The Emotion of Awe and Perception of Destination to Influence Tourists’ Satisfaction


This study aimed to explain tourist satisfaction by using an integrated model that incorporated cognitive and affective perspectives. Questionnaires data were collected from 385 participants in Tibet and the conceptual model was verified by using Structural Equation Modeling. The results showed that, from the cognitive viewpoint, the perception of the natural environment was the key factor to influence tourists’ satisfaction; from the affective viewpoint, both the perception of the natural environment and the perception of the religious atmosphere were the factors to influence tourists’ satisfaction. The perceived value of the destination (cognitive factor) and experience of the emotion of awe (affective factor) also influenced tourists’ satisfaction. Additionally, the findings of this study showed that the emotion of awe was the mediator between the perceived value of the destination and the tourists’ satisfaction. In a summary, this study presented a theoretical framework that was based on the dual perspectives of cognition and affection to expand the existing research and provided a comprehensive and reasonable interpretation of tourists’ satisfaction.

Share and Cite:

Lu, D. and Tian, Y. (2015) The Emotion of Awe and Perception of Destination to Influence Tourists’ Satisfaction. Open Journal of Business and Management, 3, 412-421. doi: 10.4236/ojbm.2015.34040.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Cronin Jr., J.J., Brady, M.K. and Hult, G.T.M. (2000) Assessing the Effects of Quality, Value, and Customer Satisfaction on Consumer Behavioral Intentions in Service Environments. Journal of Retailing, 76, 193-218.
[2] Chi, C.G.-Q. and Qu, H. (2008) Examining the Structural Relationships of Destination Image, Tourist Satisfaction and Destination Loyalty: An Integrated Approach. Tourism Management, 29, 624-636.
[3] Dick, A.S. and Basu, K. (1994) Customer Loyalty: Toward an Integrated Conceptual Framework. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 22, 99-113.
[4] Lane, B. (1994) What Is Rural Tourism? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2, 7-21.
[5] Shiota, M.N., Keltner, D. and Mossman, A. (2007) The Nature of Awe: Elicitors, Appraisals, and Effects on Self-Concept. Cognition & Emotion, 21, 944-963.
[6] Decrop, A. (1999) Tourists’ Decision-Making and Behavior Processes. In: Pizam, A. and Mansfeld, Y., Eds., Consumer Behavior in Travel and Tourism, Routledge, New York, 103-133.
[7] Gallarza, M.G. and Gil Saura, I. (2006) Value Dimensions, Perceived Value, Satisfaction and Loyalty: An Investigation of University Students’ Travel Behaviour. Tourism Management, 27, 437-452.
[8] Castro, C.B., Martín Armario, E. and Martín Ruiz, D. (2007) The Influence of Market Heterogeneity on the Relationship between a Destination’s Image and Tourists’ Future Behaviour. Tourism Management, 28, 175-187.
[9] Wirtz, J., Mattila, A.S. and Tan, R.L. (2000) The Moderating Role of Target-Arousal on the Impact of Affect on Satisfaction—An Examination in the Context of Service Experiences. Journal of Retailing, 76, 347-365.
[10] Phillips, D.M. and Baumgartner, H. (2002) The Role of Consumption Emotions in the Satisfaction Response. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 12, 243-252.
[11] Walsh, G., Shiu, E., Hassan, L.M., Michaelidou, N. and Beatty, S.E. (2011) Emotions, Store-Environmental Cues, Store-Choice Criteria, and Marketing Outcomes. Journal of Business Research, 64, 737-744.
[12] Lee, J. and Guo, Y.Y. (2008) Materialism and the Relevant Studies. Advances in Psychological Science, 16, 637-643.
[13] Piaget, J. (1981) Intelligence and Affectivity: Their Relationship during Child Development. Translated and Edited by Brown, T.A. and Kaegi, C.E., Annual Reviews, Oxford.
[14] Lemerise, E.A. and Arsenio, W.F. (2000) An Integrated Model of Emotion Processes and Cognition in social Information Processing. Child Development, 71, 107-118.
[15] Gray, J.R., Braver, T.S. and Raichle, M.E. (2002) Integration of Emotion and Cognition in the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99, 4115-4120.
[16] Mano, H. and Oliver, R.L. (1993) Assessing the Dimensionality and Structure of the Consumption Experience: Evaluation, Feeling, and Satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, 20, 451-466.
[17] Van Dolen, W., De Ruyter, K. and Lemmink, J. (2004) An Empirical Assessment of the Influence of Customer Emotions and Contact Employee Performance on Encounter and Relationship Satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, 57, 437-444.
[18] Bigne, J.E., Andreu, L. and Gnoth, J. (2005) The Theme Park Experience: An Analysis of Pleasure, Arousal and Satisfaction. Tourism Management, 26, 833-844.
[19] del Bosque, I.R. and Martin, H.S. (2008) Tourist Satisfaction a Cognitive-Affective Model. Annals of Tourism Research, 35, 551-573.
[20] Williams, P. (2014) Emotions and Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 40, 8-11.
[21] Keltner, D. and Haidt, J. (2003) Approaching Awe, a Moral, Spiritual, and Aesthetic Emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 17, 297-314.
[22] Coghlan, A., Buckley, R. and Weaver, D. (2012) A Framework for Analysing Awe in Tourism Experiences. Annals of Tourism Research, 39, 1710-1714.
[23] Parasuraman, A. (1997) Reflections on Gaining Competitive Advantage through Customer Value. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25, 154-161.
[24] Lovelock, C. (2011) Services Marketing (7/e). Pearson, New York.
[25] Oh, H. (2000) The Effect of Brand Class, Brand Awareness, and Price on Customer Value and Behavioral Intentions. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 24, 136-162.
[26] Bonner, E.T. and Friedman, H.L. (2011) A Conceptual Clarification of the Experience of Awe: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The Humanistic Psychologist, 39, 222-235.
[27] Sundararajan, L. (2002) Religious Awe: Potential Contributions of Negative Theology to Psychology, “Positive” or Otherwise. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 22, 174-197.
[28] Russell, J.A. and Mehrabian, A. (1978) Approach-Avoidance and Affiliation as Functions of the Emotion-Eliciting Quality of an Environment. Environment and Behavior, 10, 355-387.
[29] Chen, C.-F. and Chen, F.-S. (2010) Experience Quality, Perceived Value, Satisfaction and Behavioral Intentions for Heritage Tourists. Tourism Management, 31, 29-35.
[30] Wirtz, J. and Bateson, J.E. (1999) Consumer Satisfaction with Services: Integrating the Environment Perspective in Services Marketing into the Traditional Disconfirmation Paradigm. Journal of Business Research, 44, 55-66.
[31] Yuksel, A. and Yuksel, F. (2007) Shopping Risk Perceptions: Effects on Tourists’ Emotions, Satisfaction and Expressed Loyalty Intentions. Tourism Management, 28, 703-713.
[32] Lazarus, R.S. (1991) Emotion and Adaptation. Oxford University Press, New York.
[33] Otto, J.E. and Ritchie, J. (1996) The Service Experience in Tourism. Tourism Management, 17, 165-174.
[34] Anderson, J.C. and Gerbing, D.W. (1988) Structural Equation Modeling in Practice: A Review and Recommended Two-Step Approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 411-423.
[35] Hu, L.T. and Bentler, P.M. (1999) Cutoff Criteria for Fit Indexes in Covariance Structure Analysis: Conventional Criteria versus New Alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6, 1-55.
[36] Lee, J.-S., Lee, C.-K. and Choi, Y. (2011) Examining the Role of Emotional and Functional Values in Festival Evaluation. Journal of Travel Research, 50, 685-696.
[37] Gallarza, M.G., Gil-Saura, I. and Holbrook, M.B. (2011) The Value of Value: Further Excursions on the Meaning and Role of Customer Value. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 10, 179-191.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.