This study aims to empirically examine an integrative model centered on customer delight drawing from cognitive appraisal theory and place identity theory. A self-completed survey administered in English at three tourism destinations in Australia (Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road, and Sovereign Hill) generated 457 valid responses. The results show that authenticity and employee helpfulness are positively associated with customer delight, which in turn, positively affects the positive word-of-mouth (PWOM) intention. Customer delight is a principal mechanism that transmits the influence of authenticity and employee helpfulness to PWOM. In addition, place identity moderates the relationship between customer delight and PWOM such that the higher the place identity, the weaker is the relationship between customer delight and PWOM. The findings advance the current theorizations on several fronts and offer managerial implications for destination marketing practice in terms of customer experience management, marketing communications, and customer service.
- customer delight
- employee helpfulness
- place identity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management