Destination brand gestalt and its effects on brand attachment and brand loyalty
This present study proposes an integrated model of destination brand gestalt, and its effect on brand attachment and brand loyalty. Specifically, it aims to investigate the aggregate influence of brand gestalt on brand attachment and brand loyalty at the construct level and its four dimensions (i.e., story, sensescape, servicescape, and stakeholder). The proposed model has been tested using a structural equation model on survey-based data with 684 visitors of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. To obtain robust and convergent results, the survey has been done across three destination categories (beach and sea, mountain and nature, festival and culinary). Results have confirmed that brand gestalt is a significant predictor of tourists' attachment and loyalty to the destination. Destination brand attachment and loyalty are influenced by three dimensions of the brand gestalt – story, sensescape, and servicescape. This study also provides empirical evidence on the effect of brand attachment and brand loyalty on tourism destination context. These results can inform tourism practitioners on the critical role that brand gestalt plays in strengthening tourist-destination connection, as well as creating and sustaining brand loyalty among tourists.