Before tourists travel to a destination they develop an image and a set of expectations based on previous experience, word of mouth, the media, advertising and common beliefs. Crompton defines destination image as the “sum of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a person has of a destination,”.
Destination image is formed by the gathering of information about a destination from various sources over time. The literature suggests there is a difference in destination image formation between those tourists that have first-hand information and experience, and so use this to form the destination image, to those who are first-time or potential visitors, who gather information provided by travel agencies, advertisements, internet, television, media, word of mouth, as well as the history of the country, learned from educational sources, .
Destination image is an important factor in understanding the destination selection process and has a crucial role in tourist’s destination choice as tourists typically choose the destination with the most favourable image to them. Perceptions held by tourists about destinations can affect their choices and travel behaviour. Tourist motivation relates to a destination’s ‘pull factors’ which attracts tourists to that destination. Those ‘pull factors’ are essentially bound to tourists’ perceived image of a destination.