Impact of Travel Motives on Destination Image Perception: With Special Reference to Sri Lanka

25 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015  

W.M.H.U. Wijethunga

University of Peradeniya

B.N.F. Warnakulasooriya

University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Date Written: December 7, 2015


As same as any other product, the image held by travelers on a specific tourist destination highly influences when selecting alternative tourist destinations. Image perception further has a high impact on tourists’ behavioral intention, return intention, loyalty and positive word of mouth communication. However, literature shows that the majority of past researches have integrated image perception with external stimuli, by ignoring the influence of internal factors such as psychological motives to build up an image perception. Therefore, this study is designed to address the research question whether tourists’ psychological motives have any significant impact on image perception of the tourists on Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. The objectives of the study are to examine whether the association exists between Psychological/Push Motives (PM) and destination Image Perception (IP) of the tourists who select Sri Lanka as a tourist destination and to test whether the association between PM and IP of the tourists is moderated by the tourists’ country of origin (COT). A single cross sectional research design was employed to collect data through a self administered questionnaire. The unit of analysis and the proxies are the international tourists to Sri Lanka. A sample of 220 international tourists, who came to Sri Lanka during January to August, 2014 was selected. The Regression Analysis and the Moderating Hierarchical Regression Analysis were performed to assess the hypotheses. The results show that the relationship exists though it is weak and the relationship moderates by the country of the origin of the tourists. The implication of the research can be used when designing marketing communications to attract new customers (or tourists) and when designing marketing strategies such as segmenting, targeting and positioning.

Keywords: Country of Origin, Tourist Destination, Image Perception, Psychological Motives

JEL Classification: O14, M39

Suggested Citation

Wijethunga, W.M.H.U. and Warnakulasooriya, B.N.F., Impact of Travel Motives on Destination Image Perception: With Special Reference to Sri Lanka (December 7, 2015). 12th International Conference on Business Management (ICBM) 2015. Available at SSRN: or

W.M.H.U. Wijethunga (Contact Author)

University of Peradeniya ( email )

Sri Lanka

B.N.F. Warnakulasooriya

University of Sri Jayewardenepura ( email )

Gangodawila, Nugegoda
Sri Lanka

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