Social media influencers as endorsers to promote travel destinations: an application of self-congruence theory to the Chinese Generation Y

X. Xu (Rinka), Stephen Albert Pratt

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of online social networks has given rise to the emergence of social media influencers (SMIs), so-called “Internet celebrities”. Celebrity endorsement, which can be an effective marketing strategy, is also popular in the tourism field. This study uses self-congruity theory, which originally refers to the congruence between consumers and brands or products, to the congruence between endorsers and potential tourists to evaluate endorsement effectiveness. Results indicate that SMI endorser–consumer congruence positively contributes to visit intentions toward the endorsed destinations as does endorser–destination congruence. Tourism marketers are advised to use SMIs when the destination images and target markets align.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-972
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2018


  • Celebrity endorsement
  • generation Y
  • match-up hypothesis
  • self-congruity
  • social media influencers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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