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Cruise destination brand awareness as a moderator in motivation-satisfaction relation

Arja Lemmetyinen (School of Economics, University of Turku, Pori, Finland)
Darko Dimitrovski (Faculty of Hotel Management and Tourism, University of Kragujevac, Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia)
Lenita Nieminen (School of Economics, University of Turku, Pori, Finland)
Tuomas Pohjola (School of Economics, University of Turku, Pori, Finland)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 21 November 2016




The aim of this study is to examine cruise destination branding as a new resource for a region to promote an area as a differentiated cruise destination. The authors specifically study how the perceived brand awareness of a destination moderates the relation between cruisers’ motivation and destination satisfaction and word-of-mouth (WoM).


A statistical model was adapted from relevant literature and applied in the context of cruise destination branding. The model was tested by measuring Cronbach’s alpha coefficients and the fit of the model through confirmative factor analysis. Hierarchical regression analysis and moderated regression analysis were also conducted. The sample consisted of British cruisers (n = 182) visiting the city of Pori in Finland.


The findings suggest that factors that impel people to take cruises (social recognition, self-esteem, discovery, socialization, convenience and value) have a significant impact on satisfaction with the destination, whereas brand awareness is recognized as a moderator in the relation between social recognition and destination satisfaction and WoM. Research findings provide a framework to discuss and analyze the cruise tourism business in a holistic way. Whereas the earlier studies have focused on onboard experiences, in this study, the focus of attention is on the onshore experiences of the cruisers.

Research limitations/implications

The study is focused on one Baltic Sea cruise destination, the British Cruise Company and a limited segment of senior British passengers.

Practical implications

By measuring cruisers’ internal travel motives and their perceptions of the brand awareness of the port-of-call during the cruise, or the destination, the results offer destination marketing organizations valuable information to develop their offerings to meet the needs of future travelers and visitors.


The study contributes to the cruise destination literature by linking the perceived brand awareness of a destination to motivational factors of the tourist and further to destination satisfaction and WoM behavior specifically in the context of onshore experiences.



Lemmetyinen, A., Dimitrovski, D., Nieminen, L. and Pohjola, T. (2016), "Cruise destination brand awareness as a moderator in motivation-satisfaction relation", Tourism Review, Vol. 71 No. 4, pp. 245-258.



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