Tourists’ Perceptions and Intended Behavior Thanks to Celebrity Endorsement: Antetokounmpo Invites You to Santorini with Aegean Airlines
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The increasing use of social media has led to the expanding adoption of ICT applications in hospitality and tourism. To communicate their image, destinations and service providers undertake various initiatives exerting vast impact on their target audiences. To further stimulate travel, tourism providers foster collaborations with celebrities, the role of which has yet to be examined regarding the way tourism destinations perceptions are formulated. The aim of the study is to test the relationship between celebrity endorsement and destination perceptions. Contributing to the current research stream, the research extends previous findings incorporating celebrity endorser’s characteristics, destination image and intention to visit the destination. A quantitative research was conducted, using a celebrity spot shared on the YouTube channel of Aegean Airlines. Respondents were asked to express their perceptions about Santorini, as promoted by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reputable basketball player worldwide. Empirical evidence validates previous findings and contributes to the body of knowledge about the role of social media and the influence of celebrities on tourists’ perceptions behavioral intentions. Celebrity endorser’s characteristics were found to positively affect destination familiarity, destination image and visitation intentions. Findings are extracted, and conclusions are provided for both the tourism professionals and the academic community.
KeywordsSocial media Destination image Celebrity endorsement Visitation intentions Quantitative research
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