Title: The role of intangible factors in the intention of repeating a tourist destination

Authors: Elvira Vieira; Ana Pinto Borges; Paula Rodrigues; Jorge Lopes

Addresses: ISAG – European Business School and Research Center in Business Sciences and Tourism (CICET), Campus de Salazares, Rua de Salazares 842, 4100-442 Porto, Portugal; IPVC- Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo and UNIAG – Applied Management Research Unit, Campus de Salazares, Rua de Salazares 842, 4100-442 Porto, Portugal ' ISAG – European Business School and Research Center in Business Sciences and Tourism (CICET) and COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management), Campus de Salazares, Rua de Salazares 842, 4100-442 Porto, Portugal ' Universidade Lusíada – Norte, COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management) and BRU – IUL (Business Research Unit), R. Dr. Lopo de Carvalho 67, Porto, Portugal ' ISAG – European Business School and Research Center in Business Sciences and Tourism (CICET), Campus de Salazares, Rua de Salazares 842, 4100-442 Porto, Portugal

Abstract: Little attention has been paid towards the intangible factors influencing tourism loyalty. Among these are usually the experiences during the stay, the engagement or the cultural identification with the destination. In this paper we explored the relationship of these underlying intangible factors with the intention to return to a destination. We used a sample of 958 tourists, who answered to a questionnaire applied in the city of Porto, Portugal. Results show that engagement and cultural identification with the destination are positively linked with the intention to return. We also observe a positive relationship between intention to return and specific tourist perceptions concerning the destination, namely social responsibility, available experiences and cultural heritage. Policy makers should focus on intangible factors in order to develop strategies to foster attractiveness and promote the uniqueness of tourist destinations. The central challenge to the sector's stakeholders is related to the experiences and tourist engagement.

Keywords: tourism engagement; CSR; corporate social responsibility; loyalty; tourism destination; intention to return; intangible factors; logistic regression.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2020.112639

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2020 Vol.10 No.4, pp.327 - 350

Received: 26 Dec 2019
Accepted: 23 Oct 2020

Published online: 15 Jan 2021 *

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