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Relationship among Image, Perceived Risk and Intention to Travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games among U.S. ...

University of Florida Institutional Repository
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RELATIONSHIP AMONG IMAGE, PERCEIV ED RISK AND INTENTION TO TRAVEL TO CHINA AND THE 2008 BE IJING OLYMPIC GAMES AMONG U.S. COLLEGE STUDENTS By XUEQING QI A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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Copyright 2005 by Xueqing Qi

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This document is dedicated to my family

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I am indebted to Dr Heather Gibson, the chair of my thesis committee, for her inspiration, knowledge, co mmitment and patient guidance throughout this thesis endeavor. Dr. Gi bson has contributed greatly to this thesis. Her support and encouragement helped me through challenging tim es during this thesis. Without her help, I could not have accomplished this thesis. I thank Dr. Stephen Holland for serving as a committee member, for his interest in this study and encouragement. I also thank Dr. James Zhang for his technical support and his contribution to th e theoretical model established in this study. I would like to express my d eep gratitude to my family. The distance separates us so far, but it never stops my love reaching out of my heart. I thank my parents for their endless love and support. Their strong belief in my abilities pushed me to work hard and complete this project. Many thanks also go to my grandparents. I grew up with them and love them so much. My grandpa is my firs t mentor in life and I enjoy every moment being with him. I deeply regret that I could not be there when he passed away. Specially, I would like to thank Chen Lin. I thank for his support and encouragement, for his patience listening to my challenges and celebrating my milestones. I thank him for inspiring so many ideas for the thesis topic and encouraging me to pursue a higher level of education. When ever I need help and someone to talk to, he is always there. I love him so much and he is the best forever.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................ix ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................3 Theoretical Framework.................................................................................................4 Anderson’s IIT Theory..........................................................................................5 Roger’s Protection Motivation Theory..................................................................6 Woodside and Lysonski’s De stination Choice Model..........................................7 Purpose of the Study...................................................................................................10 Research Questions.....................................................................................................11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................13 Destination Image.......................................................................................................13 Destination Image................................................................................................14 Components of Destination Image......................................................................15 Formation of Destination Image..........................................................................16 The Impact of Awareness and Familiarity..........................................................19 Destination Image and Hallmark Events.............................................................20 Perception of Risk.......................................................................................................22 Perceived Risk and Sport Tourism.............................................................................28 Intention to Travel......................................................................................................29 Intention to travel to the Olympic Games...................................................................33 Summary.....................................................................................................................34 3 METHODS AND INSTRUMENT.............................................................................36 Data Collection...........................................................................................................36 Instrumentation...........................................................................................................37

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vi Participants.................................................................................................................39 Demographics......................................................................................................39 Previous Travel Experiences...............................................................................40 Olympic Games Attendance................................................................................41 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................43 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................45 Image.......................................................................................................................... 45 Perceived Risk............................................................................................................54 Intention to Travel......................................................................................................62 Relationships...............................................................................................................66 Summary.....................................................................................................................70 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION........................................................................72 Destination Image.......................................................................................................72 Perceived Risk............................................................................................................74 Intention to Travel......................................................................................................77 Implications................................................................................................................78 Recommendations for Further Research....................................................................81 Limitations..................................................................................................................82 Delimitation................................................................................................................83 Conclusions.................................................................................................................83 APPENDIX SURVEY INSTRUMENT...........................................................................86 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................91 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................99

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Participants’ Background Profile.............................................................................40 3-2 Participants’ Previous Travel Experiences...............................................................41 3-3 Participants’ Olympic Games Attendance...............................................................42 4-1 U.S. College Students' Images of Ch ina as a Tourism Destination (N=350)...........46 4-2 Factor Analysis Results of Destination Images Scale..............................................50 4-3 Independent Samples t-test Result s of Destination Images by Gender....................52 4-4 ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Previous International Travel Experience................................................................................................................53 4-5 ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Tourist Roles.......................................53 4-6 U.S. College Students' Perception of Ri sk Associated with Traveling to China (N=350)....................................................................................................................55 4-7 Overall Risk Associated with Trav eling to China and Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games........................................................................................................55 4-8 Risk Levels of Diff erent Countries (N=350)............................................................56 4-9 Factor Analysis Results of Risk Items.....................................................................59 4-10 Independent Samples t-test Result s of Travel-related Risk by Gender....................60 4-11 ANOVA Results of Travel -related Risk by Previous International Travel Experiences..............................................................................................................61 4-12 ANOVA Results of Travel-rel ated Risk by Tourist Roles.......................................61 4-13 Intention to Travel to China and the Olympic Games.............................................62 4-14 Crosstabulation between Previous Trav el Experience to Asia and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Year s and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games...........63

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viii 4-15 Independent Samples t-test Result s of Intention to Travel by Gender.....................64 4-16 ANOVA Results of Intention to Trav el by Previous International Travel Experience................................................................................................................65 4.17 ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Tourist Roles........................................65 4-18 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to Travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.............................................................67 4-19 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years.........................................................................67 4-20 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to Attend the 2008 Beiji ng Olympic Games................................................................69 4-21 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years.........................................................................70

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ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 An Adapted Version of the General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination Awareness and Choice (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989)..............................................9 1-2 Destination Image, Perception of Risk and their Relationship with Intention to Travel.......................................................................................................................10 4-1 Relationship of Destination Image, Percei ved Risk, Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years and Tourist Characteristics.......................................................71

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x Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement of the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies RELATIONSHIP AMONG IMAGE, PERCEIV ED RISK AND INTENTION TO TRAVEL TO CHINA AND THE 2008 BE IJING OLYMPIC GAMES AMONG U.S. COLLEGE STUDENTS By Xueqing Qi May 2005 Chair: Heather Gibson Major Department: Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management The tourism industry is deve loping rapidly in China, so much so that by 2010 the World Tourism Organization predicts that Chin a will be the world’s top destination. It is envisaged that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game s will boost China’s tourism industry still further. Destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel are important factors in understanding tourism behavior and the succ ess of a country’s tourism industry. The purpose of this study was to explore U.S. colle ge students’ destina tion image, perception of risk and intention to travel to Chin a in general, and to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The influence of tourist characte ristics including gender previous travel experience and tourist role was also examined as well as the relationship among the dependent variables. Information Integration Theory, Protecti on Motivation Theory, and General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination Awarene ss and Choice served as the theoretical

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xi foundation for this study. A model linking tour ist characteristics, destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel was c onstructed based on the theoretical framework. The data for this study were collected at a large southeastern U.S. university. A total of 350 U.S. born college students aged 18-30 were surveyed using a fixed choice questionnaire during July and August 2004. A co mbination of spatial locational sampling and systematic random sampling was used to select the participants. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-sampl e t-test, factor analysis, two-sample t-test, ANOVA and multiple regression. The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel to China, but does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and intention to travel to China was significant but not st rong. This study could not demonstrate the impact of gender on destination image, perc eived risk and inten tion to travel, but it showed that previous international travel experience affects i ndividuals’ destination images of China and their related intention to travel. Tourist role type had an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China. The results mostly support the theore tical model guiding this study. Regarding practical applications, the results provide valuable information for both marketers working in the Chinese tourism industry a nd in the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. The information provided by this study may assist them in developing their strategies for future marketing campaign.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION There has been a growing r ecognition of the relationship between sport and tourism in recent years (Gibson 1998, 2003). Sport tour ism is “leisure-based travel that takes individuals temporarily outside of their home communities to participate in physical activities, to watch physi cal activities, or to venerate a ttractions associated with physical activities” (Gibson, 1998, p.49). According to the first World Conference on Sports and Tourism held in Barcelona, Spain, February 22-23, 2000, sport tourism is the fastest growing tourism sector globall y. The development and growth of sport tourism has been facilitated particularly by the growth of hallmark and mega events (Taylor, Toohey, & Lee, 2003), which are large-scal e major events with a limited duration usually held in a unique cultural destination (Ha ll, 1992). Event sport tourism, where participants travel to watch sports and sport related hallmark and me ga events, is an important kind of sport tourism (Gibson, 2003). It is generally assumed that hallmark and mega events play a key role in international, national and re gional tourism marke ting strategies (Get z, 1997; Hall 1989a, 1992), and can improve a destination’s positi on in the marketplace (Brown, Chalip, Jago, & Mules, 2002; Kim & Chalip, 2004; Roch e, 1994). Hallmark and mega events are image makers for modern tourism (Hall, 1989b ) because a primary function of a hallmark event is to provide the host community w ith an opportunity to secure a prominent position in the tourism market for a short, well defined period of time (Hall & Selwood, 1987). Destination marketers share with market ers of hallmark and mega events the need

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2 to stimulate international visitation to th eir event in order to optimize the event’s financial and tourism outcomes (Chalip, Gr een, & Vander Velden, 1997; Kim & Chalip, 2004). The Olympic Games, a premier sporting ev ent in the world, has been identified as a hallmark event (Hall, 1989a; Ritchie, 1984). On July 13th, 2001, the International Olympic Committee selected Beijing, Chin a, as the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. It is the first time in history that China will host the Olympic Games. In China, the reform-induced economic grow th of the last two decades has led to the rapid development of the tourism sector (Witt & Turner, 2002). It was not until 1978 that international tourism changed from a diplomatic issue to an industry with the opening up of China to the outside world (W en, 1998). However, since then, China has become one of the world’s most important de stinations and the Ch inese tourism industry has grown rapidly (Dong, Droege, & J ohnson, 2002; Wen, 1998). In 2002, China was visited by 36.8 million foreign tourists, occupy ing fifth place on the list of the world’s 15 most visited destinations, with an income of $20.4 billion which accounts for 4.3% of the world’s total tourism receipts. According to the World Tourism Organization, China will become the world’s leading tourism destin ation by the year 2020, with about 130 million international arrivals yearly and 8% of the world’s travel market share (China National Tourism Administration, 2003). The Olympic Games, as a major sports even t in the world, is predicted to attract a large number of tourists to China. It is assumed that the 2008 Olympic Games will boost China’s tourism industry considerably (Sidr on, 2001). A Goldman Sach’s report predicts that the number of international tourists visiting China will triple by the time Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games (Calio, 2001).

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3 Statement of the Problem Destination image, perceived risk, and inte ntion to travel are three factors that greatly influence a tourist’s travel de cisions (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Snmez & Graefe, 1998b; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Ex amining the relationship between these factors will assist a destin ation with future marketing campaigns designed to increase market share. However, few studies have ex amined the relationship between destination image, perceived risk, and intention to travel. It is assumed that China has the potential and desire to develop sport tourism. For example, China sponsored the Sport and Fitn ess Tourism Festival in 2001. Also, the 2008 Olympic Games is expected to provide a good opportunity for the development of sport tourism in China. However, compared to the trend of sport tourism development in China, little research has been done on this topic. According to the China National Tour ism Administration (CNTA), the United States is a major inbound market and the largest potential so urce of tourists for China, despite political discrepancy and spatial distance. From 1998-2001, the number of the U.S. travelers to China continued to grow. In 2002, although affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which increased the level of perceived risk of long-haul inte rnational travel, still 701,910 U.S. residents traveled to China, a 6.9% decrease compared to 2001 (Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002). Hallmark events are powerful vehicles for tourism development in the host regions (Ritchie, 1999). In 2000, the year in wh ich Sydney hosted the Olympic Games, 805,590 U.S. residents traveled to Australia, whic h was a 63.9% increase compared to the year before (491,580). The 2000 Sydney Olympic Games have been cited as the reason for this increase (Office of Travel & Touris m Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002). As a result,

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4 the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are predicted to be a stimulus for U.S. residents and others to travel to China, thereby, increasing tourist flows dramatically. In order to leverage the potential to urism growth associated with the 2008 Olympics, it is important to study the U.S. travel market before subsequent marketing campaigns are implemented. This study ma y aid the Beijing Olympic Games marketers in determining an effective marketing strategy for the United States market. Student travel is an important segment of the global travel market. In recent years, the college student travel market has e xpanded rapidly and received considerable attention from the travel and tourism industry (Field, 1999; Richard & Wilson, 2003). College students are a special youth population with distinct socio-cultural, education and economic characteristics (Ca rr, 2003).With increasing student numbers and the growing accessibility of international travel experi ences, despite the increasing incidence of students graduating with loans, the college student travel ma rket is expected to grow (Carr, 2003). According to Ri chard and Wilson (2003), around one fifth of all tourism journeys in the world are made by young people, and this is forecast to rise to 25% by 2005. Despite the importance of college student tr avel market, international student travel to China has not been studied. Although Chalip et al. (1997) indicated that young respondents in their study were more likely to be interested in traveling to the 2000 Olympic Games, little research has been done on college students attending the Olympic Games. Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework for this study is based on Anderson’s (1981) information integration theory (IIT), Roger’s (1975) protection motiv ation theory (PMT),

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5 and Woodside and Lysonski’s (1989) general model of traveler leisure destination awareness and choice. Anderson’s IIT Theory Anderson explained that IIT is a theory of judgment a nd behavior, which suggests that individuals form psyc hophysical and value judgments in complex decision-making processes. Stimulus integrat ion is the central concept, which suggests that thought and behavior typically depend on the joint act ion of multiple stimuli. Stimuli may be considered at two levels, physical and psychol ogical. Information integration theory is primarily concerned with stimuli at the psyc hological level. According to information integration theory, physical stimuli impinge on an individual and are evaluated in accordance with his or her values (this proc ess is called stimuli valuation). During the process of stimuli valuation, physical s timuli become psychological stimuli. The psychological stimuli are integrated, and ther eby stimulate an imp licit response in the individual. In turn, the implicit response is externalized into an observable one as it is manifested in the individual’s behavior. Snmez and Graefe (1998a) linked informati on integration theory with tourism, and indicated that psychophysical judgment s are subjective perceptions of physical reality (i.e., image of a partic ular destination), whereas valu e judgments refer to the way individuals rank destinations according to their attributes (i.e., attractiveness, safety, risk) to form an overall image. Impressions, eval uations, and judgments of destinations may change if additional destinations are added to the evaluation, or travel er’s perceptions of a destination change as a result of ne w information prior to final choice.

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6 Roger’s Protection Motivation Theory Perceptions of risk may affect intentions to travel. Protection motivation theory (Rogers, 1975) proposed a special case of e xpectancy-value theories, which focuses on perception of risk and intentio n/attitude change. It postulate s three crucial components of fear appeal: (i) the magnitude of the noxiousness of an envi ronment; (ii) the probability of that event’s occurrence; and (iii) the efficacy of a protective response. Protection motivation arises from the three component s of fear appeal. E ach of these three components initiates corresponding “cognitive appr aisal processes” that affect attitude change. Then people cognitively appraise the severity and likelihood of being exposed to the environment, and evaluate their ability to cope with the environment. Thus, protection motivation would be aroused, and hence there w ould be change in be havioral intentions and attitudes. Linked with tourism, Snmez and Graefe (1998a) suggest that an increase in airplane accidents, crime or terrorist activity targeting citizens of a potential traveler’s nationality represents the magnitude of da nger; recent occurrences involving a travel destination shows the probabil ity of occurrence; and selec ting a safe destination, taking extra precautions while traveling to risky destin ations, canceling travel plans, etc., can be the effective actions to control consequen ces. After the three components have been cognitively appraised, the travel er’s protection motivation will be aroused, and therefore, his/her intent to travel may change as well. The degree of safety for international travel helps to determine a traveler’s future travel behavior (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). Pote ntial tourists tend to avoid destinations they perceive as risky and choose the ones they consider safe. Perception of risk/safety is also an important factor that helps to form an overall image for a destination.

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7 Woodside and Lysonski’s Destination Choice Model Woodside and Lysonski’s (1989) model propos ed that tourist characteristics and marketing variables are two exogenous variable s that influence travelers’ destination awareness (Figure 1-1). Tourist characteristic s include personal in formation such as previous experiences, income, age, value, etc., which are most frequently cited as demographic characteristics and the previous experience a traveler has with a particular destination (Court & Lupton, 1997) Marketing variables incl ude extraneous variables such as price, advertising, et c. Tourist characteristics, dest ination awareness and affective associations construct a tourist’ s image of different destinations and thus form destination preferences, which in turn are associated w ith intention to travel. Actual destination choice is predicted by both intention to visit and situational variables, including perceived risk, time and money constraints. Destination image is crucial in the destination choice pr ocess (Mayo, 1973), because it presents impressions of a destina tion before tourists make their choice of whether or not to visit (McLellan & Foush ee, 1983). It is a predictive variable for intention to travel. Potential tourists tend to travel to destinations with positive images (Goodrich, 1978). Gunn (1972) suggested that the image of a destination includes an organic image and an induced image. An organic image is fo rmed as a result of exposure to newspapers, magazines, TV, and other nontourism inform ation sources. An organic image evolves into an induced image by the influences of t ourism promotional materials such as travel brochures, advertisements, and travel pos ters. Gunn also indicated that although individuals may never have visited a de stination or sought information on that destination, they will have some kind of info rmation on that destina tion stored in their

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8 memory, even though it may be incomplete. Fakeye and Crompton (1991) added another level of destination image – the complex image, which is formed when a tourist has direct experience of the destination. Tourists will develop a more complex image after their actual contact with the destination. This e xperience will greatly influence the evaluation of that destination, and in turn will infl uence the tourist’s next travel destination selection. Destination image and perception of risk have direct influences on intention to travel. Intention to travel is an indicator of tourists’ final des tination choice. It is significantly associated with actual behavior under a specif ic time period and situation (Belk, 1974; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Intenti on to travel and perc eption of risk has direct influences on actual destina tion choice (Snmez & Graefe, 1998a). Intention to travel is also affected by tourist characteristics such as life stage and age, past travel experience and tourist role. Past travel experience, as an indicator of familiarity, is crucial for a traveler’s inte ntion to travel and decision making (Goodrich, 1978; Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Mazursky, 1989; Snmez & Graefe, 1998a). Travel experience may provide confidence for future tr avel. Therefore, experienced international tourists tend to perceive le ss risk when making a decision to travel internationally (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Lepp and Gibson suggested that tourist role could be viewed as an indicator of the degree of nove lty sought. Novelty seekers may tolerate higher levels of risk. Tourist role preference is also a func tion of psychological need s, and it is closely related to an individual’s life stage (Gibson & Yianna kis, 2002). Gibson (1996) found that preference for thrill seeking vacations te nded to decrease with age. Older individuals are more likely to be more risk adverse th an younger adults. Lepp and Gibson (2003) also

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9 found a greater propensity for Cohen’s explorer and drifter roles ( novelty seeking) among young adults. Figure 1-1: An Adapted Version of the Gene ral Model of Traveler Leisure Destination Awareness and Choice (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989) TOURIST CHARACTERISTICS Previous Destination Experience Life Stage (Age), Income Lifestyles, Values DESTINATION AWARENESS Consideration Inert Set Set Unavailable/ Inept Set Aware Set TRAVELER DESTINATION PREFERENCE INTENTION TO VISIT CHOICE MARKET VARIABLES Product Design Pricing Advertising/Personal Selling Channel Decisions AFFECTIVE ASSOCIATIONS SITUATIONAL VARIABLES Destination Image (Organic Image + Induced Image + Complex Image)

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10 Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to explore U.S. college students’ destination image, perception of risk, and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The study focused on young educated American adults aged between 18 and 30, as a way of standardizing the influence of life stage, social class, and nationality on travel decisions (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Therefore, age and education are controlled variables for this study. In this study, the relationsh ip between destination imag e, perception of risk and intention to travel, as well as the multivar iate relationship that exists to determine predictive strengths of intentions were examined (as showed in Figure 1-2). Figure 1-2: Destination Image, Perception of Risk and their Relationship with Intention to Travel This model is based on the theoretical fr amework. Tourist char acteristics include age, education, gender, previous travel experience and touris t role. Tourist characteristics impact destination image (as in Woodside and Lysonski’s model). Although the three theoretical models do not addr ess the relationship between traveler characteristics and perceived risk directly, many ot her studies indicate that tour ists’ perception of risk is affected by previous travel experience, tourist role, gender a nd education (Lepp & TOURIST CHARACTERISTICS: Gender Travel Experience Tourist Role Control Variables: Age (18-30) Education (College) DESTINATION IMAGE PERCEIVED RISK INTENTION TO TRAVEL

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11 Gibson, 2003; Floyd & PenningtonGray, 2004; Roehl & Fesenmaiser, 1992; Snmez & Graefe 1998a, 1998b). According to Anderson’s IIT theory, de stination image can be seen as the psychophysical judgment, and perceived risk can be seen as the value judgment. As indicated before, psychophysical judgment and value judgment are formed by an individual in the decision-making process. Therefore, destination image and perceived risk both exert impacts on inte ntion to travel, which is c onfirmed by Roger’s protection motivation theory and Woodside and Lysonski’s model. Research Questions The following questions were addressed: 1. What images do U.S. college students hold of China as a tourism destination and the host of the 2008 Olympic Games? a) Do these images differ by gender? b) Do these images differ by previous travel experience? c) Do these images differ by tourist role? 2. How do U.S. college students perceive Ch ina in terms of travel-related risk? a) Do these perceptions of risk differ by gender? b) Do these perceptions of risk diffe r by previous travel experience? c) Do these perceptions of ri sk differ by tourist role? 3. Do U.S. college students express intention to travel to China within the next five years as (i) a general tour ist; (ii) a sport tourist to attend the 2008 Olympics? a) Does intention to travel differ by gender? b) Does intention to travel differ by travel experience? c) Does intention to travel differ by tourist role?

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12 4. What is the relationship between image a nd intention to trav el (i) to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the next 5 years? 5. What is the relationship between risk a nd intention to trav el (i) to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the next 5 years?

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13 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter is divided into three sections : the first section reviews the literature on destination image and the impact of familiarity on image; the second section reviews the literature regarding tourists’ perceived risk; and the third section reviews the tourists’ intention to travel li terature. For each sect ion, general literature is reviewed, and then literature related to spor t tourism is presented. Destination Image Images transpose a representation of an area into the potential tourist’s mind and give them a pre-taste of the destination (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). Image is crucial for tourism development within a destina tion (Chon, 1990; Echtner & Ritchie 1991, 1993; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Gartner, 1993; Goodrich, 1978; Gunn, 1972; Hunt, 1975; Smith, 2001). Also, image is important for unde rstanding tourists’ destination choice processes (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999; Ga rtner, 1993; Jenkins, 1999; Mayo, 1975; Tapachai & Waryszak, 2000). Accurate assessm ent of destination image is a major prerequisite to assessing the attribut es of a destination (Reilly, 1990). From marketing prospective, the study of tourism destination image is an important component, because it helps in understanding the perceptions of tourists and target markets for tourism promotion (Chen & Kers tetter, 1999; Gartner, 1993; Goodrich, 1978; Jenkins, 1999). Jenkins indicated that marketer s are interested in the concept of tourist destination image mainly because it relates to decision-making and sales of tourist products and services. Understanding curre nt destination image and creating an

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14 appropriate image in the mind of potential cust omers is an important part of a successful positioning and marketing strategy (Echtner & Ritchie, 1993). Destination Image Image is a set of beliefs, ideas, and impre ssions that a person holds of an object (Kotler, 1991). In psychology, image refers to a reflection or represen tation of sensory or conceptual information that builds on past experience and governs an individual’s actions (Stringer, 1984; Wang, 1998). Image is not a static or objective phenomenon because it changes as unexpected conditions emerge (Tyagi, 1989). Each person’s image of a particular place is unique, comprising his/ her own memories, associations and ideas about a particular place (Jenkins, 1999). The study of destination image may be viewed as a subset of the general field of image (Echtner & Ritchie, 1991). Destination image is the mental construct developed by a potential tourist on the ba sis of a few selected impressions among the flood of total impressions (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). It refers to the sum of beliefs, ideas, and visual or mental impressions of a place (Cromp ton, 1979). The World Tourism Organization defines destination image as an aura a nd a subjective perception accompanying various projections of the same message transmitte r (Wang, 1997). Destination image can be a product, or an experience held by the gene ral public (Milman & Pizam, 1995). It presents realities before tourists make their final destination choice (McLellan & Foushee, 1983), therefore, image influences tourists’ d ecision making (Chon, 1990; Echtner & Ritchie, 1991; Gunn, 1972; Hunt, 1975; Stringer, 1984; Pearce, 1982) and behavior at the particular destination (J enkins, 1999). Research focusing on image evaluation by potential visitors may lead to enhanced marketing effectiveness (Carmichael, 1992).

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15 There is a link between a country’s t ourism-based destination image and its national image (Kotler,1987). T ourism-based destination image incorporates information from a wide spectrum of sources, including actual visitation, promotional material and advertising, unsolicited messages (i.e., medi a reports, film, literature), and casual conversations (Gartner 1989, 1993), concerning historical, political, economic and social aspects of the destination. Th erefore, the image in the mind of tourists may be wildly different from the image destination market ers intend to offer (Mayo, 1975), especially for foreign countries and their inhabitants (Whynne-Hammond, 1985). Destination image is a mixture of both positive and negative perceptions (McLellan & Foushee, 1983). Research suggests that thos e destinations with strong, positive images are more likely to be considered and chos en in the travel decision process (Goodrich, 1978; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Only when the positive perceptions or images exceed the weight of the negative images will the potential traveler make a decision regarding a particular destin ation (McLellan & Foushee, 198 3). Potential international visitors make their final de stination choices based on their image and perception of a particular destination. Components of Destination Image Destination image is a mixture of beli efs about the culture environment, and physical infrastructure of a particular des tination. Milman and Pizam (1995) suggested that destination image consists of a mixture of three compone nts: the product (i.e., quality and variety of attraction, pri ce, uniqueness, and categories of users, etc.); the behavior and attitude (such as those of destination hos ts, etc.); and the environment (such as the weather, scenery, facilities, and physical safety, etc.).

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16 Sirgy and Su (2000) proposed an integrat ive model of destination image, self, congruity, and travel behavior In particular, the model pos tulates relationships between destination environment, destin ation visitor image, tourists ’ self-concept, self-congruity, functional congruity, and travel behavior. It is argued that destination environment which includes atmosphere, service, price, locati on, and promotion, influences the formation and change of the destination image. Based on consumption value theory, Tapach ai and Waryszak (2000) suggested five dimensions of beneficial image that influe nce tourists’ decision to visit particular vacation destinations, these are: (i) the functional dimension (such as exotic food, friendly local people, histor ical sites, beautiful sc enery, unspoiled countryside, fascinating cheap shopping); (ii) the social dime nsion (i.e. suitable for all ages); (iii) the emotional dimension (i.e. relaxation, calm); (i v) the epistemic dimension (experience of a different culture and different climate); and (i) the conditi onal dimension (e.g. destination proximity, cheap travel, accessibility to other neighboring countries). Formation of Destination Image Probably the best known description of de stination image is that proposed by Gunn (1972). He suggests that destin ation image evolves at two levelsthe organic image and the induced image. The organic image is form ed from an early age and is based on what is learned about a country from nave nont ourist information, from sources such as television documentaries, books, school lessons and stories of friends’ experiences. The induced image is the result of promotion of that country as a t ourist destination. Gunn suggested that an organic image evolves in to an induced image by the influence of promotional materials such as travel brochur es, publicity and advertisements. Once there is a desire to travel, an individual’s organic image will be evaluated against a set of

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17 potential alternative destinations. Induced images will be formed by information sought about a particular destination by the potent ial traveler. These induced images may be substantially different from the organic imag es due to the vast and diverse information gathered by the potential traveler. Goodrich (1978) indicated that destina tion image is both primary (formed by visitation) and secondary (formed by info rmation received from external sources). Fakeye and Crompton (1991) added another le vel of destination image that of the complex image. The complex image is formed when a tourist has direct experience of the destination. According to Fakeye and Crom pton, a potential visitor develops organic images of a comparatively large awareness set of potential destinations. When the desire to take a vacation emerges, th e individual engages in an active information search guided by motivation to travel. As a result, the potenti al traveler develops more refined induced images of alternative destinations, then eval uates and selects the destination that offers the best benefits and images. Upon visiting th e selected destination, a tourist will develop a more complex image resulting from actual contact with the area. Echtner and Ritchie (1991, 1993) put forw ard one of the most comprehensive definitions in their seminal work on tourism images. They presented a unique threedimensional model separating three continua: attribute-holistic, f unctional-psychological and common-unique. Based on this conceptual framework, destination image is defined as not only the perception of indi vidual destination attributes but also holistic impressions of a destination. The attribute-holistic con tinuum is based on research concerning the nature of human information processing fr om the fields of psychology and consumer behavior. Destination image should be composed of perceptions of individual attributes

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18 (for example, climate, accomm odation facilities, friendliness of the people) as well as more holistic impressions (mental pictures or imagery) of the place. In terms of the functional-psychological continuum, functional characteristics are defined as tangible aspects of the destination (for example, price and climate), whereas psychological characteristics concern intangible aspects (f or example, friendliness and atmosphere). Functional and psychological char acteristics may be perceived as individual attributes or as more holistic impressions. On the attri bute side are the perceptions of individual characteristics of the destination, ranging from functional to psychological. On the holistic side, the functional impression consis ts of the mental picture of the physical characteristics of the destination, while the psychological impressi on could be described as the atmosphere of the place. The comm on-unique continuum highlights the idea that the image of a destination can range from perceptions based on common functional and psychological traits to perceptions base d on distinctive and unique features. Baloglu and McCleary (1999) also made a si gnificant contribution to the theoretical understanding of destina tion image. Developed from a revi ew of the previous literature, they indicate that image is mainly caused or formed by two major forces: personal factors and stimulus factors. Personal factors are th e characteristics (social and psychological) of the perceiver. Stimulus factor s, on the other hand, are the characteristics that stem from the external stimulus and physical object as well as previous experience. Based on the general framework of destina tion image formation, they prop osed a path model of the determinants of tourism destination image be fore actual visitation. In this model, overall image is determined by both exogenous and endogenous variables. Exogenous variables include the amount and type of informa tion sources, age, education, and socio-

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19 psychological travel motivations; endogenous variables include perceptual/cognitive evaluations and affective evaluations (perceptual or cognitive evaluation refers to beliefs and knowledge about an object whereas affec tive refers to feelings about it). The Impact of Awareness and Familiarity The image of a destination is reflected in the awareness that potential tourists have of it (Milman & Pizam, 1995). Furthermore, Milman and Pizam suggest a successful tourism destination must have an awareness first, and then a positive image. Awareness is a necessary condition to stimulate travel (M ichie, 1986), and it includes unaided recall from long-term memory and aided re cognitions (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Familiarity with a destination, which is influenced by such factors as previous personal visitation experience, geographic di stance, and the level of overall knowledge about a destination, play important roles in influencing an individual’s perceptions of a particular destination (Hu & Ritchie, 1993). Milman and Piza m explained that those who are more familiar with a destination tend to have a more positive image. Awareness and familiarity are two stages in the consume r’s buying process. When consumers move from the awareness stage to the familiarity stage, th eir interest and likelihood to visit increases. Past travel experience, which is usually used as an indicator of familiarity, is crucial for a traveler’s future behavior al intentions (Goodric h, 1978; Mazursky, 1989). Indeed, Past travel experience exerts more in fluence on travel decisions than information acquired from external sources (Mazursky, 1989), and may significantly affect people’s image of a destination (Ahmed, 1991; Ba loglu & McCleary, 1999), and risk/safety perceptions (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Snmez & Graefe, 1998a), which in turn can influence the likelihood of future travel. Indivi duals with past travel experience to various geographic regions may become more confiden t as a result of their experience and thus

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20 be more likely to travel back. Some studies have also examined the image differences between visitors and non-visitors (Bal oglu & McCleary, 1999; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Fridgen, 1987; Hunt, 1975; Milman & Pizam, 1995; O’Mally, 1991; Phelps, 1986). The results from these studies show substa ntial differences betw een visitors and nonvisitors. People who have visited previously generally have a more favorable and positive image of a destination. Another factor influencing familiarity is geographical distance from the destination (Hu & Ritchie, 1993). Hunt (1975) indicated that distance from a region may be an important ingredient in image formation. Cr ompton (1979) investigat ed the relationship between Mexico’s image as a vacation des tination and the influence of geographical location on that image. He found that the farther away the respondents resided from Mexico, the more favorable was their image of that country as a travel destination. Destination Image and Hallmark Events Hallmark and mega events also have a si gnificant impact on destination image. Hallmark and mega events are image-builders for modern tourism (Hall, 1989b), as their primary function is to provide the host comm unity with an opportunity to secure high prominence in the tourism marketplace (R itchie, 1984; Hall, 1989a). Well-conceived, carefully planned, and imaginatively executed hallmark and mega events can increase international awareness and knowledge of a destination (Ritchie & Hu, 1987). From a tourism perspective, perhaps the major be nefits sought by tourism managers, event planners and local and nati onal governments are increased awareness and an enhanced image for the host region in the interna tional marketplace (Ritchie & Smith, 1991). Hughes (1993) indicated that increased t ourism activity depends on the extent to which the city becomes widely known and r ecognized as a tourism destination and the

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21 duration of this recognition. The host city/ re gion is given consider able exposure in the media (i.e., advertising and news coverage), and it is expected that misconceptions will be corrected, and a more positive and favorable perception will be generated (Hughes, 1993). Thus, the image of the destination will be enhanced. However, an event’s impact on destination image depends on whether th e destination image is compatible or incompatible with the event (Chalip, Green & Hill, 2003). To determine whether an event is likely to have a positive or negative effect on a destinatio n’s image, three pieces of information need to be obtained: the destin ation’s image, the event’s image, and the image that the destination wants to project. Chalip et al. explain that for a change in destination image to increase visitation, the image change must be positive and occur along the destination image dimensions (i.e., developed environment, natural environment, value, sightseeing opportunities, safety, novelty, climate, convenience, and family environment) that are important to tr avelers from a particular market. Moreover, the event messages become impor tant only after the images of the event transfer to the image of a destination. Therefore, hosting an event can be assumed as a co-branding process (Washburn, Till, & Priluck, 2002). Ahn (1987) indicated that for Asian soci ety, the tourism industry is the main benefactor of international mega events, su ch as the Olympic Games. The success in executing mega events can facilitate national development and tourism. For example, the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games was seen as an image-maker for the country. Because of the need to project a positive image to the wo rld, Seoul’s urban regeneration plans were compressed by ten years. Thus, the Olympic Games contributed tremendously in

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22 projecting a new impression of Korea to th e world and exerted a positive impact on the development of their tourism industry (Ahn, 1987). However, hallmark events (i.e., the Olym pic Games) are short-term and highly concentrated (Hughes, 1993). Therefore, their impacts on tourism may be short-term and restricted. Ritchie and Smith (1991) reported th e result of a longitudinal study to explore the impact of the 1988 Winter Olympic Game s on Calgary. They indicated that “although hosting the Olympics substantially increased le vels of awareness and modified the image of Calgary, this impact on levels of ‘top-of -mind awareness’ decrea sed measurably after a short period of time”. Therefore, they suggest ed that host city/reg ions must anticipate a significant rate of awareness and image decay, and take steps to counter it. Perception of Risk Perceived risk is related to a de stination’s image (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Identifying factors that influence perceptions of risk held by indivi duals might contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between destin ation image and intention to travel. In recent years, issues of tourist sa fety and risk have become prominent (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b), and a growing body of literatu re shows the negative impacts on travel and tourism accruing from factors such as political instability, terrorism, crime and violence at a destination, war, and natural di sasters in or near to a destination (Coshall, 2003). Risk is an important factor when c onsidering international tourism. Peace, calm and safety are perquisites to attracting t ourists to any destination (Snmez, 1998). In consumer behavior, seven types of risk have been identified: equipment risk, financial risk, physical risk, psychologica l risk, satisfaction risk, social risk, and time risk (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). According to Roehl and Fese nmaier, equipment risk is the possibility of mechanical, equipment or organizational prob lems while on vacation; financial risk is

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23 the possibility that the vacation will not provi de value for the money spent; physical risk is the possibility of physical danger, injury or sickness while on vacation; satisfaction risk is the possibility that the vacation will not pr ovide personal satisfaction; social risk is the possibility that the vacation w ill affect others’ opinion of the person; time risk is the possibility that the vacation will take too mu ch time or be a waste of time. Taking this work together, Snmez and Graef e (1998a) identified nine type s of risk associated with international travel: financial, health, physical, political instability, psychological, satisfaction, social, terrorism, and time. For th e U.S. travelers, te rrorism, transportation reliability, political instability, and satisfac tion risk are most often associated with international travel (Snmez & Graefe, 1996) In a similar study, Lepp and Gibson (2003) examined US-born young adults’ perceptions of risk associated with international travel. They identified seven risk factors: healt h, political instability, terrorism, strange food, cultural barriers, a nation’s political and religious dogma, and crime. Using Cohen’s (1972) tourist role typology, Lepp and Gibson found that tourists who seek more novelty in their travels, Cohen’s explorers and drifters tend to perceive less risk associated with international travel. Snmez and Graefe (1998b) indicated that despite the tourism industry’s economic strength, terrorism and political turmoil present major challe nges to the industry. Potential tourists may change their travel plans because of terrorism, which in turn will lead to significant losses for a destination (Coshall, 2003). For example, because of the US-Libya military confrontation in 1985, nearly two million Americans changed their foreign travel plans in 1986, wh ich resulted in a 30% decreas e in visitation compared to the previous year (Edgell, 1990; Rich ter & Waugh, 1986; Snmez & Graefe, 1998b).

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24 Most recently, the terrorist at tacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States resulted in 6.8% fewer international tourists visiting North America in 2001 compared to 2000 (Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002). Political instability, a lthough not as blatant as terrorism is a formidable barrier to international tourism (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b) and it can also increase the perception of risk associated with a destination (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). For example, as a result of the conflict in Tiananmen Square in China, hotel occupancy rates in Beijing dropped below 30%, and approximately 11,500 tourists can celed visits to Beijing in 1989 (Gartner & Shen, 1992). The total tourism earnings for China declined by $430 million in 1989 (Gartner & Shen, 1992; Hall & O’Sullivan, 1996, Snmez, 1998). As a result, China made a great effort to attract international tourists in the followi ng years. Although a 55% increase in foreign visitation was recorded in 1991 and 48% in 1992, memories of this event still remain (Hall & O’ Sullivan, 1996). Therefore, from a country’s perspective, preventing political instability is necessary to develop a strong tourism industry (Teye, 1988). Based on previous studies, tourists’ perceptions of ri sk are affected by personal characteristics (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992; Snmez & Graefe, 1998b), tourist role or type (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Fesenm aier, 1992), previous travel experience (Lepp & Gibson 2003; Snmez, 1998; Snmez & Graefe 1998a, 1998b), information search (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b), life stage/ age (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002; Lepp & Gibson, 2003), gender (Lepp & Gibson, 2003), a nd nationality (Hurley, 1988; Snmez, 1998b; Seddighi, Nuttall & Theocharous, 2001; Tremblay, 1989). Besides these,

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25 education as an indicator of social class will also affect people’s perception of risk (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). Previous studies indicated that risk per ception maybe associated with personality traits and tourist roles. S nmez and Graefe (1998b) identified two kinds of tourists: risk averse individuals and risk seekers. Risk averse indivi duals are likely to choose destinations perceived as safe, whereas, risk seekers are likely to show less concern about choosing destinations based on safety fact ors (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). Roehl and Fesenmaier (1992) classified tourists into three categories based on their different levels of risk perception: risk neutral, functi onal risk, and place risk. Risk neutral tourists do not consider tourism or their destination to involve risk; functional risk tourists consider the possibil ity of mechanical, equipment, or organizational problems as the major source of tourism related risk; and plac e risk people perceive vacations as fairly risky and the destination of their most recent vacation as very risky. It was suggested that risk neutral tourists emphasize more of a need to experience excitement and adventure when on vacation than the othe r two kinds of tourists. Plog (1974), in his study, identified five types of tourists: allocentric, near-all ocentric, mid-centric, near-psychocentric, and psychocentric. Allocentrics seek out the unique and the novel in their travel experiences, while psychocentrics are self-inhibited, non-a dventuresome type of people. Also, Plog indicated that the dimension of allocentrism to psychocentrism is normally distributed and represents a continuum. One of the better known tour ist typologies is developed by Cohen (1972). He identified four types of in ternational tourists based on their preference for novelty (strangeness) or familiarity: the organized mass tourist, the individual mass tourist, the

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26 explorer, and the drifter. According to C ohen, the organized mass tourists match most closely the stereotypical image of tourists. Th ey are risk averse and prefer the greatest amount of familiarity. They prefer packag e tours and stay mainly within their “environment bubble” of the familiar throughout the trip. Independent mass tourists also place a premium on familiarity and prefer the regular tourist r outes. However, they travel independently and have more control over thei r time and itinerary. Explorers prefer a mix of familiarity and novelty. They try to get out of the “environmen tal bubble” and interact with the locals. However, compared to drif ters, explorers are s till careful and do not immerse themselves completely in the hos t society. Drifters represent the opposite extreme of the organized mass tourist and view novelty as a premium. They try to avoid the regular tourist route, and totally immerse themselves in the host culture. They are the risk seekers. Pearce (1982, 1985) indicated that tourists differ in terms of the degree of familiarity and novelty they s eek in a destination. Simila rly, Lepp and Gibson (2003) also indicated that tourist role can be viewed as an indicator of the degr ee of novelty sought in a destination. According to Lepp and Gibson, differences among tourists in terms of novelty seeking translate into differences in th e level of risk they perceive to accompany international tourism. Therefore, novelty s eekers may tolerate higher levels of risk. Tourist role preference is a function of psychological needs (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002). Gibson and Yiannakis applied Levi nson’s (1978, 1996) model of the adult lifecourse to understand stability and change in tourist role preference. They found that individuals in their 20s are most likely to pr efer roles such as the drifter and explorer, choices which match their lifestage characteri stics which include a desire for exploration, adventure and expenditure. During the age thirty transition, travel decisions are made in

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27 the context of occupation, ma rriage, and family. People tend to choose educationallyoriented vacations and tend to prefer the tourist roles of the educational tourist, anthropologist, and archaeologist. The role of the independent mass tourist increases in popularity during the 30s and 40s. In late adulthood, tourist ro les such as the seeker, the organized mass tourist, and the educational t ourist are favored, roles which are perceived as less risky. Past experience can also affect perception of risk. Experienced international tourists may perceive less risk (Lepp & Gibs on, 2003; Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). However, although past international experience may provi de confidence for future travel, negative experiences may make potential tourists ner vous about future options (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). The authors explain that when percep tion of risk has a stronger influence on avoidance rather than likelihood of travel to a destination, thus demonstrates the power of past travel experience over behavioral intentions. Gender also affects perception of risk Although Snmez and Graefe (1998a) failed to establish the influence of gender on percep tion of risk, many other researchers have found that gender does influence touristic choices (Carr, 2001; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Lepp and Gibson found that women perceived a greater degree of risk regarding health and food. Likewise, Carr found that among the young tourists who traveled in London, UK, there were gender differences in the percep tions of danger associat ed with the city at night, with more women percei ving greater risk. However, Carr also indicated that gender may not be the only influence on per ception and behavior, ot her factors such as personality type might also be influential.

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28 Perception of risk associated with internat ional tourism has also been found to vary by country of origin. Hurley (1988) and Trem blay (1989) found that American tourists are more susceptible to the threat of international terrorism than European tourists. One explanation is Tremblay’s suggestion that North American tourists have often been targets of terrorist violence and have been exposed to more intense media coverage of terrorist events. Perceived Risk and Sport Tourism In the sport tourism literature, few studie s exist regarding the relationship between perceived risk and sport tourism. Those st udies that do exist tend to focus on hallmark and mega events. Terrorism has often been identified as th e major perceived risk associated with Hallmark events (i.e., the Olympic Games). Du e to the amount of international media attention, the Olympic Games are an attractiv e target and an ideal stage for terrorism (Cashman & Hughes, 1999). For example, the 1972 Palestinian attack during the Munich Olympic Games left 11 Israeli athletes dead a nd coverage of the incident reached a global audience of nearly 800 million vi ewers. The attack has been cited as a clear success in terms of securing media attention (Schmid & deGraaf, 1982). Terrorism occurred again at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. During th ese Games, a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, one person was killed and 111 were injured (Snmez & Graefe, 1998b). The history of terrorism a ttacks on the Olympic Games is likely to increase the levels of percei ved risk among potential touris ts intending to visit future Olympic Games. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 also increased the level of perceived risk associated with international travel in general and more specifically attending

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29 hallmark and mega events. The impact of thes e terrorist attacks ha s been highly visible and far ranging in their consequences (Taylo r, Toohey, & Lee, 2003). For example, as a result, events such as the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games had to secure more securi ty personnel and implement more rigorous anti-terrorism measures. Another example is the 2002 FIFA Footba ll World Cup, which was jointly hosted by Korea and Japan. Although the event still at tracted a significant number of spectators who were willing to travel, tourist number s were less than anticipated before 9/11 (Taylor, Toohey, & Lee, 2003). For example, Korea had lowered the anticipated number of foreign visitors in June 2002 to 460,000 from the original target of 640,000. In a study of the effects of terrorism on World Cup spectat ors in Korea, Taylor et al. found that 10% had considered not coming to the World Cup because of security related concerns and 15% had families concerned about their attend ance. Also, many respondents reported that they were more anxious and nervous about attending major events because of the perceived threats to safety. Intention to Travel Affected by destination image and percepti on of risk, intentio n to travel to a destination has a direct influence on de stination choice. Fr om a psychological perspective, according to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), intention may be viewed as “a special case of beliefs, in which the object is always the person hi mself/herself and the attribute is a behavior”. As with the belief, the strength of an intention is indicated by “the person’s subjective probability that he will perform the behavior”. Intention to travel is the traveler’s perceived likelihood of visiting a specific destination within a specific time period (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). The ga p between intent and behavior is well

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30 documented in consumer research (Chalip, Green, & Hill, 2003). Probably one of the most famous theories used to understand inte nt and behavior is Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). This general theory of human behavior deals with the relationships among beliefs, attitude s, intentions and be havior. TRA views a person’s intention to perform (or not to perfor m) a behavior as the immediate determinant of the corresponding behavior. This complie s with the general model of traveler destination choice put forward by Woodside a nd Lysonski, in which actual destination choice is predicted to be affected directly by both intention to visit and situational variables. Intention to travel is significantly associated with actual behavior under a specific time period and situation and affected by perception of risk, for individuals easily avoid destinations they percei ve as risky by choosing others they consider safe (Snmez & Graefe, 1998a). Woodside and Lysonski’s travel destinat ion choice model also confirmed that behavioral intention is a medi ating variable relating attitude to behavioral choice. In Woodside and Lysonski’s model, intention to visit has been determined by traveler’s destination preferences which can be viewed as traveler’s attitude, which is one of the most popular variables used to predict consumer choice behavior (Um & Crompton, 1990). Attitude is an important determinant for intention to travel. According to TRI theory, the behavioral intention has two dete rminants: one is the attitude toward the behavior, which refers to “a person’s attitude toward performing a gi ven behavior” and is related to “his/her beliefs that performing th e behavior will lead to certain consequences and his/her evaluation of those consequences ”; and the other is the subjective norm, which are “normative pressures led by norma tive beliefs and motivation”. According to

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31 TRA, normative beliefs refer to other persons ’ beliefs that the person should or should not perform the behavior, and normative beli efs and motivation to comply lead to normative pressures. The totality of th ese normative pressures may be termed a “subjective norm”. Um and Crompton proposed a two stage ap proach to understanding an individual’s pleasure travel destination choice, an awaren ess set and an evoked set. The two stages constitute an evolution of an evoked set from the awareness set; a nd destinati on selection from the evoked set. Results from a long itudinal study suggest that attitude was influential in determining whether a potential destination was select ed as part of the evoked set and in selecti ng a final destination. In 1997, Court and Lupton developed a cust omer portfolio from a practitioner’s point of view. The customer portfolio is base d on a continuum of market attractiveness, which is expressed as the traveler’s prope nsity to visit (Papad opoulos, 1989). In their study, individuals were categorized into three me ntal categories: (i) e voked set (subset of destinations that the individual considers visiting); (ii) inert set (subset of destinations that the individual neither posi tively nor negatively evaluates); and (iii) inept set (subset of destinations that the individual rejects visiting). Based on the mental category, destination was categorized into three segments: (i) destination adopters, (ii) destination inactives, and (iii) destination rejecters. Accordingly, market attractiveness was designated as high, medium, and low. Destinatio n adopters are likely to visit a particular destination which is locate d in their evoked set. Besides attitude, destination image is also an important predictor for intention to travel. However, Chalip, Green and Hill’s (2003) study on the effects of sport event

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32 media on destination image of Au stralia’s Gold Coast and intent ion to visit indicated that although destination image was significantly related to intenti on to visit the host destination, the dimensions that affected in tention to visit vary among individuals from different countries. For Americans, three destination image va riables: (i) safe environment, (ii) developed environment, a nd (iii) natural environment, had significant effects on intention to visit. However, for New Zealanders, novelty and convenience were found to be more important. One explanation for the difference is that there is very little advertising for the Gold Coast in the Un ited States compared to New Zealand. The image that individuals hold of the risk associated with a destination may also influence their likelihood of visiting it (Lepp & Gibson, 2003) Perception of risk can alter travel demand patterns, and significantl y impact tourists’ d ecision-making processes (i.e., destination image and inte ntion to travel), and future travel behavior (Bramwell & Rawding, 1996; Coshall, 2003; Dann 1986; Snm ez & Graefe, 1998a). In the process of tourism destination choice, positive image and attitudes about a destination are often evaluated as perceived facilita tors, while situational constr aints and perceived risk are viewed as perceived inhibitors (Sn mez & Graefe,1998b; Um & Crompton ,1990). Um and Crompton explain that facili tators are found to exert a gr eater influence in the early stages of decision-making, whereas, inhibitors have more influence in later stages when the choice becomes more serious. Destinati on choice is made after perceived risk and constraints are weighed against destina tion image (Crompton, 1977; Gartner, 1989; Snmez & Graefe,1998b). However, Crompton (1992) found that even if potential tourists have a positive image of a destination, they may still not visit if it is perceived as too risky, or if other situa tional constraints intervene su ch as price or timing. The

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33 response to an uncertain situa tion may vary across situations and may be influenced by the types of risk perceived by the deci sion maker (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). Intention to travel to the Olympic Games The Olympic Games is an effective means for promoting the host city/region as a potential holiday destinat ion (Chalip, Green, & Vander Velden, 1997). Chalip (1990) found that New Zealander’s attitudes toward s Korea improved substantially, and Korea was more attractive to New Zealanders as a consequence of Seoul hosting the 1988 Olympic Games. Similarity, Ritchie and Sm ith (1991) studied the effect of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games on the popular awareness and image of Calgary in 20 cities throughout the U.S. and Europe. Th ey found that hosting the Winter Olympic Games enhanced the international image of Calgary. However, they found that more marketing effort is required to leverage the advantages afforded by hosting the Olympic Games. As indicated before, there is a ga p between intention and behavior, so the challenge of marketing Olympic tourism is to convert interest and intent into travel purchase (Chalip et al., 2003). For internationa l travelers, many situ ational constraints such as long-haul travel, time, cost, and perceived risk ar e likely to influence their decisions to attend the Olympic Games. A ccording to Woodside and Lysonski (1995), only when intention to visit can outweigh the s ituational constraints are potential tourists likely to choose a particular destination. S o, it is important for marketers to stimulate international travelers’ interest well in advance of the event so that the host city/region can become part of the evoked set and “destina tion adopters” can make appropriate travel plans and commitments (Chalip et al., 1997). For example, media may be an effective tool on intention to tr avel. The result of Chalip et al .’s (2003) study showed that event telecasts, event advertising, and destination ad vertising have a wide array of effects on

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34 the U.S. market. Although no direct effect of event media on intention to visit was found, the event’s media coverage did influence de stination image and intent to travel. The destination’s image will be affected by the image of events that it hosts, and in turn, this image will be dependent on the compatibility /incompatibility of the event with the destination’s image (Chalip et al., 2003). In order to determine the level of awaren ess, spectating interests, and intent to travel to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Chalip et al.(1997) examined three demographic variables; age, gender, and e ducation, which are commonly used to segment travelers to Australia from the United Stat es. They found that age and education were found to be important predictor variables: awareness was predic ted by education and interest in sports not typica lly shown on television; interest in travel was predicted by age, education, interest in the closing ceremoni es and interest in s port not typically shown on television; Intent was predicted by age. They concluded that younger American adults who are better educated are more likely to be aw are of, and show interest in and intent to travel to the 2000 Olympic Games. Summary Destination image, perceived risk, and inten tion to travel are important variables in the process of destination choi ce. Although they constitute sepa rate entities, they have an inherent relationship as show ed in Woodside and Lysonski’s (1989) travel destination choice model and the proposed theoretical mode l of destination image, perception of risk and their relationship to intention to travel (Figure 1-2) presented in Chapter One. Destination image, past experiences and perc eived risk may influence tourists’ intention to travel. Intention to travel has a direct impact on the final decision. Only when positive perceptions outweigh negative perceptions are tourists likely to travel. Besides

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35 destination image and perceived risk, other variables such as awareness, attitude, past travel experience, and socio-demographics can also influence intention to travel. Hosting hallmark or mega events (i .e. the Olympic Games) may enhance destination image for the host city or region, and therefore, increase the tourist flow to that city or region. Destination image is si gnificantly related to intention to visit a destination, but the factors that affect intention to visit may va ry for residents of different countries. It is important for marketers to recognize the different dimensions for different countries. For most international travelers, pa st travel experience and perceived risk are important variables when considering travel. Ma rketers of the host city or regions should be aware of these and incorporate th em into their marketing strategies.

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36 CHAPTER 3 METHODS AND INSTRUMENT The purpose of this study was to investig ate U.S. college students’ destination image, perception of risk, and intention to trav el to China both as a general tourist and as a sport tourist to attend the 2008 Beijing Ol ympic Games. This chapter explains the instrumentation and procedures that were us ed to collect the data and the statistical analysis that was used to an swer the research questions. Data Collection This cross-sectional study took place during July and August, 2004 in a large southeastern U.S. university. A combination of spatial locational sampling and systematic random sampling was used. Spatial locational sampling was used to identify four high foot traffic areas on campusthe Reiz uni on, the science library, Southwest Recreation Center, and Turlington plaza. In an attempt to obtain a diversified sample of the student population, data were collected at each site at different times of the day and during different days of the week. Participants we re selected using systematic random sampling procedures with a sampling interval of 10 a nd a random entry point of 5. Participation in this study was completely voluntary and the c onfidentiality of the information provided was assured. The individuals were asked two screeni ng questions before they were deemed eligible to participate. The first question se lected only those who we re born and raised in the United States. The second question delimite d the sample to those aged between 18 and 30 years old. Only individuals who answer ed yes to both screen ing questions were

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37 asked to participate in the study, because fore ign nationals and lifestage have been shown to influence perceived risk and touristic st yle in previous stud ies (Lepp & Gibson 2003). If the individual did not meet the criteria or refused to participate, he/she was thanked. Data were collected on the week days between July 16 and August 6 during Summer B Semester. Overall, 350 questionnaire s were collected from the four locations, with a response rate of about 70%. One hundr ed and forty-two (41%) questionnaires were collected from the Southwest Recreation Center, 118 (34%) from the Reiz Union, 53 (15%) from the science library, and 36 (10%) from the Turlington Plaza. The questionnaire took approximately 10 minutes to complete. Instrumentation The instrument was a self-administered que stionnaire. The ques tionnaire consisted of six parts. Part one contai ned three questions that asked about the participants’ past international travel experiences: whether par ticipants had traveled internationally (what countries they have been to), whether partic ipants had traveled to Asia (what countries they have been to), and whet her participants had previously traveled to China (and when they visited). These three questions pr ovided background information regarding the participants’ previous travel experience. Part two contained 24 items that measure the participants’ image of China as a tourist destination measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 =strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=somewhat agree, 4=agree, 5= strongly agree). These 24 image items were developed in part from Echtne r and Ritchie’s (1993, p.6) list of images, and items used to investigate the image of Swit zerland among participants of a university sponsored ski trip by Gibson, William and Pennington-Gray (2003). Also, participants were asked to rate

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38 their image of China as a future site of the Olympic Games with seven additional items measured on the same five point Likert-type scale. Part three contained questions related to intention to travel to China within the next five years as a general tourist and/or as a sport tourist to attend the Olympic Games. In this section, participants were asked to provide information about whether they planed to travel to China in the next five years, past travel experience to the Olympic Games, their primary information sources for the Olympic Ga mes, their intention to travel to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, awareness of a nd intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The question asking participan ts’ interest to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games (How likely are you to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?) was developed from Chalip et al.’s (1998) questionnaire items which asked participants their interest in attending the Summer Olympic Games in 2000. Part four measured the participants’ perception of China in terms of travel-related risk. The risk scale was comprised of 19 ite ms measured on a five -point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree, 2=disagr ee, 3=somewhat agree, 4=agree, 5=strongly agree) developed from Lepp and Gibson (2003), Ki m and Chalip (2004), and Floyd, Gibson, Pennington-Gray and Thapa (2004). Also, part icipants were asked how risky they thought the 2004 Athens Summer Olympi c Games would be for spectators and how risky they thought the 2008 Beijing Olympic Ga mes would be for spectators. These two questions were based on Chalip et al.’s que stion asking perception of safety for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games among sp ectators. Also, participants were asked to rate 12 destinations (countries) accordi ng to the level of risk or sa fety they perceived to be

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39 associated with them. These 12 countries cons tituted the host count ries of the Olympic Games from 1960 to 2008. Part five contained four statemen ts developed by Lepp and Gibson (2003) describing the behaviors of Cohe n’s (1972) four tourist roles – the organized mass tourist, the independent mass tourist, the explorer, a nd the drifter. Particip ants were asked to choose the one that best described them from the four statements. Part six contained demographics such as gender, age, a nnual household income, racial background, and class standing. These were measured using a fixed choice format. Participants Demographics Of the 350 participants, 184 were males (52.7%) and 165 were females (47.3%). As would be expected on a college campus, 76.3% of participants were aged between 18 and 23, 15.2% were aged between 24 and 26, with the reminder 8.5% between 27 and 30. Over half of the participan ts (52.9%) reported that their household income was below $20,000, 19.9% were between 20,001 and 60,000, 12.2% were between 60,001 and 100,000, and 14.9% were above $100,000. The racial composition of the sample was 57.6% white, 5.2% African-American, 18.1% Hispanic, 10.9% Asian and Pacific Islander, and 0.6% Native American. The reminder (7.7%) chose “other” or did not respond. The majority of the participants (63.7%) were undergraduate students, 34.9% were graduate students, and 1.4% were non-UF students. A more de tailed participant profile is presented in Table 3-1.

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40 Table 3-1 Participants’ Background Profile Variable Category N % Cumulative % Gender Male 184 47.28 47.28 Female 165 52.72 100.00 Age 18-20 110 32.26 32.26 21-23 150 43.99 76.25 24-26 52 15.25 91.50 27-30 29 8.50 100.00 Household Income <20,000 181 52.92 52.92 20,001-40,000 39 11.40 64.33 40,001-60,000 29 8.48 72.81 60,001-80,000 20 5.85 78.65 80,001-100,000 22 6.43 85.09 >100,000 51 14.91 100.00 Racial Background Black, not of Hispanic Origin 18 5.16 5.16 White, not of Hispanic Origin 201 57.59 62.75 Native American 2 0.57 63.32 Pacific Islander 5 1.43 64.76 Asian 33 9.46 74.21 Hispanic 63 18.05 92.26 Other 27 7.74 100.00 Class Standing Freshman 41 11.71 11.71 Sophomore 15 4.29 16.00 Junior 54 15.43 31.43 Senior 113 32.29 63.71 Graduate Student 122 34.86 98.57 Not UF Student 5 1.43 100.00 Previous Travel Experiences Participants in the study were asked about their international travel experiences (Table 3-2). 75.9% participants reported that they had traveled in ternationally one or more times. When asked whether they had tr aveled to Asia before, 82.9% participants

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41 had never traveled there. When asked whethe r they had traveled to China before, the majority (98%) of the participants reported that they have never traveled to China. According to Cohen’s (1972) tourist role typology, 14.3% participants in this study classified themselves as organized mass t ourists, 35.7% as independent mass tourists, 40.8% as explorers, and 9.2% as drifters. Table 3-2: Participants’ Pr evious Travel Experiences Variable Category N % Cumulative % Travel Internationally Never 84 24.07 24.07 1-2 times 123 35.24 59.31 3-4 times 63 18.05 77.36 5 or more times 79 22.64 100.00 Travel to Asia Never 289 82.86 82.86 1-2 times 35 10.00 92.86 3-4 times 17 4.57 97.43 5 or more times 9 2.57 100.00 Travel to China Never 341 97.99 97.99 1-2 times 5 1.43 99.43 3-4 times 2 0.29 99.71 5 or more times 1 0.29 100.00 Tourist Role Organized mass tourists 48 14.29 14.29 Independent mass tour ists 120 35.71 50.00 Explorers 137 40.77 90.77 Drifters 31 9.23 100.00 Olympic Games Attendance Participants in the study were asked que stions about Olympic Games attendance (Table 3-3). Thirty-four participants, which comprised 9.7% of the total participants, had attended the Summer or Winter Ol ympic Games once before. Among these 34 participants, 76% reported that they had b een to 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.

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42 Almost 90% (89.7%) had never attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games, and 0.6% participants reported th at they had attended the Summ er or Winter Olympic Games twice before. When asked whether they pl aned to attend the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the majority (96.6%) of the participants said they would not attend, 2.6% were not sure, and only 0.9% answered yes. For the awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 21.2% of the participants alr eady knew Beijing will host the 2008 Olympic Games, while the remaining 78.8% either di d not know or were not sure. When asked where the participants get most of their information about the Olympic Games, television is the primary information source, then Inte rnet is second and ne wspapers rank third. Table 3-3: Participants’ Olympic Games Attendance Variable Category N % Cumulative % Ever Attended Summer or Winter Olympic Games Never 313 89.68 89.68 Once 34 9.74 99.43 Twice 2 0.57 100.00 Plan to Attend 2004 Athens Olympic Games Yes 338 96.57 96.57 No 3 0.86 97.43 Not Sure 9 2.57 100.00 Awareness of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Yes 74 75.64 75.64 No 264 21.20 96.85 Not Sure 11 3.15 100.00

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43 Data Analysis Descriptive statistics such as descriptiv e statistics, one sample t-test, factor analysis, two-sample t-test, ANOVA, Cronb ach’s alpha and multiple regression were employed in this study. The data were entere d and analyzed using statistical package SPSS 12.0. To answer Question 1 (what images do U.S. college students hold of China as a tourism destination and the host of the 2008 Olympic Games?), descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and one sample t-test were utilized to analyze the image items. Factor analysis was used to identify the underlying constructs of the image items. Cronbach’s alpha was used to te st the internal consistency of the image scale. To analyze the image differences by gender and by previ ous travel experience, Independent-Sample T-test was used. ANOVA was employed to an alyze image differences by tourist role type. To answer Question 2 (How do U.S. college students perceive China in terms of travel-related risk?), descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and one-sample t-test were utilized to analyze the risk items Factor analysis was used to identify the underlying constructs of the tr avel-related risk items, and Cr onbach’s alpha was used to test the internal consistency of the items loading on each factor. Independent-Sample Ttest was utilized to analyze the differences of risk perception by gender and by previous travel experience. ANOVA was employed to an alyze the differences of risk perception by tourist role. To answer Question 3 (Do U.S. college stude nts express intent to travel to China within the next five years as (i) a general tourist; (ii) a sport tourist to attend the 2008

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44 Olympics), frequency statistics were util ized. Independent-Sampl e T-tests and One-way ANOVA were also used to analyze the data. To answer Question 4 (What is the relati onship between image, risk and intention to travel), a multiple regression model was built to examine the relationship among image, risk and intention to travel. This model also explained the relationship between intention to travel and image, and the relati onship between intention to travel and risk. Separate multiple models were built to examine the relationship between image and tourist characteristics, and the relationship between risk and tourist characteristics.

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45 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The data collected at a large southeaste rn U.S. university provided many insights into U.S. college students destination image, perception of risk, and in tention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Ov erall, 350 questionnaires were completed and used for the analyses. The socio-demographic information presented in Chapter 3 provides valuable information about the basic ch aracteristics of this sample. This profile continues to be developed as the research questions are answered in this chapter. Image Research Question #1: What Images Do U. S. College Students Hold of China as A Tourism Destination and the Host of the 2008 Olympic Games? When asked about their image of China as a tourism destination, the results of a one-sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Li kert scale (3 = Somewhat Agree) showed that participants had positive attitudes for Ch ina on most of the image items (Table 4-1). Participants were most likely to agree that China has beautiful scenery/natural attractions (M = 4.44, SD = .78, t = 34.54, p < .05), with over a half of the participants answering Strongly Agree. They also felt that China is a crowded country (M = 4.34, SD = .80, t = 30.79, p < .05). However, participan ts had negative images on it is easy to communicate with the local people (M = 2.12, SD = 0.88, t = -18.5, p < .05), and China is a clean country (M = 2.98, SD = .87, t = -0.37, p > .05).

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46 Table 4-1 U.S. College Students' Images of China as a Tourism Destination (N=350) General Destination Image Meana SD tb p Beautiful scenery/natural attractions 4.44 0.78 34.54 .000* A crowded country 4.34 0.80 30.79 .000* Many cultural attractions 4.33 0.71 34.74 .000* Many friendly people 4.28 0.75 31.64 .000* Historical sites and museums 4.25 0.79 28.99 .000* Exotic cuisine 4.19 0.83 26.72 .000* A place to increase my knowledge 4.17 0.83 26.08 .000* A place for adventure 4.07 0.88 22.52 .000* Many tourist attractions 3.82 0.85 17.77 .000* Highly urbanized 3.80 0.92 16.07 .000* Many shopping facilities 3.80 0.90 16.51 .000* Good value for the money 3.58 0.79 13.52 .000* An exotic atmosphere and culture 3.56 0.85 12.21 .000* A family oriented destination 3.55 0.91 11.14 .000* A good climate 3.49 0.78 11.59 .000* Readily available travel information 3.47 0.90 9.62 .000* A good quality of service 3.43 0.77 10.26 .000* Good night life and entertainment 3.38 0.87 8.05 .000* Easy to find accommodations 3.33 0.82 7.30 .000* A safe destination 3.30 0.83 6.61 .000* Convenient transportation 3.18 0.82 4.07 .000* A place for relaxing 3.12 0.95 2.39 .017* A clean country 2.98 0.87 -0.37 .790 Easy to communication with the local people 2.12 0.88 -18.50 .000* China as a future site of the Olympic Games Strong competence to host the Olympic Games 3.60 0.94 11.80 .000* A safe place to hold the Olympic Games 3.59 0.86 12.70 .000* Many friendly people 3.58 0.80 13.32 .000* A Good value for the money 3.57 0.78 13.42 .000* World-class sports facilities 3.40 0.88 8.37 .000* Easy to find accommodations 3.33 0.81 7.37 .000* Easy to get to 2.71 1.09 -4.93 .000* a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale Significant at the .05 level Table 4-1 also shows the results of the pa rticipants images of China as the host country of the 2008 Olympic Games. Generall y, participants had positive images for China as a future site of the Olympic Games. The participants were most likely to agree

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47 that China has “strong competence to host the Olympic Games” (M = 3.60, SD = .94, t= 11.9, p < .05). They also agree that China is “a safe place to hold the Olympic Games” (M = 3.59, SD = .86, t = 12.7, p < .05). However, the results of a one-sample t-test showed that participants had a negative imag e of the ease of getti ng to China (M = 2.71, SD = 1.09, t = -4.93, p < .05). For the purpose of data reduction and future analysis, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to discover the underlying imag e dimensions related to both image of China as a tourist destination and image of China as a future site of the Olympic Games. Principle components analysis with varimax rotation was used. Varimax rotation is the best way of determining the appropriate numbe r of common factors to retain based on an analysis of the eigenvalues of the adjusted correlation matrix (Jeffreys, Massoni, & Odnnell, 1997). Kaiser-Myer-O lkin (KMO) was included to determine whether the factoring procedure was appropr iate, and values above .50 indi cate appropriateness of the factor analysis (Hair et al., 2004; Malhotra, 1996). The KMO fo r this factor analysis was .89, which established the appropriateness of conducting the factor analysis in this instance. In this study, four criteria fo r the factor analysis were a pplied: (1) only those factors (domains) with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 we re extracted (Hair et al. 2004); (2) items with loadings of at least .40 were used as the cutoff point to determine which factor they were associated with (Hair et al., 2004; Stevens, 1996); (3) each domain was subjected to reliability testing, and items that reduced the reliability of a factor were eliminated from further analysis (Chen & Kerstetter, 1999). Do mains with Cronbach’s Alpha greater than .50 were deemed acceptable (Baumgartner & Jackson, 1999).

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48 Based on the four criteria, seven fact ors (domains) were identified, which accounted for 62.4% of the total variance. Tw enty of the 24 genera l destination image items and seven Olympic destination image items loaded on one of the seven factors (Table 4-2). Three items not included in eith er factor were “a good climate,” “a crowded country” and “highly urbanized.” The item “a good climate” was eliminated because it did not meet the minimum .40 factor load ing criterion. The other two items were eliminated because they both loaded on a se parate factor (domain) with a Cronbach’s Alpha of .46, which was too low to accept. Ther efore, these three items were eliminated from future analysis. Factor 1 – Attractions Based on the nature of the items loaded on Factor 1, it was labeled “Attractions”. The image items included in this factor we re: “an exotic atmosphere and culture,” “a place to increase my knowledge,” “beautiful s cenery/natural attracti ons,” “many cultural attractions,” “a place for adventure,” “histori cal sites and museums,” “exotic cuisine” and “many tourist attractions.” The Attraction factor had a mean of 4.19 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .85. This factor had an eigenv alue of 4.06 and accounted for 14.5% of the variance. Factor 2 – Olympic Competence The second factor was labeled “Olympic Co mpetence” because four of five items measured the image of China as a further site of the Olympic Games. These items included: “a safe place to hold the Olympic Games,” “world-class sports facilities,” “strong competence to host the Olympic Ga mes” and “easy to find accommodations.” A general image item “a safe destination” also loaded on this factor with a .433 loading. This can probably be explained by the attenti on given to safety and security in the media

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49 leading up to the 2004 Athens Olympic Game s. The Olympic Competence factor had a mean of 3.44 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .82. This factor had an eigenvalue of 3.00 and accounted for 10.7% of the variance. Factor 3 – Convenience Based on the nature of the items loading on factor 3, the third factor was labeled “Convenience”. It included: “readily availa ble travel information,” “easy to find accommodations,” “easy to communication with the local people” and “convenient transportation.” The Convenience factor had a mean of 3.02 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .57. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.65 and accounted for 9.5% of the variance. Factor 4 – Atmosphere Factor 4 was labeled “Atmosphere”. It co ntained four items: “a clean country,” “a place for relaxing,” “a good quality of service” and “a family oriented destination.” The Atmosphere factor had a mean of 3.27 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .70. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.16 and accounted for 7.73% of the variance. Factor 5 – People Factor 5 was labeled “People” because this factor mainly measured the image of the local people. It contained three items: “many friendly people” as a general image, “many friendly people” as an Olympic image, and “easy to get to” as an Olympic image. The People factor had a mean of 3.28 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .71. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.15 and accounted for 7.7% of the variance. Factor 6 – Activities Factor 6 “Activities” included two ite ms: “many shopping facilities” and “good night life and entertainment.” The Activity factor had a mean of 3.59 and a Cronbach’s

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50 Alpha of .65. This factor had an eigenv alue of 1.82 and accounted for 6.5% of the variance. Table 4-2: Factor Analysis Resu lts of Destination Images Scale Destination Image Items Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Factor 1Attractions An exotic atmosphere and culture 0.760 0.106 -0.080 0.123 0.063 0.145 -0.006 A place to increase my knowledge 0.703 0.135 0.284 0.051 0.020 -0.008 0.037 Beautiful scenery/natural attractions 0.692 0.076 -0.150 0.192 0.199 0.154 0.153 Many cultural attractions 0.665 0.028 0.081 -0.011 0.296 0.193 0.205 A place for adventure 0.649 0.115 0.051 0.272 0.105 0.269 0.013 Historical sites and museums 0.646 0.180 0.155 -0.112 0.089 0.073 0.157 Exotic cuisine 0.622 0.138 0.233 0.228 -0.292 -0.182 0.057 Many tourist attractions 0.441 0.245 0.225 -0.076 0.218 0.202 0.214 Factor 2Olympic Competence A safe place to hold the Olympic Games (Olympic) 0.133 0.798 0.046 0.200 0.170 0.101 0.084 World-class sports facilities (Olympic) 0.152 0.793 0.113 0.097 0.022 0.091 0.037 Strong competence to host the Olympic Games (Olympic) 0.317 0.703 0.142 0.029 0.288 0.106 0.055 Easy to find accommodations (Olympic) 0.087 0.525 0.393 0.219 0.130 0.299 0.245 A safe destination 0.071 0.433 0.390 0.330 0.230 0.004 0.191 Factor 3Convenience Readily available travel information 0.151 0.123 0.717 0.192 0.105 0.065 0.107 Easy to find accommodations 0.208 0.113 0.662 0.222 0.106 0.289 0.191 Easy to communication with the local people -0.111 0.093 0.560 0.192 0.395 0.030 -0.022 Convenient transportation 0.133 0.106 0.508 -0.029 0.131 0.474 -0.034 Factor 4Atmosphere A clean country 0.072 0.188 0.187 0.697 0.117 0.189 -0.123 A place for relaxing 0.120 0.101 0.173 0.696 0.210 -0.005 0.244 A good quality of service 0.174 0.271 0.416 0.456 -0.025 0.212 0.096 A family oriented destination 0.154 0.129 0.147 0.466 0.420 0.123 0.104 Factor 5People Many friendly people 0.279 0.097 0.089 0.305 0.671 0.139 0.088 Many friendly people (Olympic) 0.267 0.377 0.131 0.203 0.618 0.126 0.061 Easy to get to (Olympic ) 0.036 0.246 0.371 0.029 0.612 -0.110 0.084 Factor 6Activities Many shopping facilities 0.211 0.169 0.036 0.098 0.057 0.758 0.087

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51 Table 4-2. Continued Destination Image Items Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Good night life and entertainment 0.170 0.097 0.285 0.217 0.014 0.645 0.135 Factor 7Money Good value for the money 0.298 0.020 0.124 0.028 0.027 0.143 0.829 A Good value for the money (Olympic) 0.114 0.431 0.130 0.216 0.206 0.062 0.703 Eigenvalues 4.06 3.00 2.65 2.16 2.15 1.82 1.62 Cronbach’s Alpha 0.85 0.82 0.57 0.70 0.71 0.65 0.72 Factor Means 4.19 3.44 3.02 3.27 3.28 3.59 3.58 Percentage of variance explained 14.51 10.73 9.46 7.73 7.68 6.51 5.78 Cumulative variance explained 14.51 25.24 34.70 42.43 50.11 56.62 62.40 Factor 7 – Money Factor 7 was labeled “Money” because two image items related to money loaded on this factor: “good value for the money” as a general image and “good value for the money” as an Olympic Image. The Money factor had a mean of 3.58 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .72. This factor had an eigenv alue of 1.62 and accounted for 5.8% of the variance. Research Question #1: 1a. Do These Images Differ by Gender? 1b. Do These Images Differ by the Nature of Previous Travel Experience? 1c. Do These Images Differ by Tourist Role Type? To answer research question 1a, 1b and 1c the seven image factors extracted from the factor analysis were used. The item sc ores within each image factor were summed and then a mean score was calculated. Thus, seven summated scales for image were created. Compared with the factor scores, th e mean score within each factor could be

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52 interpreted on the same Likert scale (Chen & Kerste tter, 1999; Hair et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). However, the results of the IndependentSamples t test showed that there was no significant (p > .05) difference between men an d women in terms of the seven destination image factors (Table 4-3). The means for fe males in relation to six image factors: attraction (M = 4.22, SD = .55), Olym pic competence (M = 3.45, SD = .65), communication (M = 3.09, SD = .63), atmos phere (M = 3.33, SD = .64), people (M = 3.29, SD = .73) and activities (M = 3.61, SD = .75) were higher than the means for males. Table 4-3: Independent Samples t-test Results of Destination Images by Gender Image Factor Males Females Mean1 SD Mean1 SD df t p Factor 1 Attraction 4.17 0.57 4.22 0.55 349 0.85 0.39 Factor 2 Olympic Competence 3.44 0.68 3.45 0.65 349 0.22 0.83 Factor 3 Communication 2.96 0.63 3.09 0.63 349 1.79 0.08 Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.21 0.64 3.33 0.64 349 1.79 0.07 Factor 5 People 3.28 0.75 3.29 0.73 349 0.13 0.90 Factor 6 Activities 3.58 0.77 3.61 0.75 349 0.44 0.66 Factor 7 Money 3.61 0.74 3.56 0.66 349 -0.59 0.56 1 Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree To answer research question 1b, previous international travel experience (Have you ever traveled internationally?) was used as an independent variable in an ANOVA. Compared to the other three types of travel ers (never, 1-2 times, and 3-4 times), those who had traveled internationa lly over five times tend to rate the image factors higher (Table 4-4). The results indicated that a si gnificant (p<.05) relationship existed among four types of international travel experience about the image factor “attraction”. The Tukey HSD post hoc analysis showed that peop le who had traveled internationally over 5 times rated the image factor “attraction” si gnificantly (p > .05) higher than those who had

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53 traveled 1-2 times or less. The total multivariate variance explained by the previous international travel experience on destination image was 2.4%. Table 4-4: ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Previo us International Travel Experience Image Factor 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p Factor 1 – Attraction* 4.09* 4.15* 4.21 4.37** 3.92 0.01 Factor 2 Olympic Competence 3.35 3.44 3.43 3.57 1.51 0.21 Factor 3 Communication 3.01 2.95 3.14 3.06 1.25 0.29 Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.25 3.24 3.26 3.33 0.35 0.79 Factor 5 People 3.22 3.22 3.40 3.37 1.39 0.25 Factor 6 Activities 3.47 3.54 3.69 3.74 2.30 0.08 Factor 7 Money 3.47 3.53 3.63 3.75 2.58 0.05 1 Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree *Significant at the .05 level Note: Superscripts* indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis. ANOVA was also preformed to examine research question 1c. The results indicated that there were no si gnificant differences among tourist roles in terms of image factors (Table 4-5). The “attr action” factor received the hi ghest mean score (Organized Mass Tourist = 4.15, Independent Mass Tourist = 4.14, Explorers = 4.26, Drifters = 4.25) among the seven image factors. In comparison, the “communication” factor received the lowest mean score (Organized Mass Tour ist = 3.11, Independent Mass Tourist = 2.99, Explorers = 3.02, Drifters = 3.09). Table 4-5: ANOVA Results of Dest ination Images by Tourist Roles Image Factor Organized Mass Tourists Independent Mass Tourists Explorers Drifters F p Factor 1 Attraction 4.15 4.14 4.26 4.25 1.29 0.28 Factor 2 Olympic Competence 3.55 3.43 3.41 3.60 1.11 0.35 Factor 3 Communication 3.11 2.99 3.02 3.09 0.53 0.66 Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.43 3.28 3.26 3.14 1.34 0.26 Factor 5 People 3.35 3.24 3.27 3.50 1.16 0.33 Factor 6 Activities 3.68 3.57 3.59 3.72 0.46 0.71 Factor 7 Money 3.66 3.50 3.64 3.55 0.97 0.42 1 Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree

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54 Perceived Risk Research Question #2: How Do U.S. Colle ge Students Perceive China in Terms of Travel-Related Risk? When participants were asked to rate the de gree of risk associated with traveling to China, they were most likely to agree that proper sanitation and hygiene in China are very important (M = 4.08, SD = .86, t = 23.35, p < .05) (Table 4-6). They also agreed that I prefer traveling to China if I kne w something about it (M = 3.95, SD = .86, t = 20.63, p < .05), and I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war (M = 3.84, SD = 1.19, t = 13.04, p < .05). Th ey were least likely to agree that I might be disappointed if I t ook a trip to China (M = 1.99, SD = .88, t = -21.55, p < .05). They also disagreed that there is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice to travel to China (M = 2.02, SD = 1.01, t = -18.04, p < .05), a nd I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China (M = 2.42, SD = 1.12, t = -9.65, p < .05). Participants were also asked to rate the overall risk associated with traveling to China and attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Table 4-7). The overall risk associated with traveling to China was 3.27 (SD = .75). Over 48 % of the participants considered traveling to China was neither ri sky or safe; 38.1% considered it safe and very safe; and 13.9% participants indicated it was risky and very risky. The overall risk of attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was 3.35 (SD = .80). Almost 42% (41.5%) reported it would be neither risky or safe; 44.5% rated China as safe and very safe; and 14.1% reporte d the Olympic Games would be risky and very risky.

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55 a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale Significant at the .05 level Table 4-7: Overall Risk Associ ated with Traveling to China and Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Variable Frequency (%) on Likert Scale1 Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 Overall degree of risk associated with traveling to China 2 (0.58%) 46 (13.26%) 167 (48.13%) 120 (34.58%) 12 (3.46%) 3.27 0.75 Risk of attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 3 (0.86%) 46 (13.18%) 145 (41.55%) 137 (39.26%) 18 (5.16%) 3.35 0.8 1Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Very Risky and 5=Very Safe When participants were asked to rate the de stinations that had pr eviously hosted the Olympic Games or were host countries for future Games, Canada was perceived to be the safest country (M = 4.32, SD = .76, t = 31.8, p < .05), followed by Australia (M = 4.14, Table 4-6: U.S. College Students' Perception of Risk Associated with Traveling to China (N=350) Risk Items Meana SD tb p Proper sanitation and hygiene in China are important. 4.08 0.86 23.36 .000* I prefer traveling to China if I knew something about it. 3.95 0.86 20.63 .000* I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war. 3.84 1.19 13.04 .000* Language barriers could be a source of mi sunderstandings and problems. 3.72 0.99 13.43 .000* Political stability in China is an important consideration. 3.71 0.95 13.94 .000* The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to travel to China. 3.39 1.20 6.08 .000* I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves. 3.27 0.99 5.07 .000* I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China. 3.20 1.09 3.40 .001* Cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. 3.18 1.01 3.35 .001* Standards of health care in China concern me. 3.16 1.00 2.91 .004* Drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when traveling in China. 3.13 0.97 2.50 .013* China's political orientation is a concern for me. 3.08 1.12 1.34 .180 I would have concerns about rustic/p rimitive accommodations if I plan to travel to China. 3.01 0.95 0.28 .778 It is important to know about China' s religious orientation before taking a trip there. 2.84 1.14 -2.58 .010* The threat of violence worries me about visiting China. 2.75 1.03 -4.61 .000* HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China. 2.74 0.93 -5.09 .000* I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China. 2.42 1.12 -9.65 .000* There is a risk of friends/family/ associates disapproving of my choice to travel to China. 2.20 1.01 -18.04.000* I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China. 1.99 0.88 -21.55.000*

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56 SD = .79, t = 26.77, p < .05) and the UK (M = 4.00, SD = .83, t = 22.44, p < .05), while Korea was perceived to be the most ris ky country (M = 2.76, SD = .96, t = -4.72, p < .05). China was perceived as a medium ri sk country (M = 3.34, SD = .75, t = 8.4, p < .05), similar to Greece (M = 3.34, SD = .85, t = 7.4, p < .05) (Table 4-8). Table 4-8: Risk Levels of Diff erent Countries (N=350) Country Meana SD tb p Canada 4.31 0.76 31.80 .000* Australia 4.14 0.79 26.77 .000* United Kingdom 4 0.83 22.44 .000* Japan 3.72 0.87 15.32 .000* Italy 3.68 0.82 15.36 .000* Germany 3.63 0.85 13.69 .000* Spain 3.47 0.86 9.99 .000* China 3.34 0.75 8.40 .000* Greece 3.34 0.85 7.40 .000* Mexico 2.95 0.95 -0.90 .367 Russia 2.95 0.94 -1.03 .306 Korea 2.76 0.96 -4.72 .000* a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Very Risky and 5=Very Safe b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale Significant at the .05 level Based on the 19 travel-related risk items, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to discover the underlyi ng risk dimensions. The KMO for this factor analysis was .86, which established the appropriaten ess of conducting the factor analysis. The factor analysis yielded four factors (or domains) with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 and explained 55.8% of the total variance. Seventeen of 19 perceived risk items loaded on one of four factors. The items “I prefer traveling to Ch ina if I knew something about it” and “proper sanitation and hygiene in China are important” were eliminated because these two factors lo aded on a separate factor with a Cronbach’s Alpha of .48,which did not meet the .50 requirement. Also, the KMO before elimination was .853,

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57 which is lower than the KMO after elimin ation. Therefore, these two items were eliminated from further analysis. The results of this factor analysis are shown in Table 49. Factor 1 – Personal Safety The first factor was labeled “personal safe ty” based on the nature of the risk items including six items: “I would have concerns about rustic/primitive accommodations if I plan to travel to China,” “standards of health care in China concern me,” “HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China, ” “language barriers could be a source of misunderstandings and problems,” “I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves” and “drinking the wate r would not be a good thing to do when traveling in China.” The Personal Safety factor had a mean of 3.17 a nd a Cronbach’s Alpha of .77. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.67 and accounted for 15.7% of the variance. Factor 2 – Cultural Risk Based on the nature of the items that lo aded on Factor 2, it was labeled “Cultural Risk”. Five risk items were included in this factor: “cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings and problems,” “I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China,” “China's political orientation is a conc ern for me,” “political stability in China is an important consideration” and “it is important to know about China's religious orientation before taking a trip there.” The Cultural risk factor had a mean of 3.21 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .71. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.51 and accounted for 14.7% of the variance. Factor 3 – Socio-Psychological Risk Factor 3 was labeled “Socio-psychologocial Ri sk”. It contained three items: “There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapprov ing of my choice to travel to China,” “I

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58 might be disappointed if I took a trip to China” and “I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China.” The Socio-psyc hological Risk factor had a mean of 2.14, which is the lowest among the four factors, and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .60. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.17 and accounted for 12.8% of the variance. Factor 4 – Violence Risk The fourth factor was labele d “Violence Risk”. It incl uded three items: “I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries wa s at war,” “The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to trav el to China” and “The threat of violence worries me about visiting China.” The Viol ence Risk factor had a mean of 3.32 and a Cronbach’s Alpha of .72. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.14 and accounted for 12.6% of the variance.

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59 Table 4-9: Factor Analysis Results of Risk Items Risk Items Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 1 Personal Safety 0.852 0.176 0.095 0.021 I would have concerns about rustic/primitive accommodations if I plan to travel to China. Standards of health care in China concern me. 0.837 0.112 0.132 0.153 HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China. 0.583 0.235 0.321 -0.053 0.492 0.422 -0.115 0.107 Language barriers could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves. 0.463 0.274 0.134 0.260 0.415 0.071 0.399 0.193 Drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when traveling in China Factor 2 Cultural Risk 0.214 0.736 0.077 -0.022 Cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China. 0.096 0.691 0.175 0.132 China's political orientation is a concern for me. 0.271 0.676 0.093 0.111 Political stability in China is an important consideration. 0.128 0.637 -0.059 0.456 0.035 0.456 0.411 -0.014 It is important to know about China's religious orientation before taking a trip there. Factor 3 – Socio-psychological Risk 0.097 0.162 0.747 0.100 There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice to travel to China. I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China. 0.146 0.151 0.741 0.142 0.345 -0.041 0.502 0.068 I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China. Factor 4 Violence Risk 0.138 0.115 0.158 0.800 I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war. 0.202 0.253 0.157 0.710 The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to travel to China. The threat of violence worries me about visiting China. 0.325 0.293 0.385 0.557 Eigenvalues 2.67 2.51 2.17 2.14 Cronbach’s Alpha 0.77 0.71 0.60 0.72 Factor Means 3.17 3.21 2.14 3.32 Percentage of variance explained 15.74 14.74 12.75 12.57 Cumulative variance explained 15.74 30.48 43.22 55.79

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60 Research Question #2: 2a. Do These Perceptions of Risk Differ by Gender? 2b. Do These Perceptions of Risk Diff er by Previous Travel Experience? 2c. Do These Perceptions of Risk Differ by Tourist Role? To answer research question 2a, 2b and 2c, the five risk factors extracted from the factor analysis were used. Five summated s cales of risk were cr eated by calculating the mean score for each factor. The results of I ndependent-Samples t test showed that there was no significance difference between males and females in terms of five risk factors (Table 4-10). Although their relationships were not statistically si gnificant, males had higher scores in health risk (M = 3.20) a nd cultural risk (M = 3.22), and females had higher scores on socio-psychological risk (M = 2.15) and violence risk (M = 3.42), which indicated that males perceived higher risk in terms of health and cultural, and females perceived higher risk in socio-ps ychological and violence risk. Table 4-10: Independent Samples t-test Re sults of Travel-related Risk by Gender Risk Factor Males Females Mean SD Mean SD t p Factor 1 – Health Risk 3.20 0.693.15 0.65 -0.78 0.43 Factor 2 – Cultural risk 3.22 0.773.18 0.69 -0.54 0.59 Factor 3 – Socio-psychological Risk 2.14 0.752.15 0.73 0.02 0.98 Factor 4 – Violence Risk 3.23 0.953.42 0.87 1.94 0.05 1 Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree To answer research question 2b, previous international travel experience was used as an independent variable to conduct an ANOVA (Table 4-11). The results indicated that previous international travel experiences were not significantly related to travel-related risk.

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61 Table 4-11: ANOVA Results of Travel-related Risk by Previous International Travel Experiences Risk Factor 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p Factor 1 – Health Risk 3.19 3.17 3.16 3.18 0.03 0.99 Factor 2 – Cultural risk 3.23 3.27 3.09 3.16 0.89 0.45 Factor 3 – Socio-psychological Risk 2.26 2.1 2.2 2.06 1.25 0.29 Factor 4 – Violence Risk 3.47 3.37 3.18 3.22 1.66 0.18 1 Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree ANOVA was also used to examine research question 2c. The results indicated that for socio-psychological risk and violence ris k, there were significant differences among tourist role types (Table 4-12). The post hoc analysis showed that in terms of sociopsychological risk, organized mass tourists di ffered significantly from the other three tourist role types in that organized mass tourists te nd to perceive higher sociopsychological risk. For violence risk, drifters were significantly diffe rent from organized mass tourists and independent mass tourists. Drifters perceive le ss risk of violence associated with traveling to China. The total multivariate variance explained by the tourist role on perceived risk was 2.5%. Table 4-12: ANOVA Results of Travel -related Risk by Tourist Roles Risk Factor Organized mass tourists Independent mass tourists Explorers Drifters F p Factor 1 – Health Risk 3.26 3.15 3.19 2.97 1.25 0.29 Factor 2 – Cultural risk 3.23 3.22 3.21 3.01 0.85 0.47 Factor 3 – Socio-psychological Risk 2.50** 2.15** 2.06** 1.87** 6.06 0.00*Factor 4 – Violence Risk 3.61** 3.44** 3.23b1 2.91** 4.96 0.00* 1*Significant at the .05 level 2** indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.

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62 Intention to Travel Research Question #3: Do U.S. College Students Express Intent to Travel to China within the Next Five Years as (i) A General Tourist; (ii) A Sport Tourist to Attend the 2008 Olympics? Participants were asked their intention to travel to China as a tourist and their intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Ga mes (Table 4-13). Sixty-eight percent of participants reported that they were very unlik ely and unlikely to travel to China in the next five years; 22% an swered somewhat likely, and only 9.9% answered likely and very likely to travel to Ch ina in the next five years. When participants were asked their in tention to attend th e 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the majority (92.8%) of the participan ts answered very unlik ely and unlikely. Of the remainder (7.2%), 6% answered som ewhat likely; only 1.2% answered likely and very likely. Table 4-13: Intention to Travel to China and the Olympic Games Variable Category N % Cumulative % Plan to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years (N= 350) Very Unlikely 14140.29 40.29 Unlikely 97 27.71 68.00 Somewhat Likely 77 22.00 90.00 Likely 18 5.14 95.14 Very Likely 17 4.86 100.00 Likelihood to Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (N= 348) Very Unlikely 21461.49 61.49 Unlikely 10931.32 92.82 Somewhat Likely 21 6.03 98.85 Likely 2 0.57 99.43 Very Likely 2 0.57 100.00 According to table 3-2, sixty-on e participants have been to Asia one or more times. Among them, twenty-nine (47.5%) reported that they were very unlikely or unlikely to

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63 travel to China within the next five years, twenty-one (34.4%) repor ted that they were somewhat likely to travel, and only eleven (1 8%) reported that they were likely or very likely to travel. Among these 61 participants w ho have been to Asia, fifty-three (86.8%) reported that they were very unlikely or unlikely to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and only 8 (13.1%) reported that they were somewhat likely to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Table 4-14). Table 4-14: Crosstabulation between Prev ious Travel Experience to Asia and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Previous Travel Experience to Asia Intention to Travel to China Never One or More Times Very Unlikely 126 (43.60%) 15 (24.59%) Unlikely 83 (28.72%) 14 (22.95%) Somewhat Likely 56 (19.38%) 21 (34.43%) Likely 13 (4.50%) 5 (8.20%) Very Likely 11 (3.80%) 6 (9.84%) Total289 (100%) 61 (100%) Intention to Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Very Unlikely 184 (64.11%) 30 (49.18%) Unlikely 86 (29.97%) 23 (37.70%) Somewhat Likely 13 (4.53%) 8 (13.11%) Likely 2 (0.70%) 0 Very Likely 2 (0.70%) 0 Total287 (100%) 61 (100%) Table 3-2 also shows that eight participants have been to China before. When asked their intention to travel to China within th e next five years, se ven (87.5%) reported that they were likely or very likely to travel. Ho wever, when asked their intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, only three pe rsons reported that they were somewhat likely to attend, and the others reporte d that they were unlikely to attend.

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64 Research Question #3: 3a. Does Intent to Travel Differ by Gender? 3b. Does Intent to Travel Diff er by Previous Travel Experience? 3c. Does Intent to Travel Differ by Tourist Role? An Independent Samples t-test indicate d that no significant relationship existed between men and women in terms of intention to travel to China in the next five years (t = -1.82, p = .07) and intention to attend to the 2008 Beijing Olympics (t = -1.42, p = .16) (Table 4-15). Table 4-15: Independent Samples t-test Re sults of Intention to Travel by Gender Intention to Travel Males Females Mean1 SD Mean1 SD df t p To China in the next 5 years 2.17 1.2 1.95 1.03 346.57 -1.82* 0.07 To 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1.52 0.75 1.42 0.62 341.83 -1.42* 0.16 *Equal variances not assumed The results of an ANOVA on intention to trav el to China in the next five years and previous international travel experience yi elded significant results (F = 7.84, p = .00) (Table 4-16). The Tukey HSD post hoc analys is showed that peopl e who had traveled internationally over five times were significan tly more likely to travel to China over the next five years than people who had never traveled internationally and people who have traveled 1-2 times. The total variance e xplained by previous in ternational travel experience on intention to travel to China within the next five years was 6.4%. A nonsignificant relationship was found between intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and previous internationa l travel experience (F = 1.28, p = .28).

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65 Table 4-16: ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Previous International Travel Experience Intention to Travel 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p To China in next 5 years 1.99** 1.79** 2.11 2.54** 7.84 0.00* To 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1.48 1.44 1.38 1.59 1.28 0.28 *Significant at the .05 level ** Indicate significant differences util izing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis. The results of an ANOVA indicated that th e four categories of tourist role were significantly different in inten tion to travel in the next five years (F = 6.34, p = .00) (Table 4-17). Tukey HSD post hoc analysis indicated that in terms of intention to travel to China, drifters differed significantly fr om organized mass tourists and independent mass tourists. Compared to organized mass t ourists, drifters reported less intention to travel to China in the next 5 years, while co mpared to independent mass tourists, drifters are more likely to travel to China in the next 5 years. Also, independent mass tourists are significantly different from expl orers in that they are less likely to travel to China over the next 5 years than their explorer counterpa rts. The total variance explained by previous international travel experience on intention to travel to China within the next five years was 6.4%. However, a non-signifi cant relationship existed betw een intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and tour ist role type (F = 2.46, p = .06). Table 4.17: ANOVA Results of Inten tion to Travel by Tourist Roles Intention to Travel Organized mass tourists Independent mass tourists Explorers Drifters F p To China in next 5 years 1.96** 0.95** 1.17** 1.19** 6.34 0.00* To 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 0.67 0.58 0.78 0.72 2.46 0.06 1*Significant at the .05 level 2** indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.

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66 Relationships Research Question #4: What Is the Relationship Between Image and Intention to Travel (i) to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the Next 5 Years? In order to explore the rela tionship between images of Ch ina and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a multiple regression analysis was employed. Seven image factors were used as independent vari ables, and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was set as the depende nt variable. The analysis summary is showed in Table 4-18. The R2 for this model is .079 (Adjusted R2= .059), indicating that the image variables explained 7.9% of the variation in intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In terms of explanator y power, the People factor ( =.191, p=.004) and the Attraction factor ( =.175, p=.035) have significant po sitive associations with intention to travel to the Olympic Games. Th e People factor is the most important in explaining intention to travel to the Olympic Games, because every unit of change in the People factor is associated with a .191 ch ange in the intention to attend the Olympic Games. Every unit of change in the Attracti on factor is related to a .175 change in intention to travel to the Olympic Games. Interestingly, although not significant, The Atmosphere factor ( =-.10, p=.217) and the A ctivities factor ( =-.076, p=.191) have negative relationships with inten tion to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

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67 Table 4-18: Results of Multiple Regression Anal ysis on Images of China and Intention to Travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Std. Error Standardized t p (Constant) 0.345 0.296 1.164 0.245 Attraction 0.175 0.083 0.142 2.118 0.035* Olympic Competence 0.035 0.08 0.033 0.432 0.666 Communication 0.049 0.079 0.044 0.611 0.541 Atmosphere -0.1 0.081 -0.092 -1.237 0.217 People 0.191 0.066 0.203 2.885 0.004* Activities -0.076 0.058 -0.084 -1.309 0.191 Money 0.029 0.064 0.03 0.457 0.648 R2=.079 Adjusted R2=.059 F= 4.002 Significance F=.000* *Significant at the .05 level It is also interesting to find out the relationship between images of China and intention to travel to China in the next 5 years. Similarly, a multiple regression analysis was conducted. Seven image factors were set as independent variables, and intention to travel to China in the next 5 years was set as a dependent variable Table 4-19 highlights the results from the multiple regression analysis. Table 4-19: Results of Multiple Regression Anal ysis on Images of China and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years Std. Error Standardized t p (Constant) -1.729 0.451 -3.83 0.000* Attraction 0.316 0.126 0.155 2.5110.013* Olympic Competence 0.108 0.121 0.063 0.8910.374 Communication 0.237 0.121 0.13 1.96 0.051 Atmosphere -0.012 0.123 -0.007 0.0990.921 People 0.146 0.101 0.095 1.4530.147 Activities -0.008 0.088 -0.005 0.0920.926 Money 0.276 0.097 0.171 2.8520.005* R2=.205 Adjusted R2=.188 F= 12.177 Significance F=.000* *Significant at the .05 level

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68 The R2 for this model is .205 (Adjusted R2 = .188), indicating that the image variables explained 20.5% of the va riation in intention to travel to China within the next 5 years. The results showed th at the Attraction factor ( = .316, p = .013) and the Money factor ( = .276, p = .005) were significantly re lated to intention to travel to China within the next 5 years. The Attraction factor is most important in explaining intention to travel, because every unit of cha nge in the Attraction factor leads to a .316 change in intention to travel to China within the next 5 years. The M oney factor is also a significant factor. Every unit of change in the Money factor translates into a .276 change in intention to travel The Communication factor ( = .237, p = .051) is also an important factor affecting intention to trav el to China within the next 5 years. Research Question #5: What Is the Relationship between Risk and Intention to Travel (i) to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the Next 5 Years? Multiple regression analysis was utilized to investigate the relationship between risk and intention to travel to the 2008 Olym pic Games. Four risk factors were used as the independent variables and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was set as the dependent variable. The results of the analysis are presented in Table 4-20. The R2 for this model is .023 (Adjusted R2 = .012), indicating that the risk variables explained 2.3% of the variati on in intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. All of the risk factors are negatively relate d to intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. However, none of the four risk factors has a si gnificant relationship with intention to travel. Among the four risk fa ctors, The Health Risk factor is the most important predictor of intention to travel ( = -.087, p = .18).

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69 Table 4-20: Results of Multiple Regression An alysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Std. Error Standardized t p (Constant) 1.988 0.199 10.0050.000* Health Risk -0.087 0.065 -0.089 -1.345 0.18 Cultural risk -0.001 0.062 -0.001 -0.017 0.987 Socio-psychological Risk -0.073 0.064 -0.072 -1.133 0.258 Violence Risk -0.018 0.051 -0.024 -0.355 0.723 R2=.023 Adjusted R2=.012 F= 2.057 Significance F=.086 *Significant at the .05 level It is also interesting to explore the relati onship between risk and intention to travel to China in the next 5 years. Again, multiple regression analysis was conducted. Four risk factors were used as independent variables, a nd intention to travel to China in the next 5 years was set as the dependent variable. Ta ble 4-21 shows the result of multiple regression analysis. The R2 for this model is .045 (Adjusted R2 = .033), indicates that the image variables explained 4.5% of the variation in intention to trav el to China in the next 5 years. The “Health Risk” factor ( = -.052, p = .621), the “Socio-psychological Risk” factor ( = -.202, p = .052) and the “V iolence Risk” factor ( = -.160, p = .050) have negative impacts on intention to travel to Chin a in the next 5 years. Every unit of change in the “Violence Risk” factor translates into a -.160 change in inten tion to travel. As for the “Socio-psychological Risk” factor, every unit of change leads to a -.202 change in intention to travel to China in the next 5 y ears. Interestingly, a lthough not significant, the “Cultural Risk” factor positively related to inte ntion to travel to China within the next 5 years ( = .084, p = .404).

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70 Table 4-21: Results of Multiple Regression An alysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years Std. Error Standardize t p (Constant) 2.98 0.32 9.3080.000* Health Risk -0.052 0.104 -0.032 0.4940.621 Cultural risk 0.084 0.10 0.054 0.8360.404 Socio-psychological Risk -0.202 0.103 -0.123 1.9510.052 Violence Risk -0.16 0.082 -0.131 1.9660.05 R2=.045 Adjusted R2=.033 F= 4.012 Significance F=.003* *Significant at the .05 level Summary Overall, the research questions addressed in this chapter have been used to develop a general understanding of U.S. college students’ destin ation image, perceived risk and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Be ijing Olympic Games, the impact of tourist characteristics (gender, previous travel e xperience, touris t type) on destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel, and the relationship between destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel. Figure 4-1 illustrates the relationship of destination image, perceived risk, intention to travel to China within the next five years and tourist characteristics based on the theoretical framew ork presented in chapter one. However, in terms of intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Ol ympic Games, the relationships are weak. The results provided many valuable insights and information that contribute to our understanding of the relationship among these vari ables. The results could also be used to aid marketers for China tourism and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when considering and planning their marketing campaigns in the United States in the future.

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71 R2=.064 R2=.024 R2=.205 R2=.025 R2=.045 R2=.054 Figure 4-1: Relationship of Destination Image, Perceived Risk, Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years and Tourist Characteristics Previous Travel Experience Tourist Role Destination Image Perceived Risk Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years

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72 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The purpose of this study was to explore U. S. college students’ destination image, perception of risk and inten tion to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as well as the relationship among destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel. Gender, previous trav el experiences and tourist ro le differences were also explored. This chapter draws upon the theoreti cal foundation and litera ture review for the study to interpret and explain young American’s image, risk pe rceptions and intentions to travel to China and to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Destination Image Using the dimensions developed by Echt ner and Ritchie (199 3), 24 destination image items were used to measure the im ages young Americans held of China. The results support McLellan and F oushee’s (1983) notion that des tination image is a mixture of positive and negative perceptions of a particular destination. Participants were most likely to agree that China is a country with beautiful scenery and many natural attractions. In contrast, they believed that China is a crowded a nd not a clean country. Intuitively, this makes sense as the common images of China in the media are of the Great Wall of China and also images of lots of people. They also felt that the Chinese people are friendly. However, they reported that it would be di fficult to communicate with the local people because of language differences. Seven additional items were developed to measure the participant’s image of China as a future site of the Olympic Games. Participants felt that China definitely has the

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73 ability to host the Olympic Games, and they also felt that China was a safe place to host the Games. However, in terms of accessibilit y, the participants rated China poorly. This makes sense because for the U.S., China is c onsidered a long-haul destination. Usually, it takes tourists more than 17 hours to fly fr om the U.S. to major cities in China. Although no significant differences were found between men and women in terms of destination image, females were likely than males to rate attractions, Olympic competence, communication, atmosphere, people and activities more highly. This result is similar to Chen and Kerstetter’s (1999) fi nding that female students were more likely than male students to have higher image sc ores of rural Pennsylvania. This can be explained that the participants in this study were young and well-educated, and the difference between male and female is not obvious. The study also found judgment and evaluati on of a destination was influenced by past travel experience. The results showed that experienced international travelers tend to form a more positive image of China than t hose who traveled less, which supports the notion that those with lots of past international travel experiences may form more positive images for international destinations as a result of their experiences (Hu & Ritchie. 1993). The results also support A nderson’s Information Integration Theory and Snmez and Graefe (1998a) that traveler’s pr evious travel experience may influence his/her psychophysical judg ment of destination. In this study, most of the participants categorized themselves as explorers based on Cohen’s typology, followed by independent ma ss tourists and organized mass tourists. This result supports Gibson and Yiannakis’s fi nding (2002) that indi viduals in their 20s are most likely to prefer roles such as expl orers and drifters which match their lifestage

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74 characteristics. However, in this study t ourist role was not significantly related to destination image, which contradicts the te ntative model constructed in chapter one (Figure 1-2) that tourist role might have an impact on destination image. It might be the reason that tourist role is directly related to perceived risk rather th an destination image. The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel to China but image does not seem to infl uence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. This findi ng is contrary to Chalip et al.’s (2003) finding that destination image was significantly related to intention to visit the host destination. This might be explained by th e low awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games among young Americans. The relatio nship between destination image and intention to travel to China w ithin the next five years support s the model (Figure 1-2) that destination image exerts an important impact on intention to travel. This finding can be interpreted within the framework of A nderson’s Information Integration Theory. According to the theory, individuals form psychophysical and value judgments integrating various types of information in the travel decision-making process. Destination image is a kind of psychophysical ju dgment of a particular destination that has an important impact on individual’s behavior. Perceived Risk Risk is an important factor when co nsidering international tourism (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Snmez, 1998; Snmez & Graefe, 1998), especially for Americans who perceive themselves to be particularly th reatened by terrorism. Perceived risk might influence a positive image (Lepp & Gibson, 2003) a nd intention to travel to a particular destination. Identifying factor s that influence perceptions of risk held by individuals regarding traveling to China will help us better understand travelers’ behavior.

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75 Overall, most participants considered traveling to China and attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as neither risky or sa fe. Interestingly, participants tended to perceive attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games safer than traveling to China. This is not confirmed by the literature, because genera lly the Olympic Games are perceived as an attractive target and an ideal stage for te rrorism (Cashman & Hughes, 1999), and people might have higher security concerns about their attendance (Taylor, Toohey & Lee, 2003). Four risk factors were identified based on 19 risk item s: personal safety, cultural risk, socio-psychological risk and risk of violence. The risk f actors are consistent with the risks most commonly identified in the literature (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992; S nmez & Graefe, 1998a). In the literature, gender is perceived to be a factor that affects perception of risk. Some studies have shown that women perceive more risk associated with international travel than men (Carr, 2001; Lepp & Gibs on, 2003). However, in this study men and women perceived the risk associated with Chin a equally. This finding is similar to that of S nmez and Graefe (1998a), who also found that gender was not influential on perception of risk. Although previous travel experience was signi ficant in explaining some differences in perception of risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; S nmez & Graefe, 1998a, 1998b), the results of this study did not demonstrate the infl uence of previous travel experience on perceptions of risk in terms of traveling to China. A possi ble reason is that for U.S. college students, most of their internationa l travel experiences have been to Europe and/or the Carribean. Only a few of them ha ve traveled to Asia, and even fewer have

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76 traveled to China. Therefore, their perceptions of risk associ ated with China are not based on their past international travel experiences. In this study, tourist role was found to be significantly related to risk perceptions, which supports the literature that tourist role is a significant factor influencing perceptions of risk (Lep p & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). Conceivably, according to Cohen’s (1972) typology, organi zed and independent mass tourists should differ from explorers and drifters, because or ganized and independent mass tourists have nearly the same requirements for safe travel, a nd explorers and drifters tend to seek more novelty in a destination. As such, tourist role is used as an indicator of the degree of novelty sought in a destin ation (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Indeed, Lepp and Gibson found that health, war, political in stability, terrorism and strange food are perceived to be less risky by novelty seekers than by those who pref er familiarity. The results of this study support Cohen’s and Lepp and Gibson’s work. In this study, organized mass tourists perceived higher degrees of risk on socio-ps ychological factors such as food and other people’s opinions than other tourist types. Dr ifters tended to down play risks associated with war and terrorism when compared to organized and independent mass tourists who tended to be more risk averse. This finding al so substantiates Lepp and Gibson’s idea that different tourist roles perceive different levels of risk in terms of international tourism, and novelty seekers may tolerate higher levels of risk. The results of the study show a significan t, but not strong relationship exists between perceptions of risk associated with in tention to travel to China within the next five years. This supports the l iterature that percep tion of risk influences an individual’s future travel intenti ons (Coshall, 2003; S nmez & Graefe, 1998a; Woodside & Lysonski,

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77 1995). It also supports the theoretical model c onstructed in Figure 1.2 that perceived risk exerts a great impact on intention to travel The results can be explained by Roger’s (1975) Protection Motivation Theory. According to the theory, before making a destination choice, potential tourists will cognitively appraise the degree of risk associated with traveling, and tend to choose destinations they consider safe. However, the study failed to establish a significant relationship between pe rception of risk and intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympi c Games. The results also do not support Taylor, Toohey and Lee’s (2003) finding th at people’s attendance at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan was greatly affected by th eir security concerns. The results of this study may be explained by the participants’ low awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, therefore, participants failed to perceive risk associated with it. Intention to Travel The literature shows that in tention to travel connects belief and attitude for a particular destination with behavior choice (Fishbein & Ajien, 1975; Woodside & Lysonski, 1995). It is an indica tor of tourists’ final destinatio n choice. The results of this study show that over half of the participants do not have a strong inte ntion to travel to China within the next five years. The reason for this may be that China is not perceived as a popular tourism destination for U.S. college students. In addition, the majority of the participants in this study do not show a strong interest in attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This can be explained by th e participants’ low awareness of the host country/city for the 2008 Olympic Games. Um and Crompton (1990) found that there is a two-stage evolution of individuals’ travel des tination choice – the awareness set and the evoked set. Potential tourists evolve from the awareness set into the evoked set in

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78 selecting their final destination. Without awaren ess, it is hard for pot ential tourists to form a strong image and choose that destin ation. This study was conducted before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The rules of th e International Olympic Committee forbid the organizing committee of the next Ol ympic Games from conducting marketing campaigns before the end of previous Olympic Games. Thus the Beijing Olympic Games had not yet been marketed extensively in the United States when the survey was conducted. Although the relationship between gender and intention to travel to China was nonsignificant, the results showed th at intention to travel to China over the next five years is significantly related to other tourist characteri stics such as previous travel experience and tourist role. The relationship be tween previous travel experi ence and intention to travel supports the notion that previous travel experience is a cruc ial factor for a traveler’s intention to travel (Goodrich, 1978; Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Mazursky, 1989; S nmez & Graefe 1998a, 1998b; Woodside & Lysonski, 199 5). Although a direct relationship between tourist role and intention to travel has not been addressed previously in the literature, it is known that touris t role has an indirect effect on intention to travel through perception of risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Resenmaier, 1992; Woodside & Lysonski, 1995). However, no direct relations hip was found between intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games a nd tourist characteristics. Implications Because there is still very little known about the images, perceived risk, and intention to travel to China among U.S. co llege students, and this study provides a good overview of this potentially marketable group. According to Chalip et al. (1997), young

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79 respondents were more likely to expect to travel to the 2000 Olympic Games. This information may be valuable information for Ch inese marketers in the travel industry. As China becomes more open as a travel market, it is hoped that student travel will become an important travel segment. To make China a more attractive destination, it is necessary to understand students’ images of China and th eir perceptions of risk related to visiting the country. This is especially important fo r the American touris t, as the U.S. is politically discrepant and spatially distant from China. This study also examined the relationship between image, risk and intention to travel. These three factors are interrelat ed and may greatly influence a tourist’s destination choice. Generally speaking, the results support the theoretical model projected in Figure 1-2. This study suggests that destin ation image greatly influences intention to travel to China but does not seem to in fluence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and intention to travel to China is small but signi ficant. However, the study failed to establish the relationship between perceived risk a nd intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In this study, previous international travel experience affects individual’s destination image of China and their related intentions to travel to China. Tourist role has an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China within the next five years. However, in terms of intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, previous international travel experien ce and tourist role did not show significant effects. In addition, the resu lts of the study did not show that gender has an impact on destination image, perceived risk and inten tion to travel. Understa nding the relationship among destination image, perceived risk and in tention to travel and the impact of tourist

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80 characteristics may assist destination market ers in making the righ t strategy in future marketing campaigns to increase market share. In addition, the results of the study show that some images and risk factors are considered more important among potential tourists than others. Tourism marketers should be aware which image and risk factor s might be crucial to potential tourists because these can significantly affect their future travel destination choices (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). This is important in the de veloping world where tourism is being promoted as an important market sector (Bur ns, 1999). For example, the results of this study show that respondents are most attract ed to the beautiful scenery and natural attractions of China. Marketers should re inforce these images when doing promotional campaigns. However, respondents also thought it would not be easy to communicate with the local people. So when doing promoti on, marketers should try to alter their perceptions, for example, by advocating that English has become more and more popular in China. The results of this study also pr ovide valuable information to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games marketers. There is evidence that the Olympic Games is an effective means of promoting the Olympic site as a pot ential holiday destina tion (Chalip et al., 2003). It is hoped that the 2008 Beijing Ol ympic Games will boost China’s tourism industry considerably (Sidron, 2001). Marketer s should try to alter negative perceptions and reinforce positive ones when doing marketing campaign. For example, people have a negative image of China in terms of accessibility. When doing Olympic marketing, marketers will need to eliminate their concerns by advertising that some big airlines in U.S., i.e. Northwestern, United, Delta etc. have direct flights to major cities in China. At

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81 the same time, positive images, i.e. strong Ol ympic competence, friendly people, cultural and natural attractions, should be reinforced. Recommendations for Further Research One of the goals of this study was to explore the multivariate relationship among tourist characteristics, image, perceptions of risk and intention to tr avel. A tentative path researcher did not establish a multivariate model that included all of the variables. It is suggested that structural equa tion modeling should be used in further studies to better understand the relationship among tourist characte ristics, image, perc eption of risk and intention to travel, and to ma ke intention to travel more predictable. Also, tourist characteristics, destination image and percei ved risk are not the only factors that may influence intention to travel. In order to bett er explain intention to travel, future studies might consider more variables such as destin ation awareness and preference, constraints, etc. This study was conducted right before th e 2004 Athens Olympic Games when the Beijing Olympic Games had not yet been mark eted extensively in the United States. Many of the participants were still unaware that Beijing is the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. This may have affected pe ople’s images of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and their intentions to travel, which were examined in this study. It would be interesting to find out if people’s images ch ange when they get more information about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In this ca se, a post-test is strongly recommended. The comparison of a pre-test and post-test data may help the Beijing Olympic marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Also, longitudinal studies are recommended in the future to study people’s attitude change and the effectiveness of

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82 marketing campaigns on constructing destinatio n image, perception of risk and intention to travel. This study was conducted on a student population and examined U.S. college student’s destination image, pe rception of risk, and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It will benefit Beijing Olympic Games marketers to research a boarder population with a more dive rse demographic profile in the U.S. and in other countries to further understand the in fluence of lifestage, social class, and nationality on images, risk percep tions and intention to travel. Limitations There were several limitations associated with this study. There was some evidence of participant fatigue when completing the que stionnaire. This might have been a result of the length of the questionnaire and the hot summer weather during the data collection process. Some participants also had limited information about China, and many of them were not aware that Beijing is going to be th e host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. It was hard for some of the participants to depi ct images of China and even images of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Therefore, this increased their difficulty in completing the questionnaire. It is only afte r completing the questionnaire th at most participants were aware that Beijing is going to the ho st city of the 2008 Olympic Games. Another limitation of this study concerne d the wording of the items that asked participants to rate th e level of risk associated with di fferent countries. Some participants got confused when they were asked to rate th e risk level of Korea. In their mind, traveling to North Korea and South Korea are not the sa me in terms of per ception of risk. When administering the questionnaire, the researcher only clarified this to the participants who raised questions about it.

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83 Delimitation The primary delimitation of this stud y is that the findings might not be generalizable to the general popu lation of the university sin ce only students registered in the summer of 2004 had the chance to participat e in the study. The sample size is limited, and the generalizability of the findings is therefore limited to popul ations with similar characteristics. Thus, caution should be take n in generalizing attit udes and opinions of the respondents beyond the study population. Another delimitation for this study is b ecause the study was conducted in a large southeastern public univ ersity, the sample mainly consis ts of students coming from the south. A more diverse national sample would ensure that the findings could be generalized to a wider population. Also, par ticipants in this study are college students aged between 18 and 30. Their responses could be influenced by their education level and age. Finally, the findings of this study might not be generalizable to non-U.S. population, since the sample is comprised of in dividuals who were bor n and raised in the U.S. Their cultural backgrounds as well as thei r social/cultural environment could impact their attitudes and responses. Conclusions In summary, the results mostly support the theoretical mode l guiding this study. This study suggests that destina tion image was closely related to intention to travel to China but these same variables do not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. It also suggests that perceived risk has a minor influence on intention to travel to China. This study cannot demonstrate the influence of gender on destination image, percei ved risk and intention to travel. However,

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84 previous international travel experience aff ects individual’s images of China and their related intentions to travel. Tourist role also had an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China. This study has both theoretical and practic al value. Although destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel are to pics that have been widely addressed by many researchers, this study provides a deeper unde rstanding of the relati onship between these factors and the impact of touristic characteri stics upon them. This study also heeds Gibson’s (2003) suggestion that future work in sport tourism needs to be theoretically grounded. The findings of this study also provide va luable information for marketers in the China tourism industry and for the Beij ing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. The World Tourist Organization estimated that by 2020, China will become the world’s leading tourism des tination. The 2008 Beijing Olympi c Games is considered to be a great opportunity for the growth of China’s tourism industry (Calio, 2001; Sidron, 2001). In particular, the United States is c onsidered to be a ma jor inbound market for China with a large potential source of touris ts. College students are regarded as one of these potential tourist sources. This st udy provides a good overview of U.S. college students’ destination image, pe rceived risk and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Also, it makes a conne ction between college student’s tourist characteristics and destination image, risk perc eptions, and intention to travel. It is crucial for destination marketers to unde rstand potential tourist’s per ceptions in order to adjust their marketing promotion and touris t service provision because effective communications need to address tourist con cerns, alter false negative perceptions, and

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85 reinforce positive ones (S nmez & Graefe, 1998a). It is hoped that the results of this study will benefit the marketers in the t ourism industry and for the Beijing Olympic Games.

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86 APPENDIX SURVEY INSTRUMENT China Travel Survey Introduction: This questionnaire asks you for your thoughts about visiting China or attending the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you have the right not to answer any specific questions. The information you provide will be grouped with other participants’ information to protect your identity. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Christine Xueqing Qi, at (352) 392-3655. Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire! Part I: The following questions are related to you r past travel experiences. Please circle the number that corresponds to your response. 1. Have you ever traveled internationally? Never 1-2 times 4 3 times 5 or more times Where have you traveled? ________________________________________________________________________ 2. How many times have you traveled to Asia? Never 1-2 times 4 3 times 5 or more times If Yes, what countries (Please specify)? ________________________________________________________________________ 3. How many times have you traveled to China? Never 1-2 times 4 3 times 5 or more times If you have been to China, when? ________________________________________________________________________ Part II: These questions ask you about the images you have of China as a tourist destination. Please use the following scale and circle the number that matches your response. As a Tourist Destination, China has/is Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree a. Many tourist attractions 1 2 3 4 5 b. Convenient transportation 1 2 3 4 5 c. Historical sites and museums 1 2 3 4 5 d. Good value for the money 1 2 3 4 5 e. Good night life and entertainment 1 2 3 4 5 f. Many shopping facilities 1 2 3 4 5 g. A place for adventure 1 2 3 4 5

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87 Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree h. Beautiful scenery/natural attractions 1 2 3 4 5 i. A family oriented destination 1 2 3 4 5 j. Many friendly people 1 2 3 4 5 k. Many cultural attractions 1 2 3 4 5 l. A good climate 1 2 3 4 5 j. An exotic atmosphere and culture 1 2 3 4 5 k. A clean country 1 2 3 4 5 l. A place for relaxing 1 2 3 4 5 m. Easy to communication with the local people 1 2 3 4 5 n. Exotic cuisine 1 2 3 4 5 o. A good quality of service 1 2 3 4 5 p. A crowded country 1 2 3 4 5 q. Readily available travel information 1 2 3 4 5 r A place to increase my knowledge 1 2 3 4 5 s. Easy to find accommodations 1 2 3 4 5 t. Highly urbanized 1 2 3 4 5 u. A safe destination 1 2 3 4 5 Using the same scale, please rate China as a future site of the Olympic Games, China has/is… Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree a. World-class sports facilities 1 2 3 4 5 b. A safe place to hold the Olympic Games 1 2 3 4 5 c. A Good value for the money 1 2 3 4 5 d. Easy to find accommodations 1 2 3 4 5 e. Many friendly people 1 2 3 4 5 f. Easy to get to 1 2 3 4 5 g. Strong competence to host the Olympic Games 1 2 3 4 5 Part III: Please circle the right answer that best describes your intention to travel. 4. Do you plan to travel to China in the next 5 years? Very unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely Very likely 5a. Have you ever attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games? Never Once Twice Other (Please specify)__________________________________ 5b. If you have attended the Games previously, which ones? ______________________________________________ 6. Where do you get most of your information about the Olympic Games? Television Internet Newspapers Magazines Radio Other (Please specify)_______________________________________________________________

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88 7. Do you plan to attend the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens? Yes No Not Sure 8. Before answering this questionnaire, were you awar e that the 2008 Olympic Games are going to be held in Beijing, China? Yes No Not Sure 9. How likely are you to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games? Very unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely Very likely Part IV: Please circle the number that best describes the degree of risk you associate with traveling to China. Please use the following scale: Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree a.. I prefer traveling to China if I know something about it. 1 2 3 4 5 b. Proper sanitation and hygiene in China are important. 1 2 3 4 5 c. Drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when traveling in China 1 2 3 4 5 d. I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war. 1 2 3 4 5 e. I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves. 1 2 3 4 5 f. China's political orientation is a concern for me. 1 2 3 4 5 g. I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China. 1 2 3 4 5 h. Political stability in China is an important consideration. 1 2 3 4 5 i. Cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. 1 2 3 4 5 j. The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to travel to China. 1 2 3 4 5 k. It is important to know about China's religious orientation before taking a trip there. 1 2 3 4 5 l. The threat of violence worries me about visiting China. 1 2 3 4 5 m. I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China. 1 2 3 4 5 n. Standards of health care in China concern me. 1 2 3 4 5 o. Language barriers could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. 1 2 3 4 5 p. HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China. 1 2 3 4 5 q. There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice to travel to China. 1 2 3 4 5 r. I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China. 1 2 3 4 5 s. I would have concerns about rustic/primitive accommodations if I plan to travel to China 1 2 3 4 5

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89 10. How would you rate the overall degree of risk associated with traveling to China? Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe 11. How risky do you think the 2004 Athens Su mmer Olympic Games will be for spectators? Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe 12. How risky do you think the 2008 Summer Olym pic Games in Beijing will be for spectators? Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe 13. Please rate the destinations below according to the le vels of risk or safety you believe they present to travelers. Very risky Risky Neither Risky or safe safe Very safe a. Greece 1 2 3 4 5 b. United Kingdom (Britain) 1 2 3 4 5 c. China 1 2 3 4 5 d. Australia 1 2 3 4 5 e. Canada 1 2 3 4 5 f. Spain 1 2 3 4 5 g. Korea 1 2 3 4 5 h. Germany 1 2 3 4 5 i. Japan 1 2 3 4 5 j. Russia 1 2 3 4 5 k. Mexico 1 2 3 4 5 l. Italy 1 2 3 4 5 Part V: Tourist Role 14. Of the following four descriptions, please check the one that best describes your travel characteristics. ____ I enjoy packaged tours with pre-planned itinera ries. I enjoy traveling with a knowledgeable guide along with a group of friends, family or othe r Americans. Comfort is very important. 2)____ I travel independently of a tour but I appreciate the services of a travel agent who can plan parts of my trip. I enjoy traveling with friends or family, a nd together we visit the famous sights. Comfort is important. 3)____ I enjoy arranging the trip myself and traveli ng alone or with a few close friends. Meeting local people is important and I prefer to get off the beaten path, however, comfort and reliable transportation are important.

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90 4)____ I enjoy engaging completely in a host country’s culture. I enjoy the freedom of having no travel itinerary, timetable, or well-defined travel goals. I shun the beaten path. I will forgo comfort for economy and even work along the way to fund my travels. Part VI: Finally, a few questions to help us in terpret your responses. Please circle the number that corresponds to your response (This information will be kept in the strictest confidence and used for statistical purpose only). 15. Are you: Male Female 16. What is your current age? 18-20 years old 27-30 years old 21-23 years old 24-26 years old 17. What is your annual household income? Under $20,000 $60,001 to 80,000 $20,001 to 40,000 $80,001 to 100,000 $40,001 to 60,000 Above $100,001 18. What is your racial background? Black, not of Hispanic origin Asian White, not of Hispanic origin Hispanic Native American Other Pacific Islander 19. What is your class standing? Freshman Senior Sophomore Graduate Student Junior Not UF Student 20. Finally, if you would be willing to respond to a brief follow-up survey via e-mail in September, please provide us your email address: _________________________ ________________ Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire!

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98 Teye, V. B. (1988). Coups D’Etat and African tourism: A study of Ghana. Annals of Tourism Research 15, 329-56. Thoma, J., & Chalip, L. (1996). Sport governance in th e global community Morgantown, West Virginia: Fitness Information Technology. Tremblay, P. (1989). Pooling interna tional tourism in Western Europe. Annals of Tourism Research 16, 477-91. Tyagi, A. K. (1989). A study of tourist culture in India: insight and implications Ph.D. Dissertation. Syracuse University. Um, S., & Crompton, J. L. (1990). Attitude de terminants in tourism destination choice. Annals of Tourism Research 17, 432-48. Wang, L. L. (1998). Destination image of Taiwan as an international tourism destination Master’s Thesis. Wash ington State University. Washburn, J. H., Till, B. D., & Priluck, R. (2000). Co-branding: Brand equity and trial effects. Journal of Consumer Marketing 17, 591-604. Wen, J. (1998). Evaluation of tourism and tour ist resources in China: Existing methods and their limitations. International Journal of Social Economics 25, 467-85. Whynne-Hammond, C. (1985). Elements of human geography London: George Allen and Unwin. Witt, S. F. & Turner, L. W. (2002). Trends and forecasts for inbound tourism to China. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing Vol. 13 (1/2), 99-109. Wilson, A, L. (2004). The relationship between cons umer role socialization and nostalgia sport tourism: A sym bolic interactionist perspective Master’s Thesis. University of Florida. Woodside, A. G., & Lysonski, S. (1989). A gene ral model of traveler destination choice. Journal of Travel Research 27 (1), 8-14.

PAGE 110

99 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Xueqing Qi was born on November 28, 1979, in Guangzhou, the biggest city in Southern China. She graduated from Zhix in High School in Guangzhou in 1998. In 2002, she received a bachelor’s degree of manageme nt in tourism and hospitality from Sun YatSen (Zhongshan) University, Guangzhou. He r undergraduate thesis focused on the development of theme parks in China. She worked in the China International Travel Service before she came to the United Stat es. In the spring of 2003, she began graduate school at the University of Florida in Gain esville. While working on her master degree, she worked as a program assistant in the Publ ic Utility Research Center in the Economics Department assisting the PURC/World Bank International Training Program in utility regulation and strategy.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0009469/00001

Material Information

Title: Relationship among Image, Perceived Risk and Intention to Travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games among U.S. College Students
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Qi, Xueqing ( Dissertant )
Gibson, Heather ( Thesis advisor )
Holland, Stephen ( Reviewer )
Zhang, James ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management thesis, M.S.R.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: The tourism industry is developing rapidly in China, so much so that by 2010 the World Tourism Organization predicts that China will be the world’s top destination. It is envisaged that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will boost China’s tourism industry still further. Destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel are important factors in understanding tourism behavior and the success of a country’s tourism industry. The purpose of this study was to explore U.S. college students’ destination image, perception of risk and intention to travel to China in general, and to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The influence of tourist characteristics including gender, previous travel experience and tourist role was also examined as well as the relationship among the dependent variables. Information Integration Theory, Protection Motivation Theory, and General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination Awareness and Choice served as the theoretical foundation for this study. A model linking tourist characteristics, destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel was constructed based on the theoretical framework. The data for this study were collected at a large southeastern U.S. university. A total of 350 U.S. born college students aged 18-30 were surveyed using a fixed choice questionnaire during July and August 2004. A combination of spatial locational sampling and systematic random sampling was used to select the participants. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-sample t-test, factor analysis, two-sample t-test, ANOVA and multiple regression. The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel to China, but does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and intention to travel to China was significant but not strong. This study could not demonstrate the impact of gender on destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel, but it showed that previous international travel experience affects individuals’ destination images of China and their related intention to travel. Tourist role type had an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China. The results mostly support the theoretical model guiding The results mostly support the theoretical model guiding this study. Regarding practical applications, the results provide valuable information for both marketers working in the Chinese tourism industry and in the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. The information provided by this study may assist them in developing their strategies for future marketing campaign.
Subject: Destination, intention, perceived, sport
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.R.S.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Includes vita.
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 110 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0009469:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0009469/00001

Material Information

Title: Relationship among Image, Perceived Risk and Intention to Travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games among U.S. College Students
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Qi, Xueqing ( Dissertant )
Gibson, Heather ( Thesis advisor )
Holland, Stephen ( Reviewer )
Zhang, James ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management thesis, M.S.R.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: The tourism industry is developing rapidly in China, so much so that by 2010 the World Tourism Organization predicts that China will be the world’s top destination. It is envisaged that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will boost China’s tourism industry still further. Destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel are important factors in understanding tourism behavior and the success of a country’s tourism industry. The purpose of this study was to explore U.S. college students’ destination image, perception of risk and intention to travel to China in general, and to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The influence of tourist characteristics including gender, previous travel experience and tourist role was also examined as well as the relationship among the dependent variables. Information Integration Theory, Protection Motivation Theory, and General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination Awareness and Choice served as the theoretical foundation for this study. A model linking tourist characteristics, destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel was constructed based on the theoretical framework. The data for this study were collected at a large southeastern U.S. university. A total of 350 U.S. born college students aged 18-30 were surveyed using a fixed choice questionnaire during July and August 2004. A combination of spatial locational sampling and systematic random sampling was used to select the participants. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-sample t-test, factor analysis, two-sample t-test, ANOVA and multiple regression. The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel to China, but does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and intention to travel to China was significant but not strong. This study could not demonstrate the impact of gender on destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel, but it showed that previous international travel experience affects individuals’ destination images of China and their related intention to travel. Tourist role type had an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China. The results mostly support the theoretical model guiding The results mostly support the theoretical model guiding this study. Regarding practical applications, the results provide valuable information for both marketers working in the Chinese tourism industry and in the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. The information provided by this study may assist them in developing their strategies for future marketing campaign.
Subject: Destination, intention, perceived, sport
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.R.S.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Includes vita.
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 110 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0009469:00001


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RELATIONSHIP AMONG IMAGE, PERCEIVED RISK AND INTENTION TO
TRAVEL TO CHINA AND THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES AMONG U.S.
COLLEGE STUDENTS















By
XUEQING QI

















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005





























Copyright 2005

by

Xueqing Qi

































This document is dedicated to my family















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I am indebted to Dr. Heather Gibson, the chair of my thesis

committee, for her inspiration, knowledge, commitment and patient guidance throughout

this thesis endeavor. Dr. Gibson has contributed greatly to this thesis. Her support and

encouragement helped me through challenging times during this thesis. Without her help,

I could not have accomplished this thesis. I thank Dr. Stephen Holland for serving as a

committee member, for his interest in this study and encouragement. I also thank Dr.

James Zhang for his technical support and his contribution to the theoretical model

established in this study.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to my family. The distance separates us

so far, but it never stops my love reaching out of my heart. I thank my parents for their

endless love and support. Their strong belief in my abilities pushed me to work hard and

complete this project. Many thanks also go to my grandparents. I grew up with them and

love them so much. My grandpa is my first mentor in life and I enjoy every moment

being with him. I deeply regret that I could not be there when he passed away.

Specially, I would like to thank Chen Lin. I thank for his support and

encouragement, for his patience listening to my challenges and celebrating my

milestones. I thank him for inspiring so many ideas for the thesis topic and encouraging

me to pursue a higher level of education. Whenever I need help and someone to talk to,

he is always there. I love him so much and he is the best forever.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ....................................................... ............ .............. .. vii

LIST OF FIGURES ......... ......................... ...... ........ ............ ix

A B ST R A C T .......... ..... ...................................................................................... x

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

State ent of the P problem ............................................................................. ........ 3
Theoretical Fram ew ork............................................. .................................. 4
A nderson' s IIT Theory ................................................ .............. .. ........ ..
Roger's Protection M otivation Theory.............................................................. 6
Woodside and Lysonski's Destination Choice Model ..........................................7
Purpose of the Study ...................................................... ................. 10
R research Q questions .................................................. ........ .. ........ .... 11

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................... 13

D destination Im age ............................................................... .. ... ..... 13
D destination Im age .................. ............................. ............... ..... 14
Components of Destination Image .......................................... ...............15
Form ation of D destination Im age................................... .................................... 16
The Impact of Awareness and Familiarity ............. .........................................19
Destination Image and Hallmark Events..........................................................20
Perception of Risk .................. .................. .................. ........ .. ............ 22
Perceived Risk and Sport Tourism ........................................ ......... ............... 28
Intention to T rav el .............. .............................................................. .......... .. .. ..2 9
Intention to travel to the Olym pic Gam es........................................ ............... 33
S u m m ary ...................................... .................................................. 3 4

3 METHODS AND INSTRUMENT..................................... ............................ 36

D ata C collection ..............3...........................36
Instrumentation .......... .. ............ ..... ...............37



v









P a rtic ip a n ts ............................................................................................................ 3 9
D em graphics ............................................ 39
Previous Travel Experiences ............................................ ......................... 40
O lym pic G am es A ttendance............................................................ ...... ......... 41
D ata A nalysis.................................................. 43

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................4 5

Im a g e ................................................................4 5
P erceiv ed R isk ................................................................54
Intention to T rav el ...............................................................62
R relationships ............................................................................................... ...... ...66
S u m m a ry ................................................................................................................ 7 0

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ...........................................72

D e stin atio n Im ag e .................................................................................................. 7 2
P erceiv ed R isk ................................................................74
Intention to T rav el ...............................................................77
Implications ...................................................78
Recommendations for Further Research ..................................... ...............81
L im itatio n s .......................................................................................8 2
D elim station ................................................................................................... ........ 83
C o n c lu sio n s............................................................................................................ 8 3

APPENDIX SURVEY INSTRUMENT ..................................................................... 86

L IST O F R EFER EN CE S ..................................... .................................................................91

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ........................................................................................ 99
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Participants' B background Profile ........................................ ......................... 40

3-2 Participants' Previous Travel Experiences....................................... 41

3-3 Participants' Olympic Games Attendance .................................... ............... 42

4-1 U.S. College Students' Images of China as a Tourism Destination (N=350)...........46

4-2 Factor Analysis Results of Destination Images Scale ........................................50

4-3 Independent Samples t-test Results of Destination Images by Gender....................52

4-4 ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Previous International Travel
E experience ............................................................... .... ..... ........ 53

4-5 ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Tourist Roles.................. ............53

4-6 U.S. College Students' Perception of Risk Associated with Traveling to China
(N =350) ..................................... .................. .............. ........... 55

4-7 Overall Risk Associated with Traveling to China and Attend the 2008 Beijing
O ly m pic G am es ................................................................... ................ 55

4-8 Risk Levels of Different Countries (N=350)......................................................... 56

4-9 Factor Analysis Results of Risk Items ........................................... ...............59

4-10 Independent Samples t-test Results of Travel-related Risk by Gender ..................60

4-11 ANOVA Results of Travel-related Risk by Previous International Travel
E experiences ........................................... ............................ 6 1

4-12 ANOVA Results of Travel-related Risk by Tourist Roles.................. ............61

4-13 Intention to Travel to China and the Olympic Games ..........................................62

4-14 Crosstabulation between Previous Travel Experience to Asia and Intention to
Travel to China in the Next 5 Years and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games ...........63









4-15 Independent Samples t-test Results of Intention to Travel by Gender...................64

4-16 ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Previous International Travel
E experience ............................................................... .... ..... ........ 65

4.17 ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Tourist Roles .....................................65

4-18 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to
Travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.................................. ............... 67

4-19 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to
Travel to China in the N ext 5 Years................................ ................................. 67

4-20 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to
Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Gam es ..................................... .................69

4-21 Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to
Travel to China in the N ext 5 Years................................ ................................. 70
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1-1 An Adapted Version of the General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination
Awareness and Choice (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989).......................................9

1-2 Destination Image, Perception of Risk and their Relationship with Intention to
T ra v e l ............................................................................ 1 0

4-1 Relationship of Destination Image, Perceived Risk, Intention to Travel to China
in the Next 5 Years and Tourist Characteristics....................................71















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirement of the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies

RELATIONSHIP AMONG IMAGE, PERCEIVED RISK AND INTENTION TO
TRAVEL TO CHINA AND THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES AMONG U.S.
COLLEGE STUDENTS

By

Xueqing Qi

May 2005

Chair: Heather Gibson
Major Department: Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management

The tourism industry is developing rapidly in China, so much so that by 2010 the

World Tourism Organization predicts that China will be the world's top destination. It is

envisaged that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will boost China's tourism industry still

further. Destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel are important factors in

understanding tourism behavior and the success of a country's tourism industry. The

purpose of this study was to explore U.S. college students' destination image, perception

of risk and intention to travel to China in general, and to the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games. The influence of tourist characteristics including gender, previous travel

experience and tourist role was also examined as well as the relationship among the

dependent variables.

Information Integration Theory, Protection Motivation Theory, and General Model

of Traveler Leisure Destination Awareness and Choice served as the theoretical









foundation for this study. A model linking tourist characteristics, destination image,

perceived risk and intention to travel was constructed based on the theoretical framework.

The data for this study were collected at a large southeastern U.S. university. A

total of 350 U.S. born college students aged 18-30 were surveyed using a fixed choice

questionnaire during July and August 2004. A combination of spatial locational sampling

and systematic random sampling was used to select the participants. The data were

analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-sample t-test, factor analysis, two-sample t-test,

ANOVA and multiple regression.

The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel

to China, but does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and intention to

travel to China was significant but not strong. This study could not demonstrate the

impact of gender on destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel, but it

showed that previous international travel experience affects individuals' destination

images of China and their related intention to travel. Tourist role type had an impact on

perceived risk and intention to travel to China.

The results mostly support the theoretical model guiding this study. Regarding

practical applications, the results provide valuable information for both marketers

working in the Chinese tourism industry and in the Beijing Organizing Committee of the

Olympic Games. The information provided by this study may assist them in developing

their strategies for future marketing campaign.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

There has been a growing recognition of the relationship between sport and tourism

in recent years (Gibson 1998, 2003). Sport tourism is "leisure-based travel that takes

individuals temporarily outside of their home communities to participate in physical

activities, to watch physical activities, or to venerate attractions associated with physical

activities" (Gibson, 1998, p.49). According to the first World Conference on Sports and

Tourism held in Barcelona, Spain, February 22-23, 2000, sport tourism is the fastest

growing tourism sector globally. The development and growth of sport tourism has been

facilitated particularly by the growth of hallmark and mega events (Taylor, Toohey, &

Lee, 2003), which are large-scale major events with a limited duration usually held in a

unique cultural destination (Hall, 1992). Event sport tourism, where participants travel to

watch sports and sport related hallmark and mega events, is an important kind of sport

tourism (Gibson, 2003).

It is generally assumed that hallmark and mega events play a key role in

international, national and regional tourism marketing strategies (Getz, 1997; Hall 1989a,

1992), and can improve a destination's position in the marketplace (Brown, Chalip, Jago,

& Mules, 2002; Kim & Chalip, 2004; Roche, 1994). Hallmark and mega events are

image makers for modern tourism (Hall, 1989b) because a primary function of a hallmark

event is to provide the host community with an opportunity to secure a prominent

position in the tourism market for a short, well defined period of time (Hall & Selwood,

1987). Destination marketers share with marketers of hallmark and mega events the need









to stimulate international visitation to their event in order to optimize the event's

financial and tourism outcomes (Chalip, Green, & Vander Velden, 1997; Kim & Chalip,

2004). The Olympic Games, a premier sporting event in the world, has been identified as

a hallmark event (Hall, 1989a; Ritchie, 1984). On July 13th, 2001, the International

Olympic Committee selected Beijing, China, as the host city of the 2008 Olympic

Games. It is the first time in history that China will host the Olympic Games.

In China, the reform-induced economic growth of the last two decades has led to

the rapid development of the tourism sector (Witt & Turner, 2002). It was not until 1978

that international tourism changed from a diplomatic issue to an industry with the

opening up of China to the outside world (Wen, 1998). However, since then, China has

become one of the world's most important destinations and the Chinese tourism industry

has grown rapidly (Dong, Droege, & Johnson, 2002; Wen, 1998). In 2002, China was

visited by 36.8 million foreign tourists, occupying fifth place on the list of the world's 15

most visited destinations, with an income of $20.4 billion which accounts for 4.3% of the

world's total tourism receipts. According to the World Tourism Organization, China will

become the world's leading tourism destination by the year 2020, with about 130 million

international arrivals yearly and 8% of the world's travel market share (China National

Tourism Administration, 2003).

The Olympic Games, as a major sports event in the world, is predicted to attract a

large number of tourists to China. It is assumed that the 2008 Olympic Games will boost

China's tourism industry considerably (Sidron, 2001). A Goldman Sach's report predicts

that the number of international tourists visiting China will triple by the time Beijing

hosts the 2008 Olympic Games (Calio, 2001).









Statement of the Problem

Destination image, perceived risk, and intention to travel are three factors that

greatly influence a tourist's travel decisions (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Sonmez &

Graefe, 1998b; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Examining the relationship between these

factors will assist a destination with future marketing campaigns designed to increase

market share. However, few studies have examined the relationship between destination

image, perceived risk, and intention to travel.

It is assumed that China has the potential and desire to develop sport tourism. For

example, China sponsored the Sport and Fitness Tourism Festival in 2001. Also, the 2008

Olympic Games is expected to provide a good opportunity for the development of sport

tourism in China. However, compared to the trend of sport tourism development in

China, little research has been done on this topic.

According to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the United

States is a major inbound market and the largest potential source of tourists for China,

despite political discrepancy and spatial distance. From 1998-2001, the number of the

U.S. travelers to China continued to grow. In 2002, although affected by the 9/11 terrorist

attacks, which increased the level of perceived risk of long-haul international travel, still

701,910 U.S. residents traveled to China, a 6.9% decrease compared to 2001 (Office of

Travel & Tourism Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002).

Hallmark events are powerful vehicles for tourism development in the host regions

(Ritchie, 1999). In 2000, the year in which Sydney hosted the Olympic Games, 805,590

U.S. residents traveled to Australia, which was a 63.9% increase compared to the year

before (491,580). The 2000 Sydney Olympic Games have been cited as the reason for

this increase (Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002). As a result,









the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are predicted to be a stimulus for U.S. residents and

others to travel to China, thereby, increasing tourist flows dramatically.

In order to leverage the potential tourism growth associated with the 2008

Olympics, it is important to study the U.S. travel market before subsequent marketing

campaigns are implemented. This study may aid the Beijing Olympic Games marketers

in determining an effective marketing strategy for the United States market.

Student travel is an important segment of the global travel market. In recent years,

the college student travel market has expanded rapidly and received considerable

attention from the travel and tourism industry (Field, 1999; Richard & Wilson, 2003).

College students are a special youth population with distinct socio-cultural, education and

economic characteristics (Carr, 2003).With increasing student numbers and the growing

accessibility of international travel experiences, despite the increasing incidence of

students graduating with loans, the college student travel market is expected to grow

(Carr, 2003). According to Richard and Wilson (2003), around one fifth of all tourism

journeys in the world are made by young people, and this is forecast to rise to 25% by

2005. Despite the importance of college student travel market, international student travel

to China has not been studied. Although Chalip et al. (1997) indicated that young

respondents in their study were more likely to be interested in traveling to the 2000

Olympic Games, little research has been done on college students attending the Olympic

Games.

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study is based on Anderson's (1981)

information integration theory (IIT), Roger's (1975) protection motivation theory (PMT),









and Woodside and Lysonski's (1989) general model of traveler leisure destination

awareness and choice.

Anderson's IIT Theory

Anderson explained that IIT is a theory of judgment and behavior, which suggests

that individuals form psychophysical and value judgments in complex decision-making

processes. Stimulus integration is the central concept, which suggests that thought and

behavior typically depend on the joint action of multiple stimuli. Stimuli may be

considered at two levels, physical and psychological. Information integration theory is

primarily concerned with stimuli at the psychological level. According to information

integration theory, physical stimuli impinge on an individual and are evaluated in

accordance with his or her values (this process is called stimuli valuation). During the

process of stimuli valuation, physical stimuli become psychological stimuli. The

psychological stimuli are integrated, and thereby stimulate an implicit response in the

individual. In turn, the implicit response is externalized into an observable one as it is

manifested in the individual's behavior.

Sonmez and Graefe (1998a) linked information integration theory with tourism,

and indicated that psychophysical judgments are subjective perceptions of physical

reality (i.e., image of a particular destination), whereas value judgments refer to the way

individuals rank destinations according to their attributes (i.e., attractiveness, safety, risk)

to form an overall image. Impressions, evaluations, and judgments of destinations may

change if additional destinations are added to the evaluation, or traveler's perceptions of a

destination change as a result of new information prior to final choice.









Roger's Protection Motivation Theory

Perceptions of risk may affect intentions to travel. Protection motivation theory

(Rogers, 1975) proposed a special case of expectancy-value theories, which focuses on

perception of risk and intention/attitude change. It postulates three crucial components of

fear appeal: (i) the magnitude of the noxiousness of an environment; (ii) the probability

of that event's occurrence; and (iii) the efficacy of a protective response. Protection

motivation arises from the three components of fear appeal. Each of these three

components initiates corresponding "cognitive appraisal processes" that affect attitude

change. Then people cognitively appraise the severity and likelihood of being exposed to

the environment, and evaluate their ability to cope with the environment. Thus, protection

motivation would be aroused, and hence there would be change in behavioral intentions

and attitudes.

Linked with tourism, Sonmez and Graefe (1998a) suggest that an increase in

airplane accidents, crime or terrorist activity targeting citizens of a potential traveler's

nationality represents the magnitude of danger; recent occurrences involving a travel

destination shows the probability of occurrence; and selecting a safe destination, taking

extra precautions while traveling to risky destinations, canceling travel plans, etc., can be

the effective actions to control consequences. After the three components have been

cognitively appraised, the traveler's protection motivation will be aroused, and therefore,

his/her intent to travel may change as well.

The degree of safety for international travel helps to determine a traveler's future

travel behavior (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b). Potential tourists tend to avoid destinations

they perceive as risky and choose the ones they consider safe. Perception of risk/safety is

also an important factor that helps to form an overall image for a destination.









Woodside and Lysonski's Destination Choice Model

Woodside and Lysonski's (1989) model proposed that tourist characteristics and

marketing variables are two exogenous variables that influence travelers' destination

awareness (Figure 1-1). Tourist characteristics include personal information such as

previous experiences, income, age, value, etc., which are most frequently cited as

demographic characteristics and the previous experience a traveler has with a particular

destination (Court & Lupton, 1997). Marketing variables include extraneous variables

such as price, advertising, etc. Tourist characteristics, destination awareness and affective

associations construct a tourist's image of different destinations and thus form destination

preferences, which in turn are associated with intention to travel. Actual destination

choice is predicted by both intention to visit and situational variables, including perceived

risk, time and money constraints.

Destination image is crucial in the destination choice process (Mayo, 1973),

because it presents impressions of a destination before tourists make their choice of

whether or not to visit (McLellan & Foushee, 1983). It is a predictive variable for

intention to travel. Potential tourists tend to travel to destinations with positive images

(Goodrich, 1978).

Gunn (1972) suggested that the image of a destination includes an organic image

and an induced image. An organic image is formed as a result of exposure to newspapers,

magazines, TV, and other nontourism information sources. An organic image evolves

into an induced image by the influences of tourism promotional materials such as travel

brochures, advertisements, and travel posters. Gunn also indicated that although

individuals may never have visited a destination or sought information on that

destination, they will have some kind of information on that destination stored in their









memory, even though it may be incomplete. Fakeye and Crompton (1991) added another

level of destination image the complex image, which is formed when a tourist has direct

experience of the destination. Tourists will develop a more complex image after their

actual contact with the destination. This experience will greatly influence the evaluation

of that destination, and in turn will influence the tourist's next travel destination

selection.

Destination image and perception of risk have direct influences on intention to

travel. Intention to travel is an indicator of tourists' final destination choice. It is

significantly associated with actual behavior under a specific time period and situation

(Belk, 1974; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Intention to travel and perception of risk has

direct influences on actual destination choice (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a).

Intention to travel is also affected by tourist characteristics such as life stage and

age, past travel experience and tourist role. Past travel experience, as an indicator of

familiarity, is crucial for a traveler's intention to travel and decision making (Goodrich,

1978; Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Mazursky, 1989; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a). Travel

experience may provide confidence for future travel. Therefore, experienced international

tourists tend to perceive less risk when making a decision to travel internationally (Lepp

& Gibson, 2003). Lepp and Gibson suggested that tourist role could be viewed as an

indicator of the degree of novelty sought. Novelty seekers may tolerate higher levels of

risk. Tourist role preference is also a function of psychological needs, and it is closely

related to an individual's life stage (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002). Gibson (1996) found

that preference for thrill seeking vacations tended to decrease with age. Older individuals

are more likely to be more risk adverse than younger adults. Lepp and Gibson (2003) also










found a greater propensity for Cohen's explorer and drifter roles (novelty seeking) among

young adults.


AFFECTIVE
ASSOCIATIONS


TRAVELER DESTINATION
PREFERENCE


i----- -------------------I----
Destination Image (Organic
Image + Induced Image +
Complex Image)
------------------------------I


Figure 1-1: An Adapted Version of the General Model of Traveler Leisure Destination
Awareness and Choice (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989)


MARKET VARIABLES
* Product Design
* Pricing
* Advertising/Personal Selling
* Channel Decisions


TOURIST CHARACTERISTICS
* Previous Destination Experience
* Life Stage (Age), Income
* Lifestyles, Values


DESTINATION AWARENESS
Consideration nert Set
Set

Unavailable/ Inept Set
Aware Set









Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to explore U.S. college students' destination image,

perception of risk, and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The study focused on young educated American adults aged between 18 and 30, as a way

of standardizing the influence of life stage, social class, and nationality on travel

decisions (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Therefore, age and

education are controlled variables for this study.

In this study, the relationship between destination image, perception of risk and

intention to travel, as well as the multivariate relationship that exists to determine

predictive strengths of intentions were examined (as showed in Figure 1-2).


TOURIST DESTINATION
CHARACTERISTICS: IMAGE
Gender INTENTION TC
Travel Experience TRAVEL
Tourist Role
--------------------- PERCEIVED
Control Variables: RISK )
Age (18-30)
Education (College)


Figure 1-2: Destination Image, Perception of Risk and their Relationship with Intention
to Travel

This model is based on the theoretical framework. Tourist characteristics include

age, education, gender, previous travel experience and tourist role. Tourist characteristics

impact destination image (as in Woodside and Lysonski's model). Although the three

theoretical models do not address the relationship between traveler characteristics and

perceived risk directly, many other studies indicate that tourists' perception of risk is

affected by previous travel experience, tourist role, gender and education (Lepp &









Gibson, 2003; Floyd & Pennington-Gray, 2004; Roehl & Fesenmaiser, 1992; Sonmez &

Graefe 1998a, 1998b).

According to Anderson's IIT theory, destination image can be seen as the

psychophysical judgment, and perceived risk can be seen as the value judgment. As

indicated before, psychophysical judgment and value judgment are formed by an

individual in the decision-making process. Therefore, destination image and perceived

risk both exert impacts on intention to travel, which is confirmed by Roger's protection

motivation theory and Woodside and Lysonski's model.

Research Questions

The following questions were addressed:

1. What images do U.S. college students hold of China as a tourism destination and
the host of the 2008 Olympic Games?

a) Do these images differ by gender?

b) Do these images differ by previous travel experience?

c) Do these images differ by tourist role?

2. How do U.S. college students perceive China in terms of travel-related risk?

a) Do these perceptions of risk differ by gender?

b) Do these perceptions of risk differ by previous travel experience?

c) Do these perceptions of risk differ by tourist role?

3. Do U.S. college students express intention to travel to China within the next five
years as (i) a general tourist; (ii) a sport tourist to attend the 2008 Olympics?

a) Does intention to travel differ by gender?

b) Does intention to travel differ by travel experience?

c) Does intention to travel differ by tourist role?






12


4. What is the relationship between image and intention to travel (i) to the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the next 5 years?

5. What is the relationship between risk and intention to travel (i) to the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the next 5 years?














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter is divided into three sections: the first section reviews the literature on

destination image and the impact of familiarity on image; the second section reviews the

literature regarding tourists' perceived risk; and the third section reviews the tourists'

intention to travel literature. For each section, general literature is reviewed, and then

literature related to sport tourism is presented.

Destination Image

Images transpose a representation of an area into the potential tourist's mind and

give them a pre-taste of the destination (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). Image is crucial for

tourism development within a destination (Chon, 1990; Echtner & Ritchie 1991, 1993;

Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Gartner, 1993; Goodrich, 1978; Gunn, 1972; Hunt, 1975;

Smith, 2001). Also, image is important for understanding tourists' destination choice

processes (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999; Gartner, 1993; Jenkins, 1999; Mayo, 1975;

Tapachai & Waryszak, 2000). Accurate assessment of destination image is a major pre-

requisite to assessing the attributes of a destination (Reilly, 1990).

From marketing prospective, the study of tourism destination image is an important

component, because it helps in understanding the perceptions of tourists and target

markets for tourism promotion (Chen & Kerstetter, 1999; Gartner, 1993; Goodrich, 1978;

Jenkins, 1999). Jenkins indicated that marketers are interested in the concept of tourist

destination image mainly because it relates to decision-making and sales of tourist

products and services. Understanding current destination image and creating an









appropriate image in the mind of potential customers is an important part of a successful

positioning and marketing strategy (Echtner & Ritchie, 1993).

Destination Image

Image is a set of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a person holds of an object

(Kotler, 1991). In psychology, image refers to a reflection or representation of sensory or

conceptual information that builds on past experience and governs an individual's actions

(Stringer, 1984; Wang, 1998). Image is not a static or objective phenomenon because it

changes as unexpected conditions emerge (Tyagi, 1989). Each person's image of a

particular place is unique, comprising his/her own memories, associations and ideas

about a particular place (Jenkins, 1999).

The study of destination image may be viewed as a subset of the general field of

image (Echtner & Ritchie, 1991). Destination image is the mental construct developed by

a potential tourist on the basis of a few selected impressions among the flood of total

impressions (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). It refers to the sum of beliefs, ideas, and visual

or mental impressions of a place (Crompton, 1979). The World Tourism Organization

defines destination image as an aura and a subjective perception accompanying various

projections of the same message transmitter (Wang, 1997). Destination image can be a

product, or an experience held by the general public (Milman & Pizam, 1995). It presents

realities before tourists make their final destination choice (McLellan & Foushee, 1983),

therefore, image influences tourists' decision making (Chon, 1990; Echtner & Ritchie,

1991; Gunn, 1972; Hunt, 1975; Stringer, 1984; Pearce, 1982) and behavior at the

particular destination (Jenkins, 1999). Research focusing on image evaluation by

potential visitors may lead to enhanced marketing effectiveness (Carmichael, 1992).









There is a link between a country's tourism-based destination image and its

national image (Kotler,1987). Tourism-based destination image incorporates information

from a wide spectrum of sources, including actual visitation, promotional material and

advertising, unsolicited messages (i.e., media reports, film, literature), and casual

conversations (Gartner 1989, 1993), concerning historical, political, economic and social

aspects of the destination. Therefore, the image in the mind of tourists may be wildly

different from the image destination marketers intend to offer (Mayo, 1975), especially

for foreign countries and their inhabitants (Whynne-Hammond, 1985).

Destination image is a mixture of both positive and negative perceptions (McLellan

& Foushee, 1983). Research suggests that those destinations with strong, positive images

are more likely to be considered and chosen in the travel decision process (Goodrich,

1978; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Only when the positive perceptions or images

exceed the weight of the negative images will the potential traveler make a decision

regarding a particular destination (McLellan & Foushee, 1983). Potential international

visitors make their final destination choices based on their image and perception of a

particular destination.

Components of Destination Image

Destination image is a mixture of beliefs about the culture, environment, and

physical infrastructure of a particular destination. Milman and Pizam (1995) suggested

that destination image consists of a mixture of three components: the product (i.e., quality

and variety of attraction, price, uniqueness, and categories of users, etc.); the behavior

and attitude (such as those of destination hosts, etc.); and the environment (such as the

weather, scenery, facilities, and physical safety, etc.).









Sirgy and Su (2000) proposed an integrative model of destination image, self,

congruity, and travel behavior. In particular, the model postulates relationships between

destination environment, destination visitor image, tourists' self-concept, self-congruity,

functional congruity, and travel behavior. It is argued that destination environment which

includes atmosphere, service, price, location, and promotion, influences the formation

and change of the destination image.

Based on consumption value theory, Tapachai and Waryszak (2000) suggested five

dimensions of beneficial image that influence tourists' decision to visit particular

vacation destinations, these are: (i) the functional dimension (such as exotic food,

friendly local people, historical sites, beautiful scenery, unspoiled countryside,

fascinating cheap shopping); (ii) the social dimension (i.e. suitable for all ages); (iii) the

emotional dimension (i.e. relaxation, calm); (iv) the epistemic dimension (experience of a

different culture and different climate); and (i) the conditional dimension (e.g. destination

proximity, cheap travel, accessibility to other neighboring countries).

Formation of Destination Image

Probably the best known description of destination image is that proposed by Gunn

(1972). He suggests that destination image evolves at two levels- the organic image and

the induced image. The organic image is formed from an early age and is based on what

is learned about a country from naive nontourist information, from sources such as

television documentaries, books, school lessons and stories of friends' experiences. The

induced image is the result of promotion of that country as a tourist destination. Gunn

suggested that an organic image evolves into an induced image by the influence of

promotional materials such as travel brochures, publicity and advertisements. Once there

is a desire to travel, an individual's organic image will be evaluated against a set of









potential alternative destinations. Induced images will be formed by information sought

about a particular destination by the potential traveler. These induced images may be

substantially different from the organic images due to the vast and diverse information

gathered by the potential traveler.

Goodrich (1978) indicated that destination image is both primary (formed by

visitation) and secondary (formed by information received from external sources).

Fakeye and Crompton (1991) added another level of destination image that of the

complex image. The complex image is formed when a tourist has direct experience of the

destination. According to Fakeye and Crompton, a potential visitor develops organic

images of a comparatively large awareness set of potential destinations. When the desire

to take a vacation emerges, the individual engages in an active information search guided

by motivation to travel. As a result, the potential traveler develops more refined induced

images of alternative destinations, then evaluates and selects the destination that offers

the best benefits and images. Upon visiting the selected destination, a tourist will develop

a more complex image resulting from actual contact with the area.

Echtner and Ritchie (1991, 1993) put forward one of the most comprehensive

definitions in their seminal work on tourism images. They presented a unique three-

dimensional model separating three continue: attribute-holistic, functional-psychological

and common-unique. Based on this conceptual framework, destination image is defined

as not only the perception of individual destination attributes but also holistic impressions

of a destination. The attribute-holistic continuum is based on research concerning the

nature of human information processing from the fields of psychology and consumer

behavior. Destination image should be composed of perceptions of individual attributes









(for example, climate, accommodation facilities, friendliness of the people) as well as

more holistic impressions (mental pictures or imagery) of the place. In terms of the

functional-psychological continuum, functional characteristics are defined as tangible

aspects of the destination (for example, price and climate), whereas psychological

characteristics concern intangible aspects (for example, friendliness and atmosphere).

Functional and psychological characteristics may be perceived as individual attributes or

as more holistic impressions. On the attribute side are the perceptions of individual

characteristics of the destination, ranging from functional to psychological. On the

holistic side, the functional impression consists of the mental picture of the physical

characteristics of the destination, while the psychological impression could be described

as the atmosphere of the place. The common-unique continuum highlights the idea that

the image of a destination can range from perceptions based on common functional and

psychological traits to perceptions based on distinctive and unique features.

Baloglu and McCleary (1999) also made a significant contribution to the theoretical

understanding of destination image. Developed from a review of the previous literature,

they indicate that image is mainly caused or formed by two major forces: personal factors

and stimulus factors. Personal factors are the characteristics (social and psychological) of

the perceiver. Stimulus factors, on the other hand, are the characteristics that stem from

the external stimulus and physical object as well as previous experience. Based on the

general framework of destination image formation, they proposed a path model of the

determinants of tourism destination image before actual visitation. In this model, overall

image is determined by both exogenous and endogenous variables. Exogenous variables

include the amount and type of information sources, age, education, and socio-









psychological travel motivations; endogenous variables include perceptual/cognitive

evaluations and affective evaluations (perceptual or cognitive evaluation refers to beliefs

and knowledge about an object whereas affective refers to feelings about it).

The Impact of Awareness and Familiarity

The image of a destination is reflected in the awareness that potential tourists have

of it (Milman & Pizam, 1995). Furthermore, Milman and Pizam suggest a successful

tourism destination must have an awareness first, and then a positive image. Awareness is

a necessary condition to stimulate travel (Michie, 1986), and it includes unaided recall

from long-term memory and aided recognition (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989).

Familiarity with a destination, which is influenced by such factors as previous

personal visitation experience, geographic distance, and the level of overall knowledge

about a destination, play important roles in influencing an individual's perceptions of a

particular destination (Hu & Ritchie, 1993). Milman and Pizam explained that those who

are more familiar with a destination tend to have a more positive image. Awareness and

familiarity are two stages in the consumer's buying process. When consumers move from

the awareness stage to the familiarity stage, their interest and likelihood to visit increases.

Past travel experience, which is usually used as an indicator of familiarity, is

crucial for a traveler's future behavioral intentions (Goodrich, 1978; Mazursky, 1989).

Indeed, Past travel experience exerts more influence on travel decisions than information

acquired from external sources (Mazursky, 1989), and may significantly affect people's

image of a destination (Ahmed, 1991; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999), and risk/safety

perceptions (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a), which in turn can

influence the likelihood of future travel. Individuals with past travel experience to various

geographic regions may become more confident as a result of their experience and thus









be more likely to travel back. Some studies have also examined the image differences

between visitors and non-visitors (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999; Fakeye & Crompton,

1991; Fridgen, 1987; Hunt, 1975; Milman & Pizam, 1995; O'Mally, 1991; Phelps, 1986).

The results from these studies show substantial differences between visitors and non-

visitors. People who have visited previously generally have a more favorable and positive

image of a destination.

Another factor influencing familiarity is geographical distance from the destination

(Hu & Ritchie, 1993). Hunt (1975) indicated that distance from a region may be an

important ingredient in image formation. Crompton (1979) investigated the relationship

between Mexico's image as a vacation destination and the influence of geographical

location on that image. He found that the farther away the respondents resided from

Mexico, the more favorable was their image of that country as a travel destination.

Destination Image and Hallmark Events

Hallmark and mega events also have a significant impact on destination image.

Hallmark and mega events are image-builders for modem tourism (Hall, 1989b), as their

primary function is to provide the host community with an opportunity to secure high

prominence in the tourism marketplace (Ritchie, 1984; Hall, 1989a). Well-conceived,

carefully planned, and imaginatively executed hallmark and mega events can increase

international awareness and knowledge of a destination (Ritchie & Hu, 1987). From a

tourism perspective, perhaps the major benefits sought by tourism managers, event

planners and local and national governments are increased awareness and an enhanced

image for the host region in the international marketplace (Ritchie & Smith, 1991).

Hughes (1993) indicated that increased tourism activity depends on the extent to

which the city becomes widely known and recognized as a tourism destination and the









duration of this recognition. The host city/ region is given considerable exposure in the

media (i.e., advertising and news coverage), and it is expected that misconceptions will

be corrected, and a more positive and favorable perception will be generated (Hughes,

1993). Thus, the image of the destination will be enhanced. However, an event's impact

on destination image depends on whether the destination image is compatible or

incompatible with the event (Chalip, Green & Hill, 2003). To determine whether an event

is likely to have a positive or negative effect on a destination's image, three pieces of

information need to be obtained: the destination's image, the event's image, and the

image that the destination wants to project. Chalip et al. explain that for a change in

destination image to increase visitation, the image change must be positive and occur

along the destination image dimensions (i.e., developed environment, natural

environment, value, sightseeing opportunities, safety, novelty, climate, convenience, and

family environment) that are important to travelers from a particular market. Moreover,

the event messages become important only after the images of the event transfer to the

image of a destination. Therefore, hosting an event can be assumed as a co-branding

process (Washburn, Till, & Priluck, 2002).

Ahn (1987) indicated that for Asian society, the tourism industry is the main

benefactor of international mega events, such as the Olympic Games. The success in

executing mega events can facilitate national development and tourism. For example, the

1988 Seoul Olympic Games was seen as an image-maker for the country. Because of the

need to project a positive image to the world, Seoul's urban regeneration plans were

compressed by ten years. Thus, the Olympic Games contributed tremendously in









projecting a new impression of Korea to the world and exerted a positive impact on the

development of their tourism industry (Ahn, 1987).

However, hallmark events (i.e., the Olympic Games) are short-term and highly

concentrated (Hughes, 1993). Therefore, their impacts on tourism may be short-term and

restricted. Ritchie and Smith (1991) reported the result of a longitudinal study to explore

the impact of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games on Calgary. They indicated that "although

hosting the Olympics substantially increased levels of awareness and modified the image

of Calgary, this impact on levels of 'top-of-mind awareness' decreased measurably after

a short period of time". Therefore, they suggested that host city/regions must anticipate a

significant rate of awareness and image decay, and take steps to counter it.

Perception of Risk

Perceived risk is related to a destination's image (Lepp & Gibson, 2003).

Identifying factors that influence perceptions of risk held by individuals might contribute

to a better understanding of the relationship between destination image and intention to

travel. In recent years, issues of tourist safety and risk have become prominent (Sonmez

& Graefe, 1998b), and a growing body of literature shows the negative impacts on travel

and tourism accruing from factors such as political instability, terrorism, crime and

violence at a destination, war, and natural disasters in or near to a destination (Coshall,

2003). Risk is an important factor when considering international tourism. Peace, calm

and safety are perquisites to attracting tourists to any destination (Sonmez, 1998). In

consumer behavior, seven types of risk have been identified: equipment risk, financial

risk, physical risk, psychological risk, satisfaction risk, social risk, and time risk (Roehl &

Fesenmaier, 1992). According to Roehl and Fesenmaier, equipment risk is the possibility

of mechanical, equipment or organizational problems while on vacation; financial risk is









the possibility that the vacation will not provide value for the money spent; physical risk

is the possibility of physical danger, injury or sickness while on vacation; satisfaction risk

is the possibility that the vacation will not provide personal satisfaction; social risk is the

possibility that the vacation will affect others' opinion of the person; time risk is the

possibility that the vacation will take too much time or be a waste of time. Taking this

work together, Sonmez and Graefe (1998a) identified nine types of risk associated with

international travel: financial, health, physical, political instability, psychological,

satisfaction, social, terrorism, and time. For the U.S. travelers, terrorism, transportation

reliability, political instability, and satisfaction risk are most often associated with

international travel (Sonmez & Graefe, 1996). In a similar study, Lepp and Gibson (2003)

examined US-born young adults' perceptions of risk associated with international travel.

They identified seven risk factors: health, political instability, terrorism, strange food,

cultural barriers, a nation's political and religious dogma, and crime. Using Cohen's

(1972) tourist role typology, Lepp and Gibson found that tourists who seek more novelty

in their travels, Cohen's explorers and drifters, tend to perceive less risk associated with

international travel.

Sonmez and Graefe (1998b) indicated that despite the tourism industry's economic

strength, terrorism and political turmoil present major challenges to the industry.

Potential tourists may change their travel plans because of terrorism, which in turn will

lead to significant losses for a destination (Coshall, 2003). For example, because of the

US-Libya military confrontation in 1985, nearly two million Americans changed their

foreign travel plans in 1986, which resulted in a 30% decrease in visitation compared to

the previous year (Edgell, 1990; Richter & Waugh, 1986; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b).









Most recently, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States resulted in

6.8% fewer international tourists visiting North America in 2001 compared to 2000

(Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, 2000, 2001 & 2002).

Political instability, although not as blatant as terrorism, is a formidable barrier to

international tourism (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b), and it can also increase the perception

of risk associated with a destination (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). For example, as a result of

the conflict in Tiananmen Square in China, hotel occupancy rates in Beijing dropped

below 30%, and approximately 11,500 tourists canceled visits to Beijing in 1989 (Gartner

& Shen, 1992). The total tourism earnings for China declined by $430 million in 1989

(Gartner & Shen, 1992; Hall & O'Sullivan, 1996, Sonmez, 1998). As a result, China

made a great effort to attract international tourists in the following years. Although a 55%

increase in foreign visitation was recorded in 1991 and 48% in 1992, memories of this

event still remain (Hall & O'Sullivan, 1996). Therefore, from a country's perspective,

preventing political instability is necessary to develop a strong tourism industry (Teye,

1988).

Based on previous studies, tourists' perceptions of risk are affected by personal

characteristics (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b), tourist role or

type (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992), previous travel experience

(Lepp & Gibson 2003; Sonmez, 1998; Sonmez & Graefe 1998a, 1998b), information

search (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b), life stage/age (Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002; Lepp &

Gibson, 2003), gender (Lepp & Gibson, 2003), and nationality (Hurley, 1988; Sonmez,

1998b; Seddighi, Nuttall & Theocharous, 2001; Tremblay, 1989). Besides these,









education as an indicator of social class will also affect people's perception of risk

(Sdnmez & Graefe, 1998b).

Previous studies indicated that risk perception maybe associated with personality

traits and tourist roles. S6nmez and Graefe (1998b) identified two kinds of tourists: risk

averse individuals and risk seekers. Risk averse individuals are likely to choose

destinations perceived as safe, whereas, risk seekers are likely to show less concern about

choosing destinations based on safety factors (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; S6nmez & Graefe,

1998b). Roehl and Fesenmaier (1992) classified tourists into three categories based on

their different levels of risk perception: risk neutral, functional risk, and place risk. Risk

neutral tourists do not consider tourism or their destination to involve risk; functional risk

tourists consider the possibility of mechanical, equipment, or organizational problems as

the major source of tourism related risk; and place risk people perceive vacations as fairly

risky and the destination of their most recent vacation as very risky. It was suggested that

risk neutral tourists emphasize more of a need to experience excitement and adventure

when on vacation than the other two kinds of tourists. Plog (1974), in his study, identified

five types of tourists: allocentric, near-allocentric, mid-centric, near-psychocentric, and

psychocentric. Allocentrics seek out the unique and the novel in their travel experiences,

while psychocentrics are self-inhibited, non-adventuresome type of people. Also, Plog

indicated that the dimension of allocentrism to psychocentrism is normally distributed

and represents a continuum.

One of the better known tourist typologies is developed by Cohen (1972). He

identified four types of international tourists based on their preference for novelty

(strangeness) or familiarity: the organized mass tourist, the individual mass tourist, the









explorer, and the drifter. According to Cohen, the organized mass tourists match most

closely the stereotypical image of tourists. They are risk averse and prefer the greatest

amount of familiarity. They prefer package tours and stay mainly within their

"environment bubble" of the familiar throughout the trip. Independent mass tourists also

place a premium on familiarity and prefer the regular tourist routes. However, they travel

independently and have more control over their time and itinerary. Explorers prefer a mix

of familiarity and novelty. They try to get out of the "environmental bubble" and interact

with the locals. However, compared to drifters, explorers are still careful and do not

immerse themselves completely in the host society. Drifters represent the opposite

extreme of the organized mass tourist and view novelty as a premium. They try to avoid

the regular tourist route, and totally immerse themselves in the host culture. They are the

risk seekers. Pearce (1982, 1985) indicated that tourists differ in terms of the degree of

familiarity and novelty they seek in a destination. Similarly, Lepp and Gibson (2003) also

indicated that tourist role can be viewed as an indicator of the degree of novelty sought in

a destination. According to Lepp and Gibson, differences among tourists in terms of

novelty seeking translate into differences in the level of risk they perceive to accompany

international tourism. Therefore, novelty seekers may tolerate higher levels of risk.

Tourist role preference is a function of psychological needs (Gibson & Yiannakis,

2002). Gibson and Yiannakis applied Levinson's (1978, 1996) model of the adult

lifecourse to understand stability and change in tourist role preference. They found that

individuals in their 20s are most likely to prefer roles such as the drifter and explorer,

choices which match their lifestage characteristics which include a desire for exploration,

adventure and expenditure. During the age thirty transition, travel decisions are made in









the context of occupation, marriage, and family. People tend to choose educationally-

oriented vacations and tend to prefer the tourist roles of the educational tourist,

anthropologist, and archaeologist. The role of the independent mass tourist increases in

popularity during the 30s and 40s. In late adulthood, tourist roles such as the seeker, the

organized mass tourist, and the educational tourist are favored, roles which are perceived

as less risky.

Past experience can also affect perception of risk. Experienced international tourists

may perceive less risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b). However,

although past international experience may provide confidence for future travel, negative

experiences may make potential tourists nervous about future options (Sonmez & Graefe,

1998b). The authors explain that when perception of risk has a stronger influence on

avoidance rather than likelihood of travel to a destination, thus demonstrates the power of

past travel experience over behavioral intentions.

Gender also affects perception of risk. Although Sonmez and Graefe (1998a) failed

to establish the influence of gender on perception of risk, many other researchers have

found that gender does influence touristic choices (Carr, 2001; Lepp & Gibson, 2003).

Lepp and Gibson found that women perceived a greater degree of risk regarding health

and food. Likewise, Carr found that among the young tourists who traveled in London,

UK, there were gender differences in the perceptions of danger associated with the city at

night, with more women perceiving greater risk. However, Carr also indicated that

gender may not be the only influence on perception and behavior, other factors such as

personality type might also be influential.









Perception of risk associated with international tourism has also been found to vary

by country of origin. Hurley (1988) and Tremblay (1989) found that American tourists

are more susceptible to the threat of international terrorism than European tourists. One

explanation is Tremblay's suggestion that North American tourists have often been

targets of terrorist violence and have been exposed to more intense media coverage of

terrorist events.

Perceived Risk and Sport Tourism

In the sport tourism literature, few studies exist regarding the relationship between

perceived risk and sport tourism. Those studies that do exist tend to focus on hallmark

and mega events.

Terrorism has often been identified as the major perceived risk associated with

Hallmark events (i.e., the Olympic Games). Due to the amount of international media

attention, the Olympic Games are an attractive target and an ideal stage for terrorism

(Cashman & Hughes, 1999). For example, the 1972 Palestinian attack during the Munich

Olympic Games left 11 Israeli athletes dead and coverage of the incident reached a global

audience of nearly 800 million viewers. The attack has been cited as a clear success in

terms of securing media attention (Schmid & deGraaf, 1982). Terrorism occurred again at

the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. During these Games, a pipe bomb exploded at

Centennial Olympic Park, one person was killed and 111 were injured (Sonmez &

Graefe, 1998b). The history of terrorism attacks on the Olympic Games is likely to

increase the levels of perceived risk among potential tourists intending to visit future

Olympic Games.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 also increased the level of perceived

risk associated with international travel in general and more specifically attending









hallmark and mega events. The impact of these terrorist attacks has been highly visible

and far ranging in their consequences (Taylor, Toohey, & Lee, 2003). For example, as a

result, events such as the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Athens

Olympic Games had to secure more security personnel and implement more rigorous

anti-terrorism measures.

Another example is the 2002 FIFA Football World Cup, which was jointly hosted

by Korea and Japan. Although the event still attracted a significant number of spectators

who were willing to travel, tourist numbers were less than anticipated before 9/11

(Taylor, Toohey, & Lee, 2003). For example, Korea had lowered the anticipated number

of foreign visitors in June 2002 to 460,000 from the original target of 640,000. In a study

of the effects of terrorism on World Cup spectators in Korea, Taylor et al. found that 10%

had considered not coming to the World Cup because of security related concerns and

15% had families concerned about their attendance. Also, many respondents reported that

they were more anxious and nervous about attending major events because of the

perceived threats to safety.

Intention to Travel

Affected by destination image and perception of risk, intention to travel to a

destination has a direct influence on destination choice. From a psychological

perspective, according to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), intention may be viewed as "a

special case of beliefs, in which the object is always the person himself/herself and the

attribute is a behavior". As with the belief, the strength of an intention is indicated by

"the person's subjective probability that he will perform the behavior". Intention to travel

is the traveler's perceived likelihood of visiting a specific destination within a specific

time period (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). The gap between intent and behavior is well









documented in consumer research (Chalip, Green, & Hill, 2003). Probably one of the

most famous theories used to understand intent and behavior is Fishbein and Ajzen's

(1975) Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). This general theory of human behavior deals

with the relationships among beliefs, attitudes, intentions and behavior. TRA views a

person's intention to perform (or not to perform) a behavior as the immediate determinant

of the corresponding behavior. This complies with the general model of traveler

destination choice put forward by Woodside and Lysonski, in which actual destination

choice is predicted to be affected directly by both intention to visit and situational

variables. Intention to travel is significantly associated with actual behavior under a

specific time period and situation and affected by perception of risk, for individuals easily

avoid destinations they perceive as risky by choosing others they consider safe (Sonmez

& Graefe, 1998a).

Woodside and Lysonski's travel destination choice model also confirmed that

behavioral intention is a mediating variable relating attitude to behavioral choice. In

Woodside and Lysonski's model, intention to visit has been determined by traveler's

destination preferences which can be viewed as traveler's attitude, which is one of the

most popular variables used to predict consumer choice behavior (Um & Crompton,

1990). Attitude is an important determinant for intention to travel. According to TRI

theory, the behavioral intention has two determinants: one is the attitude toward the

behavior, which refers to "a person's attitude toward performing a given behavior" and is

related to "his/her beliefs that performing the behavior will lead to certain consequences

and his/her evaluation of those consequences"; and the other is the subjective norm,

which are "normative pressures led by normative beliefs and motivation". According to









TRA, normative beliefs refer to other persons' beliefs that the person should or should

not perform the behavior, and normative beliefs and motivation to comply lead to

normative pressures. The totality of these normative pressures may be termed a

"subjective norm".

Um and Crompton proposed a two stage approach to understanding an individual's

pleasure travel destination choice, an awareness set and an evoked set. The two stages

constitute an evolution of an evoked set from the awareness set; and destination selection

from the evoked set. Results from a longitudinal study suggest that attitude was

influential in determining whether a potential destination was selected as part of the

evoked set and in selecting a final destination.

In 1997, Court and Lupton developed a customer portfolio from a practitioner's

point of view. The customer portfolio is based on a continuum of market attractiveness,

which is expressed as the traveler's propensity to visit (Papadopoulos, 1989). In their

study, individuals were categorized into three mental categories: (i) evoked set (subset of

destinations that the individual considers visiting); (ii) inert set (subset of destinations

that the individual neither positively nor negatively evaluates); and (iii) inept set (subset

of destinations that the individual rejects visiting). Based on the mental category,

destination was categorized into three segments: (i) destination adopters, (ii) destination

inactives, and (iii) destination rejecters. Accordingly, market attractiveness was

designated as high, medium, and low. Destination adopters are likely to visit a particular

destination which is located in their evoked set.

Besides attitude, destination image is also an important predictor for intention to

travel. However, Chalip, Green and Hill's (2003) study on the effects of sport event









media on destination image of Australia's Gold Coast and intention to visit indicated that

although destination image was significantly related to intention to visit the host

destination, the dimensions that affected intention to visit vary among individuals from

different countries. For Americans, three destination image variables: (i) safe

environment, (ii) developed environment, and (iii) natural environment, had significant

effects on intention to visit. However, for New Zealanders, novelty and convenience were

found to be more important. One explanation for the difference is that there is very little

advertising for the Gold Coast in the United States compared to New Zealand.

The image that individuals hold of the risk associated with a destination may also

influence their likelihood of visiting it (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Perception of risk can

alter travel demand patterns, and significantly impact tourists' decision-making processes

(i.e., destination image and intention to travel), and future travel behavior (Bramwell &

Rawding, 1996; Coshall, 2003; Dann 1986; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a). In the process of

tourism destination choice, positive image and attitudes about a destination are often

evaluated as perceived facilitators, while situational constraints and perceived risk are

viewed as perceived inhibitors (Sonmez & Graefe,1998b; Um & Crompton ,1990). Um

and Crompton explain that facilitators are found to exert a greater influence in the early

stages of decision-making, whereas, inhibitors have more influence in later stages when

the choice becomes more serious. Destination choice is made after perceived risk and

constraints are weighed against destination image (Crompton, 1977; Gartner, 1989;

Sonmez & Graefe,1998b). However, Crompton (1992) found that even if potential

tourists have a positive image of a destination, they may still not visit if it is perceived as

too risky, or if other situational constraints intervene such as price or timing. The









response to an uncertain situation may vary across situations and may be influenced by

the types of risk perceived by the decision maker (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992).

Intention to travel to the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games is an effective means for promoting the host city/region as a

potential holiday destination (Chalip, Green, & Vander Velden, 1997). Chalip (1990)

found that New Zealander's attitudes towards Korea improved substantially, and Korea

was more attractive to New Zealanders as a consequence of Seoul hosting the 1988

Olympic Games. Similarity, Ritchie and Smith (1991) studied the effect of the 1988

Calgary Winter Olympic Games on the popular awareness and image of Calgary in 20

cities throughout the U.S. and Europe. They found that hosting the Winter Olympic

Games enhanced the international image of Calgary. However, they found that more

marketing effort is required to leverage the advantages afforded by hosting the Olympic

Games. As indicated before, there is a gap between intention and behavior, so the

challenge of marketing Olympic tourism is to convert interest and intent into travel

purchase (Chalip et al., 2003). For international travelers, many situational constraints

such as long-haul travel, time, cost, and perceived risk are likely to influence their

decisions to attend the Olympic Games. According to Woodside and Lysonski (1995),

only when intention to visit can outweigh the situational constraints are potential tourists

likely to choose a particular destination. So, it is important for marketers to stimulate

international travelers' interest well in advance of the event so that the host city/region

can become part of the evoked set and "destination adopters" can make appropriate travel

plans and commitments (Chalip et al., 1997). For example, media may be an effective

tool on intention to travel. The result of Chalip et al.'s (2003) study showed that event

telecasts, event advertising, and destination advertising have a wide array of effects on









the U.S. market. Although no direct effect of event media on intention to visit was found,

the event's media coverage did influence destination image and intent to travel. The

destination's image will be affected by the image of events that it hosts, and in turn, this

image will be dependent on the compatibility/incompatibility of the event with the

destination's image (Chalip et al., 2003).

In order to determine the level of awareness, spectating interests, and intent to

travel to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Chalip et al.(1997) examined three

demographic variables; age, gender, and education, which are commonly used to segment

travelers to Australia from the United States. They found that age and education were

found to be important predictor variables: awareness was predicted by education and

interest in sports not typically shown on television; interest in travel was predicted by

age, education, interest in the closing ceremonies and interest in sport not typically shown

on television; Intent was predicted by age. They concluded that younger American adults

who are better educated are more likely to be aware of, and show interest in and intent to

travel to the 2000 Olympic Games.

Summary

Destination image, perceived risk, and intention to travel are important variables in

the process of destination choice. Although they constitute separate entities, they have an

inherent relationship as showed in Woodside and Lysonski's (1989) travel destination

choice model and the proposed theoretical model of destination image, perception of risk

and their relationship to intention to travel (Figure 1-2) presented in Chapter One.

Destination image, past experiences and perceived risk may influence tourists' intention

to travel. Intention to travel has a direct impact on the final decision. Only when positive

perceptions outweigh negative perceptions are tourists likely to travel. Besides









destination image and perceived risk, other variables such as awareness, attitude, past

travel experience, and socio-demographics can also influence intention to travel.

Hosting hallmark or mega events (i.e. the Olympic Games) may enhance

destination image for the host city or region, and therefore, increase the tourist flow to

that city or region. Destination image is significantly related to intention to visit a

destination, but the factors that affect intention to visit may vary for residents of different

countries. It is important for marketers to recognize the different dimensions for different

countries. For most international travelers, past travel experience and perceived risk are

important variables when considering travel. Marketers of the host city or regions should

be aware of these and incorporate them into their marketing strategies.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS AND INSTRUMENT

The purpose of this study was to investigate U.S. college students' destination

image, perception of risk, and intention to travel to China both as a general tourist and as

a sport tourist to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This chapter explains the

instrumentation and procedures that were used to collect the data and the statistical

analysis that was used to answer the research questions.

Data Collection

This cross-sectional study took place during July and August, 2004 in a large

southeastern U.S. university. A combination of spatial locational sampling and systematic

random sampling was used. Spatial locational sampling was used to identify four high

foot traffic areas on campus- the Reiz union, the science library, Southwest Recreation

Center, and Turlington plaza. In an attempt to obtain a diversified sample of the student

population, data were collected at each site at different times of the day and during

different days of the week. Participants were selected using systematic random sampling

procedures with a sampling interval of 10 and a random entry point of 5. Participation in

this study was completely voluntary and the confidentiality of the information provided

was assured.

The individuals were asked two screening questions before they were deemed

eligible to participate. The first question selected only those who were born and raised in

the United States. The second question delimited the sample to those aged between 18

and 30 years old. Only individuals who answered yes to both screening questions were









asked to participate in the study, because foreign nationals and lifestage have been shown

to influence perceived risk and touristic style in previous studies (Lepp & Gibson 2003).

If the individual did not meet the criteria or refused to participate, he/she was thanked.

Data were collected on the week days between July 16 and August 6 during

Summer B Semester. Overall, 350 questionnaires were collected from the four locations,

with a response rate of about 70%. One hundred and forty-two (41%) questionnaires were

collected from the Southwest Recreation Center, 118 (34%) from the Reiz Union, 53

(15%) from the science library, and 36 (10%) from the Turlington Plaza. The

questionnaire took approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Instrumentation

The instrument was a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted

of six parts. Part one contained three questions that asked about the participants' past

international travel experiences: whether participants had traveled internationally (what

countries they have been to), whether participants had traveled to Asia (what countries

they have been to), and whether participants had previously traveled to China (and when

they visited). These three questions provided background information regarding the

participants' previous travel experience.

Part two contained 24 items that measure the participants' image of China as a

tourist destination measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale (l=strongly disagree,

2=disagree, 3=somewhat agree, 4=agree, 5=strongly agree). These 24 image items were

developed in part from Echtner and Ritchie's (1993, p.6) list of images, and items used to

investigate the image of Switzerland among participants of a university sponsored ski trip

by Gibson, William and Pennington-Gray (2003). Also, participants were asked to rate









their image of China as a future site of the Olympic Games with seven additional items

measured on the same five point Likert-type scale.

Part three contained questions related to intention to travel to China within the next

five years as a general tourist and/or as a sport tourist to attend the Olympic Games. In

this section, participants were asked to provide information about whether they planed to

travel to China in the next five years, past travel experience to the Olympic Games, their

primary information sources for the Olympic Games, their intention to travel to the 2004

Athens Olympic Games, awareness of and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games. The question asking participants' interest to travel to the 2008 Olympic

Games (How likely are you to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?) was developed

from Chalip et al.'s (1998) questionnaire items which asked participants their interest in

attending the Summer Olympic Games in 2000.

Part four measured the participants' perception of China in terms of travel-related

risk. The risk scale was comprised of 19 items measured on a five-point Likert scale

(1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=somewhat agree, 4=agree, 5=strongly agree)

developed from Lepp and Gibson (2003), Kim and Chalip (2004), and Floyd, Gibson,

Pennington-Gray and Thapa (2004). Also, participants were asked how risky they

thought the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games would be for spectators, and how

risky they thought the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games would be for spectators. These two

questions were based on Chalip et al.'s question asking perception of safety for the 2000

Summer Olympic Games among spectators. Also, participants were asked to rate 12

destinations (countries) according to the level of risk or safety they perceived to be









associated with them. These 12 countries constituted the host countries of the Olympic

Games from 1960 to 2008.

Part five contained four statements developed by Lepp and Gibson (2003)

describing the behaviors of Cohen's (1972) four tourist roles the organized mass tourist,

the independent mass tourist, the explorer, and the drifter. Participants were asked to

choose the one that best described them from the four statements. Part six contained

demographics such as gender, age, annual household income, racial background, and

class standing. These were measured using a fixed choice format.

Participants

Demographics

Of the 350 participants, 184 were males (52.7%) and 165 were females (47.3%).

As would be expected on a college campus, 76.3% of participants were aged between 18

and 23, 15.2% were aged between 24 and 26, with the reminder 8.5% between 27 and 30.

Over half of the participants (52.9%) reported that their household income was below

$20,000, 19.9% were between 20,001 and 60,000, 12.2% were between 60,001 and

100,000, and 14.9% were above $100,000. The racial composition of the sample was

57.6% white, 5.2% African-American, 18.1% Hispanic, 10.9% Asian and Pacific

Islander, and 0.6% Native American. The reminder (7.7%) chose "other" or did not

respond. The majority of the participants (63.7%) were undergraduate students, 34.9%

were graduate students, and 1.4% were non-UF students. A more detailed participant

profile is presented in Table 3-1.










Table 3-1 Participants' Background Profile
Cumulative
Variable Category N % %
Gender
Male 184 47.28 47.28
Female 165 52.72 100.00
Age
18-20 110 32.26 32.26
21-23 150 43.99 76.25
24-26 52 15.25 91.50
27-30 29 8.50 100.00
Household Income
<20,000 181 52.92 52.92
20,001-40,000 39 11.40 64.33
40,001-60,000 29 8.48 72.81
60,001-80,000 20 5.85 78.65
80,001-100,000 22 6.43 85.09
>100,000 51 14.91 100.00
Racial Background
Black, not of Hispanic Origin 18 5.16 5.16
White, not of Hispanic Origin 201 57.59 62.75
Native American 2 0.57 63.32
Pacific Islander 5 1.43 64.76
Asian 33 9.46 74.21
Hispanic 63 18.05 92.26
Other 27 7.74 100.00
Class Standing
Freshman 41 11.71 11.71
Sophomore 15 4.29 16.00
Junior 54 15.43 31.43
Senior 113 32.29 63.71
Graduate Student 122 34.86 98.57
Not UF Student 5 1.43 100.00


Previous Travel Experiences

Participants in the study were asked about their international travel experiences

(Table 3-2). 75.9% participants reported that they had traveled internationally one or

more times. When asked whether they had traveled to Asia before, 82.9% participants










had never traveled there. When asked whether they had traveled to China before, the

majority (98%) of the participants reported that they have never traveled to China.

According to Cohen's (1972) tourist role typology, 14.3% participants in this study

classified themselves as organized mass tourists, 35.7% as independent mass tourists,

40.8% as explorers, and 9.2% as drifters.

Table 3-2: Participants' Previous Travel Experiences
Cumulative
Variable Category N % %
Travel Internationally
Never 84 24.07 24.07
1-2 times 123 35.24 59.31
3-4 times 63 18.05 77.36
5 or more times 79 22.64 100.00
Travel to Asia
Never 289 82.86 82.86
1-2 times 35 10.00 92.86
3-4 times 17 4.57 97.43
5 or more times 9 2.57 100.00
Travel to China
Never 341 97.99 97.99
1-2 times 5 1.43 99.43
3-4 times 2 0.29 99.71
5 or more times 1 0.29 100.00
Tourist Role
Organized mass tourists 48 14.29 14.29
Independent mass tourists 120 35.71 50.00
Explorers 137 40.77 90.77
Drifters 31 9.23 100.00


Olympic Games Attendance

Participants in the study were asked questions about Olympic Games attendance

(Table 3-3). Thirty-four participants, which comprised 9.7% of the total participants, had

attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games once before. Among these 34

participants, 76% reported that they had been to 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.









Almost 90% (89.7%) had never attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games, and

0.6% participants reported that they had attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games

twice before. When asked whether they planed to attend the 2004 Athens Olympic

Games, the majority (96.6%) of the participants said they would not attend, 2.6% were

not sure, and only 0.9% answered yes. For the awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games, 21.2% of the participants already knew Beijing will host the 2008 Olympic

Games, while the remaining 78.8% either did not know or were not sure. When asked

where the participants get most of their information about the Olympic Games, television

is the primary information source, then Internet is second and newspapers rank third.

Table 3-3: Participants' Olympic Games Attendance
Cumulative
Variable Category N % %
Ever Attended Summer or Winter Olympic Games
Never 313 89.68 89.68
Once 34 9.74 99.43
Twice 2 0.57 100.00
Plan to Attend 2004 Athens Olympic Games
Yes 338 96.57 96.57
No 3 0.86 97.43
Not Sure 9 2.57 100.00

Awareness of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Yes 74 75.64 75.64
No 264 21.20 96.85
Not Sure 11 3.15 100.00









Data Analysis

Descriptive statistics such as descriptive statistics, one sample t-test, factor

analysis, two-sample t-test, ANOVA, Cronbach's alpha and multiple regression were

employed in this study. The data were entered and analyzed using statistical package -

SPSS 12.0.

To answer Question 1 (what images do U.S. college students hold of China as a

tourism destination and the host of the 2008 Olympic Games?), descriptive statistics

(mean and standard deviation) and one sample t-test were utilized to analyze the image

items. Factor analysis was used to identify the underlying constructs of the image items.

Cronbach's alpha was used to test the internal consistency of the image scale. To analyze

the image differences by gender and by previous travel experience, Independent-Sample

T-test was used. ANOVA was employed to analyze image differences by tourist role

type.

To answer Question 2 (How do U.S. college students perceive China in terms of

travel-related risk?), descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and one-sample

t-test were utilized to analyze the risk items. Factor analysis was used to identify the

underlying constructs of the travel-related risk items, and Cronbach's alpha was used to

test the internal consistency of the items loading on each factor. Independent-Sample T-

test was utilized to analyze the differences of risk perception by gender and by previous

travel experience. ANOVA was employed to analyze the differences of risk perception

by tourist role.

To answer Question 3 (Do U.S. college students express intent to travel to China

within the next five years as (i) a general tourist; (ii) a sport tourist to attend the 2008









Olympics), frequency statistics were utilized. Independent-Sample T-tests and One-way

ANOVA were also used to analyze the data.

To answer Question 4 (What is the relationship between image, risk and intention

to travel), a multiple regression model was built to examine the relationship among

image, risk and intention to travel. This model also explained the relationship between

intention to travel and image, and the relationship between intention to travel and risk.

Separate multiple models were built to examine the relationship between image and

tourist characteristics, and the relationship between risk and tourist characteristics.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The data collected at a large southeastern U.S. university provided many insights

into U.S. college students' destination image, perception of risk, and intention to travel to

China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Overall, 350 questionnaires were completed

and used for the analyses. The socio-demographic information presented in Chapter 3

provides valuable information about the basic characteristics of this sample. This profile

continues to be developed as the research questions are answered in this chapter.

Image

Research Question #1: What Images Do U.S. College Students Hold of China as A
Tourism Destination and the Host of the 2008 Olympic Games?

When asked about their image of China as a tourism destination, the results of a

one-sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale (3 = Somewhat Agree) showed

that participants had positive attitudes for China on most of the image items (Table 4-1).

Participants were most likely to agree that China has "beautiful scenery/natural

attractions" (M = 4.44, SD = .78, t = 34.54, p < .05), with over a half of the participants

answering "Strongly Agree". They also felt that China is "a crowded country" (M = 4.34,

SD = .80, t = 30.79, p < .05). However, participants had negative images on "it is easy to

communicate with the local people" (M = 2.12, SD = 0.88, t = -18.5, p < .05), and China

is "a clean country" (M = 2.98, SD = .87, t = -0.37, p > .05).










Table 4-1 U.S. College Students' Images of China as a Tourism Destination (N=350)
General Destination Image Meana SD tb p
Beautiful scenery/natural attractions 4.44 0.78 34.54 .000*
A crowded country 4.34 0.80 30.79 .000*
Many cultural attractions 4.33 0.71 34.74 .000*
Many friendly people 4.28 0.75 31.64 .000*
Historical sites and museums 4.25 0.79 28.99 .000*
Exotic cuisine 4.19 0.83 26.72 .000*
A place to increase my knowledge 4.17 0.83 26.08 .000*
A place for adventure 4.07 0.88 22.52 .000*
Many tourist attractions 3.82 0.85 17.77 .000*
Highly urbanized 3.80 0.92 16.07 .000*
Many shopping facilities 3.80 0.90 16.51 .000*
Good value for the money 3.58 0.79 13.52 .000*
An exotic atmosphere and culture 3.56 0.85 12.21 .000*
A family oriented destination 3.55 0.91 11.14 .000*
A good climate 3.49 0.78 11.59 .000*
Readily available travel information 3.47 0.90 9.62 .000*
A good quality of service 3.43 0.77 10.26 .000*
Good night life and entertainment 3.38 0.87 8.05 .000*
Easy to find accommodations 3.33 0.82 7.30 .000*
A safe destination 3.30 0.83 6.61 .000*
Convenient transportation 3.18 0.82 4.07 .000*
A place for relaxing 3.12 0.95 2.39 .017*
A clean country 2.98 0.87 -0.37 .790
Easy to communication with the local people 2.12 0.88 -18.50 .000*
China as a future site of the Olympic Games
Strong competence to host the Olympic Games 3.60 0.94 11.80 .000*
A safe place to hold the Olympic Games 3.59 0.86 12.70 .000*
Many friendly people 3.58 0.80 13.32 .000*
A Good value for the money 3.57 0.78 13.42 .000*
World-class sports facilities 3.40 0.88 8.37 .000*
Easy to find accommodations 3.33 0.81 7.37 .000*
Easy to get to 2.71 1.09 -4.93 .000*
a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree
b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale
Significant at the .05 level

Table 4-1 also shows the results of the participants' images of China as the host

country of the 2008 Olympic Games. Generally, participants had positive images for

China as a future site of the Olympic Games. The participants were most likely to agree









that China has "strong competence to host the Olympic Games" (M = 3.60, SD = .94, t=

11.9, p < .05). They also agree that China is "a safe place to hold the Olympic Games"

(M = 3.59, SD = .86, t = 12.7, p < .05). However, the results of a one-sample t-test

showed that participants had a negative image of the ease of getting to China (M = 2.71,

SD = 1.09, t = -4.93, p < .05).

For the purpose of data reduction and future analysis, an exploratory factor analysis

was conducted to discover the underlying image dimensions related to both image of

China as a tourist destination and image of China as a future site of the Olympic Games.

Principle components analysis with varimax rotation was used. Varimax rotation is the

best way of determining the appropriate number of common factors to retain based on an

analysis of the eigenvalues of the adjusted correlation matrix (Jeffreys, Massoni, &

Odnnell, 1997). Kaiser-Myer-Olkin (KMO) was included to determine whether the

factoring procedure was appropriate, and values above .50 indicate appropriateness of the

factor analysis (Hair et al., 2004; Malhotra, 1996). The KMO for this factor analysis was

.89, which established the appropriateness of conducting the factor analysis in this

instance.

In this study, four criteria for the factor analysis were applied: (1) only those factors

(domains) with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 were extracted (Hair et al. 2004); (2) items

with loadings of at least .40 were used as the cutoff point to determine which factor they

were associated with (Hair et al., 2004; Stevens, 1996); (3) each domain was subjected to

reliability testing, and items that reduced the reliability of a factor were eliminated from

further analysis (Chen & Kerstetter, 1999). Domains with Cronbach's Alpha greater than

.50 were deemed acceptable (Baumgartner & Jackson, 1999).









Based on the four criteria, seven factors (domains) were identified, which

accounted for 62.4% of the total variance. Twenty of the 24 general destination image

items and seven Olympic destination image items loaded on one of the seven factors

(Table 4-2). Three items not included in either factor were "a good climate," "a crowded

country" and "highly urbanized." The item "a good climate" was eliminated because it

did not meet the minimum .40 factor loading criterion. The other two items were

eliminated because they both loaded on a separate factor (domain) with a Cronbach's

Alpha of .46, which was too low to accept. Therefore, these three items were eliminated

from future analysis.

Factor 1 Attractions

Based on the nature of the items loaded on Factor 1, it was labeled "Attractions".

The image items included in this factor were: "an exotic atmosphere and culture," "a

place to increase my knowledge," "beautiful scenery/natural attractions," "many cultural

attractions," "a place for adventure," "historical sites and museums," "exotic cuisine" and

"many tourist attractions." The Attraction factor had a mean of 4.19 and a Cronbach's

Alpha of .85. This factor had an eigenvalue of 4.06 and accounted for 14.5% of the

variance.

Factor 2 Olympic Competence

The second factor was labeled "Olympic Competence" because four of five items

measured the image of China as a further site of the Olympic Games. These items

included: "a safe place to hold the Olympic Games," "world-class sports facilities,"

"strong competence to host the Olympic Games" and "easy to find accommodations." A

general image item "a safe destination" also loaded on this factor with a .433 loading.

This can probably be explained by the attention given to safety and security in the media









leading up to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The Olympic Competence factor had a

mean of 3.44 and a Cronbach's Alpha of .82. This factor had an eigenvalue of 3.00 and

accounted for 10.7% of the variance.

Factor 3 Convenience
Based on the nature of the items loading on factor 3, the third factor was labeled

"Convenience". It included: "readily available travel information," "easy to find

accommodations," "easy to communication with the local people" and "convenient

transportation." The Convenience factor had a mean of 3.02 and a Cronbach's Alpha of

.57. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.65 and accounted for 9.5% of the variance.

Factor 4 Atmosphere

Factor 4 was labeled "Atmosphere". It contained four items: "a clean country," "a

place for relaxing," "a good quality of service" and "a family oriented destination." The

Atmosphere factor had a mean of 3.27 and a Cronbach's Alpha of .70. This factor had an

eigenvalue of 2.16 and accounted for 7.73% of the variance.

Factor 5 People

Factor 5 was labeled "People" because this factor mainly measured the image of

the local people. It contained three items: "many friendly people" as a general image,

"many friendly people" as an Olympic image, and "easy to get to" as an Olympic image.

The People factor had a mean of 3.28 and a Cronbach's Alpha of .71. This factor had an

eigenvalue of 2.15 and accounted for 7.7% of the variance.

Factor 6 Activities

Factor 6 "Activities" included two items: "many shopping facilities" and "good

night life and entertainment." The Activity factor had a mean of 3.59 and a Cronbach's










Alpha of .65. This factor had an eigenvalue of 1.82 and accounted for 6.5% of the

variance.

Table 4-2: Factor Analysis Results of Destination Images Scale


Destination Image Items


Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor
1 2 3 4 5 6 7


An exotic atmosphere and culture
A place to increase my knowledge
Beautiful scenery/natural attractions
Many cultural attractions
A place for adventure
Historical sites and museums
Exotic cuisine
Many tourist attractions
Factor 2- Olympic Competence
A safe place to hold the Olympic
Games (Olympic)
World-class sports facilities
(Olympic)
Strong competence to host the
Olympic Games (Olympic)
Easy to find accommodations
(Olympic)
A safe destination
Factor 3- Convenience
Readily available travel information
Easy to find accommodations
Easy to communication with the
local people
Convenient transportation
Factor 4- Atmosphere
A clean country
A place for relaxing
A good quality of service
A family oriented destination
Factor 5- People
Many friendly people
Many friendly people (Olympic)
Easy to get to (Olympic)
Factor 6- Activities
Many shopping facilities


0.760
0.703
0.692
0.665
0.649
0.646
0.622
0.441


0.106
0.135
0.076
0.028
0.115
0.180
0.138
0.245


-0.080
0.284
-0.150
0.081
0.051
0.155
0.233
0.225


0.123
0.051
0.192
-0.011
0.272
-0.112
0.228
-0.076


0.063
0.020
0.199
0.296
0.105
0.089
-0.292
0.218


0.145
-0.008
0.154
0.193
0.269
0.073
-0.182
0.202


-0.006
0.037
0.153
0.205
0.013
0.157
0.057
0.214


0.133 0.798 0.046 0.200 0.170 0.101 0.084

0.152 0.793 0.113 0.097 0.022 0.091 0.037

0.317 0.703 0.142 0.029 0.288 0.106 0.055

0.087 0.525 0.393 0.219 0.130 0.299 0.245

0.071 0.433 0.390 0.330 0.230 0.004 0.191


0.151
0.208


0.123
0.113


0.717
0.662


0.192
0.222


0.105
0.106


0.065
0.289


0.107
0.191


-0.111 0.093 0.560 0.192 0.395 0.030 -0.022

0.133 0.106 0.508 -0.029 0.131 0.474 -0.034


0.072
0.120
0.174
0.154


0.279
0.267
0.036


0.188
0.101
0.271
0.129


0.097
0.377
0.246


0.187
0.173
0.416
0.147


0.089
0.131
0.371


0.697
0.696
0.456
0.466


0.305
0.203
0.029


0.117
0.210
-0.025
0.420


0.671
0.618
0.612


0.189
-0.005
0.212
0.123


0.139
0.126
-0.110


-0.123
0.244
0.096
0.104


0.088
0.061
0.084


0.211 0.169 0.036 0.098 0.057 0.758 0.087


Factor 1- Attractions










Table 4-2. Continued
Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor Factor
Destination Image Items
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Good night life and entertainment 0.170 0.097 0.285 0.217 0.014 0.645 0.135
Factor 7- Money
Good value for the money 0.298 0.020 0.124 0.028 0.027 0.143 0.829
A Good value for the money
A Goodvalueforthemoney 0.114 0.431 0.130 0.216 0.206 0.062 0.703
(Olympic)

Eigenvalues 4.06 3.00 2.65 2.16 2.15 1.82 1.62
Cronbach's Alpha 0.85 0.82 0.57 0.70 0.71 0.65 0.72
Factor Means 4.19 3.44 3.02 3.27 3.28 3.59 3.58
Percentage of variance explained 14.51 10.73 9.46 7.73 7.68 6.51 5.78
Cumulative variance explained 14.51 25.24 34.70 42.43 50.11 56.62 62.40


Factor 7 Money

Factor 7 was labeled "Money" because two image items related to money loaded

on this factor: "good value for the money" as a general image and "good value for the

money" as an Olympic Image. The Money factor had a mean of 3.58 and a Cronbach's

Alpha of .72. This factor had an eigenvalue of 1.62 and accounted for 5.8% of the

variance.

Research Question #1:

la. Do These Images Differ by Gender?

lb. Do These Images Differ by the Nature of Previous Travel Experience?

Ic. Do These Images Differ by Tourist Role Type?

To answer research question la, lb and Ic, the seven image factors extracted from

the factor analysis were used. The item scores within each image factor were summed

and then a mean score was calculated. Thus, seven summated scales for image were

created. Compared with the factor scores, the mean score within each factor could be









interpreted on the same Likert scale (Chen & Kerstetter, 1999; Hair et al., 2004; Lepp &

Gibson, 2003).

However, the results of the Independent-Samples t test showed that there was no

significant (p > .05) difference between men and women in terms of the seven destination

image factors (Table 4-3). The means for females in relation to six image factors:

attraction (M = 4.22, SD = .55), Olympic competence (M = 3.45, SD = .65),

communication (M = 3.09, SD = .63), atmosphere (M = 3.33, SD = .64), people (M =

3.29, SD = .73) and activities (M = 3.61, SD = .75) were higher than the means for males.

Table 4-3: Independent Samples t-test Results of Destination Images by Gender
Image Factor Males Females
Mean' SD Mean' SD df t p
Factor 1 Attraction 4.17 0.57 4.22 0.55 349 0.85 0.39
Factor 2 Olympic Competence 3.44 0.68 3.45 0.65 349 0.22 0.83
Factor 3 Communication 2.96 0.63 3.09 0.63 349 1.79 0.08
Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.21 0.64 3.33 0.64 349 1.79 0.07
Factor 5 People 3.28 0.75 3.29 0.73 349 0.13 0.90
Factor 6 Activities 3.58 0.77 3.61 0.75 349 0.44 0.66
Factor 7 Money 3.61 0.74 3.56 0.66 349 -0.59 0.56
SMeasured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree

To answer research question lb, previous international travel experience (Have you

ever traveled internationally?) was used as an independent variable in an ANOVA.

Compared to the other three types of travelers (never, 1-2 times, and 3-4 times), those

who had traveled internationally over five times tend to rate the image factors higher

(Table 4-4). The results indicated that a significant (p<.05) relationship existed among

four types of international travel experience about the image factor "attraction". The

Tukey HSD post hoc analysis showed that people who had traveled internationally over 5

times rated the image factor "attraction" significantly (p > .05) higher than those who had










traveled 1-2 times or less. The total multivariate variance explained by the previous

international travel experience on destination image was 2.4%.

Table 4-4: ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Previous International Travel
Experience
Image Factor 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p
Factor 1 Attraction* 4.09* 4.15* 4.21 4.37** 3.92 0.01
Factor 2 Olympic Competence 3.35 3.44 3.43 3.57 1.51 0.21
Factor 3 Communication 3.01 2.95 3.14 3.06 1.25 0.29
Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.25 3.24 3.26 3.33 0.35 0.79
Factor 5 People 3.22 3.22 3.40 3.37 1.39 0.25
Factor 6 Activities 3.47 3.54 3.69 3.74 2.30 0.08
Factor 7 Money 3.47 3.53 3.63 3.75 2.58 0.05
SMeasured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree
Significant at the .05 level
Note: Superscripts* indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.

ANOVA was also preformed to examine research question Ic. The results

indicated that there were no significant differences among tourist roles in terms of image

factors (Table 4-5). The "attraction" factor received the highest mean score (Organized

Mass Tourist = 4.15, Independent Mass Tourist = 4.14, Explorers = 4.26, Drifters = 4.25)

among the seven image factors. In comparison, the "communication" factor received the

lowest mean score (Organized Mass Tourist = 3.11, Independent Mass Tourist = 2.99,

Explorers = 3.02, Drifters = 3.09).

Table 4-5: ANOVA Results of Destination Images by Tourist Roles
mage Factor Organized Mass Independent F p
mage Faco Tourists Mass Tourists Explorers Drifters
Factor 1 Attraction 4.15 4.14 4.26 4.25 1.29 0.28
Factor 2 Olympic 3.55 3.43 3.41 3.60 1.11 0.35
Competence
Factor 3 Communication 3.11 2.99 3.02 3.09 0.53 0.66
Factor 4 Atmosphere 3.43 3.28 3.26 3.14 1.34 0.26
Factor 5 People 3.35 3.24 3.27 3.50 1.16 0.33
Factor 6 Activities 3.68 3.57 3.59 3.72 0.46 0.71
Factor 7 Money 3.66 3.50 3.64 3.55 0.97 0.42
SMeasured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree









Perceived Risk

Research Question #2: How Do U.S. College Students Perceive China in Terms of
Travel-Related Risk?

When participants were asked to rate the degree of risk associated with traveling to

China, they were most likely to agree that "proper sanitation and hygiene in China are

very important" (M = 4.08, SD = .86, t = 23.35, p < .05) (Table 4-6). They also agreed

that "I prefer traveling to China if I knew something about it" (M = 3.95, SD = .86, t =

20.63, p < .05), and "I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at

war" (M = 3.84, SD = 1.19, t = 13.04, p < .05). They were least likely to agree that "I

might be disappointed if I took a trip to China" (M = 1.99, SD = .88, t = -21.55, p < .05).

They also disagreed that "there is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my

choice to travel to China" (M = 2.02, SD = 1.01, t = -18.04, p < .05), and "I prefer to eat

food that is familiar to me when traveling in China" (M = 2.42, SD = 1.12, t = -9.65, p <

.05).

Participants were also asked to rate the overall risk associated with traveling to

China and attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Table 4-7). The overall risk

associated with traveling to China was 3.27 (SD = .75). Over 48 % of the participants

considered traveling to China was "neither risky or safe"; 38.1% considered it "safe" and

"very safe"; and 13.9% participants indicated it was "risky" and "very risky." The overall

risk of attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was 3.35 (SD = .80). Almost 42%

(41.5%) reported it would be "neither risky or safe"; 44.5% rated China as "safe" and

"very safe"; and 14.1% reported the Olympic Games would be "risky" and "very risky."










Table 4-6: U.S. College Students' Perception of Risk Associated with Traveling to China (N=350)
Risk Items Meana SD tb p
Proper sanitation and hygiene in China are important. 4.08 0.86 23.36 .000
I prefer traveling to China if I knew something about it. 3.95 0.86 20.63 .000
I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war. 3.84 1.19 13.04 .000
Language barriers could be a source of misunderstandings and problems. 3.72 0.99 13.43 .000
Political stability in China is an important consideration. 3.71 0.95 13.94 .000
The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to travel to China. 3.39 1.20 6.08 .000
I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves. 3.27 0.99 5.07 .000
I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China. 3.20 1.09 3.40 .001
Cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings and 335 .001
problems. 3.18 1.01
Standards of health care in China concern me. 3.16 1.00 2.91 .004*
Drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when traveling in 2.50 .013"
China. 3.13 0.97
China's political orientation is a concern for me. 3.08 1.12 1.34 .180
I would have concerns about rustic/primitive accommodations if I plan to 3.01 0.95 0.28 .778
,. 3.01 0.95 0.28 .778
travel to China.
It is important to know about China's religious orientation before taking a 2.84 1.14 -2.58 .010*
trip there.
The threat of violence worries me about visiting China. 2.75 1.03 -4.61 .000*
HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China. 2.74 0.93 -5.09 .000*
I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in China. 2.42 1.12 -9.65 .000*
There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice to 2.20 1.01 -18.04 .000
travel to China.
I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China. 1.99 0.88 -21.55 .000*
a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree
b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale
Significant at the .05 level


Table 4-7: Overall Risk Associated with Traveling to China and Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games


Variable


Frequency (%) on Likert Scale'


Mean SD


1 2 3 4 5
Overall degree of risk associated 2 46 167 120 12
with traveling to China (0.58%) (13.26%) (48.13%) (34.58%) (3.46%) 3.27 0.75
Risk of attending the 2008 Beijing 3 46 145 137 18
Olympic Games (0.86%) (13.18%) (41.55%) (39.26%) (5.16%) 3.35 0.8
Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Very Risky and 5=Very Safe

When participants were asked to rate the destinations that had previously hosted the

Olympic Games or were host countries for future Games, Canada was perceived to be the

safest country (M = 4.32, SD = .76, t = 31.8, p < .05), followed by Australia (M = 4.14,









SD = .79, t = 26.77, p < .05) and the UK (M = 4.00, SD = .83, t = 22.44, p < .05), while

Korea was perceived to be the most risky country (M = 2.76, SD = .96, t = -4.72, p <

.05). China was perceived as a medium risk country (M = 3.34, SD = .75, t = 8.4, p <

.05), similar to Greece (M = 3.34, SD = .85, t = 7.4, p < .05) (Table 4-8).

Table 4-8: Risk Levels of Different Countries (N=350)
Country Meana SD tbp
Canada 4.31 0.76 31.80 .000*
Australia 4.14 0.79 26.77 .000*
United Kingdom 4 0.83 22.44 .000*
Japan 3.72 0.87 15.32 .000*
Italy 3.68 0.82 15.36 .000*
Germany 3.63 0.85 13.69 .000*
Spain 3.47 0.86 9.99 .000*
China 3.34 0.75 8.40 .000*
Greece 3.34 0.85 7.40 .000*
Mexico 2.95 0.95 -0.90 .367
Russia 2.95 0.94 -1.03 .306
Korea 2.76 0.96 -4.72 .000*
a Measured using a Likert-type format where 1=Very Risky and 5=Very Safe
b One Sample t-test with respect to 3.0 on the Likert scale
*Significant at the .05 level

Based on the 19 travel-related risk items, an exploratory factor analysis was

conducted to discover the underlying risk dimensions. The KMO for this factor analysis

was .86, which established the appropriateness of conducting the factor analysis.

The factor analysis yielded four factors (or domains) with eigenvalues greater than

1.0 and explained 55.8% of the total variance. Seventeen of 19 perceived risk items

loaded on one of four factors. The items "I prefer traveling to China if I knew something

about it" and "proper sanitation and hygiene in China are important" were eliminated

because these two factors loaded on a separate factor with a Cronbach's Alpha of

.48,which did not meet the .50 requirement. Also, the KMO before elimination was .853,









which is lower than the KMO after elimination. Therefore, these two items were

eliminated from further analysis. The results of this factor analysis are shown in Table 4-

9.

Factor 1 Personal Safety

The first factor was labeled "personal safety" based on the nature of the risk items

including six items: "I would have concerns about rustic/primitive accommodations if I

plan to travel to China," "standards of health care in China concern me," "HIV and other

infectious diseases are a danger in China," "language barriers could be a source of

misunderstandings and problems," "I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves"

and "drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when traveling in China." The

Personal Safety factor had a mean of 3.17 and a Cronbach's Alpha of .77. This factor had

an eigenvalue of 2.67 and accounted for 15.7% of the variance.

Factor 2 Cultural Risk

Based on the nature of the items that loaded on Factor 2, it was labeled "Cultural

Risk". Five risk items were included in this factor: "cultural differences could be a source

of misunderstandings and problems," "I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in

China," "China's political orientation is a concern for me," "political stability in China is

an important consideration" and "it is important to know about China's religious

orientation before taking a trip there." The Cultural risk factor had a mean of 3.21 and a

Cronbach's Alpha of .71. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.51 and accounted for 14.7%

of the variance.

Factor 3 Socio-Psychological Risk

Factor 3 was labeled "Socio-psychologocial Risk". It contained three items: "There

is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice to travel to China," "I









might be disappointed if I took a trip to China" and "I prefer to eat food that is familiar to

me when traveling in China." The Socio-psychological Risk factor had a mean of 2.14,

which is the lowest among the four factors, and a Cronbach's Alpha of .60. This factor

had an eigenvalue of 2.17 and accounted for 12.8% of the variance.

Factor 4 Violence Risk

The fourth factor was labeled "Violence Risk". It included three items: "I would

not travel to China if one of its neighboring countries was at war," "The threat of

terrorism could influence my decision to travel to China" and "The threat of violence

worries me about visiting China." The Violence Risk factor had a mean of 3.32 and a

Cronbach's Alpha of .72. This factor had an eigenvalue of 2.14 and accounted for 12.6%

of the variance.











Table 4-9: Factor Analysis Results of Risk Items
Rik I s Factor Factor Factor Factor
Risk Items2 3 4
123 4


Factor 1 Personal Safety

I would have concerns about rustic/primitive
accommodations if I plan to travel to China.
Standards of health care in China concern me.
HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger in China.
Language barriers could be a source of misunderstandings
and problems.
I would worry about pick-pockets and petty thieves.

Drinking the water would not be a good thing to do when
traveling in China
Factor 2 Cultural Risk

Cultural differences could be a source of misunderstandings
and problems.
I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling in China.

China's political orientation is a concern for me.
Political stability in China is an important consideration.

It is important to know about China's religious orientation
before taking a trip there.
Factor 3 Socio-psychological Risk

There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of
my choice to travel to China.
I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China.
I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when traveling in
China.
Factor 4 Violence Risk

I would not travel to China if one of its neighboring
countries was at war.
The threat of terrorism could influence my decision to travel
to China.
The threat of violence worries me about visiting China.


0.852 0.176 0.095 0.021


0.837
0.583
0.492


0.463
0.415


0.112
0.235
0.422


0.274
0.071


0.132
0.321
-0.115


0.134
0.399


0.153
-0.053
0.107


0.260
0.193


0.214 0.736 0.077 -0.022


0.096

0.271
0.128
0.035


0.691

0.676
0.637
0.456


0.175

0.093
-0.059
0.411


0.132

0.111
0.456
-0.014


0.097 0.162 0.747 0.100


0.146
0.345


0.151
-0.041


0.741
0.502


0.142
0.068


0.138 0.115 0.158 0.800


0.202 0.253 0.157 0.710


0.325 0.293 0.385 0.557


Eigenvalues
Cronbach's Alpha
Factor Means
Percentage of variance explained
Cumulative variance explained


2.67
0.77
3.17
15.74
15.74


2.51
0.71
3.21
14.74
30.48


2.17
0.60
2.14
12.75
43.22


2.14
0.72
3.32
12.57
55.79









Research Question #2:

2a. Do These Perceptions of Risk Differ by Gender?

2b. Do These Perceptions of Risk Differ by Previous Travel Experience?

2c. Do These Perceptions of Risk Differ by Tourist Role?

To answer research question 2a, 2b and 2c, the five risk factors extracted from the

factor analysis were used. Five summated scales of risk were created by calculating the

mean score for each factor. The results of Independent-Samples t test showed that there

was no significance difference between males and females in terms of five risk factors

(Table 4-10). Although their relationships were not statistically significant, males had

higher scores in health risk (M = 3.20) and cultural risk (M = 3.22), and females had

higher scores on socio-psychological risk (M = 2.15) and violence risk (M = 3.42), which

indicated that males perceived higher risk in terms of health and cultural, and females

perceived higher risk in socio-psychological and violence risk.

Table 4-10: Independent Samples t-test Results of Travel-related Risk by Gender
Risk Factor Males Females
Mean SD Mean SD t p
Factor 1 Health Risk 3.20 0.69 3.15 0.65 -0.78 0.43
Factor 2 Cultural risk 3.22 0.77 3.18 0.69 -0.54 0.59
Factor 3 Socio-psychological Risk 2.14 0.75 2.15 0.73 0.02 0.98
Factor 4 Violence Risk 3.23 0.95 3.42 0.87 1.94 0.05
SMeasured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree

To answer research question 2b, previous international travel experience was used

as an independent variable to conduct an ANOVA (Table 4-11). The results indicated that

previous international travel experiences were not significantly related to travel-related

risk.









Table 4-11: ANOVA Results of Travel-related Risk by Previous International Travel
Experiences
Risk Factor 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p
Factor 1 Health Risk 3.19 3.17 3.16 3.18 0.03 0.99
Factor 2 Cultural risk 3.23 3.27 3.09 3.16 0.89 0.45
Factor 3 Socio-psychological Risk 2.26 2.1 2.2 2.06 1.25 0.29
Factor 4 Violence Risk 3.47 3.37 3.18 3.22 1.66 0.18
SMeasured using a Likert-type format where 1=Strongly Disagree and 5=Strongly Agree

ANOVA was also used to examine research question 2c. The results indicated that

for socio-psychological risk and violence risk, there were significant differences among

tourist role types (Table 4-12). The post hoc analysis showed that in terms of socio-

psychological risk, organized mass tourists differed significantly from the other three

tourist role types in that organized mass tourists tend to perceive higher socio-

psychological risk. For violence risk, drifters were significantly different from organized

mass tourists and independent mass tourists. Drifters perceive less risk of violence

associated with traveling to China. The total multivariate variance explained by the

tourist role on perceived risk was 2.5%.

Table 4-12: ANOVA Results of Travel-related Risk by Tourist Roles
Organized Independent
Risk Factor F p
mass tourists mass tourists Explorers Drifters
Factor 1 Health Risk 3.26 3.15 3.19 2.97 1.25 0.29
Factor 2 Cultural risk 3.23 3.22 3.21 3.01 0.85 0.47
Factor 3 Socio-psychological 2.50* 2.15" 2.06* 1.87" 6.06 0.00*
Risk
Factor 4 Violence Risk 3.61" 3.44* 3.23b1 2.91" 4.96 0.00*
*Significant at the .05 level
2** indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.









Intention to Travel


Research Question #3:

Do U.S. College Students Express Intent to Travel to China within the Next Five
Years as (i) A General Tourist; (ii) A Sport Tourist to Attend the 2008 Olympics?

Participants were asked their intention to travel to China as a tourist and their

intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Table 4-13). Sixty-eight percent of

participants reported that they were "very unlikely" and "unlikely" to travel to China in

the next five years; 22% answered "somewhat likely", and only 9.9% answered "likely"

and "very likely" to travel to China in the next five years.

When participants were asked their intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games, the majority (92.8%) of the participants answered "very unlikely" and "unlikely".

Of the remainder (7.2%), 6% answered "somewhat likely"; only 1.2% answered "likely"

and "very likely".

Table 4-13: Intention to Travel to China and the Olympic Games
Variable Category N % Cumulative
Plan to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years
(N= 350) Very Unlikely 141 40.29 40.29


Unlikely 97 27.71 68.00
Somewhat Likely 77 22.00 90.00
Likely 18 5.14 95.14
Very Likely 17 4.86 100.00

Likelihood to Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games (N= 348)
Very Unlikely 214 61.49 61.49
Unlikely 109 31.32 92.82
Somewhat Likely 21 6.03 98.85
Likely 2 0.57 99.43
Very Likely 2 0.57 100.00

According to table 3-2, sixty-one participants have been to Asia one or more times.

Among them, twenty-nine (47.5%) reported that they were very unlikely or unlikely to


%









travel to China within the next five years, twenty-one (34.4%) reported that they were

somewhat likely to travel, and only eleven (18%) reported that they were likely or very

likely to travel. Among these 61 participants who have been to Asia, fifty-three (86.8%)

reported that they were very unlikely or unlikely to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games, and only 8 (13.1%) reported that they were somewhat likely to attend the 2008

Beijing Olympic Games (Table 4-14).

Table 4-14: Crosstabulation between Previous Travel Experience to Asia and
Intention to Travel to China in the Next 5 Years and the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games
Previous Travel Experience to Asia
Intention to Travel to China Never One or More Times
Very Unlikely 126 (43.60%) 15 (24.59%)
Unlikely 83 (28.72%) 14 (22.95%)
Somewhat Likely 56 (19.38%) 21 (34.43%)
Likely 13 (4.50%) 5 (8.20%)
Very Likely 11 (3.80%) 6 (9.84%)
Total 289 (100%) 61 (100%)
Intention to Attend the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games
Very Unlikely 184 (64.11%) 30 (49.18%)
Unlikely 86 (29.97%) 23 (37.70%)
Somewhat Likely 13 (4.53%) 8(13.11%)
Likely 2 (0.70%) 0
Very Likely 2 (0.70%) 0
Total 287 (100%) 61 (100%)

Table 3-2 also shows that eight participants have been to China before. When asked

their intention to travel to China within the next five years, seven (87.5%) reported that

they were likely or very likely to travel. However, when asked their intention to attend

the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, only three persons reported that they were somewhat

likely to attend, and the others reported that they were unlikely to attend.









Research Question #3:

3a. Does Intent to Travel Differ by Gender?

3b. Does Intent to Travel Differ by Previous Travel Experience?

3c. Does Intent to Travel Differ by Tourist Role?

An Independent Samples t-test indicated that no significant relationship existed

between men and women in terms of intention to travel to China in the next five years (t

= -1.82, p = .07) and intention to attend to the 2008 Beijing Olympics (t = -1.42, p = .16)

(Table 4-15).

Table 4-15: Independent Samples t-test Results of Intention to Travel by Gender
Intention to Travel Males Females
Mean' SD Mean' SD df t P
To China in the next 5 years 2.17 1.2 1.95 1.03 346.57 -1.82* 0.07
To 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1.52 0.75 1.42 0.62 341.83 -1.42* 0.16
Equal variances not assumed


The results of an ANOVA on intention to travel to China in the next five years and

previous international travel experience yielded significant results (F = 7.84, p = .00)

(Table 4-16). The Tukey HSD post hoc analysis showed that people who had traveled

internationally over five times were significantly more likely to travel to China over the

next five years than people who had never traveled internationally and people who have

traveled 1-2 times. The total variance explained by previous international travel

experience on intention to travel to China within the next five years was 6.4%. A non-

significant relationship was found between intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games and previous international travel experience (F = 1.28, p = .28).









Table 4-16: ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Previous International Travel
Experience
Intention to Travel 0 1-2 times 3-4 times >5 times F p
To China in next 5 years 1.99* 1.79* 2.11 2.54* 7.84 0.00*
To 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1.48 1.44 1.38 1.59 1.28 0.28
Significant at the .05 level
Indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.

The results of an ANOVA indicated that the four categories of tourist role were

significantly different in intention to travel in the next five years (F = 6.34, p = .00)

(Table 4-17). Tukey HSD post hoc analysis indicated that in terms of intention to travel

to China, drifters differed significantly from organized mass tourists and independent

mass tourists. Compared to organized mass tourists, drifters reported less intention to

travel to China in the next 5 years, while compared to independent mass tourists, drifters

are more likely to travel to China in the next 5 years. Also, independent mass tourists are

significantly different from explorers in that they are less likely to travel to China over

the next 5 years than their explorer counterparts. The total variance explained by previous

international travel experience on intention to travel to China within the next five years

was 6.4%. However, a non-significant relationship existed between intention to travel to

the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and tourist role type (F = 2.46, p = .06).

Table 4.17: ANOVA Results of Intention to Travel by Tourist Roles
Organized Independent
Intention to Travel mass tourists mass tourists Explorers Drifters F p
To China in next 5 years 1.96** 0.95** 1.17** 1.19** 6.34 0.00*
To 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games 0.67 0.58 0.78 0.72 2.46 0.06
1Significant at the .05 level
2* indicate significant differences utilizing Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.









Relationships

Research Question #4:

What Is the Relationship Between Image and Intention to Travel (i) to the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the Next 5 Years?

In order to explore the relationship between images of China and intention to travel

to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a multiple regression analysis was employed. Seven

image factors were used as independent variables, and intention to travel to the 2008

Beijing Olympic Games was set as the dependent variable. The analysis summary is

showed in Table 4-18.

The R2 for this model is .079 (Adjusted R2= .059), indicating that the image

variables explained 7.9% of the variation in intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games. In terms of explanatory power, the "People" factor ( 1 =.191, p=.004) and the

"Attraction" factor ( P =.175, p=.035) have significant positive associations with

intention to travel to the Olympic Games. The "People" factor is the most important in

explaining intention to travel to the Olympic Games, because every unit of change in the

"People" factor is associated with a .191 change in the intention to attend the Olympic

Games. Every unit of change in the "Attraction" factor is related to a .175 change in

intention to travel to the Olympic Games. Interestingly, although not significant, The

"Atmosphere" factor (P =-.10, p=.217) and the "Activities" factor ( =-.076, p=. 191)

have negative relationships with intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.










Table 4-18: Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to
Travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Standardized
P Std. Error P t p
(Constant) 0.345 0.296 1.164 0.245
Attraction 0.175 0.083 0.142 2.118 0.035*
Olympic Competence 0.035 0.08 0.033 0.432 0.666
Communication 0.049 0.079 0.044 0.611 0.541
Atmosphere -0.1 0.081 -0.092 -1.237 0.217
People 0.191 0.066 0.203 2.885 0.004*
Activities -0.076 0.058 -0.084 -1.309 0.191
Money 0.029 0.064 0.03 0.457 0.648
R2=.079 Adjusted R2=.059
F= 4.002 Significance F=.000*
Significant at the .05 level

It is also interesting to find out the relationship between images of China and

intention to travel to China in the next 5 years. Similarly, a multiple regression analysis

was conducted. Seven image factors were set as independent variables, and intention to

travel to China in the next 5 years was set as a dependent variable. Table 4-19 highlights

the results from the multiple regression analysis.

Table 4-19: Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Images of China and Intention to
Travel to China in the Next 5 Years
1 Std. Error Standardized P t p
(Constant) -1.729 0.451 -3.83 0.000*
Attraction 0.316 0.126 0.155 2.511 0.013*
Olympic Competence 0.108 0.121 0.063 0.891 0.374
Communication 0.237 0.121 0.13 1.96 0.051
Atmosphere -0.012 0.123 -0.007 0.099 0.921
People 0.146 0.101 0.095 1.453 0.147
Activities -0.008 0.088 -0.005 0.092 0.926
Money 0.276 0.097 0.171 2.852 0.005*
R2=.205 Adjusted R2=.188
F= 12.177 Significance F=.000*
Significant at the .05 level









The R2 for this model is .205 (Adjusted R2 = .188), indicating that the image

variables explained 20.5% of the variation in intention to travel to China within the next 5

years. The results showed that the "Attraction" factor ( = .316, p = .013) and the

"Money" factor ( 1 = .276, p = .005) were significantly related to intention to travel to

China within the next 5 years. The "Attraction" factor is most important in explaining

intention to travel, because every unit of change in the "Attraction" factor leads to a .316

change in intention to travel to China within the next 5 years. The "Money" factor is also

a significant factor. Every unit of change in the "Money" factor translates into a .276

change in intention to travel. The "Communication" factor ( 1 = .237, p = .051) is also an

important factor affecting intention to travel to China within the next 5 years.

Research Question #5:

What Is the Relationship between Risk and Intention to Travel (i) to the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games; (ii) to China in the Next 5 Years?

Multiple regression analysis was utilized to investigate the relationship between

risk and intention to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games. Four risk factors were used as

the independent variables and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was

set as the dependent variable. The results of the analysis are presented in Table 4-20.

The R2 for this model is .023 (Adjusted R2 = .012), indicating that the risk variables

explained 2.3% of the variation in intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

All of the risk factors are negatively related to intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games. However, none of the four risk factors has a significant relationship

with intention to travel. Among the four risk factors, The "Health Risk" factor is the most

important predictor of intention to travel ( P = -.087, p = .18).










Table 4-20: Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to
Attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
P Std. Error Standardized P t p
(Constant) 1.988 0.199 10.005 0.000*
Health Risk -0.087 0.065 -0.089 -1.345 0.18
Cultural risk -0.001 0.062 -0.001 -0.017 0.987
Socio-psychological Risk -0.073 0.064 -0.072 -1.133 0.258
Violence Risk -0.018 0.051 -0.024 -0.355 0.723
R2=.023 Adjusted R=.012
F= 2.057 Significance F=.086
Significant at the .05 level

It is also interesting to explore the relationship between risk and intention to travel

to China in the next 5 years. Again, multiple regression analysis was conducted. Four risk

factors were used as independent variables, and intention to travel to China in the next 5

years was set as the dependent variable. Table 4-21 shows the result of multiple

regression analysis.

The R2 for this model is .045 (Adjusted R2 = .033), indicates that the image

variables explained 4.5% of the variation in intention to travel to China in the next 5

years. The "Health Risk" factor (3 = -.052, p = .621), the "Socio-psychological Risk"

factor (P = -.202, p = .052) and the "Violence Risk" factor (P = -. 160, p = .050) have

negative impacts on intention to travel to China in the next 5 years. Every unit of change

in the "Violence Risk" factor translates into a -.160 change in intention to travel. As for

the "Socio-psychological Risk" factor, every unit of change leads to a -.202 change in

intention to travel to China in the next 5 years. Interestingly, although not significant, the

"Cultural Risk" factor positively related to intention to travel to China within the next 5

years (P = .084, p = .404).










Table 4-21: Results of Multiple Regression Analysis on Perceived Risk and Intention to
Travel to China in the Next 5 Years
P Std. Error Standardize 3 t p
(Constant) 2.98 0.32 9.308 0.000*
Health Risk -0.052 0.104 -0.032 0.494 0.621
Cultural risk 0.084 0.10 0.054 0.836 0.404
Socio-psychological Risk -0.202 0.103 -0.123 1.951 0.052
Violence Risk -0.16 0.082 -0.131 1.966 0.05
R2=.045 Adjusted R=.033
F= 4.012 Significance F=.003*
Significant at the .05 level

Summary

Overall, the research questions addressed in this chapter have been used to develop

a general understanding of U.S. college students' destination image, perceived risk and

intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the impact of tourist

characteristics (gender, previous travel experience, tourist type) on destination image,

perceived risk and intention to travel, and the relationship between destination image,

perceived risk and intention to travel. Figure 4-1 illustrates the relationship of destination

image, perceived risk, intention to travel to China within the next five years and tourist

characteristics based on the theoretical framework presented in chapter one. However, in

terms of intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the relationships are weak.

The results provided many valuable insights and information that contribute to our

understanding of the relationship among these variables. The results could also be used to

aid marketers for China tourism and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when considering

and planning their marketing campaigns in the United States in the future.











R2=.064


Destination
R .024=. Image y ^-.205
Previous Travel Im .5
Experience D / Intention to Travel
to China in the
Next 5 Years
Tourist Role --
R2=.0 Perceived R2=.045
Risk


R2=.054

Figure 4-1: Relationship of Destination Image, Perceived Risk, Intention to Travel to
China in the Next 5 Years and Tourist Characteristics














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The purpose of this study was to explore U.S. college students' destination image,

perception of risk and intention to travel to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,

as well as the relationship among destination image, perceived risk and intention to

travel. Gender, previous travel experiences and tourist role differences were also

explored. This chapter draws upon the theoretical foundation and literature review for the

study to interpret and explain young American's image, risk perceptions and intentions to

travel to China and to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Destination Image

Using the dimensions developed by Echtner and Ritchie (1993), 24 destination

image items were used to measure the images young Americans held of China. The

results support McLellan and Foushee's (1983) notion that destination image is a mixture

of positive and negative perceptions of a particular destination. Participants were most

likely to agree that China is a country with beautiful scenery and many natural

attractions. In contrast, they believed that China is a crowded and not a clean country.

Intuitively, this makes sense as the common images of China in the media are of the

Great Wall of China and also images of lots of people. They also felt that the Chinese

people are friendly. However, they reported that it would be difficult to communicate

with the local people because of language differences.

Seven additional items were developed to measure the participant's image of China

as a future site of the Olympic Games. Participants felt that China definitely has the









ability to host the Olympic Games, and they also felt that China was a safe place to host

the Games. However, in terms of accessibility, the participants rated China poorly. This

makes sense because for the U.S., China is considered a long-haul destination. Usually, it

takes tourists more than 17 hours to fly from the U.S. to major cities in China.

Although no significant differences were found between men and women in terms

of destination image, females were likely than males to rate attractions, Olympic

competence, communication, atmosphere, people and activities more highly. This result

is similar to Chen and Kerstetter's (1999) finding that female students were more likely

than male students to have higher image scores of rural Pennsylvania. This can be

explained that the participants in this study were young and well-educated, and the

difference between male and female is not obvious.

The study also found judgment and evaluation of a destination was influenced by

past travel experience. The results showed that experienced international travelers tend to

form a more positive image of China than those who traveled less, which supports the

notion that those with lots of past international travel experiences may form more

positive images for international destinations as a result of their experiences (Hu &

Ritchie. 1993). The results also support Anderson's Information Integration Theory and

Sonmez and Graefe (1998a) that traveler's previous travel experience may influence

his/her psychophysical judgment of destination.

In this study, most of the participants categorized themselves as explorers based on

Cohen's typology, followed by independent mass tourists and organized mass tourists.

This result supports Gibson and Yiannakis's finding (2002) that individuals in their 20s

are most likely to prefer roles such as explorers and drifters which match their lifestage









characteristics. However, in this study tourist role was not significantly related to

destination image, which contradicts the tentative model constructed in chapter one

(Figure 1-2) that tourist role might have an impact on destination image. It might be the

reason that tourist role is directly related to perceived risk rather than destination image.

The results revealed that destination image was closely related to intention to travel

to China but image does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games to the same degree. This finding is contrary to Chalip et al.'s (2003)

finding that destination image was significantly related to intention to visit the host

destination. This might be explained by the low awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games among young Americans. The relationship between destination image and

intention to travel to China within the next five years supports the model (Figure 1-2) that

destination image exerts an important impact on intention to travel. This finding can be

interpreted within the framework of Anderson's Information Integration Theory.

According to the theory, individuals form psychophysical and value judgments

integrating various types of information in the travel decision-making process.

Destination image is a kind of psychophysical judgment of a particular destination that

has an important impact on individual's behavior.

Perceived Risk

Risk is an important factor when considering international tourism (Lepp &

Gibson, 2003; Sonmez, 1998; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998), especially for Americans who

perceive themselves to be particularly threatened by terrorism. Perceived risk might

influence a positive image (Lepp & Gibson, 2003) and intention to travel to a particular

destination. Identifying factors that influence perceptions of risk held by individuals

regarding traveling to China will help us better understand travelers' behavior.









Overall, most participants considered traveling to China and attending the 2008

Beijing Olympic Games as neither risky or safe. Interestingly, participants tended to

perceive attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games safer than traveling to China. This is

not confirmed by the literature, because generally the Olympic Games are perceived as an

attractive target and an ideal stage for terrorism (Cashman & Hughes, 1999), and people

might have higher security concerns about their attendance (Taylor, Toohey & Lee,

2003). Four risk factors were identified based on 19 risk items: personal safety, cultural

risk, socio-psychological risk and risk of violence. The risk factors are consistent with the

risks most commonly identified in the literature (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl &

Fesenmaier, 1992; S6nmez & Graefe, 1998a).

In the literature, gender is perceived to be a factor that affects perception of risk.

Some studies have shown that women perceive more risk associated with international

travel than men (Carr, 2001; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). However, in this study men and

women perceived the risk associated with China equally. This finding is similar to that of

S6nmez and Graefe (1998a), who also found that gender was not influential on

perception of risk.

Although previous travel experience was significant in explaining some differences

in perception of risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; S6nmez & Graefe, 1998a, 1998b), the results

of this study did not demonstrate the influence of previous travel experience on

perceptions of risk in terms of traveling to China. A possible reason is that for U.S.

college students, most of their international travel experiences have been to Europe

and/or the Carribean. Only a few of them have traveled to Asia, and even fewer have









traveled to China. Therefore, their perceptions of risk associated with China are not based

on their past international travel experiences.

In this study, tourist role was found to be significantly related to risk perceptions,

which supports the literature that tourist role is a significant factor influencing

perceptions of risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). Conceivably,

according to Cohen's (1972) typology, organized and independent mass tourists should

differ from explorers and drifters, because organized and independent mass tourists have

nearly the same requirements for safe travel, and explorers and drifters tend to seek more

novelty in a destination. As such, tourist role is used as an indicator of the degree of

novelty sought in a destination (Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Indeed, Lepp and Gibson found

that health, war, political instability, terrorism and strange food are perceived to be less

risky by novelty seekers than by those who prefer familiarity. The results of this study

support Cohen's and Lepp and Gibson's work. In this study, organized mass tourists

perceived higher degrees of risk on socio-psychological factors such as food and other

people's opinions than other tourist types. Drifters tended to down play risks associated

with war and terrorism when compared to organized and independent mass tourists who

tended to be more risk averse. This finding also substantiates Lepp and Gibson's idea that

different tourist roles perceive different levels of risk in terms of international tourism,

and novelty seekers may tolerate higher levels of risk.

The results of the study show a significant, but not strong relationship exists

between perceptions of risk associated with intention to travel to China within the next

five years. This supports the literature that perception of risk influences an individual's

future travel intentions (Coshall, 2003; S6nmez & Graefe, 1998a; Woodside & Lysonski,









1995). It also supports the theoretical model constructed in Figure 1.2 that perceived risk

exerts a great impact on intention to travel. The results can be explained by Roger's

(1975) Protection Motivation Theory. According to the theory, before making a

destination choice, potential tourists will cognitively appraise the degree of risk

associated with traveling, and tend to choose destinations they consider safe. However,

the study failed to establish a significant relationship between perception of risk and

intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The results also do not support

Taylor, Toohey and Lee's (2003) finding that people's attendance at the 2002 World Cup

in Korea and Japan was greatly affected by their security concerns. The results of this

study may be explained by the participants' low awareness of the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games, therefore, participants failed to perceive risk associated with it.

Intention to Travel

The literature shows that intention to travel connects belief and attitude for a

particular destination with behavior choice (Fishbein & Ajien, 1975; Woodside &

Lysonski, 1995). It is an indicator of tourists' final destination choice. The results of this

study show that over half of the participants do not have a strong intention to travel to

China within the next five years. The reason for this may be that China is not perceived

as a popular tourism destination for U.S. college students. In addition, the majority of the

participants in this study do not show a strong interest in attending the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games. This can be explained by the participants' low awareness of the host

country/city for the 2008 Olympic Games. Um and Crompton (1990) found that there is a

two-stage evolution of individuals' travel destination choice the awareness set and the

evoked set. Potential tourists evolve from the awareness set into the evoked set in









selecting their final destination. Without awareness, it is hard for potential tourists to

form a strong image and choose that destination. This study was conducted before the

2004 Athens Olympic Games. The rules of the International Olympic Committee forbid

the organizing committee of the next Olympic Games from conducting marketing

campaigns before the end of previous Olympic Games. Thus the Beijing Olympic Games

had not yet been marketed extensively in the United States when the survey was

conducted.

Although the relationship between gender and intention to travel to China was non-

significant, the results showed that intention to travel to China over the next five years is

significantly related to other tourist characteristics such as previous travel experience and

tourist role. The relationship between previous travel experience and intention to travel

supports the notion that previous travel experience is a crucial factor for a traveler's

intention to travel (Goodrich, 1978; Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Mazursky, 1989; S6nmez &

Graefe 1998a, 1998b; Woodside & Lysonski, 1995). Although a direct relationship

between tourist role and intention to travel has not been addressed previously in the

literature, it is known that tourist role has an indirect effect on intention to travel through

perception of risk (Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Roehl & Resenmaier, 1992; Woodside &

Lysonski, 1995). However, no direct relationship was found between intention to attend

the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and tourist characteristics.

Implications

Because there is still very little known about the images, perceived risk, and

intention to travel to China among U.S. college students, and this study provides a good

overview of this potentially marketable group. According to Chalip et al. (1997), young









respondents were more likely to expect to travel to the 2000 Olympic Games. This

information may be valuable information for Chinese marketers in the travel industry. As

China becomes more open as a travel market, it is hoped that student travel will become

an important travel segment. To make China a more attractive destination, it is necessary

to understand students' images of China and their perceptions of risk related to visiting

the country. This is especially important for the American tourist, as the U.S. is

politically discrepant and spatially distant from China.

This study also examined the relationship between image, risk and intention to

travel. These three factors are interrelated and may greatly influence a tourist's

destination choice. Generally speaking, the results support the theoretical model projected

in Figure 1-2. This study suggests that destination image greatly influences intention to

travel to China but does not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games to the same degree. The relationship between perceived risk and

intention to travel to China is small but significant. However, the study failed to establish

the relationship between perceived risk and intention to travel to the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games. In this study, previous international travel experience affects

individual's destination image of China and their related intentions to travel to China.

Tourist role has an impact on perceived risk and intention to travel to China within the

next five years. However, in terms of intention to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games, previous international travel experience and tourist role did not show significant

effects. In addition, the results of the study did not show that gender has an impact on

destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel. Understanding the relationship

among destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel and the impact of tourist









characteristics may assist destination marketers in making the right strategy in future

marketing campaigns to increase market share.

In addition, the results of the study show that some images and risk factors are

considered more important among potential tourists than others. Tourism marketers

should be aware which image and risk factors might be crucial to potential tourists

because these can significantly affect their future travel destination choices (Lepp &

Gibson, 2003). This is important in the developing world where tourism is being

promoted as an important market sector (Burns, 1999). For example, the results of this

study show that respondents are most attracted to the beautiful scenery and natural

attractions of China. Marketers should reinforce these images when doing promotional

campaigns. However, respondents also thought it would not be easy to communicate with

the local people. So when doing promotion, marketers should try to alter their

perceptions, for example, by advocating that English has become more and more popular

in China. The results of this study also provide valuable information to the 2008 Beijing

Olympic Games marketers. There is evidence that the Olympic Games is an effective

means of promoting the Olympic site as a potential holiday destination (Chalip et al.,

2003). It is hoped that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will boost China's tourism

industry considerably (Sidron, 2001). Marketers should try to alter negative perceptions

and reinforce positive ones when doing marketing campaign. For example, people have a

negative image of China in terms of accessibility. When doing Olympic marketing,

marketers will need to eliminate their concerns by advertising that some big airlines in

U.S., i.e. Northwestern, United, Delta etc. have direct flights to major cities in China. At









the same time, positive images, i.e. strong Olympic competence, friendly people, cultural

and natural attractions, should be reinforced.

Recommendations for Further Research

One of the goals of this study was to explore the multivariate relationship among

tourist characteristics, image, perceptions of risk and intention to travel. A tentative path

researcher did not establish a multivariate model that included all of the variables. It is

suggested that structural equation modeling should be used in further studies to better

understand the relationship among tourist characteristics, image, perception of risk and

intention to travel, and to make intention to travel more predictable. Also, tourist

characteristics, destination image and perceived risk are not the only factors that may

influence intention to travel. In order to better explain intention to travel, future studies

might consider more variables such as destination awareness and preference, constraints,

etc.

This study was conducted right before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games when the

Beijing Olympic Games had not yet been marketed extensively in the United States.

Many of the participants were still unaware that Beijing is the host city of the 2008

Olympic Games. This may have affected people's images of the 2008 Beijing Olympic

Games and their intentions to travel, which were examined in this study. It would be

interesting to find out if people's images change when they get more information about

the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In this case, a post-test is strongly recommended. The

comparison of a pre-test and post-test data may help the Beijing Olympic marketers to

evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Also, longitudinal studies are

recommended in the future to study people's attitude change and the effectiveness of









marketing campaigns on constructing destination image, perception of risk and intention

to travel.

This study was conducted on a student population and examined U.S. college

student's destination image, perception of risk, and intention to travel to China and the

2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It will benefit Beijing Olympic Games marketers to

research a boarder population with a more diverse demographic profile in the U.S. and in

other countries to further understand the influence of lifestage, social class, and

nationality on images, risk perceptions and intention to travel.

Limitations

There were several limitations associated with this study. There was some evidence

of participant fatigue when completing the questionnaire. This might have been a result

of the length of the questionnaire and the hot summer weather during the data collection

process. Some participants also had limited information about China, and many of them

were not aware that Beijing is going to be the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. It

was hard for some of the participants to depict images of China and even images of the

2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Therefore, this increased their difficulty in completing the

questionnaire. It is only after completing the questionnaire that most participants were

aware that Beijing is going to the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Another limitation of this study concerned the wording of the items that asked

participants to rate the level of risk associated with different countries. Some participants

got confused when they were asked to rate the risk level of Korea. In their mind, traveling

to North Korea and South Korea are not the same in terms of perception of risk. When

administering the questionnaire, the researcher only clarified this to the participants who

raised questions about it.









Delimitation

The primary delimitation of this study is that the findings might not be

generalizable to the general population of the university since only students registered in

the summer of 2004 had the chance to participate in the study. The sample size is limited,

and the generalizability of the findings is therefore limited to populations with similar

characteristics. Thus, caution should be taken in generalizing attitudes and opinions of the

respondents beyond the study population.

Another delimitation for this study is because the study was conducted in a large

southeastern public university, the sample mainly consists of students coming from the

south. A more diverse national sample would ensure that the findings could be

generalized to a wider population. Also, participants in this study are college students

aged between 18 and 30. Their responses could be influenced by their education level and

age.

Finally, the findings of this study might not be generalizable to non-U.S.

population, since the sample is comprised of individuals who were born and raised in the

U.S. Their cultural backgrounds as well as their social/cultural environment could impact

their attitudes and responses.

Conclusions

In summary, the results mostly support the theoretical model guiding this study.

This study suggests that destination image was closely related to intention to travel to

China but these same variables do not seem to influence intention to attend the 2008

Beijing Olympic Games to the same degree. It also suggests that perceived risk has a

minor influence on intention to travel to China. This study cannot demonstrate the

influence of gender on destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel. However,









previous international travel experience affects individual's images of China and their

related intentions to travel. Tourist role also had an impact on perceived risk and

intention to travel to China.

This study has both theoretical and practical value. Although destination image,

perceived risk and intention to travel are topics that have been widely addressed by many

researchers, this study provides a deeper understanding of the relationship between these

factors and the impact of touristic characteristics upon them. This study also heeds

Gibson's (2003) suggestion that future work in sport tourism needs to be theoretically

grounded.

The findings of this study also provide valuable information for marketers in the

China tourism industry and for the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic

Games. The World Tourist Organization estimated that by 2020, China will become the

world's leading tourism destination. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is considered to

be a great opportunity for the growth of China's tourism industry (Calio, 2001; Sidron,

2001). In particular, the United States is considered to be a major inbound market for

China with a large potential source of tourists. College students are regarded as one of

these potential tourist sources. This study provides a good overview of U.S. college

students' destination image, perceived risk and intention to travel to China and the 2008

Beijing Olympic Games. Also, it makes a connection between college student's tourist

characteristics and destination image, risk perceptions, and intention to travel. It is crucial

for destination marketers to understand potential tourist's perceptions in order to adjust

their marketing promotion and tourist service provision because effective

communications need to address tourist concerns, alter false negative perceptions, and






85


reinforce positive ones (S6nmez & Graefe, 1998a). It is hoped that the results of this

study will benefit the marketers in the tourism industry and for the Beijing Olympic

Games.
















APPENDIX
SURVEY INSTRUMENT

China Travel Survey


Introduction:
This questionnaire asks you for your thoughts about visiting China or attending the 2008 Olympic Games in
Beijing, China. This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation in this study is
completely voluntary and you have the right not to answer any specific questions. The information you
provide will be grouped with other participants' information to protect your identity. If you have any
questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Christine Xueqing Qi, at (352) 392-3655. Thank you for
taking the time to complete this questionnaire!

Part I: The following questions are related to your past travel experiences. Please circle the number
that corresponds to your response.


1. Have you ever traveled internationally?
Never I 1-2 times D
Where have you traveled?


2. How many times have you traveled to Asia?
Never D 1-2 times D
If Yes, what countries (Please specify)?


3. How many times have you traveled to China?
Never D 1-2 times D
If you have been to China, when?


3-4 times




3-4 times




3-4 times


5 or more times




5 or more times




5 or more times


Part II: These questions ask you about the images you have of China as a tourist destination. Please
use the following scale and circle the number that matches your response.

As a Tourist Destination, China has/is


a. Many tourist attractions
b. Convenient transportation
c. Historical sites and museums
d. Good value for the money
e. Good night life and entertainment
f. Many shopping facilities
g. A place for adventure


Strongly
Disagree
1
1
1
1
1
1
1


Disagree Somewhat
Agree
2 3


Agree Strongly
Agree
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5













h. Beautiful scenery/natural attractions
i. A family oriented destination
j. Many friendly people
k. Many cultural attractions
1. A good climate
j. An exotic atmosphere and culture
k. A clean country
1. A place for relaxing
m. Easy to communication with the
local people
n. Exotic cuisine
o. A good quality of service
p. A crowded country
q. Readily available travel information
r A place to increase my knowledge
s. Easy to find accommodations
t. Highly urbanized
u. A safe destination


Strongly
Disagree
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1


Disagree Somewhat
Agree
2 3
2 3
2 3
2 3
2 3
2 3
2 3
2 3


Agree Strongly
Agree
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5

4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5


Using the same scale, please rate China as a future site of the Olympic Games,
China has/is...


a. World-class sports facilities
b. A safe place to hold the Olympic
Games
c. A Good value for the money
d. Easy to find accommodations
e. Many friendly people
f. Easy to get to
g. Strong competence to host the
Olympic Games


Strongly
Disagree
1

1
1
1


Disagree Somewhat
Agree
2 3


Agree Strongly
Agree
4 5

4 5
4 5
4 5


Part III: Please circle the right answer that best describes your intention to travel.


4. Do you plan to travel to China in the next 5 years?
Very unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely


Very likely


5a. Have you ever attended the Summer or Winter Olympic Games?
Never I Once 0 Twice [ Other (Please specify)

5b. If you have attended the Games previously, which ones?


6. Where do you get most of your information about the Olympic Games?
Television D Internet D Newspapers D Magazines D Radio
Other (Please specify)







88


7. Do you plan to attend the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens? Yes E No E Not Sure E

8. Before answering this questionnaire, were you aware that the 2008 Olympic Games are going to be held in
Beijing, China? Yes D No D Not Sure D

9. How likely are you to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?
Very unlikely Unlikely Somewhat likely Likely Very likely


Part IV: Please circle the number that best describes the degree of risk you associate with traveling to
China. Please use the following scale:

Strongly Disagree Somewhat Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree Agree
a.. I prefer traveling to China if I know something
about it. 1 2 3 4 5
b. Proper sanitation and hygiene in China are
important. 1 2 3 4 5
c. Drinking the water would not be a good thing to
do when traveling in China 1 2 3 4 5
d. I would not travel to China if one of its
neighboring countries was at war. 1 2 3 4 5
e. I would worry about pick-pockets and petty
thieves. 1 2 3 4 5
f China's political orientation is a concern for me. 1 2 3 4 5
g. I would not like to "stand-out" when traveling
in China. 1 2 3 4 5
h. Political stability in China is an important
consideration. 1 2 3 4 5
i. Cultural differences could be a source of
misunderstandings and problems. 1 2 3 4 5
j. The threat of terrorism could influence my
decision to travel to China. 1 2 3 4 5
k. It is important to know about China's religious
orientation before taking a trip there. 1 2 3 4 5
1. The threat of violence worries me about visiting
China. 1 2 3 4 5
m. I prefer to eat food that is familiar to me when
traveling in China. 1 2 3 4 5
n. Standards of health care in China concern me. 1 2 3 4 5
o. Language barriers could be a source of
misunderstandings and problems. 1 2 3 4 5
p. HIV and other infectious diseases are a danger
in China. 1 2 3 4 5
q. There is a risk of friends/family/associates
disapproving of my choice to travel to China. 1 2 3 4 5
r. I might be disappointed if I took a trip to China. 1 2 3 4 5
s. I would have concerns about rustic/primitive
accommodations if I plan to travel to China 1 2 3 4 5







89


10. How would you rate the overall degree of risk associated with traveling to China?
Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe



11. How risky do you think the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games will be for spectators?
Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe


12. How risky do you think the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing will be for spectators?
Very risky Risky Neither risky or safe Safe Very safe


13. Please rate the destinations below according to the levels of risk or safety you believe they present to
travelers.

Neither
Very risky Risky Risky or safe safe Very safe
a. Greece 1 2 3 4 5
b. United Kingdom (Britain) 1 2 3 4 5
c. China 1 2 3 4 5
d. Australia 1 2 3 4 5
e. Canada 1 2 3 4 5
f. Spain 1 2 3 4 5
g. Korea 1 2 3 4 5
h. Germany 1 2 3 4 5
i. Japan 1 2 3 4 5
j. Russia 1 2 3 4 5
k. Mexico 1 2 3 4 5
1.Italy 1 2 3 4 5

Part V: Tourist Role
14. Of the following four descriptions, please check the one that best describes your travel
characteristics.

1) I enjoy packaged tours with pre-planned itineraries. I enjoy traveling with a knowledgeable guide
along with a group of friends, family or other Americans. Comfort is very important.

2)_ I travel independently of a tour but I appreciate the services of a travel agent who can plan parts of
my trip. I enjoy traveling with friends or family, and together we visit the famous sights. Comfort is
important.

3)_ I enjoy arranging the trip myself and traveling alone or with a few close friends. Meeting local
people is important and I prefer to get off the beaten path, however, comfort and reliable transportation are
important.