Investigating the Effect of Tourism Brand Equity on Tourist Loyalty Case Study: Iran Mall of Tehran

Document Type : Research Article

Author

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Bozorgmehr Ghaenat University, Ghaen, Iran

Abstract

Extended Abstract
Introduction
Identifying capable cities in tourism and introducing those destinations to tourists requires research and study. Among the potential destinations of our country, Iran, cities such as Tehran can be of interest to tourists and be selected as a destination for leisure motivated by entertainment, sports, and shopping, and attract a large number of tourists at a particular time. Iran's Grand Bazaar, known as "Iran Mall," as one of the top five malls globally, is one of the most significant commercial, cultural and social projects located between the two metropolises of Tehran and Karaj. This complex is surrounded by three airports of Mehrabad, Payam, and Imam Khomeini, northwest of Tehran and on the edge of Chitgar Park, and it has been constructed adjacent to the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains and near the Persian Gulf Lake, in District 22 and at the end of Shahid Hemmat and Shahid Kharazi highways, with an area of 317 thousand square meters. Therefore, considering the importance of this center in developing the brand of urban destinations and attracting tourists, and as a result, the economic prosperity of cities, researchers are trying to study the factors affecting the value of the tourist destination brand on tourists' loyalty to Iran Mall. To raise the issue of branding in the tourism market, to pave the way for managers, marketers, and tourism stakeholders to use this advantage to strengthen the brand of cities and tourism destinations in our country, and the results will be a step toward competing with the tourism destinations of other countries. This study aims to identify and prioritize the factors affecting the special value of the Iran Mall tourism destination brand from the tourists' perspective.
 
Methodology
The present research is applied in purpose and based on the data collection method is descriptive survey research. In this study, Cronbach's alpha method was used to determine the reliability of the test. For this purpose, first, a prototype consisting of 30 pre-test questionnaires was used. Then, using the data obtained from these questionnaires and the SPSS software's help, the reliability coefficient was calculated by Cronbach's alpha method for this tool. Professors and experts re-evaluated the validity of the content of the questionnaires. The study's statistical population includes all potential Iranian tourists who have visited Iran Mall in the period from 22 September 2020 to 20 November 2020. In the present study, a simple random sampling method has been exerted. Also, to determine the sample size, Sample Power software was exploited, and 160 people were selected as the sample size.
 
Results and discussion
According to the analysis and the results obtained, it was found that brand awareness with a coefficient of 0.410, brand image with a coefficient of 0.235, and perceived quality with a coefficient of 0.212 have the most significant impact on brand equity. Also, brand equity with a coefficient of 0.540, brand image with a coefficient of 0.203, perceived value with a coefficient of 0.164, and perceived quality with a coefficient of 0.101 have the most significant impact on brand loyalty. Thus, it is clear that brand equity, along with brand image criteria, perceived value, and perceived quality, can lead to loyalty to the target brand.
 
Conclusion
In fact, looking at the situation of the Iran Mall commercial and entertainment center, which is the largest property in the country, and examining data, statistics, figures, and field observations, it can be seen that this center has not yet been properly introduced in the country and the world, and it faces global management, marketing, and branding challenges. Therefore, as the analysis of the findings showed, brand awareness with a path coefficient of 0.410 has the most significant impact on brand equity, which suggests that managers should pay special attention to the design and introduction of the symbol or logo of the collection to identify and distinguish Iran Mall from other commercial-entertainment centers in the eyes of tourists so that by hearing or seeing the symbol and logo, it is quickly associated with the audience. On the other hand, brand equity with a path coefficient of 0.540 has the greatest impact on loyalty to the destination, indicating that planners and relevant managers should consider factors such as high-quality services to create a pleasant feeling and encourage tourists to spend, emphasize and pay attention. Obviously, the realization of these cases requires careful market research and comprehensive management of the collection with other relevant organizations.
 

Keywords


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