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Understanding Revisit Intention towards Religious Attraction of Kartarpur Temple: Moderation Analysis of Religiosity

Faculty of Business and Management, Sultan Zainal Abidin University, Kuala Nerus 21300, Terengganu, Malaysia
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Mostni 5139, 76001 Zlin, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8646;
Submission received: 30 March 2022 / Revised: 1 June 2022 / Accepted: 1 June 2022 / Published: 14 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourist Satisfaction and Sustainable Destination Branding)


This study examines the effect of destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk on revisit intention of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur temple, mediated by tourist satisfaction. The literature has debated the moderating effect of religiosity in a different tourism context. However, studies rarely investigate the moderating role of religiosity in the relationship of destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk with tourist satisfaction. This study follows a cross-sectional approach and self-administered survey method to collect data from 613 Sikh pilgrims who visited Kartarpur temple. A quantitative study with covariance-based structural equation modeling was employed to examine the research hypothesis through Amos 2 version. The results show that tourists’ satisfaction partially mediates the relationship of destination image and cultural contact with revisit intention. Nevertheless, perceived risk significantly affects the revisit intention effect via tourist satisfaction. So, tourist satisfaction was the significant mediator between destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk and revisit intentions. The findings confirm that the religiosity of Sikh pilgrims significantly moderates the relationship of destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk with revisit intentions. Practically, the findings offer the managers of such attractions to formulate suitable marketing strategies for developing the revisit intention and sustainable branding.

1. Introduction

The tourism and hospitality sector has emerged with exponential growth in Pakistan. The travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler (CN Traveler) graded Pakistan as number 1 among the 20 best holiday destinations in 2021 [1]. The tourism and travel sector contributes 5.9 percent of the GDP (USD 16,756.5 million), 6.2 percent of indirect employment (i.e., 38,819,000 people) and international tourism sends 3.1 percent of the total exports (i.e., USD 852.2 million) in Pakistan [2]. Pakistan introduced the slogan “It’s beautiful, it’s Pakistan” to gain the interest of global tourists [1]. Since 2018, the Pakistan government has issued “visas on arrival” to 24 countries’ citizens and business visas on arrival to 68 countries’ businessmen. Despite a crucial political relationship, the Government of Pakistan planned to issue 10,000 visas to Indians who intend to visit during the summer holidays [1]. Especially, religious tourism such as to the “Kartarpur Corridor” is actively promoted, considering it a revenue-generating tourism segment. It plays a vigorous role in building a peaceful image, helps protect religious and archaeological sites and is beneficial for the growth of religious tourism in Pakistan [3].
Importantly, from the perspective of the hospitality and tourism literature, previous studies extensively examined the tourist revisit intention during the last decade [4,5,6]. Revisit intention in the tourism industry is considered a noteworthy aspect for the progression and subsistence of businesses [7]. The strategic aspect is that revisiting tourists decreases the marketing and promotion expenditures [5,8], are regarded as strongly productive and significant for tourism business [9,10], and are also considered as a vital aspect for efficacious destination marketing [5,11]. Likewise, the attraction and retention of repeated visitors is suggestively lesser than fascinating new visitors [12]. Positive revisit intentions that reduce marketing and promotion expenditures may lead to hunting a cost-based competitive advantage, perhaps significant for prosperous destination marketing [11]. As a service-orientated industry, tourism is momentously affected by the tourists’ valuation of services and facilities delivered to them and the quality of their experience [13].
Travelers’ decision making is an exceedingly complicated process that is influenced by various factors [14], such as destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk and satisfaction. Tourism literature revealed the significant influence of all these factors on tourist behavior [15,16,17,18,19,20,21]. Particularly, the mediating effect of satisfaction plays a critical role in shaping tourists’ revisit intention. Furthermore, tourists’ satisfaction is an indispensable and direct predictor of their revisit intention [22]. Abundant prior studies have proved that higher satisfaction generates greater intention to visit any destination or attraction in the future [4,5]. Similarly, studies infer that tourist satisfaction mediates the relationship between destination image and revisit intention [4,21]. Likewise, cultural contact is crucial in attracting tourists and affecting their satisfaction [23], which may affect their satisfaction and intention to revisit [21]. In addition, there is no argument that selecting a tourist destination is an intricate, risky and ambiguous process [24]. Prior research demonstrate service quality and perceived value leads towards tourist satisfaction [25]. As empirical studies infer, perceived risk about a destination negatively affects tourist revisit intentions [18,21,26]. Therefore, tourists should be provided with valuable sources to decrease the perceived risk allied with their selected destination [27]. Hence, there is an obvious need to examine whether satisfaction mediates the relationship between destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk and revisit intention in the context of religious tourism in Pakistan.
Despite the aforementioned significance, rare studies in tourism research have investigated the moderating role of religiosity [28,29,30]. One study highlighted that high religiosity strengthens the relationship between perceived value and satisfaction [31]. Similarly, another study stated that religiosity moderates the relationship between halal tourism and satisfaction [30]. Likewise, [21] found the moderating effect of marital status on the relationship between destination image and satisfaction, whilst nationality was the moderator between cultural contact and tourist satisfaction. However, conferring with the prior literature, no study has yet investigated the moderating effect of religiosity between destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk and tourist satisfaction or used an extended model comprising constructs (destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk, religiosity, tourist’s satisfaction and revisit intention) in religious tourism. Hence, to provide theoretical development in the literature and implications with practical significance, the study intends to develop a framework that enlightens revisit intentions of tourists’ by extending religiosity as a moderator having contribution towards a sustainable image of attractions as well as destinations in the wider spectrum.

2. Theoretical Background

2.1. Destination Image and Tourist Satisfaction

A destination is a geographical territory that provides value to tourists by developing an amalgamation of products and services offered at that place [32,33]. A recent study revealed that destination image was significant predictor of tourist satisfaction [34]. Destination image entails a combination of connotations set in tourists’ minds facilitating the recall of that destination in their memory [35]. A recent study stated that destination image is a combination of spiritual beliefs, knowledge, mystical expressions and sentiments that develop holistic perceptions about a particular destination [36]. Tourists’ cognitive and emotional affiliations to a specific place influence their destination image [37].
The notion of destination image has gained significant attention and still warrants further consideration in the tourism industry [33]. The prominence of rising research on tourism destinations is founded on the remarkable studies [38,39].
The standing of an image in developing the success of a certain destination has been largely explored in recent decades, with an array of studies investigating this topic from versatile perspectives [40]. In disparity, an induced image is proffered through commercial or paid ways, such as marketing channels, advertisement efforts, etc., to publicize a destination image [41]. A tourist’s destination image depends upon and is influenced by personal perceptions about a certain destination [42]. Thus, a person’s destination image is very subjective. Meanwhile, different persons can develop versatile opinions and images about a destination based on their individual beliefs, thoughts, knowledge and sentiments. This notion prompted the scrutiny of tourists’ destination image mechanism, highly accentuating their cognitive and affective behavioral elements [43]. Cognitive image entails tourists’ knowledge and opinions concerning a destination, while the affective image denotes their sentimental reactions toward that place [44,45]. The incorporation of affective and cognitive images forms the overall destination image, which consists of both the destination characteristics and tangible and intangible appearances of that place [46].
A pre-trip image that tourists hold for a certain destination stimulates their intentions to select a destination to visit [28]. The experience during an actual visit is influential in establishing a positive image [31]. Nevertheless, foremost related research emphasized acuities of image developed in tourists’ minds during a visit and the subsequent reflections [47], while some studies emphasized examining the aspect of tourist satisfaction [39]. Some scholars investigated the affiliation between destination image and tourist satisfaction at the international level [35]. Indeed, the notion of tourist satisfaction has enriched insights in academic literature. Chen et al. [35] describe a comprehensive definition. They state that tourist satisfaction is a pleasure experienced by tourists due to their destination’s capacity to satisfy the desires, expectations, and requirements associated with the visitor experience. Tourist satisfaction comprises cognitive and affective perceptions developed during the visit [48]. Satisfaction is a subjective perception developed based on the favorable comparison between perception, expectations, and actual experience [49]. Hence, satisfaction is a person’s reaction to a cognitive procedure based on comparing expectations and actual consumption experience [42]. Thus, in the domain of tourism research, the destination image is perceived as an influential and direct predictor of tourist satisfaction [50]. Tourists’ experiences of joy, positive surprise and love (emotional experience) shape their destination image, which eventually impacts their satisfaction level [51]. Perceived emotions have affiliation with destination image and serve as a strong predictor of tourists’ satisfaction [52,53]. Based on the insights from the literature, we hypothesized the following:
Hypothesis 1 (H1).
Destination image has a positive and significant influence on tourist’s satisfaction.

2.2. Cultural Contact and Tourist Satisfaction

Cultural contact is not an isolated phenomenon for human beings. Instead, it is a fundamental humanoid peculiarity [54]. The concept of cultural contact was initiated from the archaeological discipline, encircling the consideration of maintaining a destination’s culture by a certain group of individuals during certain times. Cultural contact plays an essential role in formulating interactions with the outer world, particularly in individuals’ needs to interact. The concept of cultural contact emerged as a new aspect to assess tourists’ experiences and perceptions of the local culture of a destination [55]. This notion contemplates purposeful and riveting experiences in the tourism sector as tourists seek relatable cultures at visited destinations [56]. Cultural contact is also linked to how visitors perceive cultural resources and participate in cultural tourism.
Cultural contact considers two aspects related to a culture: the “what” and the “how”, as these narrate the way sightseers perceive cultural resources and certain behaviors regarding the culture of a destination [45]. Indeed, [57] developed the service brand asset evaluation model and stated that direct service experience leads to brand consistency. While investigating the cultural contact in immigrants’ context, [58] found that cultural contact transforms the traditional and encountered culture into an incorporated culture. Cultural contact is supplementary in appropriation as it syndicates cultural elements with encountered experiences. In a nutshell, cultural contact establishes subjective attachments with a certain brand that might be a destination, place, product, etc., which, as an attachment, is loved, accepted and strongly fascinating. In the tourism context, attachment is denoted as the tourists’ attachment to a particular place as an incessant psychological preference or attitudinal inclination to demonstrate association among individuals and the geographic destination [59]. A greater level of attachment with a place due to similar cultural contact increases the level of loyalty and satisfaction, leading to behavioral tendencies [60]. Cultural contact has positive affiliations with tourist satisfaction [61]. Thus, we hypothesize the following:
Hypothesis 2 (H2).
Cultural contact has a positive and significant influence on tourist’s satisfaction.

2.3. Perceived Risk and Tourist Satisfaction

The notion of perceived risk has been deliberated in diverse disciplines ranging from business management, sociology, and psychology. Abounded studies devoted much attention to the concept of perceived risk [34]. Also, [30] was among the pioneers who proposed the notion of perceived risk, stating that perceived risks are the unanticipated consequences perceived by customers during the consumption of products or services, forming a displeasing experience. These outcomes might be in the form of monetary loss, time cost, psychological hurt or other issues instigated by a displeasing experience [56]. The intangible, inconsistent and non-archiving nature made service consumption complex, changing and harder to gain admittance. Traveling services are intangible and invisible, meaning that customers cannot touch, test or consider these services before the actual consumption experience. Therefore, perceived risk in tourism services is higher than the consumption of other commodity products [62].
Scholars have recognized the following seven most common risk aspects: political uncertainties [63], terrorism violence [64], health risk, cultural differences, states’ spiritual creeds and crime events [56]. Though perceived risk may bring out constructive or damaging outcomes, it is often deliberated in the aspect of objectionable outcomes, such as loss of money, health, time or confidence. Hence, tourists’ perceived risk is an apprehensive indicator and deemed to require vigilant consideration [65]. Prior tourism scholars signposted that an essential predictor of satisfaction is the supposed eminence of destination facilities, while risk perception associated with some destinations tends to decrease the satisfaction level [27,66]. Conversely, [67] asserted that perceived risk negatively influences tourist satisfaction. The risk of unpredictable health effects, political disruption, cultural disparities and fear of terrorism are among the prominent risks influencing tourists’ level of satisfaction and intent to revisit [65,66]. Hence, we hypothesized the following:
Hypothesis 3 (H3).
Perceived risk has a negative and significant influence on tourists’ satisfaction.

2.4. Tourist Satisfaction and Revisit Intention

Revisit intentions are denoted as sightseers’ tendencies to return to a certain destination after visiting once. Revisit intentions have been recognized as an essential contributor to developing a tourist destination [68]. Revisit intentions are influenced by different factors, such as destination attachment, attributes, image, etc. [69], but satisfactory tourist experiences of some destinations are most influential in shaping revisit intentions [70]. The favorability of the tourist experience and the satisfaction perceived by tourists while visiting a destination strongly impact their intentions of visiting again [71]. Some scholars quoted these experiences as a key factor reassuring visitors’ intentions to visit repeatedly. Indeed, [4] stated that the cognition hierarchy of perceived image affects the satisfaction level and conative intentions towards behavioral loyalty. Several scholars investigated the predictors to influence first-time visits and intentions of repetitive visits [72]. Satisfaction has been measured and denoted in diverse manners over the last decade. In tourism, tourists would be satisfied when perceived expectations compared to post-travel experiences resulted in delightful feelings. In contradiction, sightseers would tend to be dissatisfied when consumption experience outcomes result in displeasing feelings [37,73]. Prior studies have confirmed the associations between satisfaction and different behavioral intentions, but their results diverge contingent on the nature of the product, service or offerings. In contrast, tourist satisfaction is a favorable predictor of revisit intentions [73]. Sightseers’ satisfaction most probably leads to developing the intention of visiting again. Hence, it is hypothesized that:
Hypothesis 4 (H4).
Tourist satisfaction has a positive and significant influence on revisit intention.

2.5. Mediation of Tourist Satisfaction

The indirect effect of destination image on revisit intention via tourist satisfaction has been investigated by previous studies. Kim et al. [74] revealed that high- and low-spending tourists’ satisfaction mediates the relationship between destination image and revisit intention of Crete, Greece. Tourists’ satisfaction visiting the UAE mediates the connection of destination image with revisit intention [22]. Another study investigated Macau’s tourist shuttle service and empirically argued that satisfaction mediates the relationship of destination image and revisit intention [5]. Likewise, a study by [75] also established a mediating role of tourist satisfaction between destination image and revisit intention. Hence, the following is hypothesized:
Hypothesis 5 (H5).
Tourist satisfaction significantly mediates the relationship between destination image and revisit intention.
Moreover, cultural contact highlights the tourists’ inclination to encompass themselves in a local or specific culture [54] or is related to tourists’ desires for an authentic experience [76]. By interacting with the residents and their culture, tourists tend to gain greater knowledge of and profound indulgence in the tourist destination’s culture [54]. Likewise, a study by [77] concludes that the culture of a destination seems more delightful and appealing for long-distance sightseers. So, tourists would be excited and enchanted to have a new experience and arise more delight from it, thus increasing their satisfaction. Similarly, previous research investigations found that cultural contact significantly influences tourist satisfaction [78,79]. It is also promising that a greater level of cultural contact has a significant influence on the revisit intention of tourists [54,78,79]. With greater understanding and active participation in local culture and interaction with people, tourists obtain a more faithful and striking experience [80], which ultimately leads to greater intention to revisit the destination [54,78,79]. Based on empirical evidence, we hypothesized that the following:
Hypothesis 6 (H6).
Tourist satisfaction significantly mediates the relationship between cultural contact and revisit intention.
In addition, researchers have argued that perceived risk significantly affects behavior [33,81]. A study by [82] examined that the tourism and travel industries of countries are influenced by deprived safety and security conditions. Thereby, satisfaction and perceived risk are strong predictors of tourists’ future visits and intentions [6,40]. Conferring to [82], tourists who have certain perceived risks related to a particular destination try to evade future plans for visiting the place. When the problems arise during visits, such individuals instantaneously encounter risk perception linked with tourist places. Eventually, displeasure emerges [83]. So, tourist displeasure leads to a reduction in demand regarding revisit intentions. Additionally, the previous empirical investigations infer that perceived risk has a negative influence on tourist satisfaction [6,40,84], and the positive revisit intentions of tourists [84,85]. Meanwhile, a study by [29] examined that perceived risk indirectly influences revisit intention via tourist satisfaction. Based on the above arguments, we hypothesized that the following:
Hypothesis 7 (H7).
Tourist satisfaction significantly mediates the relationship between perceived risk and revisit intention.

2.6. Moderation of Religiosity

Religion is an element of culture, communal capital and informal institutions [86]. Thereby, religiosity is an individual expression of their religious beliefs and practices [87]. It is also argued that religiosity is the assessment of people’s religious knowledge, conviction, fundamentalism, beliefs, spirituality and devoutness and how they live and practice religion [88]. Al-Goaib [23] argued that it signifies the obligation to the basics of one’s own religion via practice and theoretic beliefs via the achievement of (religious) rights. Joseph et al. [89] argued that religiosity includes a person’s religious beliefs, practices and community attachment, along with their religious values. It includes beliefs in and respect for God and divinity and the personal participation in reverence and other religious community social activities [90].
Furthermore, religiosity refers to the most imperative cultural dynamic which stimulates human behaviors [91]. These authors said it is the notion related to the way of living that is imitated in society’s and people’s values and attitudes. Conferring these definitions, religiosity is abstracted as containing the constituents of a person’s religious beliefs (cognitive); feelings related to religious beings, substances or institutions (affective); and behaviors [92,93]. However, the research on religiosity, particularly in tourism, is limited [91,94] discuss that high religiosity improves customer satisfaction since they can easily handle the conditions. The study revealed that religiosity had a significant moderating effect that strengthens the relationship between perceived value and satisfaction [91]. Aligned with previous studies, some researchers found that customers’ high religiosity strengthens the relationship between halal tourism and customer satisfaction [88]. Based on previous studies’ evidence, it is essential to highlight the moderating effect of religiosity on the relationship between the destination image, cultural contact and the perceived risk effect on tourist satisfaction. Thus, it is hypothesized that:
Hypothesis 8 (H8).
The religiosity of Sikh pilgrims significantly moderates the relationship between destination image and tourist satisfaction.
Hypothesis 9 (H9).
The religiosity of Sikh pilgrims significantly moderates the relationship between cultural contact and tourist satisfaction.
Hypothesis 10 (H10).
The religiosity of Sikh pilgrims significantly moderates the relationship between perceived risk and tourist satisfaction.

3. Methodology

3.1. Sampling Procedure

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur temple was chosen as a religious tourist attraction to carry out this study due to various reasons. First, the Pakistani side of Punjab is the holiest site for millions of “Sikh” people in India and around the globe. Darbar Sahib Kartarpur temple is the death place of “Baba Guru Nanak”, the founder of Sikhism. The government of Pakistan actively promotes religious tourism, and a recent symbolic project was inaugurated on 9 November 2019 before the 550th birth anniversary of “Baba Guru Nanak” [1]. Second, previously, 3000 Sikh pilgrims were receiving visas, but the Pakistani government is now allowing 5000 Sikh pilgrims visa-free access every day due to a temple near the Pakistan and Indian border. Third, the Kartarpur corridor attracts the attention of millions of Sikh communities. Moreover, 83 percent of Sikh migrants settled outside India are interested in visiting Pakistan for performing their religious rituals.
Similarly, out of 20 million Sikhs, 79 percent were interested in visiting Pakistan [1]. Out of other religious places, Kartarpur temple has easy access for them because of the visa-free entry. A self-administrative survey was conducted with Sikh tourists visiting the temple on the 550th birthday anniversary of “Baba Guru Nanak”. The random sampling approach was used to collect data under the support and supervision of trained enumerators. The pilgrims were approached both in the morning and afternoon once they completed their religious rituals. In short, 654 questionnaires were collected, and after a review of the data set, 41 incomplete survey forms were discarded. Hence, 613 valid questionnaires were retained. The questionnaires were conducted from 11 November 2019 to 28 November 2019. Sikh pilgrims were asked to use a “point-and-click” process.

3.2. Measures

This study includes cultural contact, destination image, perceived risk, tourist satisfaction, religiosity and revisit intention. The study adopted well-established scales from previous studies. All the constructs were measured on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 for strongly disagreed to 7 for strongly agree, with prudently raised statements, because fully labeled measuring items benefit the researchers [95]. The cultural contact construct was measured with four adapted items [54]. The destination image was assessed by an 11-item scale adapted from [96,97]. Perceived risk was measured with eight items adapted from [98]. Tourist satisfaction was assessed with eight items adapted from previous studies [17,36,37,48,99,100]. Revisit intention was measured with three items adapted from previous studies [17,37,100]. Religiosity was measured with four dimensions: religious beliefs, practices, community attachment and values, with 20 loaded items adapted from [89]. Sikh tourists’ demographics such as gender, age, education, professional status, nationality and marital status were also measured.

3.3. Profile of Respondents

Table 1 shows the demographic profile of the respondents. The majority of respondents were male, 63%, and 37% were female tourists; 82.5% of respondents were aged more than 22 years. In terms of education, 74.4% had primary or secondary education, whereas the remaining had college- or university-level education. About 73.7% of the respondents had Indian nationality, and the remaining were from another country. Moreover, 77.8% of visitors were married, and 23.9% were full-time employed; 23.1% did their own business. So, the results revealed that both Indian and international “Sikh pilgrims” were interested in visiting the “Kartarpur” temple. The additional statistics show that Sikh visitors of every age are interested in visiting the temple to perform their religious rituals.

4. Analysis and Results

4.1. Common Method Bias-Variance Estimation

During the survey design and questionnaire, various corrective procedural measures were performed to confirm that common method biases (CMB) could not affect the results. Because of the nature of the cross-sectional survey and the single source of data collection, we assessed the CMB via Harman’s single-factor test [101]. We measured the amount of spurious covariance that prevailed among the constructs. An exploratory factor analysis of all the items of the constructs was performed. Three factors were extracted with a cumulative account of 62.324% of the total variance in the constructs. The first factor accounts for 33.527%, the second factor explains 17.327% and the third factor accounts for 11.470% of the total variance. Thus, the single factor did not explain the majority of the variance, i.e., <50% of the total variance, which indicates that the CMB could not affect our data.

4.2. Measurement Model

A two-step multivariate data analysis (structural equation modeling) was performed via Amos Graphics version 25.0 [26]. By applying this technique, we first access the reliability and validity of the measurement model followed by path analysis to access the causal relationship in a structural model. The primary reason for adopting this two-step approach is to assess the reliability and the validity of each construct measure before measuring their structural relationships. First, to confirm that each scale measures what it is intended to (convergent validity) and confirm that each construct of study is distinct from each other (discriminant validity). Thus, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was carried out to measure the validity of each latent construct. The results of the measurement model revealed the good scores of model fitness, which confirmed that the data set has fits well with the model (χ2 (198) = 566.548, χ2/df = 2.860, SRMR = 0.036, GFI= 0.927, AGFI = 0.846, NFI = 0.956, RFI = 0.952, CFI = 0.961; TLI = 0.957; RMSEA = 0.052), as recommended [102]. The convergent, discriminant validity and the reliability of the constructs were assessed to check the adequacy of the measurement model. Here, reliability was assessed via scores of composite reliability (CR). Table 2 demonstrates that the CR scores prevail from 0.898 to 0.955, surpassing the required threshold level of 0.70 recommended by [103,104]. The convergent validity was a measurement model checked via two standards mentioned by Fornell and Larcker [105,106]. First, the factor loading of each item should be greater than 0.70; second, the value of the average variance extracted (AVE) for each latent construct should be greater than 0.50. So, the factor loading of each retained item is significant and exceeds the level of 0.70, and the AVE value is greater than 0.50 [102,107]. One item from the dimension of religious belief and one from religious practices gain factor loading under the threshold level of 0.70; thus, we removed these items from the subsequent analysis. The value of the AVE prevails from 0.586 to 0.712, exceeding the cut-off level of 0.50. Both conditions achieve convergent validity.
The discriminant validity was also assessed via two tests: (1) the correlations among the constructs should not exceed the threshold point of 0.85 [103], and (2) the square root of the average variance extracted (AVE) of each construct should be greater than the covariance value of the construct with the other latent construct parts of the model [104]. The results of the measurement model achieved both the criteria (see Table 2 and Table 3).

4.3. Structural Model of Research

Assessment of Structural Model Fitness

For the proposed model measurement fitness, we followed the criteria of [105], categories of the goodness of fit indices: absolute fit index, incremental fit index and parsimonious adjusted index. The goodness of fit index was assessed [106]. First, to assess the absolute fit indices, we used four indices, i.e., the Chi-square/degree of freedom (χ2/df), where the cut-off value of χ2/df should be under the range of 3.0. Second, the value of RMSEA should be below 0.08 to show a good fit of the model [108]. Third, the GFI value of the goodness of fit is above 0.90 [108]. Fourth, a value of the AGFI above 0.80 shows an acceptable fit of the proposed model [109]. The assessments of the model generated via AMOS are given as follows; χ2/df = 2.799; RMSEA = 0.052; GFI = 0.924; and AGFI = 0.842, hence signifying the good fitness of the model. The second criterion of the incremental fit measure involves the NFI, IFI, CFI and RFI. The cut-off value should be above 0.90 [108]. The assessment of the measurement model generated via AMOS is as follows: NFI = 0.956; IFI = 0.952; CFI = 0.961; TLI = 0.957; and RFI = 0.962. In addition, the parsimonious adjusted fit indices contain the PCFI, PNFI and PGFI. The value of each should be above 0.50 for a good fit of the model [108]. The results generated via AMOS showed: PCFI = 0.814; PNFI = 0.786; and PGFI = 0.712. Overall, as mentioned earlier, the output specifies that this proposed model’s causal structure efficiently illustrates the relationship among the constructs [102,107].

4.4. Hypotheses Testing

SEM was used to check the hypothesized relationship of a model. The structural path coefficients are presented in Figure 1. We also assess the possible multicollinearity concerns in the data set via SPSS. The variance inflation factor (VIF) of each construct value falls in a range from 1.11 to 1.43, which is less than the cut-off value of 3.0, thus revealing that the multicollinearity issue will not affect the model (see Table 3). The results of hypotheses testing revealed that destination image had a positive effect on tourist satisfaction (β = 0. 491, t = 8.422, p < 0.01); thus, H1 was supported. Cultural contact has a positive effect on tourist satisfaction (β = 0.482, t = 7.810, p < 0.01), so H2 was supported. The perceived risk shows a strong negative influence on (β = -0.376, t = -6.559, p < 0.01), so H3 was supported. Tourist satisfaction also had a strong positive effect on revisit intention (β = 0.398, t = 4.226, p < 0.01), so H3 was supported. All the findings are similar to the developed hypotheses (see Table 4).
Additionally, Figure 1 reveals each dependent construct’s forecasting power (R2) in a structural model. Unadventurously, the value of R2 specifies the total variance explained by exogenous constructs in endogenous constructs. The resulting output shows a 41.3% variance in tourist satisfaction because of the destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk. At the same time, 49.2% of the total variance in revisit intention was because of destination image, cultural contact, perceived risk and tourist satisfaction. However, the achieved values of R2 were greater than the threshold value criterion of 10% [110]. In addition, we also measure the effect size (f2) to check the fundamental effect of the research model [111]. Effect size is defined as “the degree to which the phenomenon is present in the population”. The f2 values of 0.02, 0.15 and 0.35 are small, medium and large, respectively [111]. However, the results demonstrate that the tourist’s satisfaction (f2 = 0.4832) had large effect size, and revisit intention (f2 = 0.1792) also had a large effect size.

4.5. Mediation Effect

There was significant effect of destination image on revisit intention (β = 0.301, SE = 0.122, p = 0.013), cultural contact on revisit intention (β = 0.541, SE = 0.104, p = 0.001) and perceived risk on revisit intention (β = −0.607, SE = 0.070, p = 0.001). As per the analysis output, a 95% confidence interval was used to measure the indirect effect of destination image on tourist’s revisit intentions, which was (0.496−0.404). Since “0” did not fall between the lower and upper bound of the confidence interval, we concluded that the indirect effect of destination image on revisit intention was statistically significant. Thereby, H5 was supported. The indirect effect of cultural contact on tourist revisit intention was (0.487−0.404), so “0” did not fall between the upper and lower bound of the confidence interval. Thus, H6 was supported. In addition, the indirect effect of perceived risk on revisit intention was (−0.382−0.404). The “0” did not fall between the upper and lower bounds of a confidence interval. We inferred that the indirect effect of perceived risk and tourist revisit intention was statistically significant, so H7 was supported.

4.6. Moderation Effect

To measure the moderating effect, it was essential to check that religiosity moderates the influence of destination image on tourist satisfaction, the influence of cultural contact on tourist satisfaction and perceived risk’s influence on tourist satisfaction. Table 5 conceded the moderating effects of religiosity. The interaction effect of (destination image x religiosity) had positive significant effect on tourist’s satisfaction (β = 0.970; p < 0.001). So, the results demonstrated that compared with a low level of Sikh pilgrim’s religiosity, in comparison to a high level of religiosity, was more helpful to improve their satisfaction. Thus, the H8 test supported that religiosity played a positive role in the relationship between destination image and tourist satisfaction.
H9 revealed that religiosity played a positive role in the relationship between cultural contact and tourist satisfaction. The output demonstrates that the interaction of (Cultural contact x Religiosity) moderates the effects of cultural contact on tourist’s satisfaction (β = 0.432; p < 0.01). So, it is confirmed that Sikh pilgrims with a high level of religiosity compared to low-level religiosity have higher satisfaction. Moreover, the interaction of (perceived risk x religiosity) significantly moderated the relationship between perceived risk and tourist satisfaction (β = −0.329; p < 0.01). Thus, H10 was supported, revealing that Sikh pilgrims with a high level of religiosity reduced their perceived risk and improved satisfaction. Therefore, religiosity played a positive role in the relationship between perceived risk and tourist satisfaction.

5. Discussion and Conclusions

This study offers holistic insights regarding tourism constructs by establishing and examining the relationship between destination image, perceived risk, cultural contact, tourist satisfaction, and revisit intentions. The findings of this study verified the proposed relationship among respective constructs. The outcomes of the empirical analysis are largely similar to the proposed hypothesis and general expectations as destination image positively influence tourist satisfaction (β = 0.491). Cultural contact also positively impacts tourist satisfaction (β = 0.482), while perceived risk negatively influences tourist satisfaction (β = -0.376). Tourist satisfaction increases revisit intentions with a beta value β = 0.398. These outcomes indicate that tourist satisfaction levels have a strong and favorable effect on intentions to revisit the Kartarpur temple. Furthermore, these findings are comparable to the outcomes of prior studies. The work of [52,53] revealed that the perceived positive and favorable image of certain destinations increases tourist satisfaction levels. Visitors’ positive and pleasant emotional experiences shape their destination images, which eventually impact their satisfaction levels [51]. Similarly, findings indicated that cultural contact has significantly positive affiliations with memorable sightseeing experiences [54]. Cultural contact is a subjective amalgamation of cultural elements, associated with destinations and visiting places as an attachment, is loved, accepted and fascinated strongly [112]. Thus, cultural contact is positively affiliated with tourist satisfaction [61].
Additionally, the results exhibited a significant negative relationship between perceived risk and tourist satisfaction, so the results are consistent with the result of previous studies [27,65,66].The risk of unpredictable health effects, political disruption, cultural disparities and fear of terrorism are among the prominent reasons to influence tourists’ level of satisfaction and intent to revisit [65,66].It also revealed that perceived risk has a significant negative effect on tourists’ revisit intention to Kartarpur temple. Our results are consistent with prior studies [40,113]. While tourist satisfaction has a significant positive influence on revisit intention, findings are also similar to previous research [73]. Another study by [29] exhibited that tourist satisfaction decreases due to perceived risk and fewer chances to revisit the destination. Our findings are similar because of the political situation between “Indo-Pak” [63] and the risk of terrorist violence [64]. Tourists’ satisfaction with the delightful experience of visiting some destination strongly impacts developing their intentions of visiting again [71]. These findings are similar to existing literature, as [114] stated that perceived cognitive image of destination affects the satisfaction level and conative intentions lead towards behavioral loyalty. In the tourism context, satisfaction is among the predictors that influence intentions of repetitive visits [20,72].
The findings of the mediation test demonstrated that the indirect effect of destination image, perceived risk and cultural contact on revisit intention is significant; thus, tourist satisfaction mediates the contingent relationship among these constructs. The study also examined the moderating effect of religiosity on the link of destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk with tourist satisfaction. The findings revealed that religiosity has a significant and positive moderating influence on the link between destination image and tourist satisfaction (H8) and cultural contact and tourist satisfaction (H9). At the same time, it has a negative and significant effect on the link between perceived risk and destination image. High tourist religiosity decreases the perceived risk and improves tourist satisfaction (H10). The results are consistent with some previous studies [91,94]. The high religiosity of tourists strengthens the link of destination image and satisfaction, cultural contact and satisfaction relationship. However, high religiosity reduces the perceived risk and improves tourist satisfaction. As a result, the management of tourism destinations should apprehend the destination image and cultural contact to improve tourist satisfaction when the site is visited by tourists with higher religiosity. Hence, management has to be concerned about decreased perceived risk and satisfaction when more religious tourists visit the destination and about improving the tourists’ sense of belonging towards their religious festival tourism [115].
It is concluded that both the destination image and cultural contact in the case of religious tourism help to improve tourist satisfaction, ultimately generating positive revisit intention among Sikh pilgrims. While the perceived risks of physical harm and terrorist attacks affect tourist satisfaction and adversely affect pilgrims’ revisit intentions to Kartarpur temple, a higher level of religious beliefs helps to improve the pilgrims’ destination image and cultural contact, leading to enhanced satisfaction and positive revisit intentions. Moreover, pilgrims’ higher level of religiosity reduces the intensity of perceived risk that helps them feel satisfied and revisit the Kartarpur Temple to perform their religious rituals. It is a need of time for the temple’s management to portray an inspiring image of the temple, along with ritual practices and better entertainment facilities to help enhance the cultural contact of pilgrims, leading to greater satisfaction and higher intention to revisit the temple. In addition, during their visit, management has to give tourists confidence by providing a secure environment at the temple to reduce the perceived risk and enhance tourist satisfaction and thus generate a higher intention to revisit the temple in the future.

5.1. Implications

The study results provide both theoretical and practical contributions to the tourism industry in religious tourism. Thereby, it theoretically contributes in several ways. First, this study used destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk as driving factors of tourist satisfaction and their revisit intention to Kartarpur temple, moderated by religiosity. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first of its nature that extends this model by investigating the moderating role of religiosity to explain the influence on tourist satisfaction and, ultimately, their revisit intentions. Previous studies on tourism have focused on moderating marital status and nationality between factors (destination image, cultural contact and perceived risk) of tourist satisfaction and revisit intentions [29]. The presence of religiosity as a moderating variable encompasses tourism’s available literature, especially religious tourism. Rare studies have provided an all-inclusive research model by adding both mediational and moderation factors to divulge their influence on tourist revisit intention. These results are similar to earlier studies but, at the same time, enrich the existing body of knowledge, particularly in the context of religious tourism in South Asian countries. As Pakistan is an important South Asian country, it has sacred sites for Sikhism. It enriches with “Buddhist” heritage, which is explicitly dissimilar to the developed or developing countries where previous research studies have been conducted. Lastly, this research was conducted on the religious tourism industry in the developing country of Pakistan, so it offers and extends the available body of literature relating to this contextual perspective of the tourism industry. Most of the previous studies on tourism took their samples from developing countries due to cultural changes that limit the extent of the findings [29]. Still, our findings are deeply entrenched in shared cultural and societal values.
This study is practically meaningful for both local and global managers of tourist destinations who are trying to influence visitors’ revisit intentions. To increase tourist revisits, they should develop strategies to increase their religious bonding. For instance, tourist satisfaction can be achieved by portraying a better destination image and likening the cultural contact of a visitor with the destination, reducing the perceived risk less safety and terrorist attacks to reassure them that they made the right decision visiting their chosen destination. The introduction of activities that improve their religious bonding with a destination is especially important. In this research, the findings revealed that the destination image and cultural contact effect improved tourist satisfaction with the high religiosity of tourists, ultimately enriching their revisit intention. Perceived risk influence is reduced and tourist satisfaction improved with high religiosity, leading to revisiting intention. Therefore, academicians and practitioners should become more acquainted with such driving aspects.
In addition, the significant positive influence of destination image on tourist satisfaction and revisit intention demonstrates the importance of the destination site. So, visitors’ experiences may be adversely affected by single incidents, the climate, the quality of life, the local cuisine, the cultural heritage and the unfriendly nature of people. Therefore, managers and frontline staff should uphold high service levels for the arriving tourists. So, management of tourist sites must emphasize training that inspires frontline staff to deliver better-quality services to promote a better image of tourist destinations.
In addition, the manager and frontline staff have to give more attention to the local traditional culture at religious tourist attractions and arrange activities that develop the bonding of tourists with the religious-cultural practices performed at the destination. Moreover, the manager and frontline staff have to ensure the good value of money, the quality of health facilities, reduce physical danger and ensure the destination’s security from political turmoil and terrorist attacks to reduce the perceived risk level of tourists and thus improve their satisfaction and revisit intentions. No doubt, mistakes and gaffes are inescapable in tourism, but the decisive point is to resolve the issues tourists face to improve their experience and retain them as visitors. As the Pakistani market is gaining prominence in the South Asian and global economy, this research provides considerable insights for marketers to improve tourists’ intention to revisit. So, destination marketers must understand and apply the results of this study to improve tourist perception of the destination image, cultural contact and risk that affect revisit intention. Satisfied tourists will have a greater revisit intention. Therefore, Kartarpur Corridor management needs to pay more attention to components that can arouse tourist satisfaction and ultimately affect their urge to revisit the destination.

5.2. Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research

Although the study met its objectives and made a significant contribution, it has some limitations, which provide interesting avenues for possible future research. First, the scope of this study is limited to religious tourism activities in the context of developing countries, particularly to the Kartarpur temple in Punjab, Pakistan. Future investigations in other countries will be valuable for the validation and generalizability of the research framework. Second, the questionnaire was designed in English, and the study was conducted with Sikh pilgrims who may face problems understanding the whole questionnaire. This issue resulted in inconsistencies in the participant’s demographic profile, which is probably considered an imperative component of tourists’ revisit intention. Third, the proposed extension of this study did not include all the possible constructs that can be applicable to revisit intention, such as perceived value, past experience, word of mouth, attitude, subjective norms, perceived service quality, and perceived behavioral control. Fourth, as the nature of the study was cross-sectional, future investigations may use a longitudinal research approach for data collection to understand the intricate details in evaluating tourists’ attitudes and their consequent behaviors. Future research should empirically test the studied model with a bigger and more geographically diverse sample of Sikh pilgrims.

Author Contributions

A.U.R., M.S. and M.J.—conceptualization, results validation, investigation, writing—original draft preparation, M.J., Z.A. and R.Z.—supervision, methodology, soft-ware, data curation, review, and editing, A.N.—editing. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was supported by Internal Grant Agency of FaME TBU No. IGA/FaME/2021/009 towards the project title “Green Human Resource Management Practices leading Transformation towards Sustainable Performance in the Selected Sectors” and by the under Grant No. IGA-K-TRINITY/2022/005, project title “Role prosociálního a ochranného chování turistů na sociálně-ekonomickou udržitelnost cestovního ruchu během globální pandemie”.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.


We would like to thank David Tuček (Dean, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic), and Boris Popesko (Vice-Dean for Research and Business Liaison). We extend our special thanks to Trinity Bank for financial resources provided within the Trinity Bank Talent Fund in carrying out this scientific paper. We sincerely thank to Zuzana Tučková, who has served as a Guest Editor of the special issue “Tourist Satisfaction and Sustainable Destination Branding” of Sustainability journal by MDPI.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. Conceptual Framework.
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework.
Sustainability 14 08646 g001
Table 1. Profiles of respondents (n = 613).
Table 1. Profiles of respondents (n = 613).
Under 22 years 10717.5%
22 to 35 years17728.8%
3 to 60 years18930.8%
Above 60 years14022.9%
Professional Status
Full-time employed14723.9%
Part-time employed8814.4%
Marital Status
Married 47777.8%
Table 2. Confirmatory factor analysis.
Table 2. Confirmatory factor analysis.
Cultural ContactAttracted to local traditional culture at “Kartarpur” temple0.950.6930.898
I give more attention to the local traditional culture here at “Kartarpur” temple religious activates0.84
I like the local traditional culture at “Kartarpur” Temple0.61
I understand the connotation of traditional culture at “Kartarpur” Temple.0.89
Destination ImageKartarpur temple has a quality tourism infrastructure0.780.6600.955
Kartarpur temple has a good climate0.73
Kartarpur temple is safe and stable0.79
Kartarpur temple has a good quality of life0.88
Kartarpur temple has appealing local cuisine0.81
Kartarpur temple has a variety of unique attractions0.85
Kartarpur temple is rich in cultural heritage0.86
Kartarpur is a good place for shopping0.86
Kartarpur people are interesting and friendly0.63
Kartarpur is a pleasant place to visit0.89
Kartarpur has several springs0.82
Perceived RiskOverall the experience to visit the “Kartarpur” temple will not be a good value of money0.760.6930.947
Threat of becoming sick while traveling or at “Kartarpur” temple.0.82
Psychological trauma because of others’ negative comments about the facilities at “Kartarpur” temple.0.77
You feel there is a chance of physical danger to my health during the “Kartarpur” temple visit.0.87
You feel that you might get caught up in political turmoil during the “Kartarpur” temple visit.0.84
You perceive language barriers during the “Kartarpur” temple.0.82
You perceive the risk of a terrorist attack during the “Kartarpur” temple visit.0.92
You will not receive enough personal satisfaction during the “Kartarpur” temple.0.85
Tourist SatisfactionI enjoyed the visit to the “Kartarpur” temple.0.750.5860.918
I am a person who identifies strongly with my profession0.82
I prefer this destination, the “Kartarpur” temple.0.89
I have positive feelings regarding the “Kartarpur” temple.0.79
This experience is exactly what I needed.0.78
This was spiritual to visit the “Kartarpur” temple.0.73
This visit was better than expected “Kartarpur” temple.0.66
My choice to make this trip was the wise “Kartarpur” temple.0.68
Revisit IntentionIntend to revisit “Kartarpur” temple, Pakistan0.820.7120.881
Intend to recommend “Kartarpur” temple, Pakistan to others0.89
Plan to revisit “Kartarpur” temple, Pakistan.0.82
ReligiosityReligious Beliefs0.840.6940.901
Religious Practices0.82
Religious community attachments 0.88
Religious Value0.79
Note: SFL = Standardized factor loadings; CR = Composite reliability; AVE = Average variance extracted.
Table 3. Descriptive results and discriminant Validity.
Table 3. Descriptive results and discriminant Validity.
Construct MeanSDVIFCultural ContactDestination ImagePerceived RiskTourist
Revisit IntentionReligiosity
Cultural Contact5.3021.2811.3210.83
Destination Image5.2781.3181.4360.310.81
Perceived Risk4.4991.1331.233−0.33−0.440.83
Tourist Satisfaction4.7831.5341.4210.490.39−0.420.76
Revisit Intention5.1461.2381.2370.380.17−0.190.370.84
The bold numbers in diagonal rows are the square root of average variance extracted (AVE).
Table 4. Results of Hypotheses.
Table 4. Results of Hypotheses.
Path Standardized Estimationt-Statisticsp-ValueRelationship
Destination Image → Tourists Satisfaction0.4918.422<0.001Supported
Cultural contact → Tourists Satisfaction0.4827.810<0.001Supported
Perceived Risk → Tourists Satisfaction−0.376−6.559<0.001Supported
Tourists Satisfaction → Revisit Intention0.3984.226<0.001Supported
Structural Model Cut-off Value
Model fit statistics Chi-square = 566.458
d.f. = 198
p-value = 0.000
Absolute fit indexNormed Chi-Square = 2.799
RMSEA = 0.052
GFI = 0.924
AGFI = 0.842
<0.08; good fit
Incremental fit indexNFI = 0.956
IFI = 0.952
CFI = 0.961
TLI = 0.957
RFI = 0.962
RFI Close to 1; good fit
Parsimonious fit indexPCFI = 0.786
PNFI = 0.789
PGFI = 0.712
Table 5. Moderation effect.
Table 5. Moderation effect.
HypothesisStandard Coefficientt-StatisticsStandard Errorp-ValueSupport
H8Destination image → Tourist’s satisfaction
Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
Destination image x Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
0.376 **
0.484 ***
0.970 ***
H9Cultural contact → Tourist’s satisfaction
Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
Cultural contact x Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
0.318 **
0.512 ***
0.432 *
H10Perceived Risk → Tourist’s satisfaction
Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
Perceived risk x Religiosity → Tourist’s satisfaction
−0.389 **
0.469 **
−0.329 *
Note: *** p < 0.001, ** p < 0.01, * p < 0.05.
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Rehman, A.U.; Shoaib, M.; Javed, M.; Abbas, Z.; Nawal, A.; Zámečník, R. Understanding Revisit Intention towards Religious Attraction of Kartarpur Temple: Moderation Analysis of Religiosity. Sustainability 2022, 14, 8646.

AMA Style

Rehman AU, Shoaib M, Javed M, Abbas Z, Nawal A, Zámečník R. Understanding Revisit Intention towards Religious Attraction of Kartarpur Temple: Moderation Analysis of Religiosity. Sustainability. 2022; 14(14):8646.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rehman, Asad Ur, Muhammad Shoaib, Mohsin Javed, Zuhair Abbas, Ayesha Nawal, and Roman Zámečník. 2022. "Understanding Revisit Intention towards Religious Attraction of Kartarpur Temple: Moderation Analysis of Religiosity" Sustainability 14, no. 14: 8646.

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