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Title: An holistic approach to tourist place images and spatial behaviour
Author: Wilson, Julie.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2020 0649
Awarding Body: University of the West of England at Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2002
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In recent years, the city has become a primary setting for a diversity of tourist activities. However, the nature of the urban experience, from the perspective of tourist-city interactions, has not been examined in detail. In this particular arena, the concepts of place image and the tourist experience are very relevant, as processes of tourist image formation and modification are linked to the formation of tourists' expectations. In tum, expectations can have the potential to influence tourist choices and spatial behaviour patterns, in the event of an actual visit. Certainly, probability of patronage of a tourist attraction would appear to relate directly to how well that location fits into the simplified 'cognitive map' held by the individual. Overall, knowledge of how individual and groups of tourists interact and acquire information about the urban environment has also been under researched. The thesis therefore examines the main interrelationships between tourists' place images, expectations and spatial behaviour. It introduces an approach for examining such relationships from a more holistic, interdisciplinary perspective than has been employed in previous tourism image and behaviour research. Notably, a longitudinal dimension is introduced for the study of image modification, using an innovative, multi-stage approach. By elaborating, critiquing and applying some of the key concepts in tourist imagery and spatial behaviour in the context of tourist-historic cities, the thesis identifies a connection between tourists' images and spatial behaviour. The UK historic cities of Exeter and Bath were used as case studies for the empirical application of the multi-method framework, and primary data were collected via questionnaires, an experimental panel of visitors and semi-structured interviews. As well as contributing new themes to current theoretical and conceptual debates, the empirical findings identify a clear niche for image-behaviour relationships as a highly relevant concept for tourism studies. In particular, tourists' spatial behaviour is shown to influence the content of tourists' urban images, and in tum, tourists' images of the city can predispose them to certain activity choices. Conclusions are also drawn regarding the influences of different 'image formation agents' and direct tourist experience of a city as a strong agent of image modification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban tourism