seems necessary to include attitude in the conceptual framework, as it serves as areliable indicator of how people will act under a given set of circumstances (Mayo &Jarvis, 1981). Consumer research supports the mediated effects of attitude towardadvertisement and attitude toward brand on purchase intentions (Biehal, Stephens, &Curlo, 1992; Burke & Edell, 1989; MacKenzie, Lutz, & Belch, 1986; Miniard, Bhatla, &Rose, 1990; Mitchell & Olson, 1981). In addition, tourism studies have demonstratedthat information sources, socio-psychological motivations, image and attitude towarddestinations influence travellers’ preferences and intentions (Court & Lupton, 1997;Goodrich, 1978; Milman & Pizam, 1995). Following is the dimension of behavioralintention which refers to a person’s subjective probability to perform a certainbehavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) or to the likelihood ofpurchasing a tourist product (Moutinho, 1987) and it is based on the intensity andamount of efforts made by the person to actually engage in the target behavior(Ajzen 1991). Hence, consistent with past endorsement studies (Chang et al., 2005;Chao et al., 2005; Daneshvary & Schwer, 2000; Goldsmith et al., 2000; Kahle &Homer, 1985; Kamins, 1990; Lafferty & Goldsmith, 1999; Misra & Beatty 1990; Till &Busler, 1998; Wang, 2005) the dependent variable will be advertising effectiveness:attitudes toward both advertising (Aad) and brand (Ab), and visitation intentions (PI).© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 6

Ohanian (1990, 1991) developed a list of 139 adjectives relating to source credibility.This was reduced to 15 key dimensions, five each for expertise, trustworthiness, andattractiveness. The scale consisted of 15 semantic differential items encompassingthe dimensions of (i) attractiveness (attractive/unattractive, classy/not classy,beautiful/ugly, elegant/plain, and sexy/not sexy), (ii) trustworthiness(dependable/undependable, honest/dishonest, reliable/unreliable, sincere/insincere,and trustworthy/ untrustworthy), and (iii) expertise (expert/not an expert, experienced/inexperienced, knowledgeable/ unknowledgeable, qualified/unqualified, andskilled/unskilled). It was validated using respondents’ self-reported measures ofintention to purchase and perception of quality for the products being tested. It wastested by the developer (Ohanian, 1990) to possess reliability and nomological (i.e.,the relationship between the scores of a scale and how these scores relate to themeasures of other constructs or behaviours), convergent, and discriminant validity.Scales to measure attitude toward advertisement will be drawn from previous studies(Chang et al., 2005; Lafferty & Goldsmith, 1999; Simons & Carey, 1998).Respondents will be asked to rate “my overall attitude towards the advertisement” onfour 7-point semantic differential scales marked by the adjectives ‘good–bad’, like–dislike’, ‘interesting–uninteresting’ and ‘irritating–not irritating’. To measure attitudetoward brand, Till and Shimp's (1998) scale will be used. Subjects will be asked torate "how would you describe your overall feeling to Hong Kong?" on three 7-pointsemantic differential scales anchored by favorable/unfavorable, positive/negative,and strongly dislike/strongly like. Visitation intention will be measured by applyingMachleit and Wilson (1988) and Petty, Cacioppo and Schumann's (1983) purchasingscale. The visitation intention dimension will also take into account the joint decisionmaking process by asking the respondent “how likely is it that you and your travelcompanion(s) will visit Hong Kong in the next 12 months?" for the following threeitems, probable/improbable, likely/unlikely and possible/impossible. A pre-testamong a student sample will be conducted to make sure that the experiments andquestions were clear and comprehensive before the actual study will be undertaken(Vern & Thompson, 2002).© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 8

This study first employs a classical experiment to test the effects of the manipulation(celebrity endorsement) on attitude towards the destination and if there is anyinfluence on visitation intentions resulting from this. Experiments are popular inmarketing and behavioral studies (Louviere, Hensher, & Swat, 2000) and they referto an investigation where the phenomenon under study is under control of theinvestigator (Cox & Reid, 2000). A crucial factor in the classical experimental designis that a researcher manipulates a factor (celebrity endorser) and has control over thesetting in which the change is introduced to and no manipulation for the controlgroup. It is assumed that if any endorser effect existed, it would show up in at leastone of the four treatment groups.The study will use a minimum ratio of at least 5 respondents for each estimatedparameter, with a ratio of 10 respondents per parameter, which is considered mostappropriate (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 2002). Secondly, the data from theexperiment will be used for structural equation modeling. Although, structuralmodeling techniques were developed for the analysis of non-experimental data, theexperimental context actually strengthens the use of the techniques (Baron & Kenny,1986; MacKenzie, 2001). The method of data analysis used for this study will bestructural equation modeling using the Linear Structural Relations (LISREL) softwarepackage Version 8.54 for the analyses of CFA and SEM (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993;Jöreskog, 2000). Before testing the structural relationships between the latentvariables, a Conformity Factor Analysis (CFA) is necessary to assess therelationships between the latent variables and their indicators (Gerbing & Anderson,1988; Herting & Costner, 2000). LISREL is widely used for estimating structuralequation models, because it allows testing for the goodness of fit, to diagnoseproblems, to fix or constrain model coefficients, to do multiple-group analyses, toestimate means and intercepts as well as slopes, and most importantly, to distinguishconsistently between latent concepts and observed indicators (Hayduk, 1987).© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 9

5. Project Significance and Value:Although marketers often use endorsers to promote their products or brands, there isa lack of research on the use of advertising endorsers in the tourism industry (Changet al., 2005). To date no study has directly related destination advertising to celebrityendorsement and tested whether differences in attitude result in different behaviouralintentions, and this gap will be addressed by this study.The proposed conceptual framework, which integrates attractiveness and the sourcecredibility factors from Ohanian (1991), in order to explain and predict celebrityendorsement effectiveness on people’s attitude towards visiting a destination andtheir visitation intentions will not only contribute to the field of tourism, but alsocontributes to the knowledge of consumer behavior in general. The secondcontribution to existing literature is represented by the inclusion of the match-updimension which is integrated into the Ohanian’s (1991) model as a moderator ofcelebrity endorser effectiveness. By moderating the source credibility factors with thematch-up dimension in explaining celebrity endorser effectiveness on tourist’ attitude,the current study puts forward a more comprehensive conceptual framework inreflecting the complicated phenomenon of celebrity endorsement.© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 10

6. Implication of the proposed researchMost scholarly research about the factors affecting the effectiveness of celebrityendorsement has been US-based (Erdogan & Baker, 2000). Thus, there is a furtherneed for a study in a different context with a different sample, which is beingproposed in this study by exploring the tourists’ attitude to Hong Kong and theirvisitation intentions from Mainland Chinese travelers’ perspective.Hong Kong has been the leading tourism destination for Mainland Chinese outboundtravelers, however this position will by no means be everlasting (Huang & Hsu,2005). A ‘wait and see’ approach is considered as inappropriate, as some strategicframework is necessary to harvest the economic benefits in a way that would befitthe destination (Connell, 2005). It is likely that as tourism continues to gain economicimportance, advertising strategies previously unrelated to tourism research should beconsidered in order to investigate their effectiveness and efficiency. Implicationsderived from the proposed study may provide useful information for the Hong KongTourism Board (HKTB) and other DMOs to support and perhaps enhance marketingactivities using celebrity endorsement.© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 11

7. TimeframeI propose to complete the research described in the next 36 months, and present anddefend my study by July 2011. The following charts show a tentative schedule forwork progress on the proposed study. Many of the activities may be pursued inparallel or with some overlap. I have allocated most of my time for reviewing theliterature and for the write up. After significant headway has made in developing andtesting my measurement instrument, I will begin to collect primary data. I haveallocated the next twelve months for this task followed by the analysis.Literature reviewPilotJ A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D2008 2009Data collectionAnalyzing dataJ F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J2010 2011Write Up© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 12

ReferenceThe research proposal should include a reference list containing all the references cited in theproposal using a consistent and appropriate format such as indicated in the APA style guide.8. ReferencesAgrawal, J., & Kamakura, W.A. (1995). The economic worth of celebrity endorsers:An event study analysis. Journal of Marketing, 59(3), 56-63.Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organizational Behavior andHuman Decision Processes, 50, 179-211.Ajzen, I., & Driver, B. L. (1991). Prediction of leisure participation from behavioural,normative, and control beliefs: an application of the theory of plannedbehaviour. Leisure Sciences, 13(3), 185–204.Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting socialbehaviour. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Andsager, J.L., & Drzewiecka, J.A. (2002). Desirability of differences in destinations.Annals of tourism research, 29(2), 401-421.Anholt, S. (2002). Nation brands: the value of ‘provenance’ in branding in. In N.Morgan, A. Pritchard, & R. Pride. (Eds.), Destination Branding: Creating theUnique Destination Proposition. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Atkin, C., & Block, M. (1983). Effectiveness of celebrity endorsers. Journal ofAdvertising Research, 23(1), 57-61.Baker, M & Churchill, G. (1977). The Impact of Physically Attractive Models onAdvertising Evaluation. Journal of Marketing Research, 14(4), 538-555.Baron, R.M., & Kenny, D.A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction insocial psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statisticalconsiderations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173-1182.Bargeman, B., & van der Poel, H. (2006). The role of routines in the vacationdecision-making process of Dutch vacationers. Tourism Management, 27(4),707-720.Basil, M.D. (1996). Identification as a mediator of celebrity effects. Journal ofBroadcasting and Electronic Media, 40(4), 478-495.Biehal, G., Stephens, D., & Curlo, E. (1992). Attitude toward the ad and brandchoice. Journal of Advertising, 21(3), 19-36.© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 13

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Appendix I© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 22

Other useful informationReferencesCantor, J. (1993). A Guide to Academic Writing. London: Greenwood Press.Huff, A. (1999). Writing for Scholarly Publication. London: Sage Publications.Luey, B. (1990). Handbook for Academic Authors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Rountree, K. & Laing, T. (1996). Writing by Degrees. A Practical Guide to WritingTheses and Research Papers. Auckland: LongmanRudestam, K., & Newton, R. (1992). Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide toContent and Process. Newbury Park: SAGE Publications.Thomas, L. (1985). Completing Dissertations in the Behavioral Sciences and Education: ASystematic Guide for Graduate Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass(Above references were retrieved from the Department of English© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 23

9. Details of Any External Collaboration:In these circumstances, are there likely to be any complications associated with thepublication of your thesis? Give details.10. Statement of the ApplicantI wish to register for a research degree on the basis of the proposal given in thisForm (RDC/1A).I understand that, during the period of my registration with the University, I may notbe a candidate for any other degree or award.I understand that, except with the specific permission of the Research Committee, Imust prepare and defend my thesis in English. (You are required to seek permissionif another language, which is considered more appropriate to the subject, is to beused in the presentation of the thesis. Please submit the justification together withthis application)I undertake to abide by the general regulations of the University.SignatureName of Applicant(Student Applicant)Date11. Endorsement by the Proposed Chief SupervisorSignature of Chief SupervisorDepartment/SchoolName of Chief SupervisorDate[Please send this form, application form (for admission to the Degree ofMPhil/PhD) to the Head of Department/Director of School for completion ofSection 13.]© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 24

12. Research Ethics/ Safety Approval(For ethics approval, (Temporary) Chief Supervisor please read the Guidelines forEthics Review of Research/Teaching Projects Involving Human Subjects, which areavailable at, andmake sure that ethics approval is obtained if your project involves humansubjects. For safety approval, please read the policy and procedures for safetyapproval available at the Health, Safety & Environment Office Homepage. Pleaseattach the approval letter where appropriate.)(Temporary) Chief Supervisor confirms that approval:* has been * is not required * will be obtainedobtainedbefore the startof the projectHuman Research EthicsAnimal Research EthicsBiological SafetyIonizing Radiation SafetyNon-ionizing Radiation SafetyChemical Safety(* Please tick as appropriate)13. Recommendation of Head of Affiliated Department in the UniversityI support this application, and confirm to the best of my knowledge that adequatefacilities will be provided to enable the student to conduct and complete the researchprogramme in an efficient and safe manner. I also agree to provide adequateresearch space for the applicant during the research programme.Signature(Head of Department/Director of School)Date _________________[After completing all sections, please return this form to the Research Office]© No part of this proposal could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. 25

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