Perceptions of stopover destinations during long haul air travel: A mixed methods research approach in four countries

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Tourism Analysis


© 2020 Cognizant, LLC. Research into the phenomenon of stopovers during long haul air travel emerged only recently in the tourism literature. In this article a contribution to this new field is made by reporting perceptions of Dubai, in the context of an international stopover destination, during long haul air travel between UK/ Europe and Australasia/South Pacific, relative to three competing places (Singapore, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi). A mixed methods research approach was used. The first stage involved personal interviews with 66 consumers in the UK, France, Australia, and New Zealand to identify salient attributes of stopover destinations, and a pilot survey involving 777 consumers in Australia and France. A refined online survey was then used with a combined sample of 2,000 consumers in the same four markets, to identify determinant attributes of stopover destination attractiveness, as well as Dubai's perceived strengths and weaknesses. The study identified determinant attributes of stopover destination attractiveness that have not featured in destination image research. The results support the propositions that 1) destination image might vary across travel contexts, and 2) there is a positive effect of previous visitation on destination image and attitudinal loyalty. Methodologically the study demonstrates the efficacy of combining the repertory test with importance-performance analysis, in destination image research.

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