Social return and intent to travel

B. Bynum Boley, Evan Jordan, Carol Kline, Whitney Knollenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


In recognition that not all travel experiences are evaluated equally, there is the opportunity for different travel experiences to generate varying levels of “Social Return.” “Social Return” is the amount of positive social feedback that one's social media posts of travel generate. This paper develops the Social Return Scale (SRS) and uses the scale to predict 758 U.S. travelers’ intentions to visit the country of Cuba. The CFA of the SRS revealed strong construct validity based upon factor loadings above 0.85, an average variance explained estimate of 86%, and a construct reliability coefficient of 0.91. The SRS also had a positive and significant relationship with intention to visit Cuba across six structural equation models that varied by time horizon (1 year, 5 year and 10 years) and the inclusion of Theory of Planned Behavior constructs. Results suggest that “Social Return” is a salient symbolic factor in the destination selection process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Cuba
  • Destination selection
  • Online photography
  • Scale development
  • Social media
  • Social return
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Social return and intent to travel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this