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Open AccessArticle

Awe: An Important Emotional Experience in Sustainable Tourism

by Dong Lu 1, Yide Liu 2,*, Ivan Lai 3,* and Li Yang 4
School of Business, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu 610101, China
School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa 999078, Macau
Faculty of International Tourism and Management, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa 999078, Macau
School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2189;
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
“Awesome” is one of the most highly desirable experiences for tourists. This study investigates how tourists’ awe emotion is induced when tourists visit sacred mountains and how the awe experience influences their satisfaction. A survey is administrated at a famous sacred mountain in China—Mount Emei. Results reveal that the awe experience is more elicited by the perceived vastness of natural environment for secular tourists, while is more encouraged by the perceived sanctity of religious ambience for pilgrim tourists. Awe experience is a mediator between the sense of perceptual vastness/sanctity and tourists’ satisfaction. The mediation relationships through awe experience are moderated by the visitor types (pilgrims and secular tourists). Findings suggest that destination marketers should apply tourism strategies to encourage tourists’ sense of awe. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable tourism; awe experiences; perceived environment; pilgrims; secular tourists sustainable tourism; awe experiences; perceived environment; pilgrims; secular tourists
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Lu, D.; Liu, Y.; Lai, I.; Yang, L. Awe: An Important Emotional Experience in Sustainable Tourism. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2189.

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