Ethnocentrism and Attitudes Towards Tourism Destination Choices: Empirical Evidence from the GENE Scale
The present paper is part of an ongoing PhD study investigating the effects of ethnocentrism on tourist destination choices. It argues that the recognition and emphasis of the potential benefits of tourism has generated intense competition among destinations, which in turn is not only shaping policy-makers’ approaches, but also the behavior of tourists globally. Within this line of thought, the construct of ethnocentrism is applied to tourism as an independent variable hypothesized to exert biased influences on one’s attitudes towards domestic versus foreign destinations. The Generalized Ethnocentrism (GENE) scale is used to assess 400 randomly selected respondents’ ethnocentric tendencies towards the functional attributes of domestic versus foreign destinations.
Ethnocentrism is a nearly universal socio-psychological trait, summarized into the tendency of judging other cultures (the out-group) according to the standards of one’s own (the ingroup). In consumer behavior, this tendency is translated into the beliefs held by consumers about the appropriateness and morality of purchasing products foreign origin, and is underpinned affective, cognitive, and normative structures, such as cognitive bias, moral obligation, economic threat, and rationality. Applying this theory in tourism can further the understanding of destination choices.