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Title:Place attachment and alumni's experience during the homecoming weekend
Author(s):Zhang, Hongping
Advisor(s):Huang, Zhuowei
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Place attachment
tourist experience
festival experience
Abstract:This research examines the effects of returning alumni’s experience as tourists and event attendees on their place attachment to the local community during the homecoming weekend in college towns. A conceptual framework was developed to capture the relationship among alumni homecoming attendees’ festival experience, destination experience, place attachment, and satisfaction. A self-administrated questionnaire was designed based on the related literature. The data in this study were collected in three mid-west public universities in the United States during their homecoming weekends. The participants were alumni who do not currently live in the community. 351 valid surveys were collected. The major findings supported the proposed framework in general, and reflected the relationship among each construct in specific. In destination experience domain, both Destination Products and Natural Environment showed positive and significant effect on all three dimensions of Place Attachment, namely Place Identity, Place Dependence, and University Identity. In festival experience domain, only Festival Program & Information had positive and significant effect on Place Dependence and University Identity, but no significant effect on Place Identity. The other two dimensions of festival experience, Festival Souvenirs and Festival Facilities, had no significant effect on any dimension of place attachment. For Satisfaction, it was significantly affected by Place Dependence and University Identity, but not significantly influenced by Place Identity. In addition, Place Dependence played a mediating role between destination experience and satisfaction. Hence, from the perspective of practice, local community marketers and festival managers should coordinate to provide alumni with memorable experience and to enhance their place attachment, which will further improve satisfaction.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Hongping Zhang
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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