عنوان مقاله [English]
The tourism destination image (TDI) is considered an effective element in destination selection and tourist behavior . The importance of tourism destination image is clear for all practitioners in the tourism industry and researchers. This importance mainly lies in tourists’ mental image of a destination image and the resultant behavior that lead to choosing a favorable destination. The importance of the tourist destination image is universally acknowledged since it affects the individual’s subjective perception and consequent behavior and destination choice. Thus, this study investigated effective elements in the formation of these mental images. First a model was developed based on theories and literature review and then data of tourists’ mental images of Urmia city in Iran was collected by survey method in the form of a questionnaire. Then, the hypothesis was tested. The study population consisted of all domestic tourists who travelled to Urmia between March and August, 2014 (a period of six months) .
This research attempted to identify the relationship between tourists’ mental images, their decisions and behavior and the importance of destination image. Destination image is investigated as an effective element in tourism behavior and market. Thus, the inferred vision of tourists of Urmia and effective elements in creating and changing this image was first studied. Then, proposals for creating and improving the positive and extraordinary images of tourism was put forward. Western Azerbaijan province is the only province in Iran which has common boundaries with three countries and thus has an eastern and western corridor into and out of Iran. This fact could lead to an increase of tourism in the area. Urmia, like other cities in the province has an ancient civilization, rich historical places and various cultural and natural attractions which means it has great potentials for tourism.
Finding and Results
Data for this research was obtained by library studies and literature reviews which led to the design of the questionnaires. Questionnaires included 29 questions (4 question for travel satisfaction, 7 question for perceived value, 7 question for Trip quality, and 11 variable question for field variables and other issues for tourism travel).
In this research, in order to analyze data and mental images of Urmia, travelers were questioned regarding attractions, availability, safety, services, hosting indexes before and after their travels.
Results indicate that the perceived value has a direct effect on tourist destination image and is due to the coefficient of determination in the regression model. It can be said that 43 percent of the dependent variable (the destination image) can be obtained by changing the variables in the model's quality and perceived travel value.
The results of the second hypothesis confirmed that image before and after traveling to the city of Urmia as a tourist destination is different in some indicators. A third hypothesis suggested the relatively strong correlation (75/0) between the two variables of perceived image of the city of Urmia and tourists willing to travel there again. Moreover, the Spearman test showed that relationship satisfaction and willingness to travel were 95 percent significant. It can therefore be concluded that by improving the image of tourists will also increase the willingness of tourists to travel again.