1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 unknown4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
This paper aims at exploring issues related to rural tourism destination image (TDI) focusing on the cognitive component. By means of empirical research addressing tourists visiting the Lake Plastiras area, Central Greece, factors comprising the cognitive component of the area's TDI were identified along with their effect on destination attractiveness. Furthermore, the influence of tourists' characteristics on their cognitive TDI was explored. The results indicate that: (1) the area's TDI can be delineated in six cognitive factors; (2) the area's attractiveness is significantly influenced by three of these factors; (3) visitors can be classified in four clusters according to the cognitive factors; (4) tourists' clusters differ in terms of age, education and income as well as number of visits and perception of the area's attractiveness. Such findings point towards the need of both a new strategy for the area's placement within the tourist market and further research.