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Qian, J.; Li, X. Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 16 April 2024).
Qian J, Li X. Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 16, 2024.
Qian, Jianwei, Xue Li. "Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 16, 2024).
Qian, J., & Li, X. (2024, February 21). Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention. In Encyclopedia.
Qian, Jianwei and Xue Li. "Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention." Encyclopedia. Web. 21 February, 2024.
Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention

Rural tourism has been a hot spot in tourism studies in recent years. 

empirical study rural tourism Attitude Theory

1. Introduction

The development of rural tourism helps to increase the non-agricultural income of residents, promote the realization of rural revitalization, and strengthen the sustainable development of rural areas [1][2]. In recent years, the income level of people in China has increased. Along with a series of negative impacts on people’s lives created by the development of urbanization, the attraction of rural tourism is growing [3]. China’s rural tourism has also induced a period of booming development. Especially during COVID-19, rural tourism has become the preferred destination for Chinese tourists’ leisure and vacation [3]. In 2019, China’s rural leisure tourism industry received 3.3 billion tourists, with an operating income of more than CNY 850 billion [4]. In China’s rural tourism industry, the development trend of Zhejiang Province is particularly good. Receiving 570 million tourists, rural tourism accounted for 65% in Zhejiang Province in 2020, realizing a total income of CNY 43.13 billion from tourism operations and employing 446,000 people [5]. In 2021, Yucun Village in Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, became one of the “Best Tourism Villages of 2021 by United Nations World Tourism Organization”, which indicates that it is one of the best choices according to Chinese rural tourists. Zhejiang villages have become an “important window” to show China’s rural tourism to the world [5].
Rural tourism has always been an important area of tourism academic research, but the academic community has not yet formed a unified perception of the definition of rural tourism. The current broadest understanding is tourism activities in non-urban areas or rural areas [6]. In this context, rural areas refer to spaces that are remote from urban areas and can be further distinguished from urban areas by a number of indicators, including population density, demographics, commuting patterns, migration, and proximity to population centers of various sizes [7]. Rural tourism in tourism research is defined as benefiting the local economy and society by showcasing the rural life, art, culture, and heritage of rural areas and enriching the tourism experience through the interaction between tourists and locals [8]. Over the years, several scholars have studied rural tourism from the rural tourism motivation [9][10][11][12], rural tourism experience [1][13][14][15], rural tourism from the perspective of rural residents [16][17][18][19], rural tourism development [20][21][22][23], and changes created by rural tourism [24][25][26][27].

2. Theoretical Background

Attitude Theory is frequently used to explain individual behavioral mechanisms [28]. This theory, proposed by Bagozzi (1992), examines the effects of emotional experiences on intentions or behaviors based on traditional behavioral theories such as the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Theory of Planned Behavior, and the Theory of Trying. Bagozzi summarized the self-regulating of tourists as follows: “Appraisal → Emotional response → Coping”. “Appraisal” refers to the outcome of a person based on a specific experience, which triggers an “Emotional response” that drives positive or negative “Coping” tendencies [29]. In tourism research, Attitude Theory has often been used to investigate the influence of factors on tourists’ behavior, such as civilized behavior [30] and environmental protection [31].
Tourists’ perceived value is an objective evaluation that has often been found to precede emotional reactions in previous research [32]. Place identity refers to the emotional attachment of tourists to a tourist destination [32]. Behavioral intention indicates the degree to which tourists are likely to behave in a certain way [33].

3. Perceived Value and Place Identity

Perceived value is a kind of comprehensive evaluation formed in the process of tourist experience, which is the real feeling of tourists about their current location [34]. Because of the complexity and diversity of the research object, academic research on the dimensional categorization of perceived value is constantly evolving and developing, and two main views, single-dimensional and multidimensional, have emerged. At the beginning of this area of study, scholars more often used single-dimension measurement and studied perceived value from the perspective of utilitarianism, perceived gain, and perceived loss [35]. However, an increasing number of scholars have questioned the validity of single-dimensional perceived value measurement, and a diversified multidimensional view of measurement has emerged. Nowadays, the main multidimensional perceived value measurements in academic research include “two-dimensional value theory” [36], “three-dimensional value theory” [37], “four-dimensional value theory” [38], and “five-dimensional value theory” [39]. Each dimension of the value theory has various combinations. In tourism research, the perceived value was first applied in hotel service research [33] and then in vacation, nature tourism, and other research fields [40][41][42]. It is often used to measure tourists’ feelings toward a certain form of tourism or a certain tourist destination.
Place identity is a positive emotion that an individual feels toward a place and an emotional attachment that results from it. It expresses the extent to which a place meets an individual’s expectations, needs, or standards for life and is a form of positive emotional feedback about the place [43]. The concept of place identity was derived from “place attachment”. Williams and Roggenbuck (1989) proposed the concept of “place attachment” [44], which consists of functional and affective attachments, of which affective attachment was defined as place identity in a subsequent study [45]. Hernández et al. (2007) defined place identity as the process by which a person interacts with a place during the tourism experience and describes himself or herself in terms of “belonging to a particular place”, which he considered to be part of the personal identity [46]. In tourism research, place identity is often used to explain tourist behavior or attitudinal intentions [47][48].
Attitude Theory suggests that tourists’ evaluations affect their emotional changes. Some scholars have studied the relationship between tourists’ perceived value and place identity and concluded that a certain tourism perception affects place attachment [49], tourism loyalty [50][51], and place identity [33]. Therefore, it is believed that perceived value positively affects place identity. That is, the higher the perceived value, the higher the degree of place identity of tourists.

4. Perceived Value and Behavioral Intention

Behavioral intention refers to the extent to which a tourist consciously decides to perform or not to perform a behavior in the future and is regarded as the “likelihood of action” [52]. The behavioral intention of tourists is a subjective judgment of the probability of tourists’ tendency to perform a behavior in the future [53]. According to Lin and Wang, (2012), behavioral intention is different from action, but closely related; if researchers can fully understand the behavioral intention of consumers, researchers can effectively predict their future behavior [54]. Academics have often measured tourists’ behavioral intentions in terms of revisit intentions, recommendation intentions, and payment intentions resulting from their experiences [55]. In previous tourism research, behavioral intention usually existed as an outcome variable, which was used to measure the real behavioral tendencies of tourists, such as the intention to revisit [56], recommendation intention [57], pro-environmental behavioral intention [58], and volunteering behavioral intention [59].
Attitude Theory suggests that tourists’ positive or negative emotional responses cause changes in their behavioral tendencies. Many studies have examined the perceived value of tourism as an antecedent variable of tourists’ behavioral intention and confirmed that perceived value has a positive effect on tourists’ behavioral intention [60][61][62]. For example, Fu et al., (2018) surveyed souvenir consumers, and their study confirmed that consumer perceived value has a positive effect on behavioral intention [60].

5. Perceived Value, Place Identity, and Behavioral Intention

According to Attitude Theory, tourists’ perceived value produces negative or positive emotional responses, and the strength of the emotional response affects the individual’s behavioral tendencies [63]. The stronger the positive emotion, the more obvious the tendency to positive behavior [63]. Research has already shown that tourists create or counteract a sense of place identity in the process of interacting with tourist locations and generating personal preferences for emotional choices, which in turn affects individual actions or behaviors [64]. In other words, the higher the degree of place identity, the stronger the individual’s behavioral intention [64][65]. Therefore, it can be assumed that tourists’ place identity affects their behavioral intention, and the higher the tourists’ place identity is, the more obvious their willingness to pay, revisit, and recommend. Because tourists’ perceived value has a positive influence on both place identity and behavioral intention, it is believed that place identity mediates the relationship between tourists’ perceived value and behavioral intention, which has been confirmed in research. Zhang et al., (2023) studied place attachment as a mediating variable between tourists’ perceived value and behavioral intention, in which the place attachment dimension includes place identity and place dependence [66]. Their study confirmed that place identity has a mediating role between perceived value and behavioral intention.


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