The Resident-Advocacy Link: Exploring the Relationship Between a Resident's National Identification and Destination Advocacy as Mediated by Tourism Ethnocentrism and Destination Image
With an emphasis on identity disclosure, relationship building, content sharing, and dissemination (Kietzmann et al., 2011; Jeongmi Kim & Fesenmaier, 2017), social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook, are an effective platform for like-minded individuals to discuss travel-related ideas and to recommend places to others. Yet the question remains as to what impact SNS has in this modern age on the changing methods used by destination marketing organizations (DMOs) who have traditionally been tasked as the primary information provider. It is argued here that destination advocates are driving this change with SNS-based user-generated content. Since knowledge of an SNS user’s advocacy behaviour is limited (Kwon et al., 2017), the present research seeks to first understand the determinants of advocacy, and then explore the specific behaviours behind these relationships. Given its focus on creating a sense of pride and belongingness to one’s nation (Mummendey et al., 2001), it is proposed here that national identification may be used to determine a resident’s destination advocacy intentions and behaviours. By measuring this relationship, the study findings reveal that the stronger one’s national identification, the more they will act as advocates for their nation. Further, the link between identification and advocacy is positively impacted by an individual’s favourable image of the destination and through their degree of tourism ethnocentrism. Finally, a resident’s image and ethnocentrism have been found to partially mediate the direct relationship between identification and advocacy. These links include sentiment expression-behaviours (i.e., positive affect expressionism), advocate-focused behaviours (i.e., cognitive, cooperative, and affective advocacy), visitor-focused behaviours (i.e., clarification-seeking, bucket listing, and missed opportunity lamenting), and other noteworthy behaviours (i.e., tension creating and alternative context associations). This multifaceted research design combines an online survey with a netnography and in-depth interviews to build upon social identity theory, which situates one’s roles and relationships within a community (Jones & Volpe, 2011; Tajfel, 1974), as well as place image theory, particularly destination image (Elliot, 2015) by suggesting that not all social participation is created equal, and that favourable perceptions of a place may be influenced by other members of one’s social groups rather than by the destination itself.