Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Richard F. Fisher


A state's image as perceived by its actual and potential tourists plays a significant role in determining its competitiveness as a tourist destination. A state's image influences a tourist's vacation destination decisions. A tourist's image of a given state is influenced by numerous factors including his amount of touring experience within that state, geographical affiliation, demographic profile, vacation characteristics, and the amount and source of tourist information used.

Utah was used as a case study to test the viability of the proposed research model. A mail questionnaire requested information concerning 1) attributes of Utah's tourist image considered when choosing a vacation destination, 2) amount of Utah touring experience in Utah, 3) geographical affiliation, 4) demographic profile, 5) characteristics of the vacation and 6) amounts/sources of tourist information used. A sample of 6,000 people was contacted in six geographical regions across the country. A total of 1917 (32%) useable surveys were returned.

This research study to identified the components of Utah's tourist image. The study concluded that touring experience in Utah affects their perceptions of Utah's tourist image. Additionally, the study determined that geographical affiliation does influence perceptions of Utah. Finally, it found that age differences and modes of transportation influence perceptions of Utah.