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How the Experience Designs of Sustainable Festive Events Affect Cultural Emotion, Travel Motivation, and Behavioral Intention

Department of Advertising, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 11114, Taiwan
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 11807;
Submission received: 21 July 2022 / Revised: 10 September 2022 / Accepted: 16 September 2022 / Published: 20 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Industries and Sustainable Development)


Festivals are an important aspect of cultural design. They not only attract a large number of tourists but are also one of the most direct ways of promoting local culture. This study aimed to discover how festival experiences affect cultural feelings, travel motivations, and behavioral intentions. Based on literature research, theoretical model construction, and analysis, this paper begins with an exploration of the literature and designs a structural model to validate consumers’ expectations and conceptions of the 2021 Tainan Chihsi Festival. A total of 238 residents from Taiwan answered the questionnaire. This study used SEM and ANOVA for data analysis. The impact model of the festival experience design presented here can provide reference standards for in-depth research in related fields. Moreover, cultural emotion is a critical component in designing influential festive event experiences that evoke travel motivations and behavioral intentions. Virtual events can emphasize personal elements and educational content. In-person events can emphasize group interaction and entertainment. A combination of virtual and in-person experiences or personal and group exchanges would be ideal. Organizers should consider including emotional elements in their festive events in addition to originality. The inclusion of cultural elements can also foster “shared” experiences between locals and visitors, diversifying urban landscapes and strengthening community interaction. Organizers can plan festive events that align with consumers’ expectations, distinguish festive events from other community events, and add uniqueness and originality to their events.

1. Introduction

Festivals tend to be culturally or geographically unique. The themes and images of festivals are shaped by the events held during the festive period. Festive events are fun and evoke sharing. They promote local traditions and cultures through celebration and are ideal venues for marketing local products and services, conveying ideologies and information, and showcasing communities. In addition to attracting tourists, festive events are also direct avenues for promoting local culture [1,2]. Mair and Whitford [3] mention that festive events are a disrupter of conventional tourism and a driver of culture, art, and urban regeneration. They are turning into a unique lifestyle industry that is quickly gaining international attention. The cultural content of festive events culminates in in-depth experiences, creative products, and spatial aesthetics, bringing tourism and economic benefits to local regions. Moreover, highlighting festive events in tourism has become a key strategy in many countries for the development of an experience economy, creating environments to learn about local history and satisfy nostalgia. Intrinsically, festivals contribute to social cohesion and raise the innovation and confidence of local industries. Extrinsically, they form positive city imagery and balance cultural production and cultural consumption. Together, festivals promote the sustainable development of local culture, preserve social harmony, and encourage interaction [4,5]. Culture is an accumulated asset. Festive events are a means for accumulating long-lasting culture and driving long-term integration and consensus. Therefore, protecting and ensuring the sustainable development of cultural assets and tourism landmarks are just as important as any other economic system [6,7,8]. With so many different festive events in the world, can they truly be said to contain cultural content? Will these events persevere or will their dominance be eroded over time? Instead of highly marketed goods and services, the cultural value of consumer items must be preserved, for only by preserving events with cultural value will they remain relevant over time. Ashworth and Voogd [9] assert that festive events are powerful tools of communication and an indispensable component of urban marketing strategies. They effectively shape local imagery and experiences. Furthermore, intangible heritage should be passed on and preserved from generation to generation as it fosters cultural identity and continuity. However, at this stage, most of these festivals are often too focused on short-term benefits and mostly tend to be conservative. Therefore, local cultures must be integrated with liberal arts to nurture cultural value and create sustainable tourism benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world since 2019. As situations gradually improve in certain countries, travel intentions are beginning to surge. Affordability is no longer the primary concern, and tourists are swarming to natural and manmade attractions. The pandemic will eventually pass. Therefore, the time has come for vendors to seriously consider venues and events that will satisfy visitors’ cultural expectations rather than produce short-term gain. Topics worth exploring include, but are not limited to, what sort of atmosphere attracts visitors, what factors affect voluntary engagement, and what aspects visitors are willing to spend their money and time on. Regardless of how the world changes, people will always seek leisure, entertainment, and unique experiences. In this study, we examined the experience designs of events organized for the Tainan Chihsi Festival and determined whether these designs affected visitors’ cultural emotion and participatory willingness. We developed the Festival Experience Design Influence Model to examine several cases. The results of this study can serve as a reference for the future application and development of education and design.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Experience Designs of Festive Events

Csikszentmihalyi [10] introduced the concept of flow experience, defining it as a state in which people are so involved in an event they enter a state of autopilot or “flow”. Flow is a way to feel a sense of joy in an activity and that nothing else seems to matter, as shown in Figure 1. Therefore, flow experiences are considered the ultimate form of enjoyment. Flow is associated with the formation of meaning, which gradually manifests into a flow experience. Consumer experiences derive from the pursuit of fantasy, feelings, and fun. For tourists, it is the products and services they encounter during their travels that shape their emotional connection to their destination. Festive events can be intricately designed to enhance authenticity and solicit positive emotions, such as a latent concept like “flow”, a feeling that creeps up from the bottom. When visitors perceive a festive event to be authentic, they are more likely to feel connected to the festival. Therefore, a successful event must be able to arouse the emotions and perceptions of its participants [11,12,13,14].
Schmitt [15] proposed five strategic experiential modules: sensory experiences (SENSE); affective experiences (FEEL); creative cognitive experiences (THINK); physical experiences, behaviors, and lifestyles (ACT); and social-identity experiences that result from relating to a reference group or culture (RELATE). These modules aimed to explain how people’s experiences impact their emotions. Pine and Gilmore [16] asserted that experiences are emotionally charged and evoke consumers who attach immense value to products and services. The researchers also mention that attractive and engaging experience activities let an individual reach a certain emotional, intellectual, or even spiritual level, and positive feelings begin to subconsciously emerge. These activities can be classed in four categories: entertainment, education, aesthetics, and differentiation. Education entails that the content is informative and educational. Aesthetics entails that the visual design is pleasing and attractive. Differentiation entails that the activity is unique and helps visitors escape routine.
Lin [17] proposed that “service space” and “qualia” are the key factors in the experienced economy and asserted that events must be designed to enhance the “deeply experience” and “highly aesthetic feeling” of experience design to keep participants engaged. As favorable event designs directly and positively influence participant experiences, visually pleasing events that tell a story or provide cultural context can be mentally stimulating and provide an unforgettable experience to visitors, as shown in Figure 2. Therefore, experience designs are vital when considering ways to incorporate connotative features and cultural attributes into events and curate unforgettable experiences. It can also be inferred that experience designs can promote cultural content and solicit emotional responses. Therefore, they positively influence people’s travel motivation.

2.2. Cultural Emotion towards Festivals

Culture is essentially the manifestation of social and historical phenomena. Culture evolves concurrently with humankind. Therefore, it is the accumulation of human development and features qualities of generationality, nationality, and regionality. Culture has memory; not in the physiological sense, but rather as a product of social collectivism. Cultural memory cannot be observed in individuals. Instead, it is communal memory. Similar to individuals, communities (which include ethnicity and nationality) develop the ability to store and retrieve memories as they evolve [18]. Assmann [19] maintained that cultural memory is preserved, replicated, and disseminated through language, faith, literature, and education. Erll [20] distinguished between social, material and mental dimensions of cultural memory and defined “cultural memory” broadly as the interplay of present and past in socio-cultural contexts. Tao [21] also proposed that cultural memory can be divided into three dimensions: intellectual, emotional, and social (which includes politics, economics, religion, and law). Of these dimensions, the mental and emotional dimensions are the important actuators of cultural memory. They are also directly related to personal feelings.
Emotions are a necessary part of life. They regulate feelings, behaviors, and views. People develop pleasant emotions when they see beautiful things [22]. Evoking pleasant emotions has become a key focus in product and service development in recent years. When people identify with the design features of a product or service, they are more willing to purchase the product or service. Well-designed products and services may even elevate consumers’ tastes and personalities. Emotions are also a form of cultural expression. Culture is the foundation or blueprint of emotions, and combining culture and emotions can produce immense enjoyment [23]. Therefore, the emotional dimension is an important reference or actuator of cultural memory. It is also a measure for forecasting tourists’ future behaviors [19]. Cultural emotion refers to the positive feelings that tourists have towards local cultures. When tourists acknowledge a culture, they generate affinity towards the culture and the people of that culture. Therefore, tourists’ emotions play a significant role in destination selection, purchase behavior, and revisitation willingness [24,25,26].
Emotional variables are the make-or-break factors of festive events. They are also an important basis for forecasting tourists’ future behaviors. Therefore, many past studies on festive events adopted event engagement and place attachment as the emotional variables for analyzing the relationship between emotions and future behaviors [27,28]. Event engagement refers to the degree of involvement in specific events, observed from people’s emotional investment, participatory motivation, curiosity, and excitement associated with a specific event [29]. The most common factors for measuring event engagement are attractiveness, centrality, and self-expression [30,31,32]. Place attachment stems from a sense of place and place identity. It is seen as the emotional connections that people have to specific places prompting them to share their knowledge of the place with others. These emotions drive people to act on their views [33,34,35]. Therefore, place attachment can be defined as special emotional attachments that people develop after interacting with a specific place. Place attachment can further be subcategorized into place dependence and place identity. Overall, event engagement features attractiveness, centrality, and self-expression, while place attachment features place dependence and place identity. Based on the preceding discussion, it can be inferred that cultural emotion positively influences people’s travel motivation and behaviors.

2.3. Travel Motivation and Behavioral Intention

Behaviors, actions, and decisions are intrinsically influenced by motivation. A key factor driving tourism and travel behaviors is travel motivation [36]. Travel motivation is characterized by social and psychological needs that encourage participation in tourism-based activities. According to the theory of push and pull factors, social and psychological needs are driven by the desire to detach from the daily routine (escape) and the desire for psychological compensation in unfamiliar environments (pursuit). Under these forces, people are motivated to travel. They are the intrinsic drivers of event engagement. They urge people to travel and pursue their goals. In addition, travel and leisure motivation are dynamic, where event engagement increases concurrently with satisfaction [37,38].
Travel motivation also prompts people to voluntarily participate in activities and have fun at a financial loss. Positive feedback fuels intrinsic motivation and engagement increases concurrently with intrinsic motivation and autonomy [39]. Motivation is the main reason for travel and tourism engagement, and positive motivation can induce, regulate, and maintain behaviors. Therefore, travel motivation is a pre-existing variable of behavioral intent.
Maslow’s [40] hierarchy of needs is the most cited motivation theory in academia. The theory states that humans are motivated to fulfill their needs in a hierarchical order: physiological needs, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Travel motivation models based on the hierarchy of needs have been developed by Nickerson and Ellis [41], Goeldner and Ritchie [42] and Pearce [43]. All of the researchers maintained that higher-tiered motivations contained motivations in tiers lower than them and that lower-tiered motivations must be satisfied before pursuing higher-tiered motivations.
The primary composition of attitude comprises perception, emotion, and intention. Intention refers to behavioral intention. It includes the tendency to act a certain way after careful consideration, a psychological expression when no action has taken place, and the intention before making a decision. Behavioral intention reflects people’s future behaviors. Therefore, it is an antecedent of action [44,45,46].
Behavioral intent data are highly representative of actual behaviors and, thus, are considered a reliable measure of behavior. Behavioral intentions are categorized into positive and negative intentions. Positive intentions may be exhibited as listening to word-of-mouth, offering recommendations, showing brand loyalty, increasing frequency of product and service purchases, or buying at higher prices. Negative intentions, on the other hand, may take the form of distancing or reduced spending [47,48]. Thus, travel motivation is likely to have a positive impact on behavioral intentions.
Based on the preceding literature review, it can be seen that cultural emotion mediates experience design and travel motivation. It also mediates experience design and behavioral intention.

3. Methodology

3.1. Research Framework and Hypotheses

This study is a confirmatory analysis of the effects that the experience designs of festive events have on cultural emotion, travel motivation, and behavioral intention. The research framework combines anxiety, boredom, and flow [10] with the qualia experience model [17]. Csikszentmihalyi [10] asserted that flow is a state of peak enjoyment experienced by people engaged in adult play. This definition is the coveted experience examined in this study. Therefore, we included flow state in our concept diagrams. In Figure 1, flow is depicted as a latent state that permeates from the bottom up. It also shows a hierarchy of the various factors, where the x-axis represents feeling, and the y-axis represents corresponding behavior. Overlaying Figure 1 and Figure 3 shows that the x-axis (travel motivation) in Figure 3 overlaps with that (feeling) in Figure 1, and the y-axis (behavior) in Figure 3 overlaps with that (skill) in Figure 1.
The experience design extends from the center of the circle and around the experience design with five elements of cultural emotion. The diagonal line entering the “flow state” can be replaced with the hierarchy of needs theory proposed by Maslow [40]. The x-axis and the y-axis are, respectively, behavioral intention and feelings. Based on the research objectives and the research framework illustrated in Figure 3, the left side of Figure 3 shows the influence diffusion diagram of each dimension, and the right side of Figure 3 shows the integrated detailed diagram.
The research hypotheses in this study are inferences drawn from a literature review. The author formulated the following hypotheses, along with the Festival Experience Design Influence Model, as shown in Figure 4.
Experience design significantly and positively influences cultural emotion.
Experience design significantly and positively influences travel motivation.
Experience design significantly and positively influences behavioral intention.
Cultural emotion significantly and positively influences travel motivation.
Cultural emotion significantly and positively influences behavioral intention.
Travel motivation significantly and positively influences behavioral intention.
Cultural emotion mediates experience design and travel motivation.
Cultural emotion mediates experience design and behavioral intention.

3.2. Case Study

Tainan is an old city with a long history and profound cultural heritage. The city is home to the largest number of Yue Lao Temples and national monuments and relics. It is also the confluence for single people seeking a romantic blessing. The city government has even designed a recommended sightseeing map for pilgrims of romance! After the upgrade of special municipalities in Taiwan in 2010, the city government launched the Tainan Chihsi Festival by consolidating the Sweet Sixteen cultural event held every summer since 2000 and popular local Yue Lao Temples under the banner of the City of Love. The festival has been organized every year since, becoming one of Taiwan’s largest tourist festivals [49]. The festival, with its cultural connotations, was selected as the research event for this study.
Specifically, we examined the 2021 Tainan Chihsi Festival. The main themes of the festival were Lovers of Showa and Old School Date. Through online interaction and in-person participation, visitors had the opportunity to learn about the pop culture, architectural features, celebrities, and restaurants of the Showa Era and how these elements shaped the landscape of Tainan today. The Tainan Chihsi Festival comprised 11 events, including three virtual events, three in-person events, and numerous collaborative events with local vendors (two virtual and three in-person events). The festival period was between 7 and 22 August 2021. The itinerary of the festival is tabulated in Table 1.

3.3. Research Tool

This study integrated related research and conducted a data analysis to develop research tools. The analysis focused on experience design, cultural emotion, travel motivation, and behavioral intention. Experience design was represented by four observed variables: entertainment, educational, aesthetic, and escapist. Cultural emotion (i.e., involvement and place attachment) was denoted by five observed variables: attraction, centrality, self-expression, place dependence, and place identity. Travel motivation comprised five observed variables: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Behavioral intention was based on three observed variables: participation intent, repeated behavior, and suggestive behavior. Thus, the questionnaire was composed of four dimensions, 17 variables, and 51 item components, all of which were rated on a seven-point Likert scale, with agreement including options such as: completely agree, mostly agree, slightly agree, neutral, slightly disagree, mostly disagree, completely disagree. The questionnaire was subject to reliability and validity tests, a correlation coefficient analysis, and regression analysis with statistical tests using SPSS 22.0, as well as structural equation modeling (SEM) in AMOS 23.0. All items reflected the latent variables of each dimension. The items were defined and constructed in line with the theoretical analysis of the literature.
The questionnaires were administered over the Internet. The questionnaires targeted people residing in Taiwan who were familiar with the event venue and content. The survey aimed to collect the respondents’ perceptions and past experiences. The questionnaire is presented in Table 2.

4. Results and Discussion

All respondents were between the ages of 20 and 35 years, and 288 respondents completed the defined tasks. After omitting the invalid or unanswered questionnaires, 238 remained. The respondents were preponderantly female (37 male and 201 female). A survey conducted by PIXNET in 2014 indicated that over 60% of women were interested in Yue Lao Temples, particularly single individuals in the age groups “20 or younger” and “21 to 25”. [51]. These statistics were consistent with the predominant demographics of the recovered questionnaires. The results of an independent-sample t-test showed no significant statistical differences in the gender variable under different constructs, suggesting that the gender discrepancy of the data was unlikely to produce bias. A questionnaire pre-test was unnecessary because the questionnaire administered in this study was developed based on expert theories. Therefore, the questionnaire had a high expert validity score. A confirmatory factor analysis also showed that the questionnaire met validity and reliability standards.

4.1. Confirmatory Factor Analysis

4.1.1. Convergent and Discrimination Validity

The author conducted a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to measure the convergent validity and discriminant validity of the questionnaire (see Table 3 and Table 4). The CFA was based on 238 valid responses and measured the covariance between the observed and latent variables.
According to the CFA’s standardized factor loadings (SFLs), the factor loadings for experience design, cultural emotion, travel motivation, and behavioral intention were 0.745–0.850, 0.866–0.894, 0.826–0.911, and 0.854–0.944, respectively. The SFL for each item was less than 0.6, thus deeming the questionnaire acceptable. According to Bagozzi and Yi [52], the composite reliability and AVE should be greater than 0.60 and 0.50, respectively. The composite reliability for each dimension in this study was between 0.876 and 0.956, and the AVE was 0.639–0.827. Thus, the questionnaire had acceptable internal consistency.
If a correlation analysis reports a weak correlation between two constructions, then they are said to have discriminating validity [53,54]. This study considered dimensions to have discriminant validity when more than 75% of the square roots of the AVE were greater than the correlation coefficient of the dimension [55]. The diagonally presented values revealed that the square root of AVE for each dimension was 0.799–0.910. In addition, 75% of the square roots of the AVE were greater than the correlation coefficient of each dimension (Table 4). Thus, the questionnaire had discriminant validity.

4.1.2. Multivariate Normality Tests

Following the integration of the observed variables, multivariate normality tests were conducted to explore the variables’ normality. Normality is defined by the coefficients of skewness and kurtosis. The observed variables are said to be normally distributed if the absolute value of the skewness and kurtosis is less than 2 [56]. The absolute values for the skewness and kurtosis of all observed variables (items) in each dimension of the structural equation model were less than 2, indicating normal distribution. The multivariate normality test employed Mardia’s coefficient—a multivariate kurtosis index widely used to identify multivariate normality—to determine multivariate kurtosis. The data have multivariate normality if the coefficient is less than p (p + 2), where p is the number of observed variables [57]. Mardia’s coefficient for this study was 100.087, and p (p + 2) was estimated at 323 and greater than Mardia’s coefficient. Thus, the data had multivariate normal distribution. See Table 3 for the CFA and its results.

4.2. Structural Model Analysis and Hypotheses Verification

This study employed structural equation models to verify the model and research hypotheses. More specifically, it aimed to demonstrate the measured effects between the latent and observed variables and determine the causal relationships among the latent variables. The final model comprised 4 dimensions, 17 observed variables, and 51 items.
The test for the model’s goodness of fit indicated that the specific values for the chi-square and degree of freedom were between 1 and 5 (χ2 ÷ df = 3.34); thus, both conformed to the testing standards. AGFI = 0.782 was within the acceptable range, and other indices also conformed to the testing standards (RMR = 0.048 < 0.08, GFI = 0.846 > 0.8, PGFI = 0.591 > 0.5, NFI = 0.922 > 0.8, RFI = 0.902 > 0.9, IFI = 0.944 > 0.9, NNFI (TLI) = 0.929 > 0.9, CFI = 0.944 > 0.9, PRATIO = 0.794 > 0.5, PNFI = 0.732 > 0.5, PCFI = 0.750 > 0.5, RMSEA = 0.099). The standards adopted for evaluating the structural model were based on the χ²/df value of ≦ 5 proposed by Schumacker and Lomax (2004); the goodness-of-fit index (GFI) of between 0.8 and 0.89 proposed by Doll, Xia, and Torkzadeh (1994); the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) value of ≦ 0.1 proposed by Browne and Cudeck [58]; the normed fit index (NFI) of ≧ 0.8 proposed by Ullman; and other indices recommended by Hair, Anderson, Tatham, and Black [55,59].
Figure 5 illustrates the path diagram, and Table 5 presents the results for the structural model analysis. The results suggested that H1, H2, H4, H5, and H6 were supported, whereas H3 was not. According to the model path coefficients, the path coefficient from experience design to travel motivation was 0.44 (direct impact) and that from experience design to travel motivation via cultural emotion was 0.45 (0.91 × 0.50; indirect impact), for an overall impact of 0.44 + (0.91 × 0.50) = 0.44 + 0.45 = 0.89 > 0.44 (overall impact > direct impact). All of the path coefficients achieved statistical significance. Therefore, H7 was supported. Finally, the path coefficient from experience design to behavioral intention was −0.30 (direct impact) and that from experience design to behavioral intention via cultural emotion was 0.47 (0.91 × 0.52; indirect impact), for an overall impact of −0.30 + (0.91 × 0.52) = −0.30 + 0.47 = 0.17 > −0.30. All of the path coefficients achieved statistical significance. Therefore, H8 was supported. An observation of the various constructs of the SEM and the standardized regression coefficients (factor loadings) of the measured variables revealed that, besides entertainment (0.74) and aesthetics (0.77) in the experience design construct, all other variables achieved a factor loading of 0.8 or higher. These results indicated that the variables were highly influential. Therefore, they should be included in future discussions and practices.

4.3. Preferences and Experience Designs of the Research Event

Through multiple-choice questions, the respondents were asked to select their preferred events. The data showed that the most preferred events were the Discount Coupons (event8/hybrid), Old School Date Special Exhibition (event6/in-person), and Matchmaking Raffle (event9/hybrid), as illustrated in Figure 6. We then compared the average importance of the experience design elements of the three types of events (3 virtual, 3 in-person, and 11 hybrid). An ANOVA was performed to analyze the data. Levene test results indicated that only the distance element of experience design failed to achieve statistical significance. All other elements in the entertainment, education, and aesthetics constructs achieve statistical significance, suggesting that the three event types were significantly different. The results also indicated that, in the case of the entertainment construct, the respondents mostly preferred the hybrid events, followed by the in-person events, and, lastly, the virtual events. In the case of the education construct, the most preferred were the virtual events, followed by the in-person events, and, finally, the hybrid events. In the case of the aesthetics construct, the most preferred were hybrid events, followed by virtual events, and, finally, in-person events, as tabulated in Table 6. Overall, the respondents preferred hybrid events for entertainment and aesthetics.

5. Conclusions and Suggestions

It is vital that people value tradition and local culture. Such value translates to people’s spiritual beliefs. Through the organization of and participation in festive events, future generations can learn the true value of preserving tradition and be motivate to take up the mantle of cultural preservation. Based on literature research, theoretical model construction, and analysis, this paper began with an exploration of the literature and designed a structural model to validate consumers’ expectations and conceptions of the 2021 Tainan Chihsi Festival. The analysis results collected in this study serve as a reference for cultural festival events for future researchers and event organizers. The conclusions of this study are presented below.
  • We conducted a questionnaire survey to examine the effects that the experience designs of festive events have on cultural emotion, travel motivation, and behavioral intention. The goodness-of-fit results verified the feasibility of the proposed Festival Experience Design Influence Model and its value for future research and applications.
  • The experience designs examined in this study significantly and positively influenced the respondents’ cultural emotions and travel motivations. However, they did not significantly impact participatory intentions, revisitation willingness, recommendation behavior, and other behavioral intentions, suggesting that, although the event content and implications resonated with the respondents, they did not evoke subsequent behaviors. This conclusion reflects the behavioral intentions at the outermost layer of the conceptual map proposed in this study. It suggests that experience designs alone are unlikely to prompt people to overlook their cultural emotions and travel motivations and directly enter decision-making behaviors. Bastiaansen et al. [60] and Rodríguez-Campo et al. [61] mention that events must be designed in such a way that they resonate with people emotionally in order to evoke behavioral shifts. The results show that cultural emotion significantly and positively influenced the respondents’ travel motivations and behavioral intentions, suggesting that attractive, people-centered, and highly relatable events satisfied participants’ physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs and, consequently, evoked their participatory intentions, revisitation willingness, recommendation behavior, and other behavioral intentions. The results also show that cultural emotion mediated the relationship between experience design and travel motivation and between experience design and behavioral intention, suggesting that the culture and emotion of festive events are unique and necessary and impact participants’ participatory intentions and behaviors.
  • The results indicated that the respondents most preferred the hybrid events for entertainment and aesthetics and that both the in-person and virtual events contained educational elements. The primary reasons for the high scores in the education construct for the virtual events were the ease of access via smartphone, ease of application, and personal interaction. By comparison, the main reason for the low scores in the education construct for the in-person events was that learners are easily distracted in in-person events.
Overall, an influential festival event must be designed around cultural emotion. In other words, the experience design must include cultural emotion to influence participants’ travel motivations and behavioral intentions.
Future event planners designing events can consider focusing on personal elements and multi-faceted learning when designing virtual experiences for festive events, while in-person events should focus on interactivity and entertainment. Ideally, experience designs should contain a good mix of in-person and virtual elements or events interspersed with individual and group activities. In addition to originality, organizers can consider incorporating various emotional elements to enhance the experiences of festive events. Culture promotes interaction between locals and visitors and creates shared experiences. It also allows events to transcend the spatial limitations of the venue, diversify the cityscape, create different environments, and strengthen communication. Two limitations in this study were the questionnaire delivery method and the single case study. First, because the questionnaire was administered online, there were some discrepancies in respondent location, age, and occupation. Therefore, we were unable to perform relevant demographic analyses. Second, because this study referred to a single case study with a limited number of respondents, we were unable to conduct the relevant analyses of cultural and regional differences. We recommend that future studies expand the scope of analysis to include respondents from various ethnic backgrounds and festive events from different regions to explain the effects on the preferences of the participants and the design factors of the experience during different festive events. Amid modernization, the world is increasingly subject to new and exigent economic challenges. As the consumption environment continues to evolve, vendors must seek ways to integrate cultural content and design innovation to add value to their products and services. Organizers can reference the findings of this study to plan festive events that are more in line with consumer expectations, differentiate festive events from other community events, and add uniqueness and originality to their events. Researchers can also apply the results of this study to expand the disciplines of education and design.


The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan for its support of this research through grant no. MOST-110-2221-E-034-012.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study gained ethics approval from National Taiwan University (NTUREC No: 201806ES073) prior to data collection.

Informed Consent Statement

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

Data Availability Statement

Data sharing not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. Anxiety, boredom and flow [10].
Figure 1. Anxiety, boredom and flow [10].
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Figure 2. Qualia experience mode (redrawn from [17]).
Figure 2. Qualia experience mode (redrawn from [17]).
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Figure 3. Research framework (source: this study).
Figure 3. Research framework (source: this study).
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Figure 4. The Festival Experience Design Influence Model (source: this study).
Figure 4. The Festival Experience Design Influence Model (source: this study).
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Figure 5. The path diagram and analysis of the structural model. *** p < 0.001.
Figure 5. The path diagram and analysis of the structural model. *** p < 0.001.
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Figure 6. Event content preferences for research cases.
Figure 6. Event content preferences for research cases.
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Table 1. The 2021 Tainan Chihsi Festival itinerary.
Table 1. The 2021 Tainan Chihsi Festival itinerary.
1Cloud LoversVirtualA virtual chatbot created for the Tainan Chihsi Festival. Join the official Line Account and chat with someone in the Showa Era!
2Online Tribute to
Yue Lao
VirtualAccess the event page through the Official Line account and pay tribute to seven major Yue Lao Temples remotely. Send your wishes directly from your phone. A temple representative performs the matchmaking ceremony for you and provides you with your fortune.
3Searching for Lovers of Showa VirtualAccess the event page through the Official Line account. There are six chapters: Encounter, Longing, Acquaintance, Admiration, Adoration, and Love. Each chapter contains several multiple-choice questions. Once complete, the system will match you with someone from the Showa Era based on your responses.
4Old School
Date Day
In-personThis event will be held over a weekend. It features a retro market, games, outdoor cinema, musical performances, and bumper cars, taking you back to the markets of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
5Installation ArtIn-personA number of exclusive installation artworks will be displayed at the Blueprint Cultural and Creative Park. The two main attractions, Love Wall and Say I Love You, will bombard your romantic senses with video, audio, and text.
6Old School Date
Special Exhibition
In-personThe exhibition displays popular dating venues in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, including clothing stores, salons, transport stations, and restaurants. Come and enjoy a retro experience.
7Collecting Love
In-personVisit designated stores and purchase specific items or spend a specific amount to receive a Love Note (10 in total). Collect any two to redeem a limited edition “Modern Love x Vaccine” Souvenir.
8Discount CouponsHybridEnter the merchant number into the official Line Account to receive electronic coupons for all participating stores.
9Matchmaking RaffleHybridA joint event between Line Point and local Tainan vendors. Users can access the raffle page between 09:00 and 00:00 via the official Line Account.
10EAT, DATE, LOVEIn-personSpend NT 3320 or more at designated restaurants for the chance to partake in the hotel commemorative photo event.
11HSR Hotel
In-personPurchase selected hotel packages during the event to receive hotel and HSR discounts.
Source: [50] Note: Hybrid = virtual and real integration
Table 2. The questionnaire.
Table 2. The questionnaire.
EntertainmentEnt1The content of this festival event feels fascinating.
Ent2The content of this festival event is interesting.
Ent3The content of this festival event is fun.
EducationalEdu1This festival evokes a sense of learning.
Edu2This festival gives me culture-specific knowledge.
Edu3This festival event piqued my curiosity to learn about this culturally relevant thing.
EstheticEst1The content of this festival event is well designed.
Est2The visual aesthetic of this festive event design is great.
Est3The concept and value of this festival event attract me very much.
EscapistEsc1This festival event feels like you can play a different role.
Esc2This festival event takes people out of the ordinary life situation.
Esc3This festival event feels as if you are in another time and place.
Cultural Emotion (Involvement, Place Attachment)AttractionAtt1I am interested in taking part in the festive event.
Att2This festive events make me happy.
Att3It is very important for me to attend this festive event.
CentralityCen1I found that my life is intertwined with this festive event.
Cen2I enjoy talking about this festive event with my friend.
Cen3My friends and I like to go to this festive event often.
Self-ExpressionExp1I am able to inform others about this festive event.
Exp2This festive event makes it possible for me to express my own style.
Exp3When I attended this festive event, I was glad that other people saw me.
Rel1I prefer going to this place rather than other tourist attractions.
Rel2This festival gives me a greater sense of satisfaction compared with other festivals.
Rel3This festival cannot be replaced by other festival-based tourism.
Ide1This festive event means so much for me.
Ide2I strongly identify with this festive event.
Ide3I feel like I belong to this festive event.
PhysiologicalPhy1The festival event allowed me to have a unique experience and satisfied my curiosity.
Phy2This festival event showed me some historical outfits.
Phy3This festival event gives me the opportunity to learn about and discover traditional culture.
SafetySafe1The safety of this festive event will have a bearing on my desire to travel.
Safe2This festive event enables me to travel in a casual environment.
Safe3As a participant in this festival event, I feel safe.
Love and
Soc1This festival event is my chance to engage with people and meet new friends.
Soc2This festival gives me the opportunity to express my ideas and expertise to other people.
Soc3This festival event makes it possible for me to win the respect of others.
EsteemRes1This festive event can satisfy my aesthetic research and learning new knowledge.
Res2This festival gave me an opportunity to get to know myself better.
Res3This festival event lets me realize personal fulfillment and prestige.
Self1This festive event calms, calms or releases the person’s emotional level.
Self2This festive event increases personal capacity and vision.
Self3This festival helps me to reduce mental stress, stress and frustration.
Intention to ParticipateInt1I went to this festival because I love the culture.
Int2I will purchase products related to this festival event.
Int3I’ll be looking for information on this festival event.
Rep1I’m getting back to this festival event.
Rep2I will again purchase the products associated with this festival event.
Rep3I’m prepared to pay more for this festival event.
Rec1I would recommend this festival event to anyone else.
Rec2I want everyone to know that I took part in this festival event.
Rec3I will be encouraging my friends to attend this festival event.
Table 3. Confirmatory factor analysis of model (n = 238).
Table 3. Confirmatory factor analysis of model (n = 238).
Experience Design 0.8760.639
Cultural Emotion 0.9460.779
Centrality 5.2481.157−0.365−0.5370.8660.7490.338
Place Dependence 5.2411.152−0.438−0.4250.8940.8000.269
Place Identity4.9541.223−0.179−0.7540.8850.7840.328
Travel Motivation 0.9370.748
Love and Belonging5.1891.171−0.251−0.5680.8770.7690.320
Behavioral Intentions 0.9350.827
Intention to Participate5.2181.171−0.445−0.2130.9280.8620.191
Repeated Behavior5.0281.197-−0.243−0.5390.9440.8910.158
Suggestive Behavior5.5011.080−0.460−0.2360.8540.7300.319
Mardia100.087 p(p + 2) = 17(17 + 2) = 323
Note: M = mean; SD = standard deviation; SK = skewness; KU = kurtosis; SFL = standardized factor loading; SMC = square multiple correlation; EV = equipment variation; CR = composite reliability; AVE = average variance extracted; p = number of variables.
Table 4. Discriminant validity (n = 238).
Table 4. Discriminant validity (n = 238).
DimensionNumber of ItemsCorrelation Coefficient
Experience DesignCultural EmotionTravel MotivationBehavioral Intentions
Experience Design40.799
Cultural Emotion50.805 **0.882
Travel Motivation50.793 **0.850 **0.865
Behavioral Intentions30.729 **0.838 **0.856 **0.910
Note: variable mean = summed average of all items in the scale; the value of the diagonal line is the square root of the average variance extracted (AVE) for this latent variable; when the significant level α = 0.05, the correlation coefficient between the variables reaches the significant level. ** p < 0.01.
Table 5. The analysis of the structural model (n = 238).
Table 5. The analysis of the structural model (n = 238).
VariablePath CoefficientCRpHypotheses Verification
H1Experience Design -> Cultural Emotion0.9116.560***Supported
H2Experience Design -> Travel Motivation0.443.579***Supported
H3Experience Design -> Behavioral Intentions−0.30−2.180*Not supported
H4Cultural Emotion -> Travel Motivation0.504.137***Supported
H5Cultural Emotion -> Behavioral Intentions0.524.079***Supported
H6Travel Motivation -> Behavioral Intentions0.706.386***Supported
H7Experience Design -> Cultural Emotion -> Travel Motivation0.44 + (0.91 × 0.50) = 0.44 + 0.45 = 0.89 > 0.44Supported
H8Experience Design -> Cultural Emotion -> Behavioral Intentions−0.30 + (0.91 × 0.52) = −0.30 + 0.47 = 0.17 > −0.30Supported
* p < 0.05, *** p < 0.001.
Table 6. Mean, standard deviation, and F-test summary of experience design components of “different event types” (n = 238).
Table 6. Mean, standard deviation, and F-test summary of experience design components of “different event types” (n = 238).
Experience FactorSource of VariationSSDFMSFTypeMSD
EntertainingBetween groups13.826.9010.87 ***Virtual5.650.77
Within groups451.2711 0.64In-person5.840.83
Total465.0713 Hybrid 5.990.78
EducationalBetween groups31.4215.7018.31 ***Virtual5.250.92
Within groups610.0711 0.86In-person5.171.03
Total641.4713 Hybrid 4.770.82
AestheticBetween groups9.624.827.437 **Virtual5.780.78
Within groups460.8711 0.65In-person5.700.80
Total470.5713 Hybrid 5.980.84
EscapistBetween groups3.421.681.846Virtual5.410.91
Within groups647.9711 0.91In-person5.400.96
Total651.2713 Hybrid 5.550.99
** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001.
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Yen, H.-Y. How the Experience Designs of Sustainable Festive Events Affect Cultural Emotion, Travel Motivation, and Behavioral Intention. Sustainability 2022, 14, 11807.

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Yen H-Y. How the Experience Designs of Sustainable Festive Events Affect Cultural Emotion, Travel Motivation, and Behavioral Intention. Sustainability. 2022; 14(19):11807.

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Yen, Hui-Yun. 2022. "How the Experience Designs of Sustainable Festive Events Affect Cultural Emotion, Travel Motivation, and Behavioral Intention" Sustainability 14, no. 19: 11807.

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