Affective and cognitive dimensions of ski destination images. The case of Norway and the Lillehammer region


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Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism;Volume 18, 2018 - Issue 2


Taylor & Francis

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To map the image foreign markets have of Norway as a winter tourist destination, and the Lillehammer region in particular, we surveyed 1000 respondents from Sweden, Denmark and Germany. We identified six key experience attributes that winter tourists seek: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, general destination criteria, children-friendliness, other activities and snow. Two image-dimensions were identified: (1) friendly and safe and (2) thrilling. Danes had the highest score on the friendly and safe dimension, while Germans scored highest on the thrilling dimension. Whereas cognitive dimensions of destination image appeared to be of overall importance to Swedes in particular, the affective dimensions were strongest among German respondents. The model best explaining knowledge about the Lillehammer region included the following predictors: number of former visits to Norway during winter, home country (Swedes highest, Germans lowest) and personal interest in visiting snow destination for winter vacation. Differences among the three national markets relate to geographical and cultural distance and prior knowledge. While no large marketing challenges seem to exist in terms of mismatch between images held and destination characteristics, an untapped potential exists, especially with respect to German travelers, from developing marketing strategies that more clearly addresses different preferences between these main markets. Destination image; segmentation; alpine resorts; winter tourism




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