانی ادراک‌شده از مقصد گردشگری ایران است. مفهوم فاصلة روانی یا روان‌شناختی به شکل وسیعی در بازاریابی بین‌المللی استفاده می‌شود. مقصد گردشگری یکی از پدیده‌هایی است که گردشگران ممکن است آن را دور از خود یا نزدیک به خود ادراک کنند. در این مطالعه با استفاده از روش تحلیل عاملی اکتشافی به استخراج ابعاد فاصلة روانی ادراک‌شده از مقصد ایران پرداخته شده است. سپس، از روش تحلیل عاملی تأییدی به منظور بررسی روایی سازة سه‌بعدی فاصلة روانی بهره گرفته شد. جامعة آماری این پژوهش افراد سفر نکرده به ایران بودند. بدین منظور اعضای شبکة مجازی گردشگری کوچ سرفینگ به عنوان پاسخگویان در نظر گرفته شدند. با استفاده از روش نمونه‌گیری در دسترس 620 نفر از مناطق مختلف جهان در مطالعه شرکت کردند. نتایج نشان می‌دهد که فاصلة روانی سازه‌ای سه‌بعدی با ابعاد زیرساختی، فرهنگی و قانونی است. گردشگران مناطق مختلف نیز فاصلة روانی ادراک‌شدة بالایی نسبت به مقصد ایران ادراک می‌کنند. همچنین، نتایج تحلیل واریانس یک عامله نشان می‌دهد بین مناطق مختلف تفاوت معناداری از نظر ادراک فاصلة روانی با مقصد ایران وجود دارد. گردشگران اهل خاورمیانه کمترین فاصلة روانی را نسبت به مناطق دیگر ادراک می‌کنند.

Keywords [Persian]

  • ادراک گردشگر
  • فاصلة روانی
  • مدیریت بازاریابی مقصد
  • مقصد ایران
  • نظریة سطوح استنباط
Abooali .G & Mohamed. B, (2012). “Operationalizing Psychological
Distance in Tourism Marketing”. International Journal of Business
and Management,7(12);doi:10.5539/ijbm.v7n12p173.
Bagozzi, R. & Y. Yi (1988). “On the Evaluation of Structural Equation
Model”. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences 16(1),74–94.
Beckerman, W. (1956). “Distance and the pattern of inter-European trade”.
The Review of Economics and Statistics, 38(1), 31-40.
Brewer, P.A. (2007). “Operationalizing psychic distance: a revised
approach”. Journal of International Marketing, 15(1), 44-66.
Dow, D. & Larimo, J. (2009). “Challenging the conceptualization and
measurement of distance and international experience in entry mode
choice research”. Journal of International Marketing, 17(2), 74-98.
Echtner, C. & Ritchie, B. (2003). “The meaning and measurement of
destination image”. Journal of Tourism Studies, 14(1), 37-48.
Ellis, P.D. (2007). “Paths to foreign markets: does distance to market affect
firm internationalization ?”. International Business Review, 16(5),
573-593.
Fornell, C. & Larcker, D. (1981). “Evaluating structural equation models
with unobservable variables and measurement error”. Journal of
Marketing Research, 18(1), 23-45.
Fletcher, R. & Bohn, J. (1998). “The impact of psychic distance on the
internationalization of the Australian firm”. Journal of Global
Marketing, 12(2), 47-68.
Ghasemi, V. (2011). Structural equations modeling in social researches.
Tehran: Jame-e-shenasan publications.
Jang .S.C.; Bai. B.; Hu, C. & Wu.C.M. (2009). “Affect, Travel Motivation,
and Travel Intention: a Senior Market”. Journal of Hospitality &
Tourism Research, 33(1), 51-73.
Johanson, J. & Wiedersheim-Paul, F. (1975). “The internationalization of the
firm – four Swedish cases”. Journal of Management Studies, 12(3),
305-322.
Johanson, J. & Vahlne, J.-E. (1977). “The internationalization process of the
firm – a model of knowledge development and increasing foreign
market commitments”. Journal of International Business Studies,
8(1), 23-32.
Hakanson, L. & Ambos, B. (2010). “The antecedents of psychic distance”.
Journal of International Management, 16(3), 195-210,
doi:10.1016/j.intman.2010.06.001 

Hooman, H. (2009). Structural equations modeling via LISREL software.
Tehran: SAMT publications.
Hwang, S.; C. Lee, & H. Chen (2005). “The Relationship among Tourists’
Involvement, Place Attachment and Interpretation Satisfaction in
Taiwan’s National Parks”. Tourism Management, 26, 143–156.
Kogut, B. & Singh, H. (1988). “The effect of national culture on the choice
of entry mode”. Journal ofInternational Business Studies, 19(3), 411-
432, doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490394
Kozak, M.; Crotts, J. C. & Law, R. (2007). “The impact of the perception of
risk on international travelers”. International Journal of Tourism
Research, 9(4), 233- 242.
Lee, T. H. (2009). "A structural model to examine how destination image,
attitude, and motivation affect the future behavior of tourists", Leisure
Sciences, 31(3), 215-236.
Lee, C.; Y. Yoon, & S. Lee (2007). “Investigating the Relationships among
Perceived Value, Satisfaction, and Recommendations: The Case of the
Korean DMZ”. Tourism Management, 28, 204–214.
Lepp, A. & H. Gibson (2003). “Tourist Roles, Perceived Risk and
International Tourism”. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(3), 606-624.
Lehto, X.; J. O’Leary, & A. Morrison (2004). “The Effect of Prior
Experience on Vacation Behavior”. Annals of Tourism Research, 31,
801–818.
Liberman, N. & Wakslak C. (2007). “Construal Levels and Psychological
Distance: Effects on Representation, Prediction, Evaluation, and
Behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 17(2), 83–95.
doi:10.1016/S1057-7408(07)70013-X.
Liberman N & Trope. Y,(2010). “Construal-Level Theory of Psychological
Distance”. Psychological Review. 117(2), 440–463.
doi:10.1037/a0018963.
Liviatan, I.; Trope, Y.; Liberman, N. New. ( 2006). Interpersonal similarity
as a social distance dimension: A construal level approach to the
mental representations and judgments of similar and dissimilar
others’ actions. York University;
Malhotra, S.; Sivakumar, K. & Zhu, P. (2009). “Distance factors and target
market selection: the moderating effect of market potential”.
International Marketing Review, 26(6), 651-673.
Ng, S. I.; Lee, J. A. & Soutar, G. N. (2007). "Tourists’ intention to visit a
country: The impact of cultural distance". Tourism Management,
28(6), 1497–1506.
Pike, S. (2009). “Destination brand positions of a competitive set of near 

home destinations”. Tourism Management, 30(6), 857-866.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2008.12.007.
Prime, N.; Obadia, C. & Vida, I. (2009). “Psychic distance in exporterimporter
relationships: a grounded theory approach”. International
Business Review, 18(2), 184-198.
Sethi, D.; Guisinger, S.E.; Phelan, S.E. & Berg, D.M. (2003). “Trends in
foreign direct investment flows: a theoretical and empirical analysis”.
Journal of International Business Studies, 34(4), 315-26.
Sousa, C.M.P. & Bradley, F. (2006). “Cultural distance and psychic
distance”. Journal of International Marketing, 14(1), 49-70.
Sousa, C. M. P. & Lages, L. F. (2011). “The PD scale: a measure of psychic
distance and its impact on international marketing strategy”.
International Marketing Review, 28(2), 201-222.
doi:10.1108/02651331111122678.
Trope, Y. & Liberman, N. (2003). “Temporal construal”. Psychological
Review, 110, 403–421.
Weber, B. J. & Chapman, G. B. (2005). “The combined eVects of risk and
time on choice: Does uncertainty eliminate the immediacy eVect?
Does delay eliminate the certainty eVect?”. Organizational Behavior
and Human Decision Processes, 96, 104–118.
White, N. R. & White, P. B. (2007). “Home and away: Tourists in a
connectedworld”. Annals of Tourism Research, 34(1), 88–104.