Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor


Second Advisor

Grow, Jean

Third Advisor

Miller, Felicia


The purpose of this study was to discover whether the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991) could be applied and tested toward the improvement of destination advertisements. Specifically, the purpose was to understand the process through which a destination advertisement could influence behavioral intention. Understanding this process would help advertising professionals in the tourism industry. The destination used in this experiment was fictitious. The study used a posttest-only experiment with three conditions. One condition saw an advertisement with a behavioral belief appeal. Another condition saw an advertisement with a descriptive normative belief appeal. The third condition saw an advertisement with no appeal. Three versions of the instrument, one for each ad appeal, were distributed to a randomized sample of 900 Marquette University employees. The analyses of the data revealed that the TPB was an effective way to follow the process through which a destination advertisement influences behavioral intention. Analyses also showed that, with some practical refinements, the TPB could be used to help improve a destination's advertisements. Importantly, this study's results show that the Theory of Planned behavior can be applied in a destination advertising capacity.