A Flash in the Pan? Or Travel Again! Application of the Push–Pull Motivation Theory to Investigate the Influence Process and Situational Factors in Selecting Emerging Destinations from Multiple Perspectives
Gaining a unique travel experience has become a key incentive for tourists to flock to emerging destinations. This study applies the push–pull motivation theory and determines the moderating role of destination familiarity. By doing so, the multiple perspectives regarding the difference in tourists’ destination selection are further assessed. The participants of this study are tourists having visited an emerging destination in the past two years. A total of 617 valid samples are retrieved. The proposed model is tested with structural equation modeling; eight of the hypothetical paths are supported and three are rejected. After further distinguishing tourists into first-time and revisiting tourists, differences in tourists’ behavioral decision-making process are noted. Compared with first-time tourists, revisiting tourists are more susceptible to the influence of curiosity and novelty on their intention of visiting an emerging destination; emotional experience exercises a partial mediating effect on the relationship between travel motivation and behavior intention. Particularly, destination familiarity intensifies the effect of tourists’ motivation on surprise. Finally, conclusions and practical managerial implications are drawn for the reference of agencies managing emerging destinations.