Nuri Seo

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Fang Meng


The purpose of this research is to explore and understand how social media account types (DMOs, friends, and other individuals) influence traveler destination perceptions (destination trust and destination attractiveness) and visit intention. The current study also investigates the impact of the likes option on social media account types, which influence traveler perceptions and visit intention. Previous research had not explored three social media account types: DMOs, friends, and individuals based on Source Credibility Theory and the impact of likes on traveler destination perceptions and visit intention. The experimental design was used to test the research model; an experiment with a 3 (social media account types: DMOs vs. friends vs. other individuals) X 2 (the number of likes: high vs. low) scenario-based, between-subject was utilized with six scenarios after collection the data. The results of this study indicated that the credibility of social media account types plays a more essential role than social media account types and that the sub-factors of credibility, especially trustworthiness and expertise, are key sub-facts that determine a social media accounts’ credibility. Additionally, this provides further empirical support for the notion that likes strongly influences traveler destination perceptions, especially when the number of likes is low. Therefore, the current study has raised a significant amount of academic and practical attention as a future research direction in the hospitality and tourism context with a more detailed explanation of travelers’ destination-decision process.