Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of three sources of social representation (i.e. direct experience of an event, the media and social interaction) on tourists’ formation of event image; to examine the effect of event image, satisfaction and city image on tourists’ revisit intentions to the host city; and to explore the mediating role of city image. Design/methodology/approach: This study used the 28th Qingdao International Beer Festival (QIBF) as the case for verifying the relationships in the proposed model. The survey was conducted in Qingdao and 366 valid observations were collected. Structural equation modeling was used to validate the research model. Findings: Event image is found to be significantly and positively influenced by direct experience of an event and social interaction. City image and satisfaction are important predictors of revisit intention. The meaning of event image is transferred to city image. City image plays a pivotal role in mediating the effect of event image and satisfaction on revisit intention to the host city. Research limitations/implications: This study surveyed Chinese tourists attending QIBF in Qingdao and consequently the outcomes may lack generalizability. This research did not survey foreign tourists. Thus, the differences of attitudes and behaviors between Chinese and foreign tourists are not compared. Practical implications: The outcomes provide insights into how a city manager can organize an event to enhance tourists’ intentions to revisit the city. Originality/value: This study represents one of the few studies that use both social representation theory and the theory of brand image transfer in examining the influence of external social contexts on tourists’ formation of event image and investigates how the unique meaning of event activities is transferred to city image. In addition, the mediating role of city image is fully explored in this research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes