Assessing The Impact Of Movies Upon An Individual's Image Formation Concerning A Given Destination

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Hahm, Jeeyeon (Jeannie)
University of Central Florida
Destination image; Mass media; Movie; Popular culture
thesis / dissertation description
The process of watching a movie is a common way to be entertained in this day and age. There are multiple ways in which people can enjoy a movie ranging from the big screen at a commercial theater, on their home's television, or even in a car while driving. One outcome associated with watching a destination movie might be that the viewer will be compelled to visit or not the location portrayed in the movie. It is a primary assumption of this thesis that movies have the ability to create or change an individual's image of a destination by its portrayal within the motion picture. This study was conducted in an effort to examine this global phenomenon called movie tourism and contribute to the tourism literature. This study focused on determining the differences between pre and post measures resulting from watching a destination specific movie. The research method was a pretest-posttest experimental design conducted to a convenience sample of 247 hospitality management students enrolled in a major metropolitan university located in the southeastern portion of the United States. The research instrument was a pre and posttest questionnaire that included structured and unstructured questions in order to capture the complex destination image. The treatment between the pre and posttest was a destination specific movie. A 100% response rate was obtained from the pretest group and a 99.2% response rate from the posttest group. Results of the study revealed that: 1) certain perceived destination images were different before and after the movie; 2) level of interest in visiting the destination was not different before and after the movie; 3) destination image had a positive relationship with the level of interest in visiting the destination; and 4) certain audience characteristics had an impact on destination image and interest in visiting the location. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed in the final chapter.