Tropical Geography


Reminiscence and Introspection: Influence of Tourism Memory Construction on Expansion of Individual Self-Concept

Qiang Luo1(), Kai Bai1(), Baoling Dong2, Beibei Li3   

  1. 1.School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2.School of International Tourism and Culture, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China
    3.School of Geography and Tourism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi 830054, China
  • Received:2023-01-10 Revised:2023-03-22 Online:2023-11-03
  • Contact: Kai Bai;


Memory is an essential structure of the tourism experience. Tourism memory construction is not only an individual's review and sublimation of on-site experience, but also the pursuit and introspection of self-meaning. Although tourism memory is unique and critical, it has not yet been fully examined in local tourism studies, resulting in the focus on on-site experience while ignoring the special role of tourism memory in shaping the landscape and constructing individual self-cognition. In this study, based on theories of autobiographical memory and self-expansion, the Grounded Theory and Structural Equation Model were adopted to investigate the influence mechanism of tourism memory construction on tourists' self-concept expansion based on excavating the dimensions of tourism memory construction. The results showed that: 1) Tourism memory is an unforgettable autobiographical memory formed by individual screening and construction after tourists' on-site experience. Its construction dimensions comprise three basic structures: cognitive appraisal, interactive perception, and affective involvement. Specifically, cognitive appraisal refers to the cognitive feelings generated by tourists based on the objective environment of destinations in their memory. Interactive perception is the participatory perception of the interaction between the host and guest and the interaction between tourists. Affective involvement reflects the emotional properties of memory, which is the corresponding emotional reaction of tourists based on cognitive appraisal and interactive perception. These three elements are interrelated and jointly shape and interpret the landscape constructing tourist' self-identity. 2) Cognitive appraisal, interactive perception, and positive affective involvement in tourism memory help promote tourism-sharing behavior, which significantly and positively influences the individual and social self-expansion of tourists. This finding confirms that cognitive and interactive memories contribute to tourism-sharing behavior. In particular, positive and negative affective involvements are remembered by tourists, but many tourists are more willing to share "positive energy" and express the positive side of tourism memories. In addition, through self-narration and self-expression, tourism sharing deepens reflection of the overall self-perception. 3) Among the direct effects of tourism memory construction on self-concept expansion, cognitive appraisal and interactive perception significantly and positively affect individual and social self-expansion, whereas positive affective involvement only positively affects individual self-expansion and indirectly affects social self-expansion by tourism sharing. Furthermore, this paper theoretically clarifies the dimensions of tourism memory construction, complements the theoretical deficiencies of post-travel memory in previous tourism experience studies, and reveals the subjective significance of tourism memory to self. This paper also introduces the concept of self-expansion in tourism research and complements self-expansion studies in nonrelational contexts. Finally, this study is a practical reference for memory marketing in destinations.

Key words: tourism memory, autobiographical memory, self-concept expansion, tourism sharing

CLC Number: 

  • F592.7