Semantic mapping of the mental image of urban tourists

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant professor, Jahad Daneshgahi of Yazd Province, Yazd, Iran;

2 Assistant professor of Management Department, Faculty of Human Sciences, Science and Art University, Yazd, Iran;

3 Instructor of Management Department, Faculty of Human Sciences, Science and Art University, Yazd, Iran;

4 Master of Science in Tourism Management, Science and Art University, Yazd, Iran;


Urban tourism is a complex, multi-sectoral and dispersed activity, the product of which is the sale of tourists' experiences of the city's attractions, facilities and services. Paying attention to and organizing natural, human and visual factors influencing the beauty of the environment is the most effective way to increase the quality of the travel experience. Considering the undeniable necessity of mental image in attracting urban tourists and the role of this type of tourism in the economy, in this study, an attempt has been made to provide a qualitative model of factors affecting mental image with the aim of boosting urban tourism using semantic cognitive mapping method. For this purpose, after stating the subject, theoretical foundations and reviewing the research background, 30 interviews were conducted using the qualitative research design until the theoretical saturation was reached. The study population consists of urban tourists and tourism experts. Then, using the semantic cognitive mapping approach, a conceptual model was extracted and drawn from the dimensions and components of the mental image. The obtained semantic cognitive mapping has 6 main categories and 30 theoretical propositions that can help policymakers in policy making and better and deeper understanding of this concept.


تولایی، روح‎اله و صباغی، زهرا (1394). طراحی الگوی مفهومی توسعه مدیریت جهادی با استفاده از ترکیب روش سستم‌های نرم و نگاشت شناختی. بهبود مدیریت، 9(28)، 121-145.
تولایی، روح‌اله و محمدزاده، محمد (1396). فنون و ابزارهای روش تحقیق در مدیریت. تهران: انتشارات جهاد دانشگاه صنعتی امیرکبیر.
حیدرزاده، کامبیز، نجفی، کبری و حسینی، سیدعلی (1396). تأثیر کیفیت خدمات گردشگری بر وفاداری به مقصد با توجه به نقش میانجی تصویر ذهنی از مقصد گردشگری و رضایت گردشگران. مطالعات مدیریت گردشگری، 12(40)، 115-153
طیبی، امیر و ذکاوت کامران (1397). تأثیر جامعه میزبان ‌بر تصویر ذهنی گردشگران از فضای شهری جمعی باز. برنامه‌ریزی و توسعۀ گردشگری، 7(26)، 8-27.
کاظمی، مصطفی، پور، سمیرا، سعادت‌یار، فاطمه‌سادات و بیطرف، فاطمه (1390). تأثیر تصویر ذهنی گردشگران بر ارزش ادراک‌شده از شهرهای ساحلی دریای خزر با تأکید بر نقش واسط کیفیت عوامل ادراک‌شده. پژوهش و برنامه‌ریزی شهری، 2(6)، 19-34.
کوشش‌تبار، محسن (1387). صنعت گردشگری ابزاری برای توسعۀ پایدار در مدیریت شهری. تهران: انتشارات مؤسسۀ فرهنگی، اطلاع‌رسانی و مطبوعاتی سازمان شهرداری‌ها و دهیاری‌های کشور.
Adamietz, J. (2012). Urban tourism and waterfronts: Exploring the case of the Auckland waterfront development. Auckland University of Technology.
Agapito, D., Pinto, P., & Mendes, J. (2017). Tourists' memories, sensory impressions and loyalty: In loco and post-visit study in Southwest Portugal. Tourism Management, 58, 108-118. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2016.10.015
Ashworth, G., & Page, S. J. (2011). Urban tourism research: Recent progress and current paradoxes. Tourism Management, 32(1), 1-15. doi:
Baker, D. A. & Crompton, J. L. (2000). Quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Annals of Tourism Research, 27(3), 785–804.
Baloglu, S., & McCleary, K. W. (1999). US international pleasure travelers’ images of four Mediterranean destinations: A comparison of visitors and nonvisitors. Journal of travel research, 38(2), 144-152.
Buzan, T. (1993). The Mind Map Book. BBC Books, London.
Chaghajerdi, I., & Fotoohi, Z. (2014). Leveling 15 Districts of Isfahan in terms of UrbanTourism Infrastructure Using HDI model. Journal of Tourism Hospitality Research, 3(2), 63-73.
Chen, C. F., & Tsai, D. (2007). How destination image and evaluative factors affect behavioral intentions?. Tourism Management, 28, 4, pp. 1115-1122
Chon, K. S. (1990). The role of destination image in tourism: A review and discussion. The tourist review, 45(2), 2-9.
Pike, S. (2008). Destination marketing: An integrated marketing communication approach. Routledge.
Crompton, J. L., & Ankomah, P. K. (1993). Choice set propositions in destination decisions. Annals of Tourism Research, 20(3), 461-476.
Donboli, S, Kalantari Khalilabad, H., & Aghasafari, A. (2019). Recognition of Turbans Identity Components in Iranian Islamic Cities - The case of Tehran. Nashua- Basic studies and New Technologies of Architecture and Planning, 8(4), 223-230. Retrieved from
Echtner, C. M., & Ritchie, J. B. (1993). The measurement of destination image: An empirical assessment. Journal of travel research, 31(4), 3-13.
Fakeye, P. C., & Crompton, J. L. (1991). Image differences between prospective, first-time, and repeat visitors to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Journal of travel research, 30(2), 10-16.
Fridgen, J. D. (1987). Use of cognitive maps to determine perceived tourism regions. Leisure Sciences, 9(2), 101-117.
Hunt, J. D. (1975). Image as a factor in tourism development. Journal of travel research, 13(3), 1-7.
Hosany, S. & Martin, D. (2012). Self-image congruence in consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 65, 685–691.
Hosseini, S. M. J., Pourjafar, M. R., & Ranjbar, E. (2014). Learning from European Capitals of Culture Program in Developing Urban Tourism. J. Civil Eng. Urban., 4(2), 184-194.
Seyed Jaafar, S. M. R. & Islami, H. N. (2014). An Inquiry of Perceived Image of Urban Tourism Destination through Tourist Consumption and Movement Pattern. International Conference on Urban and Regional Planning (ICURP), Skudai, Johor.
Kirillova, K., Fu, X., Lehto, X., & Cai, L. (2014). What makes a destination beautiful? Dimensions of tourist aesthetic judgment. Tourism Management, 42, 282-293.
Lapage, W. F., & Cormier, P. L. (1977). Images of Camping—Barriers to Participation?. Journal of travel research, 15(4), 21-25.
McKerchera, B., & Prideauxb, B. (2011). Are tourism impacts low on personal environmental agendas?. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(3), 325-345.
Martens, H. M., & Reiser, D. (2017). Analysing the image of Abu Dhabi and Dubai as tourism destinations – The perception of first-time visitors from Germany. Tourism and Hospitality Research, 19(1), 54-64. doi:10.1177/1467358417690436
Nam, J., Ekinci, Y., & Whyatt, G. (2011). Brand equity, brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 1009-1030.
Papadimitriou, D., Kaplanidou, K., & Apostolopoulou, A. (2018). Destination image components and word-of-mouth intentions in urban tourism: A multigroup approach. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 42(4), 503-527.
Pearce, P. L. (2005). Tourist behaviour: Themes and conceptual schemes. Channel View Publications.
Prayag, G., & Ryan, C. (2012). Antecedents of tourists’ loyalty to Mauritius: the role and influence of destination image, place attachment, personal involvement, and satisfaction. Journal of Travel Research, 51(3), 342-356.
Tapachai, N., & Waryszak, R. (2016). An Examination of the Role of Beneficial Image in Tourist Destination Selection. Journal of travel research, 39(1), 37-44. doi:10.1177/004728750003900105
Tasci, A. D., & Kozak, M. (2006). Destination brands vs destination images: do we know what we mean?. Journal of vacation marketing, 12(4), 299-317.
Tung, V. W. S., & Ritchie, J. B. (2011). Exploring the essence of memorable tourism experiences. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(4), 1367-1386.
Uysal, U. E. (2013). Urban Tourism Promotion: What Makes the Difference. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 5(1), 17-27. doi:10.19026/crjss.5.5535
Vinyals-Mirabent, S. (2019). European urban destinations’ attractors at the frontier between competitiveness and a unique destination image. A benchmark study of communication practices. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 12, 37-45. doi:10.1016/j.jdmm.2019.02.006
Ye, S., Wu, J. S., & Zheng, C. J. (2019). Are tourists with higher expectation more sensitive to service performance? Evidence from urban tourism. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 12, 64-73.
Zhao, L., & Fu, Q. (2019). Interpretation of the Multimodal Cultural Pattern of Urban Tourism Images of Shaanxi. Paper presented at the 2019 4th International Conference on Humanities Science and Society Development (ICHSSD 2019).