Destination Nizhny Novgorod, Russia through the Eyes of Domestic Tourists

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Destination Nizhny Novgorod, Russia through the Eyes of Domestic Tourists Performance Evaluation, Risk Perceptions and Behavioral Intentions
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1 online resource (141 p.)
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english
Creator:
Simanovskaya, Galina V
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University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
Committee Chair:
Stepchenkova, Svetlana O
Committee Members:
Pennington, Lori
Sutherland, John C

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Subjects / Keywords:
behavior -- destination -- performance -- risk -- russia
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Recreation, Parks, and Tourism thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

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Abstract:
Nizhny Novgorod is a big cultural and historic center ofRussia. It has places of national and world heritage importance, hundreds ofmuseums, galleries and exhibition centers. Despite the potential, the city isnot meeting the goals set by the Ministry of the Development of Small Business,Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region responsible fordeveloping tourism in the area. The purpose of the study was to find out who the domestictourists to Nizhny Novgorod are, how Nizhny Novgorod performs as a touristdestination, risks tourists associate with visiting the city, and whether theirperceptions of risks affect their evaluation of destination performance andintention to revisit and word-of-mouth activity. The study showed that attributes of the destination weregenerally evaluated positively, but attributes that involved service componentwere evaluated lower. First-timers tended to evaluate the destinationperformance on certain attributes higher than repeaters. The study showed that travelerswho visited friends and relatives tended to evaluate service related attributessuch as hotel standards and friendliness of personnel lower than business andleisure travelers. Overall, respondents had a positive risk perception of thedestination, while the risk of crime was evaluated higher than others.Contradictory to previous studies, repeat visitors tended to evaluate risksassociated with traveling to the destination higher than first-timers.Respondents were likely to engage in the positive WOM as well as revisit thedestination. Positive relationship was found between performance evaluation andpost-visitation behavior, while there was negative correlation between riskperception and post-visitation behavior.
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Galina V Simanovskaya.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local:
Adviser: Stepchenkova, Svetlana O.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-05-31

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lcc - LD1780 2013
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UFE0045517:00001


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1 DESTINATION NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA THROUGH THE EYES OF DOMESTIC TOURISTS: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, RISK PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS By GALINA SIMANOVSKAYA 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 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013

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2 2013 Galina Simanovskaya

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3 To my parents and my love

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am thankful to members of my supervisory committee Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova, Dr. Lori Pennington Gray and Dr. John Sutherland. I would like to thank them for their advice and guidance. Their expertise, constructive criticism and valuab le feedback helped me make my research better. I would like to thank them for devoting a lot of their time a nd effort to improve my study. I would also like to thank my friend Katerina Berezina for assisting me with data analysis and support throughout all the course of studies. A very special thank you to Patricia and Thomas Wall for their help in proofreading and their faith in my abilities. Above all, I thank my parents Marina Bogdan and Vadim Simanovskiy for their infinite support throughout the course of my studies. Their unconditional love enabled me to finish this study. Thanks also goes to my love, Evan Wall, for his patience, listening, and caring, which ensured me entire time and made me believe in my abilities.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 DEFINITION OF TERMS ................................ ................................ ................................ 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRO DUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 20 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ......................... 20 Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novgorod. .......................... 20 Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. ........................ 21 Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. ................................ ........... 21 Resea rch Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior. ................................ ............... 21 Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship between Post visitation Behavior and Per formance Evaluation, Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, and Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod? .......... 21 Significanc e of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 21 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 24 Destination performance ................................ ................................ ......................... 24 Destination Image ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 26 Risk perception ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 31 Post Visitation Behavior ................................ ................................ .......................... 34 Relationship between the Concepts ................................ ................................ ........ 37 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 44 Instrument Development ................................ ................................ ......................... 44 Population of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 51 Data Collection Procedure ................................ ................................ ...................... 53 Web Based Survey ................................ ................................ .......................... 53 Selecting Online Groups ................................ ................................ ................... 54 Data Collection and Data Preparation ................................ .............................. 54 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 55 Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist t o Nizhny Novgorod. .......................... 55

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6 Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. ........................ 56 Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. ................................ ........... 57 Research Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior. ................................ ............... 58 Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship between Post visitation Behavi or and Performance Evaluation, Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, and Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod? .......... 58 4 R ESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 60 ................................ ................................ ........ 60 Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novgorod. ................................ 60 Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. .............................. 62 Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. ................................ ................. 64 Research Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior ................................ ...................... 66 Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship between Post visitation Behavior and Performance Evaluation, Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, a nd Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod? ................................ ................. 67 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 84 Discussion of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 84 Practical Implications ................................ ................................ .............................. 91 Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ........ 95 APPENDIX A MAPS AND VIEWS OF NIZHNY NOVGOROD ................................ ...................... 98 B ENGLISH VERSION OF THE SURVEY ................................ ............................... 101 C RUSSIAN VERSION OF THE SURVEY ................................ ............................... 106 D DEMOGRAPHICS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS (VKONTAKTE, FACEBOOK) USERS ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 117 E MESSAGES FOR MODERATORS AND INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 118 F THANK YOU NOTE TO MODERATORS AND PARTICIPANTS .......................... 121 G IRB APP ROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 122 H GEOGRAPHCAL DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS ................................ ...... 124 I COPYRIGHT AGREEMENT ................................ ................................ ................. 125 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 129 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 141

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table p age 4 1 Respondents Profile ................................ ................................ ........................... 70 4 2 Characteristics of the Last Trip to Nizhny Novgorod ................................ ........... 71 4 3 Primary reason of visitors vs. number of visits ................................ .................... 72 4 4 City Performance Attrib utes ................................ ................................ ................ 73 4 5 Differences in evaluation of destination performance among first comers and repeat visitors ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 74 4 6 Differences between the primary reason of the last visit and performance evaluation ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 75 4 7 Risks associated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod ................................ .......... 76 4 8 Difference between first comers and repeat visitors in risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod ................................ ................................ ............................ 77 4 9 Low and High Risk Profile ................................ ................................ ................... 77 4 10 Differences between low risk profile and high risk profile tourists in their ................................ ................................ ... 78 4 11 Intention to revisit Nizhny Novgorod ................................ ................................ ... 79 4 12 Word of mouth activity ................................ ................................ ........................ 80 4 13 Overall/composite scores of constructs ................................ .............................. 81 4 14 Correlation between performance evaluation of the last trip to Nizhny Novgorod and post visitation behavior ................................ ............................... 82 4 15 Correlation between risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod and post visitation behavior ................................ ................................ ............................... 82 4 16 Relationship between performance evaluations, risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod, primary reason, number of previous visits and intention to revisit the destination ................................ ................................ .......................... 83 4 17 Relationship b etween performance evaluations, risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod, primary reason, number of previous visits and WOM ............ 83

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure p age 2 1 Model of International Tourism Decision Making Process ................................ .. 42 2 2 Model of the Relationship between Destination Image, Risk Perception, Destination Performance and Post visitation Behavior ................................ ....... 43

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9 DEFINITION OF TERMS D ESTINATION : large entities, i.e., countries, regions, or major cities, rather than individual attractions within these entities (Echtner, 1991) D ESTINATION I MAGE : This study accepts a definition of the destination image as a multi faceted, composite construct, which consists of interrelated cognitive and affective evaluations woven into an overall impression (Gartner, 1993; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a). D OMESTIC T OU RISTS : In the context of this study domestic tourists are those who permanently reside in Russia and travel away from home for a distance at least 50 miles (one way) for business, pleasure, personal affairs or any other purpose except to commute to work, whether s/he stays overnight or returns the same day (National Tourism Resources Review Commission, 1973) M INISTRY OF S UPPORT AND D EVELOPMENT OF S MALL B USINESS C ONSUMER M ARKET AND S ERVICES IN N IZHNY N OVGOROD REGION : This is a local institution responsib le for the development of tourism industry in Nizhny Novgorod. Within this Ministry, there is a special Coordination Council for the Tourism Development that is responsible for control over the regional tourism development in Nizhny Novgorod. Destination p erformance: In the context of this study, destination performance is understood as the feedback got from the visitors who have been to the destination that shows the strengths and weaknesses of this specific destination (Kozak, 2002; Ahmed, 1991). R ISK P ERCEPTION : In this study risk perception is understood as a phenomenon associated with the choice the consequences of which are uncertain, and some of these consequences are more desirable than others (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). P OST VISITATION BEHAVIOR : In this study post visitation behavior is understood in terms of how willing the person is to revisit the destination and how likely this person is to recommend it as a travel destination (Opperman, 2000, Chen & Tsai, 2007). Sati sfaction: This study accepts the definition of the satisfaction as satisfying end state resulting from the experience of consumption (Pizam & Ellis, 1999).

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10 T RAVEL R ISK : In this study travel risk is understood as perceptions and experiences of tourists during the process of purchasing and consuming travel services (Tsaur, Tzeng & Wang, 1997).

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11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of S cience DESTINATION NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA THROUGH THE EYES OF DOMESTIC TOURISTS: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, RISK PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS By Galina Simanovskaya May 2013 Chair: Svetlana Stepchenkova Major: Recreation, Parks and Tourism Nizhny Novgorod is a big cultural and historic center of Russia. It is a place of national and world heritage which is home to hundreds of museums, galleries and exhibition centers. Despite the opportunities to make the city a global tourism destination the city is not meeting the goals set by the Ministry of the Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region responsible for developing tourism in the area. The purpose of the study was to find out who the domestic tou rists to Nizhny Novgorod are, how Nizhny Novgorod performs as a tourist destination, risks tourists associate with visiting the city, and whether their perceptions of risks affect their evaluation of destination performance and intention to revisit and wor d of mouth activity. The study showed that attributes of the destination were generally evaluated positively, but attributes that involved service component were evaluated lower. First timers tended to evaluate the destination performance on certain attrib utes higher than repeaters. The study showed that travelers who visited friends and relatives tended to evaluate service related attributes such as hotel standards and friendliness of personnel

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12 lower than business and leisure travelers. Overall, respondent s had a positive risk perception of the destination, while the risk of crime was evaluated higher than others. Contradictory to previous studies, repeat visitors tended to evaluate risks associated with traveling to the destination higher than first timers Destination performance and risks perception were found to both intention to revisit and WOM, while number of previous visits was found significant only for intention to revisit.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Tourism is the fastest, largest growing industry in the world and is the driving force for regional development (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Floyd et al., 2004). The competition for international tourists among destinations is intense due to several factors. These factors i nclude globalization which boosts mobilitof capital and people, ; technological changes including communication technologies, and the greater desire for long distance travel to a wide range of tourist places (Bramwell & Rawding, 1996). In 2011, the top thre United States and China (UNWTO, 2012). In the same year, Russia was ranked thirteenth in the world based on the absolute contribution of travel and tourism industry to GDP (WTTC, 2012). Tourism development is considered a priority in Russia, both in terms of international and domestic arrivals (Kolobova, 2011). It is viewed as one of the most important economic sectors of Russian industry, giving a considerable boost to its economy as Rus sia is projected to be a prominent international tourist market, with more than 23.6 million in international arrivals reported in 2011 (WTTC, 2012). The importance of tourism development for Russia is underscored by the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and the World Soccer Cup that the country is hosting in 2014 and 2018, respectively. Being a vast country geographically, the Russian Federation has many tourist resources historic, cultural, natural, ethnographic, etc. at its disposal, but its potential as a premier tourism destination has not yet materialized (Horner & Swarbrooke, 2004; Burns, 1998). To realize that potential, attention should be given not only to traditional tourist centers such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, but to other

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14 regions as well. C ities have always been and continue to be popular tourist destinations, although different cities are visited for different reasons (Borg, 1994; Peters & destination image (Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008), and Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny) is considered one of th ese cities. Nizhny is among the five largest cities in Russia with a population of 1.3 million people, and it is often called the third capital of Russia, after Moscow an d St. Petersburg. The city was founded in 1221 on two great rivers, the Volga and the Oka, and is famous for its historic places, cultural significance, outstanding architecture, and picturesque views (Appendix A presents geographical position and several views of the city). In the 19th century the city had the nickname locatio n, is the primary factor that attracts tourists to Nizhny Novgorod (Kolobova, 2011; Avralev & Efimova, 2011). There are 874 objects of cultural and historic interest in the city of Nizhny Novgorod (Kuftiryov, 2011), with the Kremlin fortress epitomizing th historic, architectural, and cultural heritage. The international and domestic cruises along the Volga River make a stopover at Nizhny on the route from Moscow to Astrakhan (the city on the left bank of the Volga River close to where the river dis charges into the Caspian Sea) and back. The Nizhny Novgorod Region possesses 370 museums, several hundred galleries and exhibition centers as well as important national and world heritage sites such as Makariev Monastery and Serafimo Diveevsky Monastery (A vralev & Efimova, 2011). Thus, using classification suggested by Page

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15 (1995), Nizhny Novgorod can be categorized as a multifunctional city, having the features of a fortress city, industrial city, large historic center, and cultural city. Russia will host two mega events which are expected to bring an influx of both international and domestic tourists to various parts of the country: the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, in 2014; and the Soccer World Cup, in 2018, where Nizhny Novgorod will be one of a few host d estinations. Besides building new infrastructure, hosting mega events sharply increases destination visibility and awareness, enhances word of mouth post visitation beh avior (Ritchie & Smith, 1991; Gibson, Qi & Zhang, 2008; Kaplanidou, 2009; Gartner, 1989). Prior to the mega events of such scope and influence, studies of destination tourism from various perspectives isadvisable to the Ministry of the Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region, an institution responsible for development of tourism industry in the area. Tourism research can help coordinate the tourism develop ment strategies in the city and better prepare for future tourism event s P articular attention should be paid to what drives tourists to the city, perceptions of risks associated with travel to Nizhny N ovgorod performance and their post visitation be havior. destination perceptions and behavior is instrumental to not only improving destination performance in aspects important to visitors but also to more effective marketing communications, that contribute to positive d estination image formation that in its turn can boost tourists flow to a destination.

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16 The concept of destination image, including its analysis and evaluation, attracted much attention in academic literature, and has made a significant contribution to the understanding of tourists' behavior (e.g. Crompton, 1979; Hunt, 1975; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Gallarza, Saura & Garcia, 2002; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a, 1999b; Echtner & Ritchie, 1991; Hunt, 1975; Baloglu & Brinberg, 1997). The role of destination image in defining tourism behavior is especially important because most tourism products are intangible and compete primarily via images (Pike & Ryan, 2004). Previously, if a destination had a positive image and at least a minimal amount of destination recogniti on, it would be more likely considered in the process of decision making (e.g. Gartner, 1993; Choi, Tkachenko & Sil, 2011; Echtner & Ritchie, 1991). Now, tourists are offered various destinations with similar features including quality of accommodations, b eautiful scenic views, and friendly people. Thus, having just a positive image is not enough for a destination to be included in the destination consideration set, which is understood as a number of destinations that a consumer considers as a prospective p lace to visit (Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). Destination as a product cannot be measured as a single entity; it can rather be evaluated as the attributes of alternatives which can be compared and, as a result, form a basis of destination choice (Gensch, 197 8). The cognitive, attribute based component of destination image, unlike the other two components, affective, and behavioral, is often claimed to be related to destination performance as cognitive image is basically comprised of how well destination perfo rms on certain attributes according to visitors perceptions (Kozak, 2002; Um et al., 2006) .The cognitive component is measured most often in the studies on destination image (Pike, 2000: Gallarza et al 2002)

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17 Making a final decision about the destinatio n, travelers also consider the risks associated with the trip (e. g. Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Sonmez, Apostolopoulos & Tarlow, 1999; Floyd & Pennington Gray, 2004). Possible risks associated with going to the destination can sometimes even outweigh the cond itions in the particular destination and prevent people from going to a risky region (Floyd, Gibson, Pennington Gray & Thapa, 2004; Sonmez, 1998). As a result higher risks result in a decrease in visitations to the destination (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a). Du e to the fact that there is a wide choice of destinations to consider, the visitation behavior including word of mouth and intention to revisit. Not only is it considered eas ier to retain the previous consumers, these consumers are also the ones who communicate the image of the destination and advocate it to their friends and relatives through the positive word of mouth, including through social networks (e.g. Simpson & Singua w, 2008; Qu et al., 2011; Opperman, 2000; Kozak, 2001). Social networks can facilitate awareness and improve the destination image of the city as they play an important role in travel and tourism information search as well as in increasing the probability of visitation (Xiang & Gretzel, 2010; Litvin, Goldsmith & Pan, 2008). Other factors such as number of previous visits to destination (e.g., first timers versus repeat visitors), primary reason for coming (leisure, business, or visiting friends and relativ es) or general travel risk perception (the so can visitation behavior (e.g. ; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998 ). Depend ing on these factors travelers can evaluate performance and decide on their

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18 further behavior towards the destination (Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003; Um, Chon, Ro, 2006). In order to attract more tourists to the destination, the city and regional tourism authorities need to elaborate their strategy to better position the city in the tourism market and to create a positive destination image. Destination positioning is based on perceptions, feelings and impressions that consumers have about a particular destination in respect to other destinations (Ahmed, 1991). To do that, the authorities need to know what kind of visitors the city attracts, what drives visitors to the city, how visitors perceive Nizhny Novgorod, what the strong features of the city as a tourist center are, and what needs to be improved. After identifying strengths and weaknesses in destination performance, it is important to pay attention to the concepts of destination image, risk perceptions and post visitation behavior in reference to Nizhny Novgorod. It will allow the local authorities to project image of the destination to potential tourists so that it becomes desirable to them (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). Statement of the Problem Being a multifunctional city, Nizhny Novgor od has resources to meet diverse tourist needs (Ashworth & Page, 2011); however, currently the city is not realizing the number of tourists it can handle as a tourist destination (Kuftiryov, 2011). Within the government of Nizhny Novgorod region, the Minis try of Support and Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services is charged with development of the tourism industry in the area (http://en.tourismnn.ru/). In 2010, approximately 580,200 tourists visited Nizhny Novgorod (Avralev & Efimova, 20 11). Among these tourists, only 81,400 were foreign tourists, while the rest, almost 500,000 visitors, were domestic tourists (Avralev & Efimova, 2011). The discrepancy between the numbers of domestic

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19 and foreign tourists to Nizhny Novgorod highlights the importance of domestic tourism for the city. But it has been estimated that domestic travel to Nizhny Novgorod makes only 2% of all domestic Russian travel, while foreign travel to Nizhny Novgorod is only a small fraction of international arrivals to Russi a constituting only 1% (Kolobova, 2011). Moreover, the number of tourists coming to Nizhny Novgorod in 2010 was 30 35% Nizhny Novgorod in 2009 pment program of Nizhny Novgorod (Kolobova, 2011). It can be also illustrated by the occupancy rates that decreased from 52% in 2006 to only 30% in 2010 (ProHotel, 2011; Frontdesk.ru, 2007). One of the reasons that Nizhny Novgorod has an underdeveloped tou rism industry is and residency rules and restrictions. As a result, it was almost impossible to visit the city, particularly, for foreign tourists. After the city was 1990s only outbound tourism developed, while there was no progress in inbound and domestic tourism. To realize its touris m potential, the Ministry of Support and Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services is currently focusing on the development of tourist areas or clusters of the city such as the Kremlin, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya street, Verhne Volzhskaya and Nizhne Volzhskaya embankments as well as adjacent territories. Due to the fact that the number of dome stic tourists coming to Nizhny Novgorod is considerably higher than the number of foreign visitors, domestic tourists play an important role in communicating the image of the destination to potential travelers and advocating travel to Nizhny Novgorod to th eir friends, family, and larger

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20 audiences in their social networks. The Ministry needs to take the local tourists and their assessment of Nizhny Novgorod as a tourist destination into consideration for tourism planning as well as for marketing the destinat ion. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to determine who the domestic tourist to Nizhny Novgorod is and what their primary reasons for visiting the city are. It also sought to find out what activities tourists prefer to participate in while in Nizhny Novgorod. T he study investigate d how Nizhny Novgorod performs as a tourist destination, as evaluated by domestic tourists themselves, what city attributes visitors consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the destination, and how satisfied they are with their travel experiences in Nizhny Novgorod. The study explore d what risks tourists associate with visiting the city and whether their perceptions of risks affect their evaluation of destination performance, as well as intention to revisit an d recommend the city. T he study investigate d visitation behavior, specifically their intention to return to Nizhny Novgorod and willingness to recommend the city. Finally, the study explore d if such constructs as destination performance, ris k perceptions, primary reason and number of previous visits to the destination influence post visitation behavior. Research Questions In this study the following research questions are addressed: Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novgorod. What are the primary reasons for visiting Nizhny Novgorod? Are domestic tourists to Nizhny Novgorod primarily first timers or repeat visitors? In what type of activities are they engaged while visiting Nizhny Novgorod? What parts of the country are they coming from?

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21 Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. How do tourists evaluate destination performance? Is there a difference between the first times and repeat visitors? Is there a difference between leisure, business, and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) tourists in destination performance evaluation? Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. How do tourists perceive risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod? Is there a difference in perceptions of risks associated with travel to N izhny N ovgorod between first timers and repeat visitors? Leisure, b usiness, and VFR tourists? Is there a difference in destination performance evaluation depending on general travel risk profile of visitors to Nizhny Novgorod? Re search Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior. How likely are tourists to revisit the city? What kind of word of mouth activity are they engaged in after travel to Nizhny Novgorod? Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship b etween Post visitation Behav ior and Performance Evaluation Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, and Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod? Which variable, performance evaluation, risk perception, number of previous visits, or primary reason for v isiting Nizhny Novgorod is the greatest predictor of post visitation b ehavior? Significance of the Study This study has practical importance as there is a lack of Russian tourism research, especially research focusing on Nizhny Novgorod that can be used for destination marketing. This study can be applied to positioning the city as a tourist destination as the study investigates such concepts as tourist profile, destination performance, risk perception and post visitat ion behavior. By analyzing these concepts in the context of Nizhny Novgorod, this study helps the city and regional tourism

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22 authorities attract more tourists; better understand who visits the city; weigh the ffer, as perceived by tourists themselves; mitigate visitors' risks they associate with travel to Nizhny Novgorod; and create a positive image of the city that visitors communicate as word of mouth to their social circles, both online and offline, upon ret urning home. Besides the practical aspect of the proposed research, its timeliness, and the lack of academic tourism studies in the Nizhny Novgorod as well as a general Russian context (e.g., Lukashina, Amirkhanov, Anisimov & Trunev, 1996; Braden & Prudnikova, 2008), there is a wider academic perspective where the proposed research can have significance. Although the risks foreign tourists associate with traveling to a destination have been researched, the issue of the risk perception in domestic to urism has not received the same amount of attention that international travel has. As a result this study contribute s to understanding the issue of risk associated with domestic trips and find out how risk perception in context of domestic tourism influenc es post visitation behavior. Additionally, there have been only a few studies to date that focus on the cities as a specific type of a tourist destination as opposed to country, state, and resort (Pike, 2002; Peters & Pikkemaat, 2003; Ashworth & Page, 201 1), as well as such a large cultural and historic center like Nizhny Novgorod (Kuftiryov, 2011; Kolobova, 2011). And although there are studies on the repeat visitation intention, only a few scholars address the issue of what factors influence the positive post visitation behavior, including positive word of mouth and repeat visitations, and what specific travel related risks

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23 2005; Chi & Qu, 2008; Dolnicar, 2005).

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24 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW To better understand the place of this research in a larger context of academic tourism literature, five streams of literature were surveyed: sources dealing with destination performance; general concept of destination image and destin ation image formation process, perception of risks associated with the trip to a destination, The last section of the literature review discusses the relationship s between the concepts of destination performance, risk perception and post visitation behavio r. Destination performance The importance of the concept of destination performance has been recognized in academic literature (Kozak, 2002; Um, Chon & Ro, 2006; Ahmed, 1991; Cracolici, 2004; Servert, Wang, Chen & Brtier, 2007; Mano & Oliver, 1993; Oliver & DeSarbo, 1988). It is important to evaluate the destination performance as the feedback from visitors shows strengths and weaknesses of the destination and can be used to compare destinations to one another (Kozak, 2002; Ahmed, 1991). It can bring atten tion to those attributes that the destination performs poorly against so that these areas can be brought up to standard (Kozak, 2002). It is also important to take destination performance into consideration due to the fact that destination performance infl uences post comers (Um et al., 2006). The importance of destination performance was underscored by the fact that it contributed to satisfaction with the destination. The level of product and/ or service performance can cause satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience at the destination (Kozak, 2002; Um et al., 2006; Tse & Wilton, 1988; Chon & Olsen, 1991; Servert et al., 2007; Churchill & Surprenant, 1982). Based on the fact that desti nation

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25 performance influences the level of satisfaction with the trip this concept is always a part of the satisfaction evaluation (Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Gronroos, 1990). Two major schools in measuring customer satisfaction relevant to the tourism indu stry are identified in the literature (Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). One school measures the satisfaction based on not only on the destination performance; instead of that it compares between initial expectations before the trip and the actual performance of the product/destination (Parasurman, Zeithmal & Berry, 1985; Piza & Milman, 1993; Chon & Uysal, 2005; Churchill & Surprenant, 1982). The other school, known as Nordic school, focuses on the destination performance stating the satisfaction is the result of only actual performance of the destination and disregards the previous expectations a person had before traveling (Gronroos, 1990; Pizam, Neumann & Reichel, 1993). The Nordic model shows that the destination performance evaluations and the initial expectat ions the person has about the destination prior to the visit should be considered independently (Yoon & Uysal, 2005; Tse & Wilton, 1988). The model that disregards know going to do and what activities to take part in in the course of their trip (Yoon & Uysal, 2005). Product performance can be characterized as post consumption evaluative judgme nts (Mano & Oliver, 1993). Consequently, it is often measured as the sum of Danaher & Arweiler, 1996; Qu & Li, 1997; Churchill & Surprenant, 1982). So, visitors evaluate the destination performance judging by several components such as

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26 accommodation, weather, social environment etc. And the destination performance on all these components contributes to the experience with the destination and influences with the trip (Chi & Qu, 2008). And this kind of satisfaction, also known as attribute satisfaction, often cannot be delineated from the level of destination performance (Um et al., 2006; Chi & Qu, 2008;Danaher & Arweiler, 1996). Destination Image A numb er of studies showed that research on the tourism destination image is complicated owing to the multi disciplinary character, complexity and multi dimensionality of the destination image phenomenon, as well as subjectivity in providing tourism service and intangibility of image assessment (Smith, 1994; Gallarza, Saura & Garcia, 2002; Gartner, 1989; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). It is said that the concept of destination image is loosely defined and still there is no universal definition of this phenomeno n (Beerli & Martin, 2004; Pike & Ryan, 2004). Generally, it is understood as a multi faceted, composite construct, which consists of interrelated cognitive and affective evaluations woven into an overall impression (Gartner, 1993; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a ). The importance of the destination image phenomenon has been recognized in influence their behavior in selecting a destination (Crompton, 1979; Hunt, 1975; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Gallarza, Saura & Garcia, 2002; Beerli & Martin, 2004; Echtner & Richie, 1991; Bramwell & Rawding, 1996, Baloglu, 1997; Chi & Qu, 2008; Choi et al., 2011). Destination image can even influence tourist growth as much as, or even more than, t angible resources the destination possesses (Hunt, 1975). Destination choice has two phases: the first phase addresses the general problem of whether to travel or not,

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27 while the second phase focuses on the selection of a specific destination (Um & Crompton 1990). The final choice of the destination is based on the so be the most rewarding for the traveler. This benefit package is derived from the expecta tions, which result from image formation (Gartner, 1989). For example, when it comes to a city as a specific destination, all cities have different preconditions, and tourists visit them for several purposes depending on what the city is associated with, a nd which benefits it has (Ashworth & Page, 2011; Peter & Pikkemaat, 2003). Here a destination image acts as an underlying concept that if formed correctly will encourage Lysonski, 1989; Gartner, 1989; Fakeye & Cromton, 1991; Murphy, Pritchard & Smith, 2000). The importance of the destination image in the decision making process can be explained by the fact that when tourists have limited personal experience, they act upon the image rather than objective reality (Crompton, 1979; Fakeye & Cromton, 1991). If the destination has a more positive image among travelers, it is more likely to be included in the decision making process (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Chi & Qu, 2008; Galla rza, Saura & Garcia, 2002). Overall image is formed as a consequence of interrelated components (Baloglu & Brinberg, 1997; Beerli & Martin, 2004; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a, 1999b; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Andreu, Bigne & Cooper, 2000; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 20 06). As far as components of a destination image are concerned, most of the academic research states that it consists of cognitive and affective evaluations (Garner, 1993; Baloglu & Brinberg, 1997; Baloglu & Mc Cleary, 1999a, 1999b; Phillips & Jang, 2010; Qu et al.,

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28 2011; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). Cognitive evaluations are conceptualized as beliefs, which Affective evaluations refer to the feelings a person has towards a particular destination, which can be favorable, unfavorable, or neutral (Baloglu & Brinberg, 1 997; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999b; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). There was always an emphasis on the cognitive component in the literature (Pike, 2002; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). P only 6 out of 142 articles showed interest in affective component. But now there is a general agreement in the literature that the cognitive component is an antecedent of t he affective component (Beerli & Martin, 2004; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Gartner, 1993). Scholars also recognize a third component of the destination image conative or behavioral (Gartner, 1993; Pike & Ryan, 2004; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2006, 2008). Conative e valuations are associated with the behavior understood as evaluations of the 3 34). In other words, this component shows how tourists will act towards the destination based on the cognitive and affective evaluations they have about it (Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010). And although all of these components c ontribute to the overall destination image, cognitive or attribute based component was

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29 found to determine the affective and overall images (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Ahmed, 1991; Chi & Qu, 2008). lopment of mental 1965, p.69). Information that is important in the process of destination image formation comes from a wide range of sources (Echtner & Ritchie, 1991; Gart ner, 1993; Tasci & Gartner, 2007). Based on how the destination image is formed, scholars delineate primary and secondary images (Beerli & Martin, 2004; Phelps, 1986). The primary image is formed by the actual visit to a destination (Beerli & Martin, 2004; Phelps, 1986). The visitation modifies any previous image the tourist had before going to the destination. It reduces stereotyping and results in a new image that tends to be more complex and realistic (Echtner & Ritchie, 2003; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; P helps, 1986). In other words, the primary image is based on the first hand experience that travelers gain when they go to a place and experience it themselves (Echtner & Ritchie, 1993). For example, in regards to the city as a destination, Haywood (1990) i dentifies several consequences of the visitation such as: a confirmation or disconfirmation of the prior expectations and norms based on the quality of the current city visit experience; an emotional response that can be positive, negative or neutral depen ding on the extent of confirmation or disconfirmation; and outcomes that can lead to future vi sits, positive or negative word of mouth. In contrast to the primary image, the secondary image is formed by information sources other than first hand experience and it is formed prior to the visit (Phelps, 1986; Beerli & Martin, 2004; Govers et al., 2007). Promotion, the opinion of others, media reporting and popular culture are among such information

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30 sources (Govers et al., 2007). These information sources are a lso known as stimulus factors (Gartner, 1993; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a). Based on the concept of primary and secondary images, scholars acknowledge that images differ between visitors and non visitors, and this should be taken into account (Beerli & Marti n, 2004; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a). The destination image is a relativistic and dynamic phenomenon influenced by various factors such as personal characteristics of the traveler, time of the trip and geographic location (Gallarza et al., 2002; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010; Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Andreu et al., 2000). All the factors that influence the destination formation process are divided into two large groups (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Peters & Pikkemaat, 2003). Personal f actors, personal characteristics, or internal factors constitute the first group (Um & Crompton, 1990). This group can be, in its turn, divided into two subgroups: psychological factors such as values, motivation, and personality; and social factors includ ing age, education, marital status, cultural background (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Govers et al., 2007). The second group consists of stimulus factors such as information sources, previous experience and distribution (Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a). Scholars also emphasize familiarity with the destination as an important factor influencing its image and the desire of tourists to revisit it (Milman & Pizam, 1995; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008; Baloglu, 2001). Familiarity has two dimensions: experience with the destination and knowledge about it (Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). To form an image of the destination, potential tourists should have at least a minimum level of recognition (Woodside & Lyskonski, 1989). Those who are familiar

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31 with the destination are, generally, more favorable and more likely to travel there (Baloglu, 2001; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Milman & Pizam, 1995; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010). Several studies also acknowledge the role of the geographical factor in the destination image formation process, claiming that the closer the potential visitors to a destination are, the more detailed picture and positive image of the destination they have (Crompton, 1979; Gartner, 1993; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010; Cook & McCleary, 1983). Risk perception Risks associated with the destinations influence the lasting destination image formation (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b). These risks can even outweigh the tangible features that the destination possesses, and alter the decision making process (Sonmez & Graefe, 1999a, 1998b; Floyd et al., 2004). Taking risks into account is especially important due to the fact that in tourism, the product is mostly intangible and consumed at the time of production; the consequence of this process is that the perceived risk is most likel y to be very high (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). And the higher the risks are, the more tourists tend to avoid the destination, resulting in a decrease in visitations (Floyd & Pennington Gray, 2004; Sonmez et al., 1999; Fuchs & Reichel, 2006; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b). High Perceived risks can influence tourists to pursue other travel plans, change their destination choice, modify their travel behavior, or search for additional information if they decide to continue with their travel plans (Reisinger & Mavondo, 2005; Chandler, 1991). The need for safety, security, and stress free trips is one of the key determinants of future travel intentions (Reisinger & Mavondo, 2005; Braker, Page & Meyer, 2003).

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32 As a result, one of the factors that influence the process of de cision making in risk perception is often associated with the choice, the consequences of which are uncertain, and some of these consequences are more desirable than others (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992; Fuchs & Reichel, 2006; Levantis & Gani, 2000; Maser & Weiermair, 1998). Risk in tourism is defined as perceptions and experiences of tourists during the process of purchasing and consuming travel services percept ion of the overall negativity of a course of action based upon an assessment of (Mowen & Minor, 1998, p. 176). A situation in which the outcome is a sure loss cannot be consi dered to be a risk, because there is no variance in possible outcomes (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). The degree of risk associated with traveling depends on several factors such as means of transportation used, the facilities and activities offered at the de stination, and the customs and environment in the area (Tsaur et al., 1997). Perception of the risk can vary according to the tourists' characteristics (Reisinger & Mavondo, 2005; Roehl & Fesemaier, 1992; Floyd et al., 2004; Simpson & Siguaw, 2008a; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Barker et al., 2003). Based on how individuals perceive risks, three types of tourists have been distinguished by previous studies: (1) the risk neutral group doesn't perceive a trip to a destination as risky; (2) the functional risk grou p considers the possibility of mechanical, equipment, and organizational risks; and (3) the place risk group generally, thinks of traveling as being risky (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992). Another factor contributing to the differences in the level of risk perc eption among travelers is

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33 previous experience with the destination, which positively influences risk perception as tourists tend to feel safer about traveling to a destination they have previously visited (Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). Percep tion of risk also depends on the type of risk perceived (Reisinger & Mavondo, 2005). There are several types of risks that exist and the importance of each type of risk depends on the situation (Maser & Weiermair, 1998; Roehl & Fesemaier, 1992). Initially, scholars borrowed the categorization of risks from other areas of non travel related research; but examining risk perception outside the tourism domain was considered to be too broad (Simpson & Siguaw, 2008a; Dolnicar, 2005). So, the risk types related to the tourism industry were identified as (1) time not performing on time or wasting time; (2) financial the risk of losing money invested in a product or service if the product or service fails to meet expectations; (3) physical the risk of physica l harm, such as injury or illness, to tourists as a result of the functioning of the product; (4) psychological the fear that the purchased product will not be compatible with the self image of the traveler or reflect negatively on person; (5) satisfact ion not living up the risk that the status, and/or lowering status; (7) functional or performanc e not performing or delivering the benefits to the tourists, and not meeting their needs (Fuchs & Reichel, 2006; Roehl & Fesemaier, 1992; Floyd et al., 2004). Three other types, health, political instability and terrorism, of risks were added later, of which terrorism and political instability were found to be of particular concern (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a; 1998b; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). The importance of specific types of risks depends on individual

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34 differences among travelers; for example, one tourist may focus on physical risk, while another will think financial risk is more important (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b). Post Visitation B ehavior The importance of research on the post visitation behavior has been recognized in tourism literature (Opperman, 2000; Jang & Feng, 2007; Tiefenbacher, Day & Walton, 2000; Gitelson & Grompton, 1984; Kozak, 2001; Hui, Wan & Ho, 2007; Baker & Crompton, 2000; Ross, 1993). Some destinations or attractions, primarily beaches or resorts, rely heavily, and sometimes even totally, on repeat visitations (Gitelson & Grompton, 1984; Opperman, 2000; Um et al., 2006). The degree of this positive post visit behavior is reflected in how willing the person is to revisit the destination as well as how likely they are to recommend it as a travel destination. The revisit int ention as well as positive word of mouth are considered to be the most important behavioral consequences in destination image and destination experience (Opperman, 2000, Chen & Tsai, 2007; Qu et satisfaction, destination performance and previous experience with the destination were found to be the factors influencing post visitation behavior including the intention to revisit and des ire to recommend (Haywood, 1990; Chi & Qu, 2008; Kozak & Rimmington, 1999; Chi & Qu, 2008; Tasci & Gartner, 2007; Lee et al., 2005; Um et al., 2006). Additionally, the destination image is also contributing to the post visitation behavior indirectly; the m ore positive destination image is, the more likely the satisfaction with the destination will improve (Chi & Qu, 2008; Tasci & Gartner, 2007; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010). As a result the more positive image will lead to increased repeat visit ations as well as positive word of mouth (Chi & Qu, 2008, Chen & Tsai,

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35 2007). And vice versa, repeat visitors tend to have more positive image of the destination (Algre & Cladera, 2009). The intention to revisit has been studied in the tourism literature and it is con sidered to be the sign of the destination loyalty (Qu et al., 2011; Chi & Qu, 2008; Assaker et al., 2011). There is a relationship between the destination image and the repeat visitation (Bigne et al., 2001; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Tiefenbacher et al., 20 00). The overall image was found to be one of the most important antecedents of revisit intention (Bigne et al., 2001). And while the initial visit changes the destination image a tourist used to have prior to it, repeat visitations tend to reconfirm the i mage formed by the first visit to the destination (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Tiefenbacher et al., 2000). Five main reasons why people revisit the destination were identified: (1) risk reduction associated with the content with the particular destination, in cluding the unawareness of the alternatives or the fear that these alternatives are not as desirable as known destination; (2) risk reduction associated with finding the same kind of people; (3) emotional attachment to a destination; (4) further exploratio n of the destination; (5) showing the destination to other people and sharing the experience (Gitelson & segmentation was proposed: (1) continuous repeaters those wh o visit the destination with consistently high revisit intentions over time; (2) deferred repeaters those tourists who have low level of revisit intentions in the short term, but high revisit intentions in the mid term and long term; and (3) continuous s witchers travelers with consistently low revisit intentions over time (Feng & Jang, 2004). The timeframes can be considered as following: short term less than one year, mid term 1 3years, long term 3 5 years

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36 (Feng & Jang, 2004). Satisfaction with destination were found to be an important antecedent of repeat visitations (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Kozak, 2001; Bigne et al., 2001; Hui et al., 2007; Pritchard & Havitz, 2006; Murphy et al., 2000). The st udies suggest that the reasons of revisiting the destination may differ between first comers and repeat visitors that have already been to the destination multiple times (Um et al., 2006; Kozak, 2001). The revisit intentions of the first comers tend to be based mostly on their experience with the destination and their satisfaction with the trip, while repeat visitors tend to revisit the destination largely influenced by promotional efforts that recall their positive memories associated with the destination (Um et al., 2006). And repeat visitors have higher probability to come back to the destination again in contrast to those who visited the destination once (Alegre & Cladera, 2009). Word of to person communication between a perceived noncommercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a Wa lker, 2001, p. 63). Word of mouth is on as well as one of the most reliable sources of information that people base on in the destination selection process (Chi & Qu, 2008; Choi et al., 2011; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Simpson & Singuaw, 2008; Qu et al., 2011; Opperman, 2000; Litvin, Goldsmith & Pan, 2008). It is very impor tant to avoid the negative word of mouth as it has a devastating impact on the destination as the visitors spread unflattering comments about the destination (Morgan, Pritchard & Piggott, 2003; Litvin et al., 2008). Those who have vi sited the destination several times and have been to the destination recently tend to

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37 provide more positive word of mouth, simply because they can easily recall as it was there recent vacation destination and not the destination they visited many years ago import ant predictors of positive word of mouth (Simpson & Singuaw, 2008; Kozak & Rimmington, 1999). Travelers who are satisfied with their experience with the destinatio n are likely to speak positively of it and in such a way to advertise the destination (Kozak, 2001; Tiefenbacher et al., 2000; Hui et a l., 2007). Word of mouth can be considered as the least expensive advertisement tools as well as one of the most powerful Simpson & Singuaw, 2008). It has particular influence on friends and family of those who visited the destination (Tiefenbacher et al., 2000). Relationship between the Concepts Previou s research found that before going on a trip, tourists are likely to develop an image and a set of expectations about the intended destination (e.g. Baloglu & McCleary, 1999a; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Sirgy & Su, 2000; Woodside & Lysonski, 1989). These exp ectations form the destination image, which in its turn influences 2005). The destination image influences the choice of a destination, evaluation of the trip as well as t he future travel intention (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Lee et al., 2005; Saura & Garcia, 2002). Making a final decision about the destination, travelers also consider the risks associated with the trip (e. g. Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Sonmez, Apostolopoulos & Tarlow, 1999; Floyd & Pennington Gray, 2004). Risk perception can influence the

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38 (Sonmez et al., 1999). Safety is one of the primary concerns of tourists in the pr ocess of choosing the destination (Levantis & Gani, 2000; Reisenger & Mavondo, 2005). The model provided by Sonmez and Graefe (1998b) shows how risk perception (awareness of possible risks at the destination) can influence decision making process (Figure 2 1). This model (Figure 1) shows that in the process of the destination choice, destinations are grouped in different sets. Grouping the destinations into these sets involves assessing the risks associated with traveling to a particular destination. It is reflected in the model (Figur e 1) by Sonmez and Graefe (1998a ) which shows that when a person is considering the travel option s/he first forms an awareness set all the destinations he learnt about (both intentionally and unintentionally). During the ne xt stage alternative destinations are divided into three other sets: (1) evoked set (destinations about which information search will be conducted); (2) inert set (destinations about which a person has insufficient or no information); (3) inept set (destin ations in this set are rejected because of the negative perceptions or perception of risks) (for the Copyright Agreement please see Appendix I ) Then the remaining alternatives are evaluated on the basis of safety and risks associated with the des tination (Sonmez & Graefe, 1998a ). So, Risk perception influences the decision making process and impacts travel behavior as based on how risky the destination is tourists decide whether they will visit it or not (Floyd, Gibson, Pennington Gray & Thapa, 2004; Sonm ez, 1998; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Fuchs & Reichel, 2006). The more risky the destination is the more likely tourists will avoid it (Fuchs & Reichel, 2006).

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39 Due to the fact that there is a wide choice of destinations to consider, the destination management visitation behavior. The visit to the destination changes the image a person had prior to it (e.g. Pearce, 1982; Chon, 1991; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). And the more positive the image formed by visi ting the destination is, the more likely person is to return to this particular destination (e.g.Chi & Qu, 2008; Tasci & Gartner, 2007; Stepchenkova & Mills, 2010). Not only is it considered easier to retain the previous consumers, these consumers are also the ones who communicate the image of the destination and advocate it to their friends and rela tives through the positive word of mouth (e.g. Simpson & Singuaw, 2008; Qu et al., 2011; Opperman, 2000; Kozak, 2001). Moreover, positive word of mouth also red uces the destination perceived risks associated with traveling to the destination (Qu et al., 2011). The experience with the destination or the destination performance is also among the pivotal factors that should be considered in the process of destinatio n positioning (e.g. Kozak, 2002; Mano & Oliver, 1993; Oliver & DeSarbo, 1988). The familiarity with the destination, in particular its experience dimension, has a positive influence on the destination formation (Milman & Pizam, 1995 Baloglu & McCleary, 199 9a; Kozak, 2002; Mano & Oliver, 1993). People who have already visited the destination before tend to have a more detailed and positive image of the destination (e.g. Baloglu, 2001; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Milman & Pizam, 1995). It also reduces the perceived ris k of the destination, as people tend to feel safer traveling to the destination they have already been to (Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003). The fact is the better the destination performs on certain attributes, the higher the level of satisfaction

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40 with the destination tourists have, and the more likely they are to revisit and to recommend it (e.g. Chi & Qu, 2008; Danaher & Arweiler, 1996; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). This relationship is reflected in the experience based norms model of the consumer s atisfaction/dissatisfaction by Woodruff, Cadotte and Jenkins (1983) which was adapted to the urban tourism by Haywood and Muller (1988). In respect to urban destination this model shows that initially there is interrelation between norms about expectations regarding the city visit and experience that tourists have prior to experience. Expectations that a person has prior to a visit in its turn influence perception actua l visitation occurs it results in confirmation or disconfirmation of expectations which can lead to negative, neutral or positive feelings about the destination. The outcomes of this visit contribute to prior experience which forms the attitudes towards th e destination. Consequently, the primary goal of destination positioning is forming a positive destination image that will distinguish a particular destination from others including reduction of the risks associated with the trip (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Cai, 2002; Echtner & Ritchie, 1993). But although destination image is believed to play an important role in destination positioning, a frame of reference with the competition since positioning is a products perceived performance on certain attributes in relation to competitors (Pike & Ryan, 2004; Ahmed, 1991). Other factors such as the experience side of the familiarity with the destination and the primary reason of the trip should be considered. As far as repeaters and first comers are concerned, repea ters are believed to have lower perception of risks associated with traveling to destination, they are believed to engage more in the positive

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41 word of mouth as well as give higher evaluation of the destination ( Baloglu, 2001; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Milman & Piz am, 1995 ; Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003 ; Um et al., 2006; Opperman, 2000 ). While previous studies showed that destination performance has more influence on first timers than repeaters in terms of desire to revisit the destination ( Um et al., 2006; Opperman, 2000) The purpose of the trip can also impact the destination choice, evaluation of destination attributes, activity involvement and post visitation behavior (Wheeler, 1972; Um, Chon, Ro, 2006 ). Based on the literature review the relatio nship s between the concepts of destination image, risk perception s associated with travel to destination, destination performance evaluation and post visitation behavior can be reflected in the model represented by Figure 3. Constructs that are operationa lized and measured in this study are shaded, and the relationships tested in the Russian domestic tourist context are represented by arrows.

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42 Figure 2 1. Model of International Tourism Decision Making Process [Reprinted with permission from So nmez, S. & Graefe, A.R. 1998. Influence of terrorism risk on foreign tourism decisions (Page124, Figure 1). Annals of Tourism Research, 25, 112 144.]

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43 Figure 2 2 Model of the Relationship between Destination Image, Risk Perception, Destination Performance and Post visitation Behavior

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44 CHAPTER 3 METHODS This chapter explains the proc edure and instruments that were used to collect data and the stati stical analyses that were used to address the research questions. Instrument Development The target population of the study is Russian domestic tourists who have been to Nizhny Novgorod in the last 4 years (2009 2012). The domestic tourist are understood as the person who travels away from home for a distance at least 50 miles (one way) for business, pleasure, personal affairs or any other purpose except to commute to work, whether s/he stays overnight or returns the same day (National Tourism Resources Review Commission, 1973). The time was limited to the last four years, since if a person visited the destination prior to this, then s/he might have difficulty in recalling the information on the experience with the destination (Kozak & Rimmingt on, 1999; Kozak, 2002). These people were invited to participate in the survey. However, since invitations were posted online, it was expected that a certain number of people who are not from the target population would follow the link to the survey. The s tatus of the respondent and the eligibility to participate in the study were determined by the following qualifying questions: a) b) ualifies the respondent) c) Have you been to Nizhny Novgorod in the last 4 years (2009 2012)? Yes/No d) What is your zip code? (to ensure that respondents are indeed tourists as pertaining to the definition)

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45 Questionnaire for this study was developed based on the literature review and then adapted to the case of Nizhny Novgorod. Due to the fact that this study is aimed at domestic travelers, the questionnaire was initially written in English and then translated into Russian. It was then translated back into English to check the accuracy of the translation. The translation was performed by three researchers who are fluent in both English and Russian languages. Based on a comparison between the original English version and the re translated to English version, several modifications were made to some questions to ensure they carry the intended meaning. Survey was approved by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB Approval can be found in Appendix G. Su rvey consists of the following groups of questions: (1) domestic tourists to Nizhny Novgorod, (2) evaluation of destination performance, (3) perception of travel risks, (4) post visitation behavior, and (5) demographics. Following are brief descriptions of each of these sections. Research Question 1 Survey Items: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novgorod includes questions that measure such variables as the purpose of the trip, the e xperience with the destination (the frequency of visitation in last 4 years and the length of stay during the latest trip) as well as the type of tourist (Bowen & Clarke, 2009). The data is thought to help the Nizhny Novgorod DMO obtain information about primary reasons of visiting the city, frequency of visitation in the last 4 year s, length of stay during time of the last visit, as well as time of the year they visited Nizhny Novgorod for the last time. Since this is an exploratory study, the reasons for visitation were divided into categories following (Bowen & Clarke, 2009). The section also includes a question

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46 that is asking to check the activities visitors were involved while in Nizhny Novgorod. The following survey items were used to answer these questions: 1. In the past 4 years, how many trips to Nizhny Novgorod did you have? The variable was numerical; respondents had to enter the approximate number of visits to Nizhny Novgorod within last 4 years. 2. What is the primary reason for your last trip to Nizhny Novgorod? The respondents were given the following answer choices: sightseeing, business trip, education/academic trip, visiting friends and relatives, special event, entertainment, outdoor recreation, sporting event, shopping. 3. Was your last visit a day trip or an overnight trip? Respondents had to check if their last t rip was a one day trip or an overnight trip. And if it was an overnight trip they had to indicate how many night they were staying in the city. It was a numerical variable; respondents had to enter the approximate number of nights they spent in the city d uring their last visit. 4. During what season did you visit Nizhny Novgorod last time (check the most appropriate answer)? It was a multiple choice type of question. 5. Please check each activity you participated in d uring your last trip to Nizhny Novgorod. This is a multiple choice type of question, in which several answers could were allowed. The sum of percentages of responses is not out of one hundred percent. Research Question 2 Survey Items: Destination Performance Evaluation: The destination performan ce items were taken from the urban experience survey by Haywood & Muller (1988) with the minor adaptation to the case of Nizhny Novgorod. Thus, t

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47 Nizhn y Novgorod is a very large city and various areas of the city can perform very differently on certain attributes Ministry of the Development of Small Busin ess, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region is set to develop areas of the Kremlin, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya street, Verhne Volzhskaya and Nizhne Volzhskaya embankments a s well as adjacent territories as their premier tourist sites, since these areas are considered to be historical, cultural and business center of the city. Therefore, five items specified that they were concerned with these tourist areas only. All destination performance items are measured on the 5 point Likert scale with 1 s trongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree, 5 strongly agree. This section is designed to assess how the city performs as a destination on certain attributes, (question s # 6 22 ) The English version of the destinat ion performance items is given below For convenience of reference throughout the thesis, each item is the parentheses. Items related to clean li ness, safety from crime, pleasurability of walking, choice of restaurants, and pleasurability of shopping were asked with reference 6. climate/ weather during the visit was pleasant (climate/weather) 7. T he city is beautiful and scenic (scenic beauty) 8. Standards in hotel accommoda tions were adequate (hotel standards) 9. The city has beautiful parks and greenery (parks and greenery) 10. Destination appeared clean and free of trash in touristy areas of the city (cleanliness) 11. Destination appears safe from crime in touristy areas of the ci ty (safety from crime)

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48 12. It is easy to find and reach tourist attractions within the city (accessibility) 13. Tourist personnel appears friendly and welcoming to tourists (friendliness of personnel) 14. The city offers a wide choice of artistic and cultural ameni ties (cultural amenities) 15. It is very pleasurable to walk or stroll in touristy areas of the city (pleasurability of walking) 16. The amount of crowding and congestion in the city is NOT overwhelming ( acceptable level of crowding and congestion) 17. There is a good choice of restaurants in touristy areas of the city ( choice of restaurants) 18. There is a variety of nightlife and entertainment in the city (nightlife and entertainment) 19. Shopping in touristy areas is very pleasurable ( pleasurability of sh opping ) 20. The p rice levels in Nizhny Novgorod are very attractive (price levels) 21. Citizens of Nizhny Novgorod are friendly and helpful to tourists (friendliness of locals) 22. In case of emergency adequate healthcare is available to tourists (availability of healthcare) Re search Question 3 Survey Items: Perception of Travel Risks consists of items, evaluating perception of risk for traveling in general and types of risk associated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod, in particular. The general risks perception is evaluated by six items on the basis of a five point Likert scale where 1 (question s # 3.1) were adopted from previous studies ( Floyd & Pennington Gray, 2004 ; Floyd et al., 2004 ): 23. Generally, I feel ne rvous about traveling. 24. Traveling is risky right now. 25. Vacation travel is not safe. 26. Generally, I feel very uncomfortable traveling.

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49 27. Domestic traveling is just as risky as international travel. 28. Safety is a serious consideration when I am choosing a destination The items measuring risks perceptions associated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod were adapted from Floyd et al. (2004), Floyd & Pennington Gray (2004), Qi, Gibson & Zhang (2009) and measured on the basis of a five point Likert scale where 1 (questions # 29 36). The English version of the risk associates with travel to N izhny Novgorod items is given below. For convenience of reference throughout the thesis, each item is given a shorter version to refer by 29. The money spent on the vacation in Nizhny Novgorod will be a waste; (waste of money) 30. I will experience health related problems while traveling to Nizhny Novgorod (health risks) ; 31. While I am in Nizhny Novgorod a crisis surrounding infrastructure (i.e. building, bridge collapse) will likely to occur (crisis of surrounding infrastructure); 32. It is likely that I will personally be a victim of crime (crime) ; 33. It is likely that I will become a victim of terrorist act w hile in Nizhny Novgorod (terrorism) ; 34. There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice of travel to Nizhny Novgorod because it is not safe ( disapproval of others ); 35. The trip to Nizhny Novgorod might be disappointing (disappointing trip) ; 36. While in Nizhny Novgorod the natural disaster is likely to occur (natural disaster) ; This section also has an open ended question asking to list the most risky thing about traveling to Nizhny Novgorod (question # 37 ) Research Question 4 Survey Items: P ost Visitation Behavior includes items that measure post visitation behavior including revisit intentions and positive word of mouth as reflected in actual recommendations ( Lee et al., 2004; Jang & Feng, 2007).

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50 The intention to revisit measure consists of three items adopted from the academic literature including ( Lee et al., 2004 ) that are evaluated base on the five point Likert scale (1 These items are measuring desire to revisit for a pleasure trip, in a short and medium term ( Lee et al., 2004 ) ( question # 3 8 40 ) : 38. I want to come to Nizhny Novgorod again for a pleasure trip; 39. It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next three years; 40. It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next five years; The measure of positive recommendations included five items (question # 41 4 5 ) Three of them were adopted from the previous academic studies ( Lee et al., 2005; Zeithmal, Berry & Parasurman, 1996 ): 41. After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, genera lly I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to my friends and/or family; 42. After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, overall I spoke positively of Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to other people (excluding friends and relatives) ; 43. After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I recommended Nizhny Novgorod to people who were seeking advice; The other two items related to the word of mouth in the social networks were added: 44. After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I wrote and posted online a generally positive review about my experience in Nizhny Novgorod and posted it on the website of the hotel/restaurant etc. the services of which I used during my trip; 45. After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod on at l east one social network sites, such as facebook, vkontakte, odnoklassniki, and twitter. All five items on the word of Demographic included such socio demographic questions as gender, age, level of income, level of e ducation, and marital status.

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51 The survey was tested using a group of five native Russian speaking students from the University of Florida to ensure the clarity of the instrument as well as to find out if there are any technical issues with the online survey. Based on this test, the phr asing of the survey was edited and minor technical problems were eliminated. Population of the Study The target population for this study is adult (18 years of age and older) Russian domestic travelers who have been to Nizhny Novgorod within last 4 years (between 2008 and 2012), including both those who visited the destination once and repeat visitors. The population of the study was targeted through social networks Vkontakte, and Facebook which are the most popular social networks in Russia. Vkontakte (vk .com) was first launched in 2006 and is now the number two website in Russia on the basis of the average number of daily visitors and the number of pageviews in the l ast month (Alexa: The web information company, 2012a). For example, in January 2012 vk.com was visited by 21.5 million people from Russia ( TNS Media Runet 2012 January report, 2012). And Facebook launched in 2006 is number eight website in Russia based on the average of daily visitors and the number of pageviews over the past month Alexa: Th e w eb information company, 2012b ). The demographic characteristics of the social network users were retrieved from the Alexa website (www.alexa.com), which is the web information company providing statistics on the usage and popularity of the websites. Accord ing to the Alexa analytical data, users of the Vkontakte website are on average people aged 18 24, mostly male with university degree (Alexa: The web information company, 2012a). The university degree according to the Russian system of higher education ca n include a five year specialist degree, four

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52 internet averages, the users of Facebook are mostly 18 34 years old, female, have children, and graduated from the university (Alexa: The web inform ation company, 2012b). The full user demographics of these social network websites can be found in Appendix D. Based on the demographics of the users of these websites, the population of t he study was mostly people under 35 years old, both male and female with kids, and those who graduated from the university. According to the Census of 2010 male and female 28 32 years old constitute the largest age group (Russia Census 2010, 2010). 44% of household with two or more people have kids under 18 years old (R ussia Census 2010, 2010). The profile of a typical Russian tourist shows that an average Russian tourist is also comparatively young. Russian tourist s are mostly people who are on average between 25 and 40 years old (Smith, Tatarinov & Trehleb, 2002; Russi a: market & Trade profile, 2010). Exclusion of the older adults can be explained by the fact that Russian citizens who are over 50 rarely travel as they cannot afford it due to the low level of income. Statistical data show that an average income of the Ru ssian citizen over 50 years old in 2002 constituted 2000 4000 rubles per month (approximately $64 $128 per month) for men and 2000 3000 per month (approximately $64 $96 per month) for women, while the income of man and women between 30 and 40 years old is at least twice as much (Roshina, 2005). Additionally, in general, those who are traveling are active Internet users (Hwang & Fesenmaier, 2004). As a result, people over 50 are

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53 Data Collection Procedure Web B ased Survey There were two main reasons for selecting the online survey mode for this study: the absence of a sampling frame of domestic visitors to Nizhny Novgorod as well as physical distance between the researcher and the targe t population. Online mode was considered a suitable way to proceed when the following factors were taken into account. First, the internet penetration rate in Russia is relatively high. At the beginning of 2012, over 70 million people (58% of the Russian p opulation) use the Internet; among the younger people (age group) online users make 79% (WCIOM, 2012). Secondly, popularity of social networks Vkontakte and Facebook makes it feasible to recruit participants online: more than 60% of those who use Internet in Russia are social network users with the majority preferring such social networks as Vkontakte and members is consistent with that of domestic travelers (younger, mobil e, and relatively well off people (Alexa: The web information company, 2012a, b; Smith, Tatarinov & Trehleb, 2002; Hwang & Fesenmaier, 2004). And finally, given the actual distance between Florida and Russia, recruitment of participants and survey distribu tion is less expensive and more time efficient using the online mode (Dillman, 2000). The online survey was built using the Qualtrics platform, and the data was directly downloaded from the Qualtrics website to the file which could be opened in SPSS for fu rther analysis, thus reducing the error associated with data entry. It should be noted that the sample which was obtained in this study is not a

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54 users share some charact eristics with Russian domestic travelers, there is no way to establish how big a coverage error was to occur in the study. Selecting Online Groups The data was collected in January 17 February 1, 201 3 through social ne tworks Vkontakte and Facebook. Several groups and communities both open and closed, within these social networks were identified as suitable for this research project based on their primary purpose and the number of participants: 2,000 participants) an open Vkontakte group, general news and information about N izhny N ovgorod consisting of both residents and visitors Typical 42,000 participants) a n open Vkotakte group, consists of both residents and v isitors to Nizhny Novgorod. (approx. 2, 400 participants) an open Vkontakte group, consists primarily of local residents as well as actual and prospective visitors. a n open Facebook group, consists of the city residents, those who visited the city or prospective visitors. a closed Facebook group, uniting city residents, those who visited the city or prospective vi sitors. Group of the one of the biggest cruise that organize s cruises on the Volga River and trips to Nizhny Novgorod. This is an open Vkontakte group that has approximately 2,000 members Open group means that anyo ne can become its member while to become a member of closed group your request has to be approved by moderator of the community. Data Collection and Data Preparation The moderators of the above mentioned groups were contacted in order to obtain an autho rization to approach community members with an invitation to participate

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55 in the study The message that was sent to moderators is in Appendix E. The permission was obtained from every moderator. The messages with the invitation to were posted on the wall of each group (Appendix E). All online groups had the same message inviting them to participate in the study that was posted by a moderator of each group. The message w as posted only by moderators in order to avoid bias and to increase the credibility of the information posted Reminders were posted again on January 2 4 and January 30 (Appendix E and Appendix F) The total number of Destination Nizhny Novgorod study hits was 1,126. The number of submitted responses was 845. The number of responses that were not disqualified based on the qualifying questions was 468. Then responses that were less than 50% completed as well as responses that were filled out by those who stay ed in Nizhny Novgorod for more than 6 months were removed. The number of usable surveys was 283 Since the survey design allowed respondents to skip questions several submitted surveys contained missing data. The open opi ( 69.4 of missing values ) had the least number of responses along with the question how many nights in total have (51.2 percent of missing values) Data Analysis Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). This section lists the posited research questions and statistical analyses that were conducted to answer them. Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novg orod. What are the primary reason s for visiting Nizhny Novgorod

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56 The categories from the question # 2 (cited in the Instrument Development section) were combined into three categories business (business, education/academic trip), leisure (sightseeing, special event, entertainment, outdoor recreation, sporting event, shopping) and visiting friends and relatives. Frequencies were calculated for this item to find what the primary reasons f or the last trip to Nizhny Novgorod respondents had. Are domestic tourists to Nizhny Novgorod primarily first timers or repeat visitors? Th e categories from the question # 1 w ere transformed into the first timers (those who visited Nizhny Novgorod once) and repeat visitors (those who visited the city two and more times). Descriptive statistics and frequencies were calculated for this question to find out the how many times respondents visited Nizhny Novgorod within last four years, and if they were mostly fi rst timers or repeat visitors. In what type of activities are they engaged while visiting Nizhny Novgorod? For the question # 5 f requencies were calculated to find out what activities visitors engaged in during their last visit to Nizhny Novgorod. What p arts of the country are they coming from? All the zip codes from the qualifying question d were c lassifi ed by oblast/region in Russia and frequency analysis was conducted. Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. How do tourists evaluate destination performance? For the items # 6 through 22 for destination performance scale was calculated to test internal consistency of the scale. Descriptive statistics f or each item # 6 through 22 was calculated to see how each attribute of the destination was evaluated.

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57 Is there a difference between the first times and repeat visitors? T test s w ere conducted to compare destination performance evaluation for first timers and repeaters for each destination performance scale item Is there a difference between leisure, business, and visiting friends and relatives tourists? One way ANOVA was conducted to compare destination performance evaluation for the three groups (leisure, business and VFR travelers) generated from the questio n # 2 on each scale item #6 through 22 Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. How do tourists perceive risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod? was calculated to test internal consistency of the travel to N izhny N ov g o rod risk perception scale (items # 29 36) Average of these items was calculated to create the overall risk perception variable. Descriptive statistics was calculated for each single item # 29 36 of the risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod scale. Content analysis of the question # 37 was used to examine individual open ended responses to better understand travel risks associated with travel to N izhny N ovgorod Is there a difference in perceptions of risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod b etween first timers and repeat visitors? Leisure, business, and VFR tourists? T test s were conducted for each individual item of the risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod scale (items #29 36 ) The number of visits (first timers/repeaters) was used a s an independent variable Perceived risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod were used as dependent variable

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58 One way ANOVA was conducted Primary reason of the trip (leisure, business, VFR) was used as independent variable. Dependent variable was perceived risk s of travel to N izhny N ov gorod (items #29 36) Is there a difference in destination performance depending on general travel risk profile? The average for the items # 23 28 section was calculated. Based on the average High and Low Risk Profile groups were generated. T tests were conducted to compare High Risk and Low Risk respondents General travel risk profile (High/Low) was used as an inde pendent variable while individual items from the destination performance evaluation scale (items # 6 22) were used as dependent variables Research Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior. How likely are the tourists to revisit the city? s used to test reliability of the scale for the items # 38 40. Descriptive statistics on each of these items were calculated A composite score of the revisit intention was derived as the average of the three items # 38 40 What kind of word of mouth activ ity are visitors engaged in after travel to Nizhny Novgorod? Frequencies o f each single item comprising the word of mouth scale were calculated (items # 41 45) A compo site score for each respondent wa s derived by of the WOM items scale (items # 41 45) Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship betwe en Post visitation Behavior and Performance Evaluation Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, and Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod? To test for the relationship between variables, the regression analysis was conducted. The dependent variable was post visitation behavior, namely, the intention to revisit and word of mouth composite scores. Based on the literature review

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59 summarized in Fig. 2 2, post visitation behavior depends on primary reason of visiting the destination, how well tourists know the destination, how risky they perceive the primary reason to visi business, and other categories. The familiarity with the destination was operationalized as the number of pr evious trips to Nizhny Novgorod (NPV). The overall risk perception with travel to Nizhny Novgorod. The overall destination performance variable (OP) was used to represent offer. Thus, the models were expressed as: Model 1: IR = a + b 1 PR + b 2 NPV + b 3 RP + b 4 OP + e Model 2: WOM = a + b 1 PR + b 2 NPV + b 3 RP + b 4 OP + e

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60 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS marital status, age, education, and income were analyze d to obtain Among the sampe of respondents who visited Nizhny Novgorod in the last four year s two thirds were female (66 3 percent) and approximately one third was male (3 2 6 percent) (Table 4 1). A total of 5 7 6 percent of respondents were single while 34.6 percent were married or partnered. Age was reported as the number of full years (M=25.85; std.dev=8.010) F or convenience of reporting, age was converted to an ordinal variable of 5 levels (Table 4 1) Most frequently reported age groups were between 18 and 24 (4 8 5 percent) and between 25 and 34 (3 5 2 percent). With respect to education, most respondents had a college degree ( 62 3 percent) As far as the financial situation is concer ned, 51.1 percent of the respondents reported their financia l situation as while 3 8 4 percent reported it as good, or very good O nly 4.5 percent defined their financial situation as bad and very bad Research Question 1: Domestic Tourist to Nizhny Novgorod. What are the p rimary reasons for visiting Nizhny Novgorod? To conduct the proposed analyses and in agreement with literature on tourist types, three groups of tourists were created by merging the original response categories : leisure tourists ( sightseeing, special event, entertainment, outdoor recreation, sporting event, and shopping ) ( 3 2 3 %), busine ss tourists (business and education/ academic) ( 2 4 0 %), and VFR ( 3 7 3 %) (Table 4 2)

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61 Are domestic tourists to Nizhny Novgorod primarily first timers or repeat visitors? In the survey, respondents were asked about the number of times they visited N izhny N ovgorod in the last four years (M=7.57, std.dev=10.682) For convenience of reporting, the number of visits was conve rted to an ordinal variable of 4 levels ( Table 4 2): 35.4 percent visited Nizhny Novgorod 1 2 times, 18.6 percent visited the city betwee n 3 and 5 times, 25 0 percent v isited Nizhny Novgorod between 6 and 10 times, while 2 1 0 percent visited Nizhny Novgorod more than 10 times. The number s of first timers and repeat visitors were also calc ulated: m ost resp ondents were repeat visitors (75 0 percent) while only 2 5 0 percent we re first comers. Most of the visit ors stayed overnight (7 9 5 percent) ; 20.5 percent came on a one day trip Most of the repeat visitors were VFR (43.2 percent) while most of the first timers were leisure travelers (44. 3 percent) (Table 4 3). In what type of activities are they engaged while visiting Nizhny Novgorod? When asked to list all the activities that they were engaged into in the course of their last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, the majority of respondents reporte d that they were engaged in general sightseeing (84.8 percent), 57.6 percent visited architectural monuments, while almost half (49.8 percent) visited historic sites and museums. Shopping was another popular activity among respondents and 35.7 percent sai d that they went shopping during their last trip to Nizhny Novgorod (Table 4 2) What parts of the country are they coming from? The geography of the study was vast ( Appendix H ) but the largest groups of respondents were f rom Moscow and Moscow Oblast (30 1 percent), Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast ( 1 1 3 percent) and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (1 7 2 percent).

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62 Research Question 2: Evaluation of Destination Performance. How do tourists evaluate destination performance? Perceptions of destination performan ce were measured by 17 Likert type scale items. Descriptive statistics for each item are given in Table 4 4 ; items are ranked from the most to the least favorably evaluated Attributes with the highest scores were P leasurability of walking in touristy are as (M=4.43, std.dev=0.970), Scenic beauty (M=4.30, std.dev=1.057), and P arks and greenery (M=3.81, std.dev=1.297). The lowest evaluation was given to such attributes as Hotel standards (M=2.03, std.dev=1.776) and A vailability of healthcare (M=1.91; std.dev=1.791). Internal reliability of the Destination Performance scale was calculated using to total correlations were also calculated: the analysis indicated that no item could be removed without decreasing the overall internal consistency of the scale. averaging means of all individual items for usage in subsequent analyses ; descriptive statistics for the overall performance variable are given in Table 4 4 I s there a difference between the first times and repeat visitors in evaluation of destination performance ? To provide the most detailed and interpretable results, each individual Destination Performance item was analyzed separately, using a t test for inde pendent samples. While departures from the normal distribution were observed for individual scale items, t tests are quite robust to deviations from normality when sample sizes are sufficiently large ( Pearson, 1931 ) In these analyses the sample sizes were 70 (first timers) and 210 (repeat visitors). Conducting 17 similar statistical tests without correction is regarded as a limitation of the

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63 study Statistically significant difference was found for six items Acceptable level of c rowding and congestion ( t(144.152)=2.270, p=0.025) Choice of restaurants (t(273)= 2.447, p=0.015), N ightlife and entertainment (t(101.743)= 2.954, p=0.004), Pleasu rability of shopping (t(275)= 4.735, p=0.000), Price levels (t(275)= 2.874, p=0.004), and A vailability of healthcare (t(275)= 2.580, p=0.010). Repeat visitors evaluated such attributes as Choice of restaurants, N ightlife and entertainment Pleasur ability of shopping P rice levels, Availability of healthcare higher than first timers, while first timers evaluated Acceptab le level of c rowding and congestion more favorably than repeat visitors (Table 4 5 ). Is there a difference between leisure, business, and visiting friends and relatives tourists in destination performance evaluation ? On e way ANOVA for each individual Dest ination Performance item was conducted to find out if there is difference in performance evaluation depending on the primary reason of the last trip to Nizhny Novgorod i.e., leisure, business or VFR (Table 4 6 ) Statistically significant difference was fo und for the items Hotel standards (F(2,254)=8.799, p=0.000) and Friendliness of personnel (F(2,254)=5.949, p=0.003) Range test showed that those who came to Nizhny Novgorod to visit friends and relatives evaluated the Hotel standards l ower (M= 1.50 std.dev=1. 735 ) than those who came there for leisure (M=2. 3 8, std.dev=1.7 55 ) (p=0.00 2 ) as well as those who visited Nizhny Novgorod for business (M=2.48, std.dev=1.618) (p=0.001 ). Range test also showed that VFR tourists evaluated the Friendliness of perso nnel (M=2.71, std.dev=1.805) lower than those who came there for leisure (M=3.49, std.dev=1.509) (p=0.00 4 ).

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64 Research Question 3: Perception of Travel Risks. How do tourists perceive risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod? D escriptive statistics we re calculated to find out how tourists perceived risks associated with t raveling to Nizhny Novgorod (Table 4 7 ) Prior to their most recent trip to Nizhny Novgorod respondents thought of such risks as Crime (M=2.33, std.dev=1.076) and Terrorism (M=1.70, st d.dev=0.928) as of risk s that were most likely to occur. Disapproval of others (M=1.31, std.dev=0.674) and Health risks (M=1.42, std.dev=0.812) were reported as the least likely to occur. The s urvey also included a n open ended question What is, in your opinion, the most risky thing about traveling to Nizhny Novgorod This question had the lowest response rate ( 87 responses; 30.7 percent response rate ). Among those who answered t he most common answers were crime (7.0 percent), bad traffic (3.9 percent) and bad weather (3.9 percent). Is there a differe nce in perceptions of risks to Nizhny Novgorod between first timers and repeat visitors? Leisure, b usiness, and VFR tourists? Independent sample t test was conducted to find out if there is difference in r isk perception of Nizhny Novgorod between first timer s and repeat visitors (Table 4 8 ). First c omers evaluated perceived risk of traveling to Nizhny Novgorod lower (M=1.48, std.dev=0.412) than repeat visitors (M=1.68, std.dev=1.676) (t(186.026)= 2.874, p=0 .005). Independent sample t test was conducted to find out if there is difference in risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod between first timers and repeat visitors. Analysis showed statistically significant differences between first comers and repe ater s in evaluations of the following items Health risks (t(212.325)= 3.687, p=0.000), Crisis of surrounding infrastructure (t(185.898)= 2.431, p=0.016), Disapproval of others (t(226.389)= 3.309,

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65 p=0.001) and Natural Disaster (t(163.770)= 2.863, p=0.005). First comers evaluated these risks as the ones that are less likely to occur than repeaters (Table 4 8 ). One way ANOVA was conducted to find out if there is difference in perception of risk before travelling to Nizhny Novgoro d between leisure travelers, business travelers and those who were visiting friends and relatives. No statistically significant difference was found (F(2,250)=1.746; p=0.177). Is there a difference in destination performance evaluation depending on genera l travel risk profile of visitors to Nizhny Novgorod ? Respondents risk profile was identified based on the average score of all general travel risk perception attributes. The average mean score was calculated for the general risk profile for each respondent. Respondents who received an average score below 3.00 were placed in the low risk profile group, those with the score equal or above 3.0 were placed in the hig h risk profil e group (Table 4 9 ). Independent Sample t test was conducted to identify if there is a statistically significant difference between low risk profile and high risk profile t ourists in their performance (Table 4 1 0 ) Statistically s ignificant difference was found for the evaluations of the following attributes Safety from crime (t(234)=2.785, p=0.006) Accessibility (t(270)=2.338, p=0.020) Acceptable level of c rowding and congestion (t(269)=2.980, p=0.003) and Friendliness of loc als (t(270)=2.136, p=0.034) Low general ris k profile respondents evaluated all these attributes higher than high general risk profile respondents (Table 4 1 0 ).

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66 Research Question 4: Post Visitation Behavior How likely are the tourists to revisit the city? There are two variables that were reflecting post visitation behavior: intention to revisit that consisted of three items measured on a 5 point Likert scale and word of mouth that consisted of five yes/no statements Descriptive analysis of the intention to rev isit the destination (Table 4 1 1 ) showed that people assessed intention to revisit to Nizhny Novgorod for pleasure trip (M=4.09; std.dev=1.260), intention to revisit the city in the short term (M4.06; std.dev=1.371) as well as their intention to rev isit in medium term (M=4.04; std.dev=1.442) comparatively high The internal reliability of the intention to revisit scale was calculated alpha =0.860) The composite intention to revisit score was calculated by averaging the means of the indivi dual items (M= 4.062 std.dev=1.206) (Table 4 13) What kind of word of mouth activity are tourists engaged in after travel to Nizhny Novgorod? Frequency analysis of each WOM variable (5 items) showed that most visitors engaged in positive word of mouth a fter visiting Nizhny Novgorod (Table 4 1 2 ). The majority of respondents ( 92 9 percent) said that they recommended Nizhny Novgorod to their friends and relatives, 8 8 .0 percent recommended it to other people excluding friends and relatives, and 80 5 percent of respondents recommended the city as a travel destination when someone asked for an advice. Fewer people engaged in electronic word of mouth : o nly 33 7 percent posted a positive review in one of the social network such as facebook, vkontakte etc ., and 50.2 percent said that they wrote e review of the hotel, restaurant etc. the services of which they used. individual WOM items (M=3.456, std. dev=1.257) (Table 4 13)

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67 Research Question 5: Is There a Relationship between Post visitation Behavior and Performance Evaluation, Risk Perception, Number of Previous Visits, and Primary Reasons for Visiting Nizhny Novgorod ? Prior to testing Model 1 and Model 2, bivariate correlation analy ses were conducted between (1) the overall performance evaluation and post visitation behavior (intention to revisit and word of mouth) variables and (2) overall risk perception and post visitation behavior variables. Since the overall performance, overall risk perception, intention to revisit, and word of mouth variables are of interval ratio level of Weber and Lamb (1970) and Mason, Lind, and Marchal (1983), the strength of A weak positive correlation was found between t he overall performance variable and intention to revisit composite score (r=0.337, p=0.000). Bivariate correlation analysis also revealed weak positive correlation between overall performance evaluation and word of mouth variabl e (r=0.349, p=0.000) (Table 4 14 ). Weak negative correlation were found between overall risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod and intention to revisit composite score (r= 0.330, p=0.000). Correlation between composite word of mouth activity and overall risk perception of Nizhn y Novgorod were also weak (r= 0.253, p=0.000) (Table 4 1 5 ). The correlation analysis indicated the suitability of the overall performance and overall risk perception variables for inclusion into Model 1 and Model 2: Model 1: IR = a + b 1 PR + b 2 NPV + b 3 RP + b 4 OP + e Model 2: WOM = a + b 1 PR + b 2 NPV + b 3 RP + b 4 OP + e

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68 IR intention to revisit post visitation behavior WOM word of mouth post visitation behavior PR primary reason for visiting Nizhny Novgorod (VFR versus leisure, business, and other combined) NPV number of visits to the city in the last four years RP overall perception of risks associated with travel to Nizhny Novgorod OP overall perception of destination performance The initial runs of Model 1 and Model 2 indicated that the data containe d outliers, i.e., cases whose standardized residuals are greater than 3.3 (corresponding to the 0.001 alpha level). Four cases were removed from the data. The model was also examined to assure that the residuals are dispersed randomly (i.e., homoscedastici ty assumption of linear regression). For Model 1, the plot of residuals against predicted constant variance. It was concluded that the homoskedasticity assumption was met for Model 1. For Mode l 2, moderate violations of homoscedasticity were detected, which may have had an impact on the regression estimates (Fox 2005). Lastly, the data was examined for multicollinearity: the variance inflation factor was around 1.0 indicated the absence of mul ticollinearity. For Model 1, three independent variables were found to be significant predictors for intention to revisit, namely, overall performance, overall risk perception, and number of previous visits to the destination. For the overall performance v ariable, the association is positive: the larger the overall performance score, the higher the intention to revisit (beta coefficient is 0.436, p value is 0.000). For the overall risk perception, the

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69 association is negative: the higher overall risk percept ion, the lower the intention to revisit (beta coefficient is 0.634, p value is 0.000). For the number of previous visits variable, the association is also positive: the larger the score, the higher the revisit intention (standardized beta coefficient is 0 .024, p value is 0.011). The dichotomous variable representing the primary reason to visit Nizhny Novgorod (VFR versus all other categories) was not significant. Overall, the four variables explained about 24% of all variance in the dependent intention to revisit variable (R square = 0.237) (Table 4 16 ) For Model 2, two independent variables were found to be significant predictors for word of mouth namely, overall performance and overall risk perception. For the overall performance variable, the associati on is positive (beta coefficient is 0.519, p value of 0.000), while for the overall risk perception, the association is negative (beta coefficient is 0.396, p value is 0.005). The number of previous visits and the primary reason variables were not signifi cant in the model. Overall, the four variables explained only 16.6% of the variance in the dependent variable (R square = 0.165) (Table 4 1 7 )

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70 Table 4 1. Respondents Profile Variable Levels Frequency Percent % Gender Male 89 32.6 Female 181 6 6 3 Prefer not to answer Total 3 273 1.1 100.0 Education Less than High School 3 1.1 High School Graduate 12 4.5 Some College 57 2 1 3 College Degree 166 62 3 Technical School 14 5.2 Advance Degree 9 3.4 Pref er not to answer Total 6 267 2.2 100.0 Age 18 24 128 48.5 25 34 93 3 5 2 35 44 16 6 .0 45 54 4 1.5 65 and older 2 0.8 Prefer not to answer Total 21 264 8 .0 100.0 Marital Status Single 155 57.6 Partnered/Married 93 3 4 6 Divorced 15 5.6 Separated 2 0.7 Prefer not to answer Total 4 269 1.5 100.0 Income Very good 17 6.4 Good 85 32 .0 Average 136 51 .1 Bad 11 4 1 Very bad 1 0.4 Prefer not to answer Total 16 266 6.0 100.0

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71 Table 4 2. Characteristics of the Last Trip to Nizhny Novgorod Variable Levels Frequency Percent % Number of visits in the last 4 years 1 2 99 35.4 3 5 52 18.6 6 10 70 25.0 More than 10 Total 59 280 21. 0 100.0 First comers Repeat visitors Total 70 210 280 25 0 7 5.0 100.0 Length of stay Primary reason One day trip 57 20. 5 Overnight 221 79 5 Total Leisure Business Visiting Friends and Relatives Other Total 278 90 67 104 18 279 100.0 3 2 3 24.0 37.3 6. 4 100.0

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72 Table 4 2. Continued Variable Levels Frequency Percent % Activities (multiple answers were allowed) Visiting historical sites and museums 141 49.8 Visiting an art gallery 31 11.0 Attending/participating in a sport event 28 9.9 Attending/participating in the conference/convention 39 13.8 Attending a personal special event 40 14.1 General sightseeing 240 84.8 Visiting architectural monuments 163 57.6 River Cruise 31 11.0 Attending/Participating in show/festival 36 12.7 Shopping 101 35.7 Visiting a community/city park 120 42.4 Visiting a scenic area 57 20.1 Fishing 4 1.4 Other 15 5.3 Table 4 3. Primary reason of visitors vs. number of visits Number of visits Leisure Business VFR Other Frequency % Frequency % Frequency % Frequency % First timers 31 44.3 18 25.7 15 21.4 6 8.6 Repeaters 58 28.2 48 23.3 89 43.2 11 5.3 All respondents 89 32.2 66 23.9 104 37.7 17 6.2

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73 Table 4 4 City Performance Attributes Variable N Mean Std. Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Pleasurability of walking 280 4.43 0.970 0.777 0.837 Scenic beauty 279 4.30 1.057 1.749 2.615 Parks and greenery 279 3.81 1.297 1.300 1.264 Choice of restaurants 278 3.69 1.436 0.075 1.492 Acceptable level of crowding and congestion 279 3.66 1.387 0.790 0.204 Cultural amenities 279 3.66 1.315 0.660 0.724 Accessibility 280 3.60 1.311 0.856 0.022 Climate/weather 278 3.51 1.026 0.735 0.644 Cleanliness 279 3.49 1.319 1.092 0.656 Friendliness of locals 280 3.49 1.287 2.078 4.319 Nightlife and entertainment 280 3.38 1.549 1.043 0.293 Pleasurability of shopping 280 3.33 1.528 1.147 0.569 Price levels 280 3.29 1.286 1.034 0.078 Friendliness of personnel 279 3.07 1.678 0.840 0.195 Safety from crime 277 3.03 1.656 0.818 0.395 Hotel standards 279 2.03 1.776 0.840 0.162 Availability of healthcare 280 1.91 1.791 0.169 1.468 Overall performance 267 3.3935 0.78327 0.606 0.314 Valid N (listwise) 267

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74 Table 4 5 Differences in evaluation of destination performance among f irst comers and repeat visitors N Variable First Comers Repeat Visitors Dif df t p M SD M SD 1 Pleasurablity of walking 4.49 0 .959 4.40 0 .980 0.085 275 0 .629 0.530 2 Scenic beauty 4.32 0 .962 4.31 1.072 0.005 274 0.033 0.974 3 P arks and greenery 3.80 1.346 3.82 1.287 0.019 274 0.107 0.915 4 Choice of restaurants 3.34 1.512 3.82 1.389 0.482 273 2.447 0.015*** 5 Acceptable level of crowding and congestion 3.94 1.162 3.55 1.450 0.391 144.152 2.270 0.025*** 6 Cultural amenities 3.64 1.372 3.66 1.300 0.024 274 0 .132 0.895 7 Accessibility 3.57 1.430 3.62 1.275 0.047 275 0 .258 0.797 8 Climate/weather 3.63 .920 3.48 1.065 0.146 273 0.308 1.022 9 Cleanliness 3.80 1.258 3.38 1.334 0.417 274 2.289 0.023 10 Friendliness of locals 3.56 1.471 3.48 1.218 0.074 275 0 .416 0.677 11 Nightlife and entertainment 2.86 1.763 3.55 1.437 0.689 101.743 2.953 0.004*** 12 Pleasurability of shopping 2.60 1.637 3.57 1.416 0.965 275 4.735 0.000*** 13 Price levels 2.91 1.380 3.42 1.235 0.506 275 2.874 0.004*** 14 Friendliness of personnel 3.23 1.800 3.02 1.629 0.208 274 0 .893 0.373 15 Safety from crime 3.04 1.827 3.04 1.605 0.004 272 0 .019 0.985 16 Hotel standards 2.24 1.861 1.96 1.750 0.282 274 1.145 0.253 17 Availability of healthcare 1.44 1.708 2.08 1.802 0.634 275 2.580 0.010***

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75 Table 4 6 Differences between the primary reason of the last visit and performance evaluation N Variable L eisure B usiness VFR df F p M SD M SD M SD 1 Pleasurablity of walking 4.48 0 .881 4.52 0 .894 4.41 0.999 Between groups 2 0.310 0.734 Within groups 255 2 Scenic beauty 4.24 1.128 4.42 0 .895 4.34 1.058 Between groups 2 0.636 0.530 Within groups 254 3 Parks and greenery 3.72 1.356 3.72 1.380 3.99 1.206 Between groups 2 1.357 0.259 Within groups 254 4 Choice of restaurants 3.76 1.374 3.91 1.111 3.60 1.595 Between groups 2 1.002 0.369 Within groups 253 5 Acceptable level of crowding and congestion 3.88 1.437 3.43 1.270 3.63 1.435 Between groups 2 1.963 0.143 Within groups 254 6 Cultural amenities 3.76 1.286 3.57 1.395 3.65 1.376 Between groups 2 0.408 0.665 Within groups 254 7 Accessibility 3.64 1.308 3.39 1.348 3.74 1.274 Between groups 2 1.463 0.234 Within groups 255 8 Climate/weather 3.56 0 .965 3.37 0 .998 3.58 1.084 Between groups 2 0.940 0.392 Within groups 253 9 Cleanliness 3.60 1.346 3.50 1.180 3.43 1.368 Between groups 2 0.371 0.690 Within groups 254 10 Friendliness of locals 3.43 1.356 3.43 1.270 3.59 1.230 Between groups 2 0.471 0.625 Within groups 255 11 Nightlife and entertainment 3.12 1.737 3.52 1.341 3.52 1.507 Between groups 2 1.910 0.150 Within groups 255 12 Pleasurability of shopping 3.30 1.605 3.37 1.496 3.35 1.480 Between groups 2 0.045 0.956 Within groups 255 13 Price levels 3.22 1.355 3.27 1.009 3.36 1.399 Between groups 2 0.284 0.753 Within groups 255 14 Friendliness of personnel 3.49 1.509 3.27 1.420 2.71 1.805 Between groups 2 5.949 0.003***

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76 Table 4 6 Continued N Variable Leisure Business VFR df F p M SD M SD M SD Within groups 254 15 Safety from crime 3.14 1.706 3.15 1.490 2.93 1.734 Between groups 2 0.497 0.609 Within groups 252 16 Hotel standards 2.38 1.755 2.48 1.618 1.50 1.753 Between groups 2 8.799 0.000*** Within groups 254 17 Availability of healthcare 1.81 1.827 2.01 1.610 1.95 1.885 Between groups 2 0.278 0.757 Within groups 255 Table 4 7 Risks associated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod Variable N Mean Std. Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Crime 277 2.33 1.076 0.397 0.636 Terrorism 277 1.70 0.928 1.143 0.617 Waste of money 277 1.66 0.888 1.494 2.340 Disappointing trip 275 1.62 0.941 1.615 2.208 Crisis of surrounding infrastructure 277 1.54 0.890 1.751 2.612 Natural disaster 275 1.47 0.816 1.744 2.593 Health risks 276 1.42 0.812 2.032 3.957 Disapproval of others 276 1.31 0.674 2.846 9.969 Valid N (listwise) 274

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77 Table 4 8 Difference between first comers and repeat visitors in risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod Variable First comers Repeat visitors Dif df t p M SD M SD Overall risk perception 1.48 0.412 1.68 1.676 0.196 186.026 2.874 0.005*** Waste of money 1.60 0.824 1.67 0.902 0.67 272 0.545 0.586 Health risks 1.19 0.493 1.50 0.885 0.316 212.325 3.687 0.000*** C risis of surrounding infrastructure 1.36 0.615 1.60 0.950 0.241 185.898 2.431 0.016*** Crime 2.14 1.067 2.40 1.081 0.259 272 1.736 0.084 Terrorism 1.59 0.825 1.74 0.950 0.154 272 1.212 0.226 Disapproval of others 1.13 0.380 1.36 0.732 0.227 226.389 3.309 0.001*** D isappointing trip 1.65 0.958 1.59 0.908 0.059 270 0.456 0.649 N atural disaster 1.26 0.610 1.53 0.852 0.271 163.770 2.863 0.005*** Table 4 9 Low and High Risk Profile Group Frequency Percent Low Risk Profile 216 7 9 4 High Risk Profile Total 56 272 20.6 100.0

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78 Table 4 1 0 n Variable Low Risk High Risk Dif df t p M SD M SD 1 C limate/weather 3.54 1.029 3.35 1.067 0.190 268 1.204 0.230 2 S cenic beauty 4.32 1.029 4.18 1.208 0.138 269 0.860 0.391 3 P arks and greenery 3.79 1.346 3.80 1.119 0.13 269 0.066 0.948 4 Hotel standards 2.01 1.785 2.07 1.725 0.062 269 0.234 0.816 5 Cleanliness 3.56 1.334 3.21 1.202 0.349 269 1.776 0.077 6 Safety from crime 3.15 1.621 2.45 1.659 0.695 267 2.785 0.006*** 7 Accessibility 3.69 1.312 3.23 1.279 0.458 270 2.338 0.020*** 8 Friendliness of personnel 3.13 1.679 2.80 1.612 0.331 269 1.326 0.186 9 C ultural amenities 3.66 1.268 3.61 1.423 0.053 269 0.273 0.785 10 Pleasurability of walking 4.47 0.920 4.21 1.155 0.258 74.039 1.548 0.126 11 Acceptable level of crowding and congestion 3.76 1.363 3.15 1.367 0.614 269 2.980 0.003*** 12 Choice of restaurants 3.68 1.477 3.63 1.315 0.053 268 0.242 0.809 13 Nightlife and entertainment 3.32 1.613 3.43 1.305 0.104 270 .0448 0.654 14 Pleasurability of shopping 3.29 1.573 3.45 1.334 0.159 270 0.696 0.487 15 P rice levels 3.30 1.278 3.14 1.327 0.153 270 0.795 0.428 16 Friendliness of locals 3.56 1.304 3.14 1.227 0.413 270 2.136 0.034*** 17 Availability of healthcare 1.90 1.817 1.77 1.584 0.130 96.068 0.532 0.596

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79 Table 4 1 1 Intention to revisit Nizhny Novgorod Variable N Mean Std Deviation Skewness Kurtosis I want to come to Nizhny Novgorod again for a pleasure trip 265 4.09 1.260 1.516 1.552 It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next 3 years 264 4.06 1.371 1.585 1.655 It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next 5 years Composite intention to revisit 260 258 4.04 4.06 1.442 1.206 1.608 1.369 1.603 1.001

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80 Table 4 1 2 Word of mouth activity Variable Levels Frequency Percent % After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod to my friends and/or relatives Yes 249 92.9 No 19 7.1 After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I spoke positively of Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to other people (excluding friends and relatives) Yes No 235 32 88.0 12 0 After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I recommended Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to people who were seeking advice Yes No 214 52 80.5 19.5 After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I wrote and posted online a generally positive review about my experience in Nizhny Novgorod and posted it on the website of the hotel/restaurant etc. the services of which I used during my trip. Yes No 89 175 3 3 7 6 6 3 After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod on at least one social network sites, such as facebook, vkontakte, odnoklassniki, and twitter. Yes No 133 132 50 2 4 9 8

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81 Table 4 13. Overall/ composite scores of constructs Variable N Mean Std Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Overall performance 26 3 3.39 0.783 0.60 5 0.31 9 Overall risk perception 27 1 1.45 0.5 51 1.74 5 5. 295 Composite intention to revisit Composite WOM 2 54 2 57 4. 11 3.4 5 1. 139 1.25 6 1.3 75 0.64 4 1. 068 0.0 53

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82 Table 4 1 4 Correlation between performance evalua tion of the last trip to Nizhny Novgorod and post visitation behavior Variables: O verall performance and r p Composite intention to revisit score 0.337 0.000*** Composite w ord of mouth score 0.349 0.000*** Note: Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed). Table 4 1 5 Correlation between risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod and post visitation behavior Variable: overall risk perception of travel to Nizhny Novgorod and r p Overall intention to revisit 0.330 0.000*** Composite w ord of mouth 0.253 0.000*** Note: Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed).

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83 Table 4 16 Relationship between performance evaluations, risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod, primary reason, number of previous visits and intention to revisit the destination DF SS MS F p Regression 4 71.555 17.889 17.519 0.000 Residual 2 26 230.771 1.021 Cor. T otal 23 0 302.326 R Square/Adj R Square 0. 237/0.223 B SE B t p VIF Constant Primary reason 3.311 0.226 0.402 0.139 8.235 1.633 0.000 0.104 1.005 Number of previous visits 0.024 0.009 2.562 0.011 1.052 Risk perception 0.634 0.126 5.042 0.000 1.117 Overall performance 0.436 0.090 4.832 0.000 1.069 Table 4 1 7 Relationship between performance evaluations, risk perceptions of travel to Nizhny Novgorod primary reason, number of previous visits and WOM DF SS MS F p Regression 4 58.656 14.664 11.403 0.000 Residual 230 295.786 1.286 Cor. Total 234 354.443 R Square/Adj R Square 0.165/0.151 B SE B t p VIF Constant Primary reason 2.234 0.185 0.451 0.154 4.935 1.203 0.000 0.230 1.005 Number of previous visits 0.014 0.010 1.376 0.170 1.047 Risk perception 0.396 0.141 2.811 0.005 1.114 Overall performance 0.519 0.102 5.108 0.000 1.064

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84 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This chapter discusses the finding of the study, their theoretical and practical implications, as well as limitations and directions for further research. Discussion of Findings There is a constantly growing number of destinations that are competing for touris m, while customers tend not to stay loyal to one destination, instead they tend to a destination to stay compatible in the tourist market. Nizhny Novgorod is a large city that has potential to become one of the most important tourist centers in Russia. It is a multifunctional city as it possesses the characteristics of a cultural and historic city, a fortress city, and an industrial center (Page, 1995). As the study found, visitors to Nizhny Novgorod were involved in various types of activities during their stay such as general sightseeing, visiting architectural monuments and visiting historic sites and museums It also supported the findings of Kolobova (2011) and Avrale v and Efimova (2011) that historic and cultural heritage are among the main reasons that attract visitors to Nizhny Novgorod Although the main reason for coming to Nizhny Novgorod for most of respondents was visiting friends and relatives, study showed th at most people engaged in tourist activities such as sightseeing and visiting architectural monuments and museums The study looked at such constructs as destination performance, risk perceptions, and post visitation behavior and investigated relationship between these constructs in terms of domestic tourism. Destination performance might influence the destination choice as well as post visitation behavior ( Fakeye & Crompton, 1991; Lee et

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85 al., 2005 ). Visitors of a large city are likely to stay in some lodg ing facility, to eat in restaurants, interacting with people both personnel and locals as well as visit various attractions or participate in events ( Haywood & Muller, 1988 the performance on various attributes was important. A nalysis on 17 destination attributes in respect to Nizhny Novgorod showed that most aspects of destination performance were assessed quite favorably, with the mean higher than 3.0. scenic beauty and and greenery the highest; while hotel standards and availability o f healthcare in case of emergency were evaluated the lowest. It is important to focus on attributes that are performing worse than others as consumers choice is most likely to b e determined by the attributes the product possesses, not the product itself (Lancaster, 1966) As a result of certain attributes not performing as well as others the destination might not be included into consideration set or a potential traveler may proceed with another destination. On the one hand the study showed that Nizhny Novgorod generally p erforms well on the environmental type of attributes such as scenery, parks and greenery which were named to be one of the predictors of the quality of the trip (Murhy et al., 2000). However, low score received by the hotel standards attribute might be a s erious concern as previous research showed that accommodation is one of the most important destination attributes as evaluated by tourists (Pritchard & Havitz, 2006). This study dealt with primary images of domestic tourists; however, it is assume d that t he level of familiarity with the destination and knowledge about it differed between the fi rst timers and repeat visitors. The l iterature suggests that people, who have already visited a destination and, therefore, have primary, first hand images about it,

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86 tend to have a more detailed and generally more positive image s of the destination (e.g. Baloglu, 2001; Wang & Hsu, 2010; Milman & Pizam, 1995; Stepchenkova & Morrison, 2008). Difference s between first timers and repeaters was found in this study on sever al destination attributes such as choice of good restaurants in touristy areas, choice of nightlife and entertainment, pleasurability of shopping as well as attractiveness of price levels. First comers evaluated these attributes lower (i.e., less favorably ) than those who visited Nizhny Novgorod multiple times. One of the reasons for that might be that the majority of repeat visitors were VFR traveler. So, they could be accompanied by the local residents or local residents could give them advice on the plac es to dine, to go out to and to shop. With respect to crowdedness and congestion, however, the first comers evaluated the amount of crowding and congestion lower (i.e. more favorably) than repeaters. One of the reasons for this tendency might be that those who visit the destination for the first time try to stay close to the tourist center ; as a result they do not have to deal with traffic issues. Another reason could be that transportation was not found to be important predictor of the destination performa nce for first timers ( Fallon & Schofield, 2004). Based on this finding it can be suggested that first timers do not pay a lot of attention to the traffic problems and they might be more tolerable towards congestion than repeat visitors. With respect to the primary reason for travel, there are indications in the literature that on site evaluation of destination performance is likely to be influenced by it (Chen & Funk, 2010). However, the study found only two destination attributes which were perceived diffe rently based on whether visitors were leisure, business, or VFR: the hotel standards and friendliness of personnel. Those who came to visit friends and relatives evaluated the adequacy of hotel standards lower than two

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87 other groups. The VFR group also eval uated the friendliness of personnel lower than those who came there for a leisure trip. These findings are similar to those of Stepchenkova and Morrison (2008) about the Russian image: perceptions of Russia as a destination that are not substantiated by fi rst hand experiences (like in the case of VFR group which, presumably, stayed with their relatives, which is customary in Russia) tend to be lower than the actual tourism offer as evaluated by those who experienced it. Risk perceptions have been primarily researched in the context of international tourism ( Fuchs & Reichel, 2006 ; Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003 ). This study investigated the concept of risks perception in the context of Russian domestic tourism. Respondents were asked to report perce ptions of risks associated with their travel to Nizhny Novgorod that they held prior to their most recent trip to the city. In general, risk perceptions were low on all individual items (mean scores are less than 2.0 for seven out of 8 items), but responde nts evaluated risk of being a victim of a crime (M=2.33) as the highest Open ended responses also mentioned the risk of being a crime victim most often. One of the reasons for l ow risk perceptions might be the fact that study was conducted among Russian d omestic travelers. Being Russian residents they are more familiar with the destination and familiarity might reduce the level of risk associated with traveling to the destination. The fact that respondents did not express high levels of risk associated wit h visiting the destination is good from the practical point of view, because if risks were highly evaluated this could prevent people from coming to the city (Fuchs & Reichel, 2006). Although it was expected that people who have already been to a destinati on before tended to feel safer about traveling there (Floyd et al., 2004; Lepp & Gibson, 2003), the results of this study showed that first comers evaluated the risks

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88 associated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod significantly lower than those who were repeat visitors on four out of eight risk attributes, as well as on the overall. The evaluation of crime as the risk that is most likely to happen as well as the higher risk perception of repeaters versus first timers might be ex plained by the relatively high level of crime and familiarity of domestic tourists with it Data show that there were 1,974.2 crimes committed per 100,000 people in Nizhny Novgorod region in 2011 while the average number of crimes in Russia was lower in th e same year constituting 1,694.5 per 100,000 people (Smirnova, 2012). It is a serious concern as the previous research shows that no matter whether the tourist or a local resident was a target of crime, if crimes occur with a relatively high frequency, it will affect the destination image and result in decline in the number of visitations to the destination (Pizam, 1999). The study also collected the data on the perceptions of risks associated with travel in general. Based on their answers, the survey participants were assigned to the Low and High risk profile groups, with the split in the sample of 79% vs. 21%, respectivel y. Evaluation of destination performance between the Low and High profile groups differed on four attributes: safety from crime, accessibility, level of crowdedness and congestion, and friendliness of locals, with the low risk group giving the higher, i.e. more favorable, scores for each of these attributes, as was expected. The study supported previous findings that different people perceive risks differently (Roehl & Fesenmaier, 1992) ; however, the study obtained this result in the in the context of dome stic rather than international travel. Analysis of post visitation behavior showe d that, in general, visitors were likely to revisit Nizhny Novgorod both in short and middle term. It also showed that most of them

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89 engaged in positive word of mouth activity after their last trip to the destination including such WOM as recommending the destination to friends and relatives, recommending Nizhny Novgorod to people other than friends and relatives and to those who were asking for advice Online consumer reviews appear to become more and more important in the decision making process Studies showed that m ore than 80% of web shoppers said they use other consumers' reviews when making purcha sing decisions as well as that there is a preference of online peer reviews over editorial recommendations (Forrester, 2006; Smith et al., 2005 ). A bout 75% of US shoppers consider read ing customer reviews before making a purchase as very important (eMarketer, 2007) Respondents reported that in general they got engaged in the elec tronic WOM such as writing reviews of hotels, restaurants and other service they used during their trip on the website as well as posting positive comment in social networks But a lthough the study was Internet based, fewer people reported to get engaged i n electronic word of mouth in compari son to regular recommendations. It can be explained by the low level of use of the tourist online review websites. For example one of the most popular tourist websites tripadvisor.com is ranked 3,381 in Russia based on the average number of daily visitors to the website and the number of pageviews in the country over the last month (Alexa, 2012c). The fact that the regular WOM is more popular than eWOM might also be explained by the number of Internet users in Russia. Da ta show that in 2012 58% of the Russian population uses the Internet and the majority of them are younger people (79%) (WCIOM, 2012). As a result people still have to use regular WOM to communicate to those who are not online users, which will most probabl y include their parents and older relatives. Another reason could be the feeling of

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90 insecurity and untrustworthiness of the Russian population towards on line resources as they developed recently in comparison to other countries Previous studies showed that such constructs as destination performance, primary reason for the trip, risk perception as well as previous experience with the destination including the number of visits influence the post visitation which may result in futur e visits, positive or negative WOM, complaints or recommendations ( Haywood & Muller, 1988; Um et al., 2006 ; Sonmez & Graefe, 1998b; Milman & Pizam, 1995 ). Revisit intention is important for destination loyalty and loyal customers tend to contribute to the destination economically as well as engage in positive WOM ( Croes, Shani & Walls, 2010 ). And it is crucial to pay attention to and make sure that there is no negative WOM as previous studies showed that people tend to listen to negative assessments more th an to positive ones (Weinberger, Allen & Dillon, 1981). Analysis indicated that destination performance influences post visitation behavior. This study showed that people who evaluated performance of Nizhny Novgorod higher ended to report higher intention s to revisit and engage in WOM activity. This is similar to previous studies which showed that destination performance contributes to the overall satisfaction with the trip, and overall satisfaction inturn is a predictor of post vistiation behavior ( Chi & Q u, 2008 ; Haywood & Muller, 1988). Overall risk perceptions of travel to the destination were found to have negative relationship with both revisit intention and WOM activity: the higher the risk perception of the destination was the less likely they were t o revisit the destination and to engage in positive WOM activity. Since safety is one of the most important considerations for travelers, perceived risks have an influence on the destination attractiveness (Levantis & Gani, 2000; Sonmez et al.,

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9 1 1999). Anal ysis revealed that the number of previous visits positively influences intention to revisit : t he more times respondents visited the destination in the last 4 years the higher they evaluated their likelihood of return. However, the relationship between pre vious visitation and WOM was not significant in the model. While p revious research showed that repeaters tend to engage more in the positive WOM than those who came to the destination for the first time (Um et al., 2006; Opperman, 2000) the relationship b etween the previous visitations and WOM variables has not been extensively tested yet Moreover, operationalization of the WOM variable adopted in this study as actual behavior not as the likelihood of behavior may have also play ed a role. This is one ar ea of future research which potentially could bring new insights into the relation ships between theoretical constructs of familiarity and WOM. Finally, the results of regression analysis indicate that destination performance and perception of risks are the strongest predictors of post visitation behavior, compared to primary reason for visiting Nizhny Novgorod and the number of previous visits to the city in the last four years. It should be pointed out, however, that both Model 1 and Model 2 explained just a portion of all variance in the behavior variable, specifically 24% and 16%, respectively. This is an expected result, since numerous other factors such as financial factor, time, initial motivation for the trip as well as other demographic, externa l and internal factors (Yoon & Uysal, 2005). Practical Implications In order to promote the destination, it is important to look at such factors as tourists' experience with the destination, destination performance risk perception, and visitor profile. These factors influence destination image formation, which in turn, impacts the desire to revisit the destination and impacts the destination image

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92 communicated to prospective visitors (e.g. Sonmez & Graefe, Fakeye & Crompton, 1991, Opperman, 2000; Kozak, 2001). But the research in the field of tourism in Nizhny Novgorod is lacking. So t his research can be considered as one of the first steps to learn about domestic visitors to Nizhny Novgorod with the purpose of prom oting and marketing the destination. It can potentially be help ful for the local authorities, responsible for tourism development, to better understand the target market strengths. Another possible use of the results of this study is for SWOT analysis of t he city as a tourism destination. For example, this study revealed that respondents evaluated the adequacy of standards of hotels and healthcare as low which indicates that these areas information is thought to aid in strategizing tourism development in Nizhny Novgorod from various perspectives. It may help allocate limited resources to the areas of tourism development perceived by tination image can be better positioning Nizhny Novgorod among other historic Russian cities in the European part of the country. Ultimately such information will allow t he local authorities to project an image of the destination to potential tourists so that it becomes desirable to them (Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). This is particularly important for Nizhny Novgorod as a prospective host city of a sport mega event such as th e 2018 Soccer World Championship that can boost tourism there and differentiate the city among other tourist destinations. This study also showed that the city of Nizhny Novgorod has a base of loyal visitors This benefits the destination for several re asons: (1) loyal customers are

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93 believed to spend more at a destination; (2) they are less receptive to price changes; (3) they are a powerful source of WOM; (4) they represent more stable source of revenue; and (4) they are more forgiving in case of error (Croes et al. 2010). Although the performance evaluations of Nizhny Novgorod were generally high, the highest scores were given to such attributes as beauty and scenery of the city, greenery and its parks. The attributes that were service related were ev aluated lower. It should be taken into account by the Ministry of the Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region and special attention should be paid to the attributes that were evaluated the least such as adequac y of standards of hotel accommodations and access to healthcare in case of emergency. The issue related to hotel accommodations can be related to low service quality. So, it is necessary to make sure that the expectations visitors have about a hotel are ma tching with performance (Tsaur & Lin, 2 004). It is valuable to see if physical appearances and amenities of the hotels are not up to the declared standards or if the low evaluations are due to the human component ( e.g., not trained staff) as these are the most influential factors that can determine visitors overall satisfaction with the experience (Gundersen, Heide & Olsson, 1996; Choi & Chu, 2001). It can be also helpful to match service quality and overall value as well as price perception of the customer s for the type s of accommodation provided. It can influence the evaluation of the hotel accommodation as well as overall satisfaction because customers tend to have different price perception in relation to the value of service that they receive (Varini, E ngelmann, Cleassen & Scheusener, 2003). As far as the healthcare is concerned, it could be helpful to educate visitors about the options that are available in

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94 the city for the tourists in need of urgent health care O ne of the attributes (Amount of crowdin g and congestion) of Nizhny Novgorod was evaluated lower by repeater than by first comers. The Ministry of the Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region should pay attention to this problem as it can have negativ e influence on the overall destination performance of repeaters and, consequently, their desire to revisit. To eliminate this problem, walking tours can be offered. Another implication for the local tourist institution is that although risk attributes ass ociated with traveling to Nizhny Novgorod were evaluated low, crime got the highest score. Moreover, repeaters evaluated risks higher than visitors. This should be alerting for the Ministry of the Development of Small Business, Consumer Market and Services in Nizhny Novgorod Region as it means that the primary, first hand experiences with the destination (i.e., actual visitation ) are less favorable than what was expected prior to the very first visit to the city. First comers evaluated overall risk percepti on of travel to Nizhny Novgorod higher than repeat visitors. This can happen due to the absence of policemen, not enough illumination in the touristy areas. The following methods that are relevant to this case were proved to be effective in reducing crime in tourist destinations: safety and security training for tourism employees, installation of security devices in tourism enterprises, and tourist education (Pizam, 1999). To make the destination safer for tourists Tourist Oriented Police program can be adopted. T ourism Oriented Police program aims to provide safe and secure environment for tourists visiting the destination. It can involve placing 24 hour tourist offices in the touristy areas of the city and increasing police visibility in touristy areas particularly during night time.

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95 Such attributes as health risks, crisis of surrounding infrastructure, disapproval of others and natural disaster were evaluated higher by first comers than by repeat visitors. So, while the safety of tourists should be a pr infrastructure, accessible and quality healthcare may need attention. Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research The study has several limitations. First, the sample was not random, the study emplo yed a convenience sampling method, and participants in the study were self selected. While respondent profile in a number of characteristics (younger, educated, and financially well off people) matched the general profile of Russian users of social network s, the gender composition of the sample was heavily tilted towards women. S tudies by Dindia and Allen (1992) and Barrett et al ( 1998 ) found that women were more likely to disclose personal informatio to people whom they do not know, while men were more like ly to share such information with those close to them. T his difference in attitudes may explain at least partially, the gender discrepancy in the obtained sample Self selection influenced the survey results because those interested in the topic are more likely to respond. As a result those who were intereste d in taking part in the study could differ in their evaluations and perceptions from those who did not show interest in taking this survey. So, caution should be exercised when applying the results of this study to the population with different socio demographic characteristics. Future studies may include a more representative sample by conducting data collection in Russia for example, intercepting people on the streets of the city or by means of a ma iled survey. Second a significant number of responses were not fully completed, and therefore were excluded from analysis. Respondents who filled out the survey completely could have particular interest in the topic and could be different from those who d id not complete

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96 the survey. Forth, there was an issue of translation. The survey items were initially formulated in English (adopted from other studies, adapted with minor changes, or written by the researcher herself) while the actual survey was in Russia n. While care was taken to translate, items could have be en influenced by translation. Finally, with respect to risks perception, respondents gave their answers about how they felt about their last trip to Nizhny Novgorod after their trip had actually happened. Time that passed from their last trip may have skewed their responses. It might be valuable to conduct a study measuring perceptions and expectations befo re the visit and post visitation risk perception and performance evaluation of the destination, and then measure the perception gap. In conclusion, as far as the author knows, the study conducted the first research about the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russi a, using respondents from popular Russian social network sites. The findings describe the domestic visitor to Nizhny Novgorod and the user of Russian social networks from the perspectives of their tourist type (leisure, business, or VFR), previous experien ce and familiarity with the destination (first timers or repeat visitors), activities at the destination, preferred time to visit the city and geographical region The data was collected and analyzed on how visitors evalua te d the destination on their most recent trip, how they perceived risks associated with travel to the destination, and in what type of post visitation behavior they are engaged after their trip. The study tested several theoretically postulated relationshi ps between concepts of destination performance, risk perception and post visitati on behavior in the context of domestic tourists. This is a theoretical contribution of the study, since p reviously these relationships were tested

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97 primarily in the internation al context. From a practical angle, i t is hoped that the study would be helpful for the city of Nizhny Novgorod to improve its tourist offer and make the destination more desirable for domestic tourists in preparation for the mega sport events that the cit y is to host in the near future.

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98 APPENDIX A MAPS AND VIEWS OF NIZHNY NOVGOROD The Nizhny Novgorod Region location Location of Nizhny Novgorod within the Nizhny Novgorod Region

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99 Makariev Monastery The Kremlin

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100 The confluence of rivers the Volga and the Oka

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101 APPENDIX B ENGLISH VERSION OF THE SURVEY Nizhny Novgorod, Russia Survey CONSENT FORM Hello, My name is Galina Simanovskaya, I am a graduate student at the University of Florida. I would like to kindly invite you to participate in the research study which is a part of my Master's thesis. I am conducting a survey of tourists who visi ted Nizhny Novg orod in the last 4 years. Your responses will be very important in helping the city to meet your future recreational needs. The questionnaire should take less than 15 minutes to complete. The survey was approved by the Institutional Review Board that deter mines that the survey will not violate rights of respondents. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant rights may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; irb2@ufl.edu Your response s will be completely anonymous, confidential and the findings will never discuss individual responses. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this study. You do not have to answer any question you do not want to. You have the right to withdraw consent at any time without consequence. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation at any time without consequence. Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph. D. Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, Associate Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute, University of Florida ,svetlanastep@ufl.edu ELECTRONIC CONSENT: Please select your choice below. You have ready the above information You voluntarily agree to participate You are at least 18 years of age If you do not wish to participate in the research study, please decline participation by clicking on the o Agree o Disagree QUALIFYING QUESTIONS A. Are you a resident of Russia? YES/NO B. Are you a resident of Nizhny Novgorod? YES/NO C. What is your zip code? ________________ D. Have you been to Nizhny Novgorod in the last 4 years (2009 2012)? (YES/NO) DOMESTIC TRAVELERS TO NIZHNY NOVGOROD TYPE 1. In the past 4 years how many trips to Nizhny Novgorod did you have? _________ 2. What is the primary reason for your last trip to Nizhny Novgorod ? (CHECK ONLY ONE) Sightseeing Business trip Education/Academic trip Visiting friends and/or relatives Special event Entertainment Outdoor recreation Sporting event Shopping Just passing through on the way to other destination Other___________

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102 A. 1. Please check each activity you participated in during your last trip to Nizhniy Novgorod. (Check all that apply) Visiting historical sites and museums Visiting an art gallery Attending/participating in a sporting event Attending a personal special event (wedding, graduation, etc.) General sightseeing Visiting architectural monuments River cruise Attending/participating in a show, fair, festival Shopping Visit ing a community/city park Visiting a scenic area Fishing Other _________________ 6.Please rate, how much the attribute accurately describes N izhny Novgorod on your most recent trip by checking what best describes your agreement Some statements talk about touristy areas. We will understand touristy areas of Nizhny Novgorod as the Kremlin, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street Verhne Volzhskaya and Nizhne Volzhskaya embankments as well as adjacent territories Do you agree that Strongly Disagre e D isagree N eutral A gree Strongly Agree Do Not Know a 1 2 3 4 5 0 b The city is beautiful and scenic 1 2 3 4 5 0 c The city has beautiful parks and greenery 1 2 3 4 5 0 d Standards in hotel accommodations were adequate 1 2 3 4 5 0 e Destination appeared clean and free of trash in touristy areas of the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 f Destination appears safe from crime in touristy areas of the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 g It is easy to find and reach tourist attractions within the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 h Destination appears friendly and welcoming to tourists 1 2 3 4 5 0 i The city offers a wide choice of artistic and cultural amenities 1 2 3 4 5 0

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103 j It is very pleasurable to walk or stroll i n touristy areas of the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 k The amount of crowding and congestion in the city is NOT overwhelming 1 2 3 4 5 0 l There is a good choice of restaurants in touristy areas of the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 m There is a variety of nightlife and entertainment in the city 1 2 3 4 5 0 n Shopping in the city is very pleasurable 1 2 3 4 5 0 o The price levels in Nizhny Novgorod are very attractive 1 2 3 4 5 0 p Citizens of Nizhny Novgorod are friendly and helpful to tourists 1 2 3 4 5 0 q In case of emergency adequate healthcare is available to tourists 1 2 3 4 5 0 Travel Risk Perceptions 7. This question asks you about your general perception of traveling. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements Strongly Disagree Disagre e N eutra l Agree Strongly Agree A. Generally, I feel nervous about traveling. 1 2 3 4 5 B. Traveling is risky right now. 1 2 3 4 5 C. Vacation travel is not safe. 1 2 3 4 5 D. Generally, I feel very uncomfortable traveling. 1 2 3 4 5 E. Domestic traveling is just as risky as international travel. 1 2 3 4 5 F. Safety is a serious consideration when I am choosing a destination 1 2 3 4 5 Risk perception of the traveling to Nizhny Novgorod 8. Tell us about your risk perceptions related to your last trip to Nizhny Novgorod. Please rate your agreement with the following statements Before my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I was thinking that : Strongly Disagre e Disagre e Neutral Agree Strongly Agree a) the money spent on the vacation in Nizhny Novgorod will be a waste 1 2 3 4 5

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104 b) I will experience health related problems while traveling to Nizhny Novgorod 1 2 3 4 5 c) While I am in Nizhny Novgorod a crisis surrounding infrastructure (i.e. building bridge collapse) will likely to occur. 1 2 3 4 5 d) It is likely that I will personally be a victim of crime 1 2 3 4 5 e) It is likely that I will become a victim of terrorist act while in Nizhny Novgorod. 1 2 3 4 5 f) There is a risk of friends/family/associates disapproving of my choice of travel to Nizhny Novgorod because it is not safe 1 2 3 4 5 g) the trip to Nizhny Novgorod might be disappointing 1 2 3 4 5 h) While in Nizhny Novgorod the natural disaster is likely to occur 1 2 3 4 5 9. What is, in your opinion, the most risky thing about traveling to Nizhny Novgorod? ______________________________ SATISFACTION AND POST VISIT BEHAVIOR This section consists of questions regarding the overall quality of your experience in Nizhny Novgorod and your willingness to revisit and recommend it. 10. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a perfect trip, how would you rate the overall quality of your experience during you r last trip ?____ 11. Please rate the following statements on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 strongly disagree and 5 strongly agree. Intention to Revisit Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree No Answer a. I want to come to Nizhny Novgorod again for a pleasure trip 1 2 3 4 5 0 b. It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next three years 1 2 3 4 5 0 c. It is likely that I will revisit Nizhny Novgorod in the next five years 1 2 3 4 5 0 12. Please, indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements: After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, generally I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to my friends and/or family. YES/NO After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, overall I spoke positively of Nizhny Novgorod as a travel destination to other people (excluding friends and relatives) YES/NO After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I recommended Nizhny Novgorod to people who were seeking advice. YES/NO After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I wrote and posted online a generally positive review about my experience in Nizhny Novgorod and posted it on the website of the hotel/restaurant etc. the services of which I used during my trip YES/NO After my last trip to Nizhny Novgorod, I spoke positively about Nizhny Novgorod on at least one social network sites, such as facebook, vkontakte, odnoklassniki, a nd twitter. YES/NO DEMOGRAPHICS Please take a moment to tell us who you are. This information will be kept in the strictest confidence and used for statistical purposes only.

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105 13. What is your gender? [ ] Male [ ] Female 14. Your marital status? (Check only one) Single Partnered/Married Widow/Widower Divorced Separated Prefer not to answer 15. How many children do you have of all age groups l isted below? ___ younger than 5 years ___5 13 years ___ 14 18 years ___ 19 24 years ___25 years than older ___ Don't have children Prefer not to answer 16. How old are you? If you do not want _________ 17. Please indicate the highest level of education you have obtained? ( Check one) Less t han High School Graduate Col lege Degree Some College High Sc hool Graduate Some Graduate School Advanced Degree Technical School Prefer not to tell 18. How can you describe the financial situation of your family? Very good Average Very Bad Good Bad Prefer not to tell That completes our survey. Thank you very much for your assistance! If you have any questions or comments, please, address them to galinasim@ufl.edu

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106 APPENDIX C RUSSIAN VERSION OF THE SURVEY

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117 APPENDIX D DEMOGRAPHICS OF SOCIAL NE TWORKS (VKONTAKTE FACEBOOK) USERS

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118 APPENDIX E MESSAGES FOR MODERATORS AND INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY Moderator/Administrator Message Dear Moderator of the XXX Community, Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph. D. Assistant Professor Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management Associate Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute University of Florida svetlanastep@ufl.edu

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119 Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management University of Florida svetlana.step @ufl.edu Phone / fax : +7 831 462 31 02 E mail : Hello, Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph. D. Assistant Professor Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management Associate Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute University of Florida Svetlanastep.ufl.edu

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120 Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management University of Florida svetlana.step@ufl.edu Phone / fax : +7 831 462 31 02 E mail : intkig@unn.ru

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121 APPENDIX F THANK YOU NOTE TO MODERATORS AND PARTICIPANTS We are planning to close the survey on Friday (February 1, 2013) at 9:00 pm (Moscow time zone). Community members who would like to take part in the study and have not taken part in it yet can do it by following the link below: https://ufljour.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2b2H9PHAKQdam0J Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph. D. Assistant Professor Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management Associate Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute University of Florida Svetlanastep.ufl.edu XXX https :// ufljour qualtrics com / SE /? SID = SV _2 b 2 H 9 PHAKQdam 0 J

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122 APPENDIX G IRB APPROVAL

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124 APPENDIX H GEOGRAPHCAL DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS Region Frequency Percent Moscow and Moscow oblast 77 30.1 Nizhny Novgorod Oblast 44 17.2 Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast 29 11.3 Kirov Oblast 9 3.5 Samara Oblast 8 3.1 Ivanovo Oblast 7 2.7 Republic of Tatarstan 6 2.3 Chuvash Republic 5 2.0 Komi Republic 5 2.0 Tver Oblast 4 1.6 Vladimir Oblast 4 1.6 Arkhangelsk Oblast 3 1.2 Chelyabinsk Oblast 3 1.2 Republic of Bashkortostan 3 1.2 Ryazan Oblast 3 1.2 Vologda Oblast 3 1.2 Yaroslavl Oblast 3 1.2 Irkutsk Oblast 2 0 .8 Kaliningrad Oblast 2 0 .8 Kemerovo Oblast 2 0 .8 Kursk Oblast 2 0 .8 Perm Oblast 2 0 .8 Sakhalin Oblast 2 0 .8 Smolensk Oblast 2 0 .8 Bryansk Oblast 1 0 .4 Buryat Republic 1 0 .4 Kamchatka 1 0 .4 Karachay Cherkess Republic 1 0 .4 Khabarovsk Krai 1 0 .4 Kostroma Oblast 1 0 .4 Krasnodar Krai 1 0 .4 Krasnoyarsk Krai 1 0 .4 Lipetsk Oblast 1 0 .4 Mari El Republic 1 0 .4 Murmansk Oblast 1 0 .4 Novosibirsk Oblast 1 0 .4 Omsk Oblast 1 0 .4 Oryol Oblast 1 0 .4 Penza Oblast 1 0 .4 Primorsky Krai 1 0 .4 Republic of Karelia 1 0 .4 Republic of Mordovia 1 0 .4 Republic of Udmurtia 1 0 .4 Rostov Oblast 1 0 .4 Saratov Oblast 1 0 .4 Stavropol Krai 1 0 .4 Sverdlovsk Oblast 1 0 .4 Volgograd Oblast 1 0 .4 Voronezh Oblast 1 0 .4 Yamalo Nenets Autonomous Okrug 1 0 .4

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125 APPENDIX I COPYRIGHT AGREEMENT ELSEVIER LICENSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS Feb 27, 2013 This is a License Agreement between Galina Simanovskaya ("You") and Elsevier ("Elsevier") provided by Copyright Clearance Center ("CCC"). The license consists of your order details, the terms and conditions provided by Elsevier, and the payment terms and conditions. All payments must be made in full to CCC. For payment instructions, please see information listed at the bottom of this form. Supplier Elsevier Limited The Boulevard,Langford Lane Kidlington,Oxford,OX5 1GB,UK Registered Company Number 1982084 Customer name Galina Simanovskaya Customer address 1320 NW 3rd Ave Apt 250 Gainesville FL 32603 License number 3078281147099 License date Jan 29, 2013 Licensed conte nt publisher Elsevier Licensed content publication Annals of Tourism Research Licensed content title Influence of terrorism risk on foreign tourism decisions Licensed content author Sevil F. Snmez,Alan R. Graefe Licensed content date January 1998 Licensed content volume number 25 Licensed content issue number 1 Number of pages 33 Start Page 112 End Page 144 Type of Use reuse in a thesis/dissertation Portion figures/tables/illustrations

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126 Number of figures/tables/illustrations 1 Format both print and electron ic Are you the author of this Elsevier article? No Will you be translating? No Order reference number Title of your thesis/dissertation DESTINATION NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA THROUGH THE EYES OF DOMESTIC TOURISTS: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, RISK PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS Expected completion date Mar 2013 Estimated size (number of pages) 110 Elsevier VAT number GB 494 6272 12 Permissions price 0.00 USD VAT/Local Sales Tax 0.0 USD / 0.0 GBP Total 0.00 USD Terms and Conditions INTRODUCTION 1. The publis her for this copyrighted material is Elsevier. By clicking "accept" in connection with completing this licensing transaction, you agree that the following terms and conditions apply to this transaction (along with the Billing and Payment terms and conditi ons established by Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. ("CCC"), at the time that you opened your Rightslink account and that are available at any time at http://myaccount.copyright.com ). GENERAL TERMS 2. Elsevie r hereby grants you permission to reproduce the aforementioned material subject to the terms and conditions indicated. 3. Acknowledgement: If any part of the material to be used (for example, figures) has appeared in our publication with credit or acknowle dgement to another source, permission must also be sought from that source. If such permission is not obtained then that material may not be included in your publication/copies. Suitable acknowledgement to the source must be made, either as a footnote or in a reference list at the end of your publication, as follows: (Year), with permission from Elsevier [OR APPLICABLE SOCIETY COPYRI 4. Reproduction of this material is confined to the purpose and/or media for which permission is hereby given. 5. Altering/Modifying Material: Not Permitted. However figures and illustrations may be altered/adapted minimally to serve yo ur work. Any other abbreviations, additions, deletions and/or any other alterations shall be made only with prior written authorization of Elsevier Ltd. (Please contact Elsevier at permissions@elsevier.com) 6. If the permission fee for the requested use of our material is waived in this instance, please be advised that your future requests for Elsevier mat erials may attract a fee. 7. Reservation of Rights: Publisher reserves all rights not specifically granted in the combination of (i) the license detail s provided by you and accepted in the course of this licensing transaction, (ii) these terms and conditio ns and (iii) CCC's Billing and Payment terms and conditions.

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141 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Galina Simanovskaya was born in 1989, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. She went to school in her homet own. Galina graduated with her b Department of International Relations of The State University of Ni zhny Novgorod, in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of raduate assistant at the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management.