Gunn's 7-Stage Theory

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An increasing number of researchers supports the view that destination image is a multidimensional construct comprising of two primary dimensions: cognitive and affective (San Martín and Rodríguez del Bosque (2008)). The cognitive component can be interpreted as beliefs and knowledge about the physical attributes of a destination, while the affective quality component refers to the appraisal of the affective quality of feelings towards the attributes and surrounding environment (Hosany, Ekinci et al. 2006). A study conducted by Kim and Yoon (2003) suggests that affective image components have more impact on developing destination image than do cognitive image components, especially feelings related to travel such as exotic atmospheres, relaxation, scenic beauty, or good climate, nevertheless, cognitive components such as personal safety, available good restaurants, suitable accommodations, friendly people and unique architecture are important when considering destination image attributes.…show more content…
Gunn (1972) cit. O'Leary (2005)) was one of the first to identify the different ways in which cognitive images are formed through what is called Gunn’s 7 - stage theory, it involves a constant building and modification of images that are conceived at a number of levels namely, organic, induced and modified-induced. In this 7 stages model, different influences and sources of information are organized in a sequential model of the travel experience (Echtner and Ritchie (1993), schema presented in figure

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