Monday, 04 Dec, 2023




Developing Relational Constructs to Control Tourist Engagement in Low-Engaging Autochthonous Destinations in Post COVID-19 Environment

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 14 COVID-19 Issue

Published: 2021
Author(s) Name: Arup Kumar Baksi, Bivraj Bhusan Parida | Author(s) Affiliation: Department of Management and Business Administration, Aliah University, Kolkata, India.
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The whiplash of COVID-19 has induced stagnancy across the global tourism industry. The post-pandemic resurrection of the sector is apprehended to be shaped by new industry and social norms governing stakeholders’ attitudes and behaviours. The relational framework governing the service industry is likely to undergo dimensional shift as the choice of destinations will no longer be default and biased by popularity. The apprehensive tourist would explore destinations, which might offer transformative and immersive experience instead of conventional engagement. Autochthonous destinations, secluded from the vibrant ones, might hold the key to balance the urge of the traveler, the revival initiative of the industry and the new societal norms. This paper empirically explores the emerging relational constructs that might control tourist engagement in rural autochthonous destination with constrained scope of conventional engagement. The results identified a five-factor model (value co-creation scope, perceived health risk, destination authenticity, trust and continuance commitment) for the tourist relational-base and a three-factor model (host-bonding, transformational activity and absorption) for tourist engagement. The results revealed that value co-creation scope and destination authenticity are likely to build up trust resulting in continuance commitment, which subsequently had an impact on the engagement dimensions. It was also found that higher level of perceived health risk would compromise the overall relationship. While the results supported and reinforced the existing and emerging theories governing relationship marketing and its impact on tourist engagement, it also hinted towards the shifting cognition and behavioural intention in response to the pandemic scenario. The study could be extrapolated with new variables, namely tourist involvement, self-brand congruence etc. to have a deeper understanding on engagement.

Keywords: Relational Construct, Tourist Engagement, Control, Impact, COVID-19

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