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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/310

Authors: Zvaniga, Eric
Supervisor(s): Dr. Anshuman Khare, Athabasca University Dr. Dwight Thomas, Athabasca University
Examining Committee: Dr. Terry Beckman, Athabasca University
Dr. Lorn Sheehan, Dalhousie University
Degree: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Department: Faculty of Business
Keywords: Tourists'
Tourists' Destination Choice
Place Attachment
Wine Region
Scenic Vistas
Okanagan Valley
British Columbia
Issue Date: 5-Apr-2020
Abstract: The current research investigated the impacts of involvement and place attachment factors on tourists’ destination choice. The study was conducted by collecting survey data about observed variables in involvement and place attachment, that may have influenced the tourists’ choice for the Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada’s wine region. The first objective of this research explored the tourists’ experiences in the off-season period, winter, to further development in existing measures for involvement and place attachment relationships, as previously examined by Gross, Brien, and Brown (2008). The second objective explored areas around the region's wineries to cultivate new tourist interaction points of possible influencers from the plentiful Okanagan Valley scenic vistas and recreational opportunities. This study focused on the area called the valley floor of the Okanagan Valley, BC, from December 2018 to February 2019. By design, data collection avoided the influence of higher elevations, defined as mountaintop destinations and resorts. This study had an available population of tourists during the research period of approximately 1400 individuals who were visiting the region in the winter season. The final dataset identified the representative population sample of n=252. The survey instrument presented Likert scaled (1-10) questions inquiring about destination involvement and place attachment. This study found influential Involvement and Place Attachment evidenced, highlighting influencing factors in Tourists’ Destination Choice. Culinary desires and activities in winter accounted for an explained result of 52.9% influencing involvement. Expectations of the location’s scenic vistas and the abundance of awe-inspiring landscapes, paired with the culinary experiences, were anticipated in the tourists’ destination choice. The tourists’ positive recognition of the Okanagan Valley as a globally desired wine destination indicated that 10.0% of the tourists found their expectations for memorable experiences. The tourists also indicated that planned and realized events supported 4.5% of the overall influence on the place. The results generated from this study support the region's goals to consider factors related to tourists’ involvement and place attachment as influences in travel destination choice, which can be connected to findings of Gross and Brown (2006, 2008) and Gross et al. (2008). The Government of Canada’s new Tourism Strategy (May 2019) called for research and innovations to increase visitors in the off-peak seasons, for rural/rural-remote areas of Canada. This study results support the Government of Canada’s call. The results increase the understanding of salient dimensions for tourists’ destination choice in the winter.
Graduation Date: Sep-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/310
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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