HomeAsian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Researchvol. 5 no. 2 (2011)

Backwash effects: How do Country and Destination Image Interact Upon Experiences?

Kohichi Sayama | Juergen Gnoth

Discipline: Tourism



Does pre-visit nowledge of a country impact the destination experience of that country? When a traveler visits a destination with images of the country in which this place is located, those images could distort his/her experience and the perceived images gained from the experience. The purpose of this study is to investigate how a destination image influences impressions perceived during actual travel experiences in the context of Japan (country), Hokkaido (area), and Sapporo (destination). Two hundred twenty one participants took part in the survey. After answering the purpose of his/her trip, they responded to 75 questions concerning their first impressions of Japan, Hokkaido, and Sapporo. They went on to answer his/her personal information. Results indicated three factors for country, area, and destination: Physical Impression as hygiene factors, Place Attractiveness as motivations, Spatial Impression as impressions of cityscapes. “Backwash effects” were recognized in the cases of Place Attractiveness and Spatial Impression. In these cases the country image had an impact on the area image and the destination image. The results also implied that the previous knowledge gained from the internet, mass media, and/or guidebooks is crucial in forming the pre-visit image of a destination.