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Hosting recurring sport events can be a solution for sustainable tourism development resulting in destination loyalty and higher place attachment levels. This study proposes active event sport tourists may include in their destination perceptions a number of destination and event attributes, given the direct association of the event with the place. The feasibility of the convergence of event and destination image attributes in one scale was explored and that scale’s influence on place attachment and on specific active sport tourists’ behaviors was examined. Data were collected from sport event tourist participants (n = 2,015) at a recurring marathon event via an online survey. Exploratory factor analysis confirmed the factor structure of destination image to include event characteristics. Regression analysis was used to test the impact of destination image factors on behavioral intentions and place attachment and supported the predictive validity of destination image factors. Implications for event and destination marketers are discussed.
Kaplanidou is with the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Jordan is with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Funk is a Professor and Washburn Senior Research Fellow, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and Professor of Sport Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia. Ridinger is with the Dept. of Human Movement Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.