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Commitment theory: do behaviors enhance the perceived attractiveness of tourism destinations?

Seohee Chang (Division of Culture and Tourism, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Paul Stansbie (College of Community and Public Service, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 7 September 2018

Issue publication date: 24 October 2018




A general point of commitment theory is that the more individuals behave in a certain way toward an entity, the more attractive they feel toward that entity. The main purpose of this study is to investigate whether an individual’s perceived attractiveness toward a tourist destination is enhanced by the number of actual visits to each different attraction within the destination, being controlled by satisfaction.


In doing so, data were collected from 613 individuals at major tourist attractions and traffic centers in Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to examine the findings, and the conclusions drawn indicate that there is a statistically significant relationship between the number of visits to different attractions and the perceived attractiveness of the destination, as well as the interaction effect between the number of visits to different attractions and satisfaction.


The results are supported by literature in the area of commitment theory, in which various authors state that attitudes are evoked by behaviors. Further examination of the findings and conclusions drawn are described in this paper.

Practical implications

This mechanism should strategically be applied to practical implications to provide more accessible routes to a destination and a networking system. When visitors engage in a community in various ways, they are more likely to continue to engage in a community because they do not prefer to have intangible or tangible costs associated with disengagement.


This paper is the first application of the concept of commitment traced from its original psychological theory to the field of tourism. The effort justification paradigm of commitment theory postulates that if individuals work or study hard toward a specific goal, they gradually perceive the goal as attractive. This study found that the aforementioned paradigm shift is expanded to various types of behaviors, including that involving travel. This paper contributes to an in-depth understanding of the original commitment theory and its application to tourism.



This research was supported by the Sookmyung Women’s University Research Grants (1-1703-2054).


Chang, S. and Stansbie, P. (2018), "Commitment theory: do behaviors enhance the perceived attractiveness of tourism destinations?", Tourism Review, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 448-464.



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