Investigating the Effect of Festival Visitors' Emotional Experiences on Satisfaction, Psychological Commitment, and Loyalty
MetadataShow full item record
In rural destinations, community festivals and events displaying agricultural and livestock exhibits with a combination of entertainment activities are one of the heritage attractions that draw large numbers of visitors. They have not only provided an economic stimulus along with social and cultural benefits to these small communities, but also played a role in increasing the tourism appeal to nonlocal visitors. Considering the significance of a rural community festival to its hosting local residents and out-of-town visitors, attracting and keeping a flow of visitors has been of great importance for both the festival organizers and destination marketing organizations. In this respect, identification with and retention of loyal visitors who are psychologically committed to the festival are a practical means for ensuring a consistent number of visitors to that festival and its hosting community. The present study examined how festival visitors' develop loyalty to festivals and hosting communities through the affective and psychological processes within the Mehrabian-Russell (M-R) model. Specifically, this study explored how emotions engendered through tourism product consumption influence visitors' psychological attachment, evaluations of their festival and place experiences, and loyalty in a festival context. The study further examined if festival visitors' positive experiences could have an influence on their preference of festival communities. Through an onsite and follow-up mixed-mode survey, data were collected during Spring/Summer 2008 from visitors to three community festivals in Texas. Data analysis was performed using structural question modeling (SEM). The study findings provided empirical evidence in support of the M-R model within the festival contexts. The study results revealed that festival atmospherics had a positive indirect effect on festival loyalty via positive emotions, festival commitment, and festival satisfaction, which in turn positively influenced place loyalty. Additionally, the findings in this study provided empirical support for the applicability of product consumption emotions to visitors' emotions generated from tourism product consumption situation specific to the festival contexts. The findings of the study have theoretical and practical implications. For theory, these findings offer support for the M-R model within festival context. The model's focus on emotional response to environmental stimuli is an important addition to established cognitive-based models of loyalty development processes. For practice, the study offers some guidance for festival organizers and destination marketing managers for developing effective marketing strategies that focus on the festival atmospherics that ultimately retain and attract new festival goers.
Lee, Ji Yeon (2009). Investigating the Effect of Festival Visitors' Emotional Experiences on Satisfaction, Psychological Commitment, and Loyalty. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from