A dimensional analysis of destination image variables in a south african context: an exploratory study
Mokoena, B. A.
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It is generally accepted in tourism literature that destination image (DI), the importance of which is universally acknowledged, is often used as a significant element for local tourists in the choice of a vacation destination. The purpose of this study was to identify the dimensions that influence tourists' perceptions of a destination. A comprehensive literature study of DI was undertaken. In addition, a questionnaire was developed to elicit information from a purposively selected sample of 350 participants who had visited the city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa during the past eight months prior to the data collection. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to measure the reliability of the measurement scale. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample profile. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify the dimensions influencing DI. Through this process seven dimensions, namely destination appreciation, weather and climate, tourism information, travel environment, shopping, community attitude and spatial layout were identified. Based on the findings, recommendations are made to develop strategies to improve and maintain the image of Durban so that tourists are attracted to the city. Implications for further research are also provided.