The aim of this paper is to present a model in which the relationship between Muslims’ involvement with traveling to Islamic destinations and Islamic destination brand equity is investigated.
Based on the existing theoretical and empirical research on involvement and brand equity in tourism marketing and the literature on Muslim tourists’ needs and culture, a conceptual model for Muslim tourists is developed. The model investigates the relationships between Muslims’ psychological motivations for traveling to Islamic destinations and the evaluation of destination Islamic brand.
The study shows that the more Muslims are involved in traveling to Islamic destinations, the more likely they evaluate the key dimensions of destination Islamic brand. This is demonstrated by the influence of Muslims’ involvement on their awareness of Islamic destinations, their image of the Islamic destination attributes, the perceived quality of Islamic offerings, the perceived Islamic value and their loyalty toward Islamic destinations.
The study evaluates the Islamic brand equity in the context of Islamic tourism destinations and in relation to Muslims’ interests in traveling to Islamic countries. The study contributes to better understand the Islamic destinations and how to maximize the benefits of their Islamic attributes. It is suggested that Islamic attributes should be highlighted more for Muslim tourists interested in traveling to Islamic countries. Investigating the concepts analyzed will help tourism destinations to integrate marketing and promotional campaigns and build a more powerful Islamic brand in Muslim markets.
The relationship between involvement and brand equity has not been yet explored adequately, especially in the context of Islamic branding. This study adds to the previous studies in which the link between personal involvement with a specific destination and destination brand equity was explored. The role of Islamic values in this relationship is highlighted. The study contributes to destination branding studies by being one of the primary works, which applies the concept of brand equity to Islamic destinations.
This research is under financial support of LRGS grant on Physical & Environmental Rural Tourism. No. 304/JKOMS/650570/T121.
Shafaei, F. and Mohamed, B. (2015), "Involvement and brand equity: a conceptual model for Muslim tourists", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 54-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-06-2014-0050
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