Relationships between perceptions of virtual destination environment, satisfaction and loyalty

Yuncu D.

JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM TECHNOLOGY, no.2, pp.160-173, 2015 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/jhtt-07-2014-0021
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.160-173
  • Keywords: Loyalty, Satisfaction, Facebook page, Kaplan, Virtual destination environment, Kaplan's preference matrix model, DESIGN, SERVICESCAPES, COMPLEXITY, INTERNET, WEB
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose - This paper aims to clarify the relationships between virtual destination environment factors and visitors' satisfaction and loyalty. Virtual destination environment factors are based upon Kaplan and Kaplan's preference matrix. Kaplan and Kaplan (1982) developed a preference matrix to describe how people use information to satisfy their needs of making sense and exploration in a physical environment. According to the model, while coherence and legibility help one to understand the place, variety and mystery landscape encourage exploration. Each of the factors can be associated with elements of the virtual destination environment. Design/methodology/approach - The data were collected from 170 users who visited My Destination Barcelona Facebook page. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, as well as structural equation modelling (SEM) were used to analyze the data. Findings - The study explored the relationships between virtual destination environment, satisfaction and loyalty based on the Kaplan and Kaplan's preference matrix. According to the findings, when the virtual destination environment includes a variety of visuals and enough information related to the destination, and at the same time, when it includes environmental factors which stimulate curiosity, excitement and entertainment, the virtual destination environment will provide visitors' satisfaction and loyalty. Research limitations/implications - Several limitations of the present study should be mentioned. First, data from this study were collected from visitors of only one destination Facebook page (My Destination Barcelona) as a virtual destination environment. Second, although the sample size (N = 170) in the study seems enough for SEM, it is quite low. In addition, the use of a convenience sampling approach could decrease external validity. Thus, future studies should consider developing a systematic design to better represent the population. Originality/value - This paper examines how online visitors perceive virtual destination environment and how perception directly influences visitors' satisfaction feelings and indirectly affects their loyalty.