Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 1S

The Mediating Role of Destination Image on the Association of Perceived Culture, Costs and Risks, Perceived Quality and Tourism Satisfaction of Tourism Industry of Thailand

Thitinant Wareewanich, Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-OK


The aim of the study is to investigate the mediating impact of destination image on the relationship of costs and risks, perceived value, perceived quality and tourism satisfaction in the tourism industry of Thailand. For this purpose, data was collected from the 251 international tourists out 500 visitors. To analyses the data, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique has been employed by using the smart PLS version 3.2.8. The key findings of the results have been shown that Perceived Quality (PQ), Perceived Value (PV), and Destination Image (DI) has a positive and significant association with the tourist satisfaction (TS), while Costs and Risks (C&S) has negative and insignificant association with the TS. On the other hand, the indirect effect has been shown that DI partially mediates within the relationship of two antecedents, PQ and PV and not mediated with the C&S. The key results of the current study could deliver the guiding principle to the managers of the tourism and also added a body of knowledge in the form of empirical findings which could become a new area of research in future. The research limitations and future directions are also discussed ate the end of the study.


Perceived Quality, Perceive Value, Costs and Risks, Destination Image, Tourism Satisfaction, Thailand


In the contemporary environment, tourism could be considered an important factor in the economic development of the world (Al-Ababneh, 2013; Chetthamrongchai & Jermsittiparsert, 2019) and provide help to achieve the social and environmental benefits (Hussin & Kunjuraman, 2014; Jermsittiparsert, 2019). This is reason, with the global perspective, tourism in all over the world considered a largest and most dynamic industry which is providing services to various sectors in which includes, travels, visitors and hospitality (Fongtanakit, 2019). In the current study, tourism as focal service industry has been selected because in the global growing industries is considered one of the industry among across the world economies (WTO, 1995). As per the estimation of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) the tourist arrival of the international will be reached 1.8 billion till 2030 (UNWTO, 2011). After seeking the role of tourism industry in the economic development and employment, the government has made a great effort all over the world to reach the dollar’s tourist. In detail, according to World Travel and Tourism Council (2013), tourist industry maintenances in the 225 million employment opportunity for unskilled, skilled people and also paid a key role in the world GDP.

Similarly, it was further explained by that Hui, Wan & Ho (2007) that all the develop their tourism industry as, it not only provides benefits to industry himself, even as well as the other sectors, for instance, conveyance, construction, and retail. This is reason, every country even the developing countries paid a significant attention, including Thailand is also being paid a significant role in the development of tourism to increase the international arrivals within the country. In the Thailand economy, tourism industry could be categorized as a descent level where the tourist of every year is increased. This could be supported that there are number of tourists has been increased by 25.03 million registrations a total disbursement in the 2012 of the 60.6 million which is differed for the last years where a turnover of 24.71 million tourists was arrived and the overall expenditure of 58.3 billion (WTC, 2013).

This is a reason; the government of Thailand was comprised the tourism industry as most of the famous in the 12 National Key Economics Areas (NKEAs) that will help in the transformation to country forefront within the high income nation by the 2020. Moreover, the Twelve Entry Point Projects through the five main refrains, reasonable extravagance; family entertaining, entertaining, and the sports clubs and nature adventure have been developed for the attraction of 36 million tourists within the country and to earn the 168 billion in tourist receipts by the 2020. In this regards, for the achievement of the UNWTO vison, the satisfaction level of the tourist’s issues with in the tourist industry should take into the consideration where a previous studies on the tourist industry are very limited (Al-Ababneh, 2013; Hussin, 2015) and also a smaller amount documented in the empirical literature (Salleh, 2011).

As discussed before that in Thailand the tourism industry paid a significant and important role to improve the Thailand economy and might be considered other source of income for the country. In addition, Yeoh & Chan (2001) further anticipated that most of the tourist is attracted due to Island charming scenery, for instance, sandy beaches, and taking breath within the clear blue sea. Such kind of the charming natural resources are on the destinations of Island, this kind of the product could also help to lead the interest of the tourists to visit the destination, and also resist to revisit again in the future (Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Salleh et al., 2011).

This paper on the basis of international level of tourist satisfaction has been presented the towards the tourism activities and various services provided by the management of the Thailand Island. In the current study the issue of international tourist satisfaction has been discussed in detail. Moreover, this paper also provides the recommendation for the stake holders in the Thailand Tourism Island for the management improvement. The service quality, in the Thailand Island would be taking into consideration to elaborate the barrier of the tourist satisfaction with the services as long as through the management. In the Thailand Island, empirical study on the service quality is very limited and hence should be given proper attention. Hence, this paper should be shed in light to fill the current gap through elaborating the international tourist satisfaction on the way to activities and facilities and activities in the Thailand Island. The current study is considered to be a very significant due to the various activities of the tourist that could ensure the loyalty of international tourist satisfaction. Finally, the study implications could be supported the different stake holders to develop and also presenting a strategy which is important for the tourism of Thailand.

Literature Review And Hypothesis Development

Tourism Satisfaction

Tourism Satisfaction (TS) is defined as the fulfilment of the pleasure which is being happened through the experience of the tripe and tells about the feature of product and service which fulfilled the desires of the tourist, expectations and wants which are associated with the trip (Severt, 2007), Level of the satisfaction has been generated from the customer expectation before and after consumption. Within the tourism context, the satisfaction is referred primarily as meaning of the pre and post travel anticipations. When the tourist is agreeing to come back again, then the tourist is satisfied from the tourism (Severt et al., 2007). However, if the tourist is not happy and fell displeasure, then the tourist is not satisfied (Chen & Chen, 2010; Yvette & Turner, 2003). With the forgoing discussion, it has been clearly shown that the tourist satisfaction is happened from the two points, firstly it links with the pre expectations before the tour, and then secondly, afterward the travel from the tourist place, and bases on the real experiences.
Based on the empirical previous researches, Customer Satisfaction (CS) has the double role within the managerial perspective which are communicative and informative (Vavra, 1997). The initial meaning of the CS is to measure and explain the CS is to know how well a particular supplier at a specific place is to be recognize and responded their visitor’s needs, and to also identify all the destination elements which offer an improvement. Indeed, the tourist comments, recommendations and comments are considered to be a precious source of the ideas for the developments and novelties. Similarly, the research on the tourist satisfaction is very essential for the successful marketing and destination because it has great influence on the destination of choice, the products consumption and services and also in decision making (Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). This is a reason, the satisfaction is considered a more important research topic from the both of academics and practitioners (Wang, Zhang, Gu & Zhen, 2009). Therefore, there is shortage of exploratory study aimed at providing the logical understandings on the satisfaction among the tourists.

In the extant literature, there are various model of cause and effect to measure the satisfaction of the customer. Though, there is no until model which is based on universal cause and effect for the measurement of the satisfaction of the tourist. Therefore, this study assimilated the “American Customer Satisfaction Index Model” (ACSI), European CS Index and different model on CS to harvest the antecedent’s variable of the tourist satisfaction in the Thailand. As per the ACSI Fornell, Johnson, Anderson, Cha & Bryant (1996), two customer satisfaction antecedents are perceived quality and perceived value. In the same vein, according to model of Eklöf & Westlund (2002), there are, Perceived Quality (PQ), Perceived Value (PV) and Company Image (CI) has been explored as the antecedents of the complete TS. In the extant literature, such type of antecedents has been widely used in the various regions which are based on geographically. In line with this, a research directed on the Hong Kong has used the same model which is examined effect of perceive attractiveness, PV, and PQ on the (Um, Chon, & Ro, 2006). Moreover, further suggested by that PQ, Destination Image (DI), PV and Costs and Risks (C&R) are key elements which influenced on the determinants of the TS; While in the Thailand, a study elaborated by Prayag & Ryan (2012) that role of destination image played an important, place supplement and individual participation on the visitors, thus founded on this it being used as.

Relationship between Tourists Perceived Quality and Tourist Satisfaction

In the research of the tourism, it is defined by Chen & Tsai (2007) that perceived quality is the assessment of the visitors about the standard of the services which are being delivered or in process in association with the experience of the trip. There are many researchers who conducted the research on PQ and TS that communicated to the services and also to goods, some of them has been recommended that there is need of viewed the relationship between the PQ and TS as a distinctive construct. According to the observations about the quality are grounded on the evaluations of a long term cognitive efforts, while a customer satisfaction is short-term emotional reaction for a detailed experience (Rust & Oliver, 1993; Taylor & Baker, 1994; Tian-Cole, Crompton & Willson, 2002). Moreover, it is further suggested by Saleh & Ryan (1993) that through the customer perception the satisfaction is recognized about the product or service and consideration which they received from the service industry representatives along with all of those are dealing. Therefore, the researcher has pointed the PQ as predictor of TS. There are various studies who found the causal relationship within the two construct (Cronin Jr & Taylor, 1992; Spreng & Mackoy, 1996).

Previous studies have been recommended that the PQ effected the satisfaction, and then satisfaction subsequently affect the post behavior and loyalty (Chen, 2008; Chen & Tsai, 2007; Choi & Chu, 2001). There is positive association within the both constructs has been also established from the prior examinations (Baker & Crompton, 2000; De Rojas & Camarero, 2008; Oussama & Johari, 2012; Quintal & Polczynski, 2010; Ruiz, Gremler, Washburn & Carrión, 2008). Moreover, it is further asserted by Goodrich (1978) that the perception which is more favorable place for the vacation spend, the additional favored that satisfaction will also to be tend. Furthermore, a significant and positive relationship within the quality and satisfaction has been found by Wang, et al., (2009), inferring that visitors who perceived the higher PQ are considered to be a more appropriate experience greater than satisfaction with the destination. Thus, based on this discussion it is hypothesized that:

H1 There is significant association between perceived quality and tourist satisfaction.

Relationship between Tourists’ Perceived Value and Tourist Satisfaction

The Perceived Value (PV) has been well-defined by Zeithaml (1988) that it is the customer satisfaction about the services which is based on perception of what is being received and assumed Rust & Oliver (1994) further elaborated a view on the microeconomic perspective that value some combinations of what is being received and what a specific is sacrificed. In the meantime, Lovelock & Gummesson (2004) the views on the PV as the trade-off within the perceived costs and benefits. In the current study, the PV has been dignified by using the items which are multidimensional (Auf, 2018; Petrick & Backman, 2002). It has been regarded as both of the combination which are “monetary and non-monetary” prices which also included other type of aspects for instance, convenience, time and search cost. As per the Equity Theory of Oliver & Swan (1989), when the more value has been received the customer satisfaction is occurred as compare to what he has spent by the consumer.

Certainly, there are various researchers who establish that when is to perceive by the tourist that service quality which is provided to him is more as compare to the money that is paid by them, they would be felt more satisfied from the services (Chen & Chen, 2010; Huang & Su, 2010; Song, Van der Veen, 2012). In this sense, the TS has been directly stimulated by the PV who is able to perceive more destination value are more likely to gain experiences along the satisfaction (Chen & Chen, 2010; Lee, 2007; Song et al., 2012; Um et al., 2006). Moreover, a further study has been elaborated by Xia, et al., (2009) and established again a positive and significant association within the relationship of perceive value and satisfaction. Thus, based on this it has been hypnotized that:

H2 There is significant association between perceived value and tourist satisfaction.

Relationship between Costs and Risks and Tourist Satisfaction

If any tourist is going to anywhere he will be take into consideration the perspective of Costs and Risks (C&R) traveling. The C&R be low or might be high with every individual tourist perspective. The risk which is low is related with the destination of the holiday that could influence the replication visitations, subsidizing to enhance the occupation and along with the modern infrastructure (Aqueveque, 2006; Darnell & Johnson, 2001; Mohamed, Ridwan, Saoula & Issa, 2019). Furthermore, if the tourist is perceived the low risk in the destination of the holiday could also influence to his reputation for the safety and also will encourage the replication visitation (Kozak et al., 2007). This is influenced by the various factors, like, environmental forces which are the stability of the political, economic circumstances, experiences, and the personal characteristics etc. With the perspective of the rational travelers, they would be choosing to travel the destinations which could offer low C&R. In the setting of the service, C&R is a distinct concept from the PV (Cronin, Brady & Hult, 2000).

It is further examined the study by Korda & Snoj (2007) on the C&R and as an exogenous variable which effected the disutility. It is indicated by Tasci & Boylu (2010) that security and destination safety has a major effect on the satisfaction level with the trip of tourist. In the extent literature, studies have found the negative impact of perceived risk on the satisfaction (Yüksel & Yüksel, 2007). On the other hand, Monroe (2002); Zeithaml (1988) further indicated that the risk and costs have the negative relation with the perceived value and it could be severely affected to the customer satisfaction. Thus, the visitors who receive the low risk are practiced to be superior satisfaction with the destination. Thus, based on this, it is hypothesized that:

H3 There is significant association between the costs and risks and tourist satisfaction.

Relationship between Destination Image and Tourist Satisfaction

The Destination Image (DI) has been précised by Fuchs & Weiermair (2003) that it is a blend of consumer’s space and products of tourism provide a holistic experience which is subjectively interpreted according to the itinerary of the consumer’s travel, cultural backgrounds, objective of the visit, previous experiences etc. As per the viewpoint of Tasci & Gartner (2007) the destination image is called the interactive system which consists of the opinions, imaginings, thoughts, emotions, feelings and also intentions towards the destination. In the same vein, it is further defined by Chi & Qu (2008) that destination image is considered the mental knowledge representations, and as well as the thinking of visitor about the destination place (Gartner, 1994; Lin, Morais, Kerstetter & Hou, 2007). Echtner & Ritchie (1991) further defined that perception image is the perception of the destination features or the various characteristics which are known as a intellectual image, whereas the combination of cognitive and the effective image could effect to the mental pictures. Similarly, Choi, Chan & Wu (1999) entitlement that destination image is beliefs of the people, various perceptions, ideas, thoughts and impression of the place.

There are many researchers who are agreed that destination image is very essential with respect to his impact on the behavior of the tourist. for instance, choice of destination, satisfaction and decision making (Chen & Hsu, 2000; Court & Lupton, 1997; Ross, 1993; Saoula, 2018; Schroeder, 1996). In the same vein, it is further pointed out by Chon (1990) that destination is not only essential for the tourist travel decisions and plans, but also for the satisfaction of the tourists. Moreover, it is reported in the “(English Historic Towns Forum, 1992)” which explained that higher than 80% reflected that mix retailing is better and the town common environment is considered a more essential for the destination attraction.

There are few studies who investigate the DI as a predictor variable influence the various consumer behaviors not only, but after the destination visiting (Chen & Hsu, 2000; Ross, 1993; Schroeder, 1996). A tourist might be created a negative and the positive image in the direction of the destination. It is supported by Chen & Kerstetter (1999) that tourism should only be searched on other place when the image of negative is exceeding over the positive characteristics. Nevertheless, there are various researchers stated, destination could not has only a positive effect, but it could also be considered a strong impact on chosen the place by the travellers (Gallarza, 2002; Ross, 1993).

A well established and strong relationship has been found between the DI and TS within the tourism literature for the various kinds of the destinations, in which also include the destination of Island (Prayag, 2009; Xia et al., 2009; Chi & Qu, 2008; Cheng & Tsai, 2007; Lee et al., 2005; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). Similarly, a research on Thailand elaborated by (Phokha, 2012) who confirmed that the tourism satisfaction has been positively influence by the destination image. Furthermore, Chen & Tsai (2007) also found the positive and significant association within destination image and quality of trip quality. There are various researchers who elaborated that image might be affected to the satisfaction directly and indirectly through the perceived value, perceived quality and risks and costs. Thus based on this, it is hypotheses that:

H4 Destination image has a significant association with the tourism satisfaction.

H5 Destination image significantly mediates in the relationship of perceive quality and tourism satisfaction.

H6 Destination image significantly mediates in the relationship of perceived value and tourism satisfaction.

H7 Destination image significantly mediates in the relationship of risks and costs and tourism satisfaction.

Based on the previous discussion a research framework has been conceptualized (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Framework Of The Study

Research Methodology

The current study is quantitative, correlational and cross sectional in nature and is based on primary data. For the data collection, a self-administered has been developed for the predictors, mediating variable, and for the dependent variable as well as also on the demographic characteristics. In the current study, there was four variables were influenced on the tourism satisfactions of the Thailand tourism industry. For the first independent variable that is perceived quality has used the seven items which has been adopted from the study of (Wang et al., 2009; Hui et al., 2007; Wang, Lo & Yang, 2004; Chen & Tsai, 2007). At second variable that is perceived quality has been measured through using the three dimensions. These dimensions were adopted from the study of (Xia et al., 2009; Chen & Tsai, 2007; Bolton & Drew, 1991; Oliver & Swan, 1989) in their inquiries.

Finally, a third independent variable is costs and risks that has been measured from the five items. Other variable that is the destination image has been measured by the six items which are adopted from the study of (Buhalis, 2000). The dependent variable for the current study was tourist satisfaction that has been measured by using the nine items which has been modified by the Dmitrović, et al., (2009); Oliver (1980); Taylor & Baker (1994); Grace & O'cass (2005); Wu, et al., (2008). To measure all of these variable a five point Likert Scale which are ranged within the range of strongly disagree to strongly agree has been used while the demographic variables has been through using the nominal and ordinal scales.

For the data collection, the 500 questionnaires were distributed among the tourist of Thailand. As per the recommendation of the (Roscoe, 1975), more than 30 and less than 500 is considered to be sufficient for conducted the research. Thus, based on this for the current study, 500 questionnaires have been distributed among the visitors at the different spots of the tourists by using a convenient sampling technique. Among of them, 300 questionnaires were returned back which yield a 60% response rate. The current sample is consistent with the previous studies which were conducted on other countries. For instance, Yoopetch (2011) has been used 251 international tourists in Thailand, Chen & Chen (2010) further distributed among the 477 tourists in Tainan. As the visitors were here based on the preoccupied along with their holiday’s activities, therefore, convenience sampling has been used for respondent’s selection.

Data Analysis

There are following analysis has been discussed as under below.

Construct Reliability and Validity

Before assessing the model, the construct reliability and validity must be established (Hair, 2014). Therefore, first, we assessed the convergent validity and discriminant validity of the measurement model. Table 1 presents the measurement model of the study. All the factor loadings that are less than 0.5 are deleted from the model in order to establish the indicators reliability. All the constructs have cronbach’s alpha >0.70, Average Variance Extracted (AVE)>0.5 and composite reliability (CR)>0.60 that established the convergent validity of the model (Hair, Hult, Ringle & Sarstedt, 2014). For discriminant validity, in the fornell & larcker criterion, the diognal values represents the square of AVE that must be greater that the constructs’ correlation with other variables and in the HTMT analysis all the values should be less than 0.85 (Hair, 2017). Similarly, the results of the fornell and larcker criterion (in Table 2) and HTMT analysis (in table 3) have established the discriminant validity of the construct.

Table 1
Measurement Model
Construct Item Loadings Cronbach's Alpha AVE CR
Costs and Risks CR1 0.877 0.745 0.66 0.854
CR2 0.823      
CR3 0.735      
Destination Image DI1 0.629 0.796 0.54 0.851
DI2 0.611      
DI3 0.696      
DI4 0.656      
DI5 0.726      
DI6 0.725      
DI7 0.645      
Perceived Quality PQ1 0.764 0.749 0.5 0.833
PQ2 0.754      
PQ3 0.685      
PQ4 0.748      
PQ5 0.577      
Perceived Value PV1 0.617 0.706 0.53 0.821
PV2 0.784      
PV3 0.757      
PV4 0.758      
Tourist Satisfaction TS1 0.67 0.717 0.54 0.823
TS2 0.771      
TS3 0.713      
TS4 0.776      
* tems DI8 and PQ6 deleted due to low loadings
Table 2
Fornell And Larcker Criterion For Discriminant Validity
  Costs and Risks Destination Image Perceived Quality Perceived Value Tourist Satisfaction
Costs and Risks 0.717        
Destination Image -0.336 0.671      
Perceived Quality -0.28 0.611 0.709    
Perceived Value -0.405 0.579 0.445 0.732  
Tourist Satisfaction -0.238 0.447 0.446 0.384 0.733
Table 3
Htmt Analysis For Discriminant Validity
  Costs and Risks Destination Image Perceived Quality Perceived Value Tourist Satisfaction
Costs and Risks          
Destination Image 0.472        
Perceived Quality 0.375 0.78      
Perceived Value 0.577 0.76 0.608    
Tourist Satisfaction 0.379 0.569 0.593 0.541  

Hypotheses Testing

In order to test the hypotheses, PLS-SEM was applied using Smartpls 3.0. The model contains two endogenous variables i.e., destination image (mediator) and tourist satisfaction (dependent variable) having R2 of 0.49, 0.28 and Q2 0.43, 0.13 respectively that establish the substantiality of the Model. Table 4 presents the results of PLS bootstrap algorithms that confirms the significant direct relationship of perceived quality (β=0.25, t value=3.51, p value=0.00), perceived value (β=0.14, t value=2.02, p value=0.04) and destination image (β=0.20, t value=2.62, p value=0.01) with tourist satisfaction. These results are consistent with other studies (Song et al., 2012; Lee et al., 2011; Xia et al., 2009; Chi & Qu, 2008). Whereas, the study provides no empirical evidence of relationship between costs and risks (β=-0.11, t value=1.73, p value=0.09). Thus, considering direct relationship, hypotheses 1,2 and 4 are supported whereas hypothesis 3 is not supported by the results. In fact, out of the three predictors, perceived quality proved to be a essential predictor for the tourist satisfaction (t=3.51) (Figure 2).

Table 4
Direct Effect
Hypothesis Beta S.E T Value P Value Effect Size (f2) Decision
PQ -> TS 0.247 0.071 3.508 0 0.304 Supported
PV -> TS 0.137 0.068 2.015 0.044 0.221 Supported
C&R -> TS -0.11 0.064 1.724 0.085 0.002 Not Supported
DI -> TS 0.201 0.077 2.622 0.009   Supported

Figure 2: Standardized Beta Coefficients Of The Structural Model

Similarly, the findings inferred that destination image partially mediates the relationship of perceived quality (β=0.09, t value=2.57, p value=0.01) and perceived value (β=0.08, t value=2.34, p value=0.02) with tourist satisfaction. However, costs and risks (β=0.01, t value=0.52, p value=0.60) does not seems to be indirectly related with tourist satisfaction through destination image. These findings suggest those tourists’ perceptions regarding quality and value has substantive direct impact on tourist satisfaction however, the destination image partially mediates the relationship between two predictors with least impact.

Table 5
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