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

Document Type : Research Paper


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


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


Main Subjects

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