The Influence of Cognitive Image on Tourist Loyalty: A Study of Foreign Tourists Visiting Tirana City

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This paper attempts to shed light on the concepts of cognitive and affective image and investigate the effects of destination image on tourist loyalty, though one of the aforementioned aspects of destination image. Data was collected using the convenience sampling method. After a review of the most crucial places where foreign visitors could turn into during their stay in Tirana, there were identified a few attractive interception points. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to test the hypotheses constructed. SPSS 20.0 statistical package was employed in this particular study for the descriptive analysis of the sample, while LISREL 9.30 was used for structural equation modelling. The results of the study showed that cognitive image had a direct and significant influence on affective image, explaining in this way the formation process of the destination image concept. Moreover, when examining the relationship between destination image and tourist loyalty it was found out that cognitive image had a direct influence on tourist loyalty. The results of the study prove to be beneficial both at an empirical and practical level. As a matter of fact, it does not only provide insightful information for tourism operators and policy-makers, but it also contributes in the body of knowledge of the country where the study takes place.

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