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How likely is your family to visit you? The effect of digital connectedness on intention to travel to Australia

Darshana Sedera (Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Sachithra Lokuge (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
W. Jayantha M. Perera (Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Kuliyapitiya, Sri Lanka)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 8 April 2019




This paper aims to investigate whether digital connectedness between family members, attained through social media, increases the intention to travel overseas to visit family or relatives. In the context of the education sector, this paper specifically investigates the likelihood of a family member traveling to see a family member who is currently studying in Australia, despite their regular interactions on digital social platforms.


This paper draws on the perspectives of earlier conceptual papers by Chacko et al. (2012) and Solnet and Hood (2008) in an effort to identify root causes and a possible solution. The context of Singapore and the international literature are also reviewed to establish theoretical and practical gaps that need to be filled.


The study finds that both “perceived media richness” of social media and communication applications and the “perceived connectedness” gained through social media and communication applications have a positive effect on the “intention to travel to the study destination.” Of the two variables measured in the study, perceived connectedness provides the strongest influence with nearly double the path coefficient as compared to the perceived media richness. Overall, an explanation of 32 per cent in one’s intention to travel provides a substantial discovery of travel intentions.


The role that digital social media like Facebook plays in human connectivity is not a foregone conclusion, when one could argue that digital connectivity especially enhanced by the richness of social media has the potential to replace or minimize physical relationships. Yet, this study demonstrates that such associations between the family members are in fact augmented by social media.



Sedera, D., Lokuge, S. and Perera, W.J.M. (2019), "How likely is your family to visit you? The effect of digital connectedness on intention to travel to Australia", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 217-225.



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