Main Article Content
Purpose of the study: The study aims to assess the influence of social distance on the tourist decision-making process on tourists visiting the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve using the construal level theory.
Methodology: Exploratory research design was used using regression equation modeling. The Borgardus social distance scale was adapted to structure the questionnaire. A sample of 157 tourists was selected. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics which were used to determine the relationship between the variables. The hypothesis was tested at a 5% level of confidence.
Main Findings: The study established that the majority of the respondents understood and indicated that social distancing influenced their choice of a destination. Social distance (R=0.580, p=0.00<0.05) had a strong positive and significant influence on the contractual level of tourist choice of a destination. It was further established that construal level accounted for up to 33.6 percent of the variance in choice of destination (R2=0.336).
Applications of this study: The study recommends that the conventional consumer behaviour model can be enhanced in decision making by incorporating the construal level of destination decision making for tourists. It will be beneficial to the tourists visiting Maasai Mara National Game Reserve, the marketers, hotels and destination owners, and the government at large.
Novelty/Originality of this study: Decision-making is central to the satisfaction of a customer that seeks value for his/her money. Though research in consumer decision-making has been conducted before its application in tourist’s destination decision-making process remains new. This study sought to bring to light this link and fill this gap in the literature.
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