Brand image and brand equity


Brief Information About The Research

The concept of image has previously been focused mostly in the commercial context; however in recent years it has aroused an interest concerning countries, cities, people and institutions. Countries have begun to make more efforts for management and development of image in order to acquire competitive advantage. For this reason, countries try to acquire a better position in competition by focusing on acquisition of shares from world tourism revenue, exports and attraction of foreign investment and taking advantage of their economic, political, cultural, technological and geopolitical positions. Briefly strong country image has to be established to maintaining a competitive advantage.

In this context, the aim of the study is first to determine variables that are constructed for the image of Turkey and to form a model explaining the relationship between the country equity and choice of touristic destinations. The study, in accordance with elements of the model, examines attitudes towards Turkey and in the light of results, it draws a course of action concerning Turkey’s country image. The research consists of two parts: quantitative and qualitative sections. In-depth interviews is carried as a qualitative method and questionnaire is carried as a quantitative method. The field study was considered as Scandinavian countries, which is the most developed countries around the world mentioned in several studies.


American Marketing Association (2007) defines the brand as a name, term, design, symbol or any other features or combination of all that identify a seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers. These differentiations can be concrete and concerned with functional, rational and performance of the brand; at the same time they can be expressed in an abstract way such as emotionally and symbolically. The early samples of branding in Europe began with trademark labels of artisans on products in Medieval Ages in order to preserve both themselves and their customers from replicas. Nowadays brands have several significant roles in enhancing lives of customers and providing financial value to companies (Kotler, 2008).

Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) indicate that the aim in the context of traditional branding model is to build a brand image. Kapferer (1997) defines brand as a sign revealing secret properties of a product. In addition, he mentions different approach to brands prior to the 1980s. He emphasizes that companies before 1980 had claimed production power and subsequently distinctiveness; in other words positions in the minds of customers.

2.1. Brand Image

Sidney Levy firstly used the concept of an image in 1955. It is defined as an individual’s beliefs, attitudes and ideas about a company, a person, a product, a brand or a place. The image can be defined as “sum of beliefs and meanings of a person or a group about a concept, person or object” (Papadopoulos and Heslop, 2002). Herzog (1963) defines the image as a factor significantly affecting attitudes and directing behaviours and introduces the concept with adjectives of generally good, weak, positive and negative meanings.

The concept of image is related to how a things is explained by people, how it is remembered and recalled by customers (Robins, 1999). According to Dichter, the image consists of positive and negative ideas that occur due to interaction between the components in the minds of individuals.

2.2. Country Image

According to Jaffe and Nebenzahl (1984), Han and Terpstra (1988), Roth and Romeo (1992), Smith (1993), Papadopoulos and Heslop (2002), Jaffe and Nebenzahl (2006), despite several differences of approaches in the literature, each country has a certain image and a multifaceted structure.

First studies on country image in the literature belong to the 1930s and 1940s (Katz and Braly, 1933; Klingberg, 1941). On those years, several researches were done on impacts of social psychological processes, economic, cultural and political events on country image. But in these years, national perceptions and prototypes are of particular importance (Katz and Braly, 1933; 1943; Klinberg,1941). Nagashima (1970) considers country image a prototypes that are added to that country’s products and reputation by businessmen and consumers. In addition, he emphasizes that the country’s political history, traditions, previous economic power and products and perceived national identity have impacts on country image.

2.2.1. Country Image Categories

Country image is divided into two categories in the literature. The first one is the product-image or country-of-origin; the other is defined as general country image (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). Country-of-origin Image

In 1918, as Germany lost the war, victorious countries made it obligatory to German exporters to use the label “made in Germany”. Victors used the concept of country-of-origin as a punishment to Germany; their aims were to prevent customers in Europe and America from using a former foe’s products. However German producers benefited from this situation and “made in Germany” had become a symbol of quality (Morello, 1984).

In other definition country-of-origin is “a brand’s origin, region or country that is perceived by its target customers”. This perceived place attributes a positive or a negative image towards that product in line with perceptions of customers about that place (Ueltschy, 1998).

Since the 1960s, country image was investigated by marketing researches; focus on stock exchanges, financial investments, production and product concepts. From this point of view Dichter drew attention to the concept of country-of-origin. Another author that emphasized to country-of-origin is Schooler. Schooler (1965) first used the concept of “made in” and did the first systematic research (Peterson and Jolibert, 1995). The common feature in these studies is to examine perceptions towards products of countries (Pharr, 2005; Usiner, 2006).

Kotler and Levy (1969), emphasize in their article called “Broadening the Concept of Marketing”, suggest that marketing should not only made on products but also other services, places, spaces and countries; other scholars also approve this view (Ashworth and Voogd, 1990; Barke, 1999).

Country-of-origin is important to enterprises as to customers. Multi-national enterprises gain a significant competitive advantage, when they enter markets of other countries with the image of “a developed country” (Dosen et. al., 2007).

In addition to this view Roth and Romeo (1992) defines country image as the general perception of customers towards that country’s products that is based on strong and weak sides of that country’s production and marketing.

Further studies focus on factors influencing country image impact, whether it changes according to different products and country groups and investigate not only the impact of country image on attitudes but also its behavioural effects (Okechuku, 1994).

Table 1: Dimensions of Country of Origin Image General Country Image

From the 1980s onwards, general country image has been differentiated from the concept of country of origin image and regarded as a new approach (Papadopoulos et. al., 1988; Han, 1990; Heslop et. al., 2004). According to this approach, country image consists of general judgements; it is country’s economic, political, cultural and historical heritage (Bannister and Saunders, 1978; Desborde, 1990).

According to Nagashima (1970) country image is the sum of emotions, ideas, belief and attitudes of customers on a particular country that are based on their experiences and knowledge towards that country. This image might be personal but it may also occur as a form of thought that is specific to whole nation (Nagashima, 1970).

Bannister and Saunders (1978) also adopt this point of view and define country image as a sum of a country’s economic and political development, historical traditions, industrialization, foreign affairs and technological developments. Desborde (1990) claims that country image reflects a country’s culture, political structure, economic level and technological development. According to Kotler and Gartner (2002) each country is made up with its own geography, history, law, art and music, famous cities and other features (Kotler and Gertner, 2002).

In addition country image affects a country’s direct foreign investment (Kotler and Gertner, 2002), national tourism revenue (Chon, 1990), attractiveness of domestic markets (Papadopoulos, 2004), education system (Gertner, 2010; Srikatanyoo and Gnoth, 2002), political situation in foreign relations (Gilboa, 2008; Leonard et. al., 2002; Sun, 2008). Moreover country image, through products and services, influences quality perceptions of customers (Han and Terpstra, 1988; Jaffe and Nebenzahl, 2001; Papadopoulos and Heslop, 2003).

Anholt (2005) summarizes all these views and emphasizes “a powerful and positive brand image leads to a significant competitive advantage”. And he adds, “Countries, like many brands, create sense of belonging and identity in order to gain a competitive advantage”.

Table 2: Definitions of General Country Image

Source: Roth and Diamantopoulos (2008) The Dimension of General Country Image

Researches of previous studies aim to make deductions about a country’s image by asking opinions of potential customers about a country’s products (Johansson, Douglas and Nonaka, 1985; Nagashima, 1970). Customers’ opinions are based on several different dimensions including price (Jaffe and Nebenzahl, 1984; Nagashima, 1970; White, 1975), labour (Han and Terpstra, 1988; Nagashima, 1970) and services (Han and Terpstra, 1988; Nagashima, 1970) and brand recognisability (Narayana, 1981). Consumers, although they lack general information about a country, can make an induction through a familiar product and assess that particular country (Han, 1989). Li, Fu and Murray (1997) agree with this view; according to them an image of customers towards a country occurs through “product-country” image. This perception emerges sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. Caroche et. al., (2005) summarize that product image creates an image towards a country and suggest that a country’s image is reflected on product image.

Nevertheless in the later years, Martin and Eroğlu (1993); Papadopoulos, Marshall and Heslop (1987) developed new scales beyond product-country image and introduced a different point of view. Many scholars adopt and use Martin and Eroğlu (1993)’s multi-dimensional scale (Li, Fu vet Murray, 1997). Martin and Eroğlu (1993) in their country image of 14 dimensions, did not include a dimension about product size; they only focus on general country image. The scale consists of politics, economic and technology sections. This scale was later used by Li et. al. (1997) to measure perceptions of Chinese customers.

Kaynak et. al., (2000) examine country image in the context of general environmental factors and for the control of companies in that country. Denig (2004) analyzes the dimensions of country image as parts of culture, history, language and values.

Brijs et. al., (2011) identifies the dimensions of country image as political identity, politics, language, climate, landscape, religion, economic and technological developments and its people. Papadopoulos and Heslop (1993) and Pappu, Quester and Cooksey (2007) analyze country image as product image (micro dimension) and general assessment of a country (macro dimension).

Heslop et. al. (2004) examine country image under the titles of the character of a country and competition. The character of a country is “the sum of international political structure of a country, the proximity between the assessed country and origin of assessment, similarity, its policies of environmental protection, human right and political balanced life standards (Lee and Ganesh, 1999). Nadeau et. al., (2008) evaluate country image in 4 different dimensions. These are: (1) country’s character, (2) its competition level, (3) characters of people and (4) their competition.

Haul (1996), Orbaiz and Papadopoulos (2003) and Elliot et. al., (2011) divides country image as cognitive and emotional. This dual structure is hierarchically connected in evaluation of a country. Similarly, Beerli and Martin (2004) offer a two-stage analysis of country image as cognitive and emotional. According to Echtner and Ritchie (1991)’s approach, country image can be analyzed under tree titles: (1) attribute vs. holistic, (2) functional vs. psychological (3) common vs. unique.

Pappu (2007) investigate country image under the titles of macro and micro. Macro image is defined as certain deductions, descriptions and knowledge-based beliefs whereas micro image is explained as implications concerning a particular product/service of a country.

Table 3: Summary of Country Image Dimensions From The Literature Review

Source: own elaboration


Brand equity is defined as the value added to products and services (Farquhar, 1989). It can refer to profitability of the brand for the company, its market share and prices; in addition consumers’ feelings, thoughts and behaviours concerning the brand. Brands are more than just labels and symbols that are added to products. Brand is consumer’s understanding and feelings about a product and its performance. The value of a solid brand stems from its power to create brand choice and brand loyalty. Brand equity is concerned with extra payment of a customer for a particular brand. A strong brand has high brand equity. High brand equity is to create a competitive advantage and loyalty (Kotler, 2006).

Brand equity develops through the power of brand and occurrence of evaluation criteria in the minds of consumers; it is directly associated with purchase behaviour due to customer satisfaction (Na, Marshall and Keller, 1999).

Morgan (1999) examines brand equity in two categories. The first category highlights functional properties of products and their performance whereas the second one deals with trust and respect about the brand, its appropriate status for demands and wants and its capacity to meet social needs of the customers.

According to Aaker (1991), marketers and researchers adopt consumer-based brand equity and finance-based brand equity approaches in order to understand brand equity. Consumer-based brand equity model is defined as the power of brand including what customer sees, reads, hears, learns, thinks and feelings in time about the brand (Aaker, 1991). Consumer-based brand equity is considered as the impact of brand knowledge on reactions of customers towards a particular brand (perceptions, choices, behaviours stemming from marketing combinations. If customers show pleasant reactions to a product, that brand has positive consumer-based brand equity (Kotler, 2006).

2.3.1. The Dimensions of Brand Equity

Knapp (1999) identifies product/service quality, financial performance, satisfaction and loyalty as dimensions of brand equity. Lassar, Mittal and Sharma (1995), who evaluate brand equity in the perspective of consumers, brand equity can be analyzed through five dimensions: performance, value, social image, credibility and loyalty.

Aaker (1991) define brand equity as brand assets concerning brand name and symbol that are attached to a product. These assets are classified as four dimensions: brand awareness, perceived quality, brand associations and brand loyalty. Brand awareness affects perceptions: people accept what are familiar to them; they have positive attitudes such brands. Perceived quality affects brand associations. Brand associations establish communication between the customer and the brand; they refer to everything covering brand identity and symbols. Brand loyalty is the repetitive purchase behaviours of customers after they feel positive and strong feelings towards a particular brand Aaker (1991).

According to Yoo and Donthu (2001) brand equity can be measured through dimensions of brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand associations and perceived quality.

Keller (1993) explains brand equity through factors of brand knowledge or in other words brand awareness and brand associations. Berry (2000) explains brand equity, brand awareness and meaning of a brand whereas Burmann et. al., (2009) analyzes it with benefits acquired, brand quality, trust and brand sympathy. Lassar et. al., (1995) deal with perception dimensions of brand equity and focus on dimension of image, value, realibility and loyalty. Lassar et. al., (1995) claim that brand equality is related to customer perceptions rather than objective values. At the same time, he emphasizes that brand equity is associated with a general value about a brand; it depends on competition and positively affect financial performance.

Table 4: The Dimensions of Brand Equity

Source: own elaboration


Another component that is included in research model is country equity. Although country equity is derived from brand equity, it becomes important with the concept of country brand.

The relevant literature includes common views about the possibility of extension of brand equity theory with other concepts. Accordingly, brand equity theory is based on brand equity theory. It has a significant role in country branding and further studies are called on this issue.

Particularly Jaffe and Nebenzahl (2006), Johansson and Nebenzahl (1986) claim that country image is directly related to country equity and they highlight this issue in their study. In addition to this view, Pappu and Quester (2010) agree that country equity is multi-dimensional and consumer-based.

Shrimp, Samiee and Madden (1993) first associate the concept of brand equity with country equity in the literature. Yoo and Donthu (2001), Pappu, Quester and Cooksey (2007) follow their path. Roth et. al., (2009) conducted empirical research and contributed to the literature. In their study, in the context of classical brand equity theory, they determine their dimensions as brand personality and brand loyalty and conceptualize these concepts as country personality and country loyalty.

According to Shrimp, Samiee and Madden (1993), brand/product image of consumers are connected to the country’s brand associations. This view is conceptualised by Kim and Chung (1997) as non-material assets of a country. Pappu, Quester and Cooksey (2007) define the country equity approach as values added to a country. Moreover, Kotler and Gertner (2002) explain country equity as emotional value of a particular country brand and consumers’ associations.

Papadopoulos and Heslop (1993) conducted studies in which associations came into prominence. Similarly Pappu and Quester (2001) analyze country associations, country awareness, country loyalty and perceived quality dimensions, Furthermore they focus on Aaker (1991) and Keller (1993)’s country equity approach.

Papadopoulos and Heslop (2002) claim that the value added to country brand constitutes country brand equity. Jaffe and Nebenzal (2001) associate country equity with country awaraness. Aaker (1991) agrees with other scholars’ views and states that country equity should be analyzed under four titles: country associations, loyalty for country, country awareness and attitudes towards country. In a similar vein Roth et. al., (2008) investigate the dimensions of country equity as country awareness, perceived quality and country loyalty.

Boo et. al., (2009) developed a model on destination brand equity and analyzed relationships between destination brand awareness, destination value and destination brand loyalty.

In the theoretical model built by Kim et. al., (2009), they attempt to measure relationship between destination brand equity and satisfaction and future intentional behaviours of tourists and wishes to revisit. Findings of this study indicate that there is a strong relationship between destination brand equity and satisfaction; it is observed that tourist have wants to revisit the destination.

Ruzzier (2010) measures the relationship between consumer-based brand equity model and tourist destination through dimension of awareness, image, quality and loyalty; Ruzzier conducted a study demonstrating differences between German tourists who visited Slovenia for the first time and those who had come earlier.

According to Gartner and Ruzzier (2010) tourist focus on “image and quality” in evaluating a destination. In addition to these, they claim that there are clear differences between first-time visitors and those who visited the destination earlier in terms of awareness and loyalty.

Pike et. al., (2002) write about the significance of concepts of brand awareness, quality and resonance. They particularly underline that awareness is the basic factor in assessment of a destination.

2.4.1. The Dimensions of Country Equity Country Awareness

Country awareness is on the same level with Aaker (1991)’s definition of brand awareness; it is defined as “not only get to know the country but also to remind several things about the country” (Pappu and Quester, 2010). If consumers establish a strong relationship between a country and its products in their minds, country awareness increases accordingly. The concept of country recognisability emphasizes being familiar to a country, which makes it distinctive from other countries. The literature consists of some studies, which support this view and focus on several countries and awareness (Hong and Wyer, 1990). Country-of-origin and remembrance can be simultaneously. For instance, consumer might remember a country’s product or destination or they can remember a country because of its products/destinations (Pappu and Quester, 2010). In line with consumers’ convenience to remember a brand; brand awareness has different levels such as unawareness of the brand, recognition, remembrance and “first thing to come to mind” (Aaker, 1991).

Awareness is regarded as a basic component of tourism, (Kim and Kim, 2005), and also it is an important factor for consumer’s purchase (Belonax and Javalgi,1989; Webster, 2000). If a destination wants success, the first thing to achieve is to provide awareness of tourists and secondly to create a positive image (Milman and Pizam, 1995). Konecnik and Gartner (2005), in their destination-based brand equity study to measure awareness, asked questions to participants whether they heard the destination before or not; they showed them pictures of destination to understand whether they know about it or not and asked what came to their mind about destination. Konecnik (2009) claims that awareness is the most important factor to determine decisions of visit. Country Associations

Aaker (1991) defines association as everything appearing about brand in the minds of consumers. Keller (1993) defines it as the sum of symbols and images that are visualised in the minds of consumers during making decisions.

Keller (1993) focuses brand associations into three groups: properties, benefits and attitudes. However Aaker (1991) classifies brand associations into twelve different sections: brand name and symbol, product properties, intangible associations, consumer advantages, price, use, user, reputation, life style (personality), product group, competitors and country (geographical area). Farquhar and Herr (1993) list brand associations as product category, style of use, product properties and consumer benefits.

It is particularly observed that county associations are effective during assessment (Kim, 1995), decision making (Johansson, Ronkainen, and Czinkota, 1994) or investment decisions by consumers (Kotler and Gartner, 2002). According to Kleppe et. al., (2002) country equity is particularly related with, negatively or positively, country associations. Papadopoulos (1993), Pappu, Quester and Cooksey (2007) support this view and remark that macro and micro country image is connected to country equity. Perceived Quality of a Country

Pappu and Quester (2010) define perceived quality as received quality of a country. Consumers’ choice of products or services is the results that they compare their quality and superiorities with rival products (Aaker, 1991). Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1988) define quality is the consumer evaluation about a superior quality value that is added to products/services/places.

Perceived quality is defined as the predecessor of perceived value (Dodds, Monroe and Grewal, 1991). Murphy et. al., (2000) suggest that there is a positive relationship between quality of visit and perceived value of visit. Baloğlu and McCleary (1999) mention the importance of “experience quality” in tourist assessments. Baker and Crompton (2000), as a result of their tourism research on image, define quality as one of the features of destination.

Keane (1997) underlines the question “what is the quality really?” and seeks answers and makes a connection between dimensions of quality and pricing. Echtner and Ritchie (1993), Baloğlu and Mangaloğlu (2001), who agree on this, claim that price is one of the quality indicators in development of a destination. Country Loyalty

Basically there are two approaches concerning brand loyalty. The first one deals with loyalty in behavioural dimension. According to this approach, studies only analyzed loyalty as repetitive purchase behaviour (Brown, 1952, Cunningham, 1961). The second approach, however, is the analysis of attitudinal dimensions (Jacoby and Chestnut, 1978; Dick and Base, 1994; Baldinger and Rubinson, 1996; Reinhartz and Kumar, 2002). According to this approach, consumers with high loyalty repetitively purchase a brand and have strong feelings of loyalty (Baldinger and Rubinson, 1996). These two approaches have been adapted to empirical tourism studies (Baloğlu, 2002; Barky and Nash, 2002) and research on leisure and recreation (Kyle et. al., 2004). Similar to the previous experiences, behavioural loyalty affects “today and tomorrow’s” tourism decisions (Li and Petrick, 2008). Opperman (2000) suggests that loyalty measures should be supported with longitudinal studies. In doing so, he relies on necessary components to predict future choices of tourists.

Yoo and Donthu (2001) define country loyalty as consumers’ first choice while they choose among many countries.

According to another view, the concept of loyalty in terms of tourism and country choice is expected to be lower than product loyalty. It is understandable for tourists with a certain budget to visit a particular place again and again; but they must have several different reasons. Nevertheless in order to enhance this situation, tourist loyalty can be increased by making their experiences in a positive direction (Pappu and Quester , 2010).

2.5. Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour are stages of purchase or choosing products, services, ideas or experiences by individuals, groups and organizations in order to satisfy their needs and wants (Kotler, 2001). According to the definition by Schiffman and Kanuk (2009), consumer behaviour “is the sum of all behaviours during purchase, using, evaluating and consuming of products and services that are needed by consumers. Hutchison, Macy and Allen (2010) emphasize “consumer behaviour begins with the idea that leads consumers to purchase decision; it is a multi-phased system explaining relations in purchase process”.

Solomon (2007) assesses consumer behaviour as a process consisting of experience, idea, product choice, purchase and post-purchase in order to meet needs and wants of individuals and groups. Consumer behaviour was previously defined as interaction between producers and consumers during the time of purchase; marketers claim that consumer behaviour continues after buying (Solomon et. al., 2006).

Debase (1998) defines consumer behaviour as a practical field of science analyzing behaviours of consumers in market and analyzing the reasons of these behaviours. The characteristics of consumer behaviour are:

1- Consumer behaviour is a motivated behaviour.

2- Consumer behaviour consists of several activities.

3- Consumer behaviour is a process.

4- Consumer behaviour demonstrates difference in terms of complexity and timing.

5- Consumer behaviour deals with different roles.

6- Consumer behaviour is affected by environmental factors.

7- Consumer behaviour might be different for different people (Odabaşı, 1998)

Consumer behaviour emerges dues to the interaction of economical, life style, cultural (culture, sub-culture, social class), social (reference groups, family, roles and status), personal, psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes). Consumers perform purchase behaviour under the influence of all these factors (Kotler, 2000). Researchers, who want to analyze consumer behaviours, should first understand factors affecting consumer’s purchase behaviour (Kotler, 2000).

Since the 1990s, several attitude theories have been developed in order to explain consumer behaviour. The aim of these theories is to understand how individuals decide and to find out factors affecting decision making processes. Expected utility theory (Neumann and Morgenstern, 1947), regret theory (Bell, 1982), satisficing theory (Simon, 1956), theory of reasoned action Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980) and behavioural theory (Ajzen, 1985) are examples of choice theories.

2.5.1. Destination Choice In Tourism

Tourism destinations are considered as keys for tourism system. Each destination presents various products and services to attract visitors. Within this variety, each visitor has freedom of choice (Crompton, 1992). Each visitor has different motivations and choices for different destinations (Kozak, 2002). There are many studies in the literature to determine tourist motivations (Bansal and Eiselt, 2004; Goodall, 1988). For example, Colman (1989), Mansfeld, (1992), Turnbull and Uysal (1995) state a strong relationship between travel motivations and destination choice. Dann (1977), Crompton (1979), Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) acknowledge this view and claim that some results can be produced by establishing a correlation between motivation theory and people’s reasons for traveling. Mill and Morrison (1998) establish a link between people’s wants to satisfy their need and tourist destination choice; they claim that firstly their travel motivations are to be determined and then these should be concerned with sociology and social psychology. Several studies, which support this point of view, find out that psychological factors are effective while tourist make decisions about travelling (Jamrozy and Uysal, 1994).

Authors that attempt to explain tourist behaviour draw from Maslow (1954) five-staged theory of needs (Kotler, 1991). Pearce and Caltabiano (1983) use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs evaluate 400 different visits and develop a model called Career Steps. They conclude that tourist motivations are interior or exterior. However, Ryan (1998) underline that there are some question marks in this model and travel behaviour cannot be measured in that way. Schwartz (1992), also relies on Maslow’s hierarchy, highlights dimensions of self-realization and self-respect.

Kozak (2002), in his empirical studies, focus on the match between tourist motivations and destination features and sources. In this point Goodall (1988) urges a relationship between needs and motivations that are included in the consumer behaviour literature. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), certain choices of destinations for travels should be evaluated through attitude scale. This view has been supported by many empirical studies in the literature (Um and Crompton, 1990). Factors affecting destination choice

Dann (1977) evaluates travel motivations with two factors as anomy and ego-development. Anomy refers to secession from daily life; egg-development is defined as a status stemming from status (Dann, 1977). Dann (1977) emphasizes about push-pull factors when tourists make decisions. Pull factors are considered as external effects while push factors are defined as internal effects (Mill and Morrison, 1998). Push factors create willingness for travel and push factors influence destination choice (Goossens, 2000).

Figure 1: The push and pull factors for tourists

Source: Dann (1977)

Crompton (1979) defines nine motivations affecting destination choice: seven of them are regarded as socio-psychological or push factors and two are considered as cultural or push factors. Push motivations are analyzed under the titles of get away, discovery of new place and self-assessment, relaxation, prestige, family-relative relations and social interaction whereas pull motivations are examined as novelties and education.

Iso-Ahola (1987) introduces push and pull factor as personal and inter-personal. Similar to Dann’s approach, Iso-Ahola considers them as get away and recreation. Gnoth (1997) identifies two factors: internal and external motivation. He evaluates internal motivation as emotional and external motivation as cognitive motivation.

Goossens (2000) analyzes motivational and emotional dimensions in destination choice. Goossens’s conceptualized model consists of push, pull and hedonist factors.

Mclntosh and Goeldner (1984) summarize travel motivations as four categories;

(1) Physical stimulus: physical relaxation, participation to sport activities, entertainment

(2) Cultural stimulus: getting to know different countries

(3) Inter-personal stimulus: meeting new people, visiting friends and relatives, moving away from routine

(4) Status and prestige stimulus: self-esteem and personal development

Swarbrooke and Horner (2007) and Decrop and Snelders (2005) evaluate tourist destination choice as external and personal factors; external factors are analyzed in four different groups;

(1) Choice environment (e.g. views of family and friends, culture, social class)

(2) Situations (e.g. type of travel, family life circle, familiarity)

(3) Marketing and media (e.g. advertisement campaigns, brochure, TV, newspapers, guide)

(4) National and global; economic, social and technological factors

According to de Groot and Steg (2008), environmental beliefs and intentions are the factors effecting tourist destination choice. Variables such as values, attitudes and behavioural intentions can be used as determinants (Stern, 2000; Stern and Dietz, 1994). Woodside and Sherrell (1977) think that consumers’ associations about destinations are the most important factors. Nonetheless, characteristics of tourists, their values, norms, motivations and attitudes constitute a set of choices that lead them to approach positively, negatively or neutrally to destinations. This perception set depends on knowledge, experience, attitudes and stimulus.

According to Mayo and Jarvis (1981) individuals’ domestic travels or trips to abroad are different from each other as they might seek to see different places, fresh air, sea and beaches, they may want to move away from their routines or they might be interested in education, cultural satisfaction or socialization. Another study underlines other factors such as infrastructure, landscape, beaches, climate, historical places, attitudes of locals, attractions, cultural activities, nightlife and entertainment, accessibility, eating out, peace and silence (Uysal, Surabaya and McLellan, 1996).

Horner and Swarbrooke (2007) analyze the factor influencing tourist behaviours in two titles: interior elements and exterior elements:

Interior elements: individual drives, personality, income, health, recommendations of family and colleagues, experiences, interests, life style, ideas, attitudes and perceptions.

External elements: attainability, recommendations of travel agencies, word of mouth, political restrictions, private offers, regional climate.

To sum up, Thompson and Cooper (1979), Crompton (1992), Thill (1992), Crompton and Ankomah (1993) and Crompton, Botha and Kim (1998) work on tourism sets of choices and investigate decision making process. They all agree that tourists’ sets of choices are mentally constructed.

Tablo 5: Factors That Affect Tourists Behavior

2.5.1. 2. Tourists’ Decision Making on Purchase

Destination choice processes of tourist, as decision making processes do, consist of five steps (Kotler and Armstrong, 2004; Loudon and Bitta, 1993):

1-Felt need/travel desire: This need might be physiological or psychological need or it might desire with the help of several stimulants (e.g. family, social environment, status, advertisements)

2- Information collection: Tourists collect information about destinations from magazines, brochures, agencies, advertisements, friends, relatives and recommendations of previous visitors (Mathieson and Wall, 1990).

3- Evaluation of options: The advantages and disadvantages of the destinations are listed. Factors like destination image, type of accommodation, purpose of visit, easiness of transportation, duration of stay, price level and attractive features of hotels play a role in this evaluation (Mathieson and Wall, 1990).

4- Deciding on a destination: Tourists make their evaluation and decide on a particular destination.

5- Post-purchase behaviours: Tourists evaluate their expectations and experiences and decide whether if they choose the destination again. Satisfied tourist positively influences their families, relatives and friends and tends to revisit the destination and demonstrate customer’s loyalty. Dissatisfied ones do not want to visit there again and share their experiences with everyone.


In addition to country image scales in the literature, the qualitative part of the research includes in-depth interviews with experts working at tourism ministries and tourism agencies to discuss and develop and to define survey questions for quantitative part, which is held in a survey method.

Sample size is defined regarding to a useful rule of Jackson’s (2003; cited in Kline 2011) N:q rule. This rule is applicable when the estimation method used is maximum likelihood (ML), which is by far the method used most often in SEM. In ML estimation, researchers think about minimum sample size in terms of the ratio of cases (N) to the number of model parameters that require statistical estimates (q). An ideal sample size-to-parameters ratio would be 20:1. For example, if a total of q = 10 model parameters require statistical estimates, then an ideal minimum sample size would be 20 × 10, or N = 200. Less ideal would be an N:q ratio of 10:1, which for the example just given for q = 10 would be a minimal sample size of 10 × 10, or N = 100. As the N:q ratio decreases below 10:1 (e.g., N = 50, q = 10 for a 5:1 ratio), so does the trustworthiness of the results (Kline, 2011).

Questionnaire collection process is still going on.

Briefly the reasons for conducting a research in the context of Scandinavian countries

Human Development Index (2014), which is published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), depends on the evaluation of several criteria such as international capital, education, social integration, equality of women and men, migration, novelties, technological environment and health. In this index, Scandinavian countries are in top twenty. The positions of the countries are the following: Norway 1st, Sweden 9th, Finland 16th and Denmark 19th.

The life quality index covering the year 2013, which was prepared by “The Economist Intelligence Unit”, includes several factors that might affect lives of individuals such as social life, economic situation, political order, geography and health. In that index, the ranks of Scandinavian countries are the following: Norway 3th, Sweden 4th, Denmark 5th and Finland 11th.

The ranks of Scandinavian countries on Global Competition Report (2013-2014) are the following: Finland 3rd, Sweden 6th, Norway 11th and Denmark 15th.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Best Life Index (2013), Norway occupies 2nd, Sweden 3rd, Denmark 4th and Finland 8th position.

Conclusion and Comments

The significance of this study draws from a literature review including country image, country equity, strategic country management; it attempts to develop an original model. In addition, the study deals with the importance of tourism for country image and identification of Scandinavians’ attitudes towards Turkey.

Analyzing attitudes towards Turkey and converging negative attitudes to positive ones and consolidating already positive attitudes will provide strategies in order to enhance sustainability. As country image is important from both macro and micro perspectives, it paves the way for increasing of market share in the international arena, attracting more foreign investment and introducing historical assets to the world. A positive perception of Turkey will be beneficial for the country’s economic, political and socio-cultural development.

Another significant point of the research is that the issue of Turkey’s country image is closely associated with the state, non-governmental organizations, opinion leaders and enterprises operating in the tourism sector. In this sense, this study is important, not only to develop strategies to provide economic gains but also to make social deductions in country and to develop policy suggestions.

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