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Exploration or Exploitation of a Neighborhood Destination: The Role of Social Media Content on the Perceived Value and Trust and Revisit Intention among World Cup Football Fans

Social Studies Department, College of Arts, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 400, Saudi Arabia
Tourism Studies Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Helwan University, Cairo 12612, Egypt
StatisMed for Statistical Analysis Services, Giza 12573, Egypt
Marketing Department, Graduate School of Management, Saint Petersburg State University, 199004 Saint Petersburg, Russia
General Management Department, Institute of Management, Economics, and Finance, Kazan Federal University, 42008 Kazan, Russia
Hotel Management Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Helwan University, Cairo 12612, Egypt
Hotel Studies Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
Department Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Geography, University of Oradea, Tourism and Sport, 1st University Street, 410087 Oradea, Romania
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Risk Financial Manag. 2023, 16(3), 210;
Received: 16 February 2023 / Revised: 13 March 2023 / Accepted: 15 March 2023 / Published: 22 March 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourist Destination Management and Regional Economic Development)


Over the last decade, social media (SM) has dramatically influenced the tourism sector, and information exchange via SM platforms may affect tourists’ intentions to revisit a tourist destination. In the present study, we investigated the impact of content shared on SM on tourists’ intentions to revisit Saudi Arabia as a neighboring destination to Qatar during the period of a mega-event (Football World Cup). We also assessed the potential mediation effects of the perceived values and trust in local tourism services on such a relationship. A structured survey was distributed to football fans who came to visit Saudi Arabia (n = 300), and a partial least squares structural equation model was constructed to validate this study’s model. Results showed that SM content did not significantly impact the revisit intentions directly. SM content was a significant antecedent predictor of the perceived trust, and the perceived trust predicted future intentions to revisit Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the perceived trust in tourism services was a significant mediator of tourism SM’s effects on tourists’ intentions. However, the mediation path of the perceived value was not statistically significant. Tourism marketers had to ensure that they appropriately convey engaging content that focuses on supporting the trust in a destination, particularly during the periods of mega-events.

1. Introduction

Hosting a mega event such as the FIFA world cup or an Olympic event is known to have benefits to the hosting country, as well as neighboring countries (Al-Khaldy et al. 2022; Sun et al. 2017). The FIFA World Cup 2022, hosted in Qatar, is a recent example where Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait have seen an increase in tourists seeking accommodations during the event (Mahate and Parahoo 2022). During such events, there is a change in accommodation choice noted among tourists, with hospitality services becoming increasingly competitive. Multiple sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and transportation sectors within the hosting and neighboring countries can be boosted to maximize their benefits. To reap these benefits, however, it is essential to have a strategic plan in place and to make significant efforts to draw tourists.
A revolution has been brewing in the business world, especially in marketing, since social media began to spread widely in recent years. More specifically, the tourism industry has gained great prominence through social media since it has been used to reach users and attract those interested, as well as influence their views (Bahurmuz and Al-Kubaisy). In addition, the use of social media is known as a common method used to attract tourists during mega events (Al-Khaldy et al. 2022). Due to its impact on the way of thinking and behavior of tourists, social media content has been linked with the perceived value and trust for specific destinations and to alter tourists’ behaviors. Perceived value refers to the extent to which individuals believe that a tourism destination is worth the cost (Carvache-Franco et al. 2022; Wang et al. 2022). In the context of a neighborhood tourism destination, perceived value can be influenced by a number of factors, including the quality of the attractions, the level of local culture, and the overall atmosphere of the neighborhood (Maruyama et al. 2023). Social media content can play a crucial role in shaping these perceptions by providing potential visitors with a glimpse into the destination and allowing them to experience it in a more immersive way (Abdel-Gayed et al. 2023). Additionally, social media can also be used to provide visitors with behind-the-scenes access to the neighborhoods and their residents, which can help to create a sense of intimacy and personal connection. Trust is another important factor that can influence visitors’ perceptions of a neighborhood tourism destination. Trust refers to the belief that the destination will be safe and enjoyable to visit (Shin et al. 2022). Social media can help to build trust by providing visitors with access to information about the destination, such as local customs, transportation, and other details (Su et al. 2022). Additionally, social media can also be used to address any concerns or complaints that visitors may have, which can help to mitigate any negative perceptions and build trust.
From another perspective, social media can play a crucial role in shaping revisit intention by providing visitors by creating a sense of community around the destination (Azhar et al. 2022; Liu and Beldona 2021). For example, social media can be used to share photos and videos of past visits, which can help to encourage visitors to return to the destination in the future. Additionally, social media can also be used to create communities of visitors who can share information and experiences, which can help to foster a sense of belonging and encourage visitors to return to the destination. Nevertheless, a gap still exists as the depth and significance of this association have not been sufficiently explored, according to the systematic review by Tang and Liu (2015). In addition, some of the issues linked to social media, which are associated with the credibility of the information posted, might have different effects on the different types of social media users.
Seemingly, there is an interplay between social media and shaping the perceived value, trust and revisit intention among tourists, and World Cup football fans are no exception. When both perceived value and trust are high, tourists are more likely to revisit a destination or recommend it to others. Additionally, high perceived value and trust also increase the likelihood of tourists staying longer, spending more money and coming back again. In this way, social media plays an important role in mediating perceived value and trust in promoting tourist destinations. However, little is known about such relationships in the context of a neighborhood tourism destination. The current study aimed to assess the impact of social media content on revisit intentions among tourists who came to visit and stay in Saudi Arabia as a neighborhood destination during the World Cup held in Qatar. We also aimed to assess the effects of the perceived values and trust in tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia and their possible mediating effects on the relationship between social media content and behavioral intentions.

2. Literature Review

2.1. The Effect of Social Media Content on Perceived Value and Perceived Trust and Behavioral Intentions

The influences caused by social media networks are thought to be mainly caused by the content provided to the users. In their study that explored the effect of multiple social media content on consumers’ social media engagement behavior, Cao et al. reported that tourists’ behavior was affected by the content provided on these platforms (Cao et al. 2021). The content shown on social media has the ability to alter the perceptions of tourists (Cao et al. 2021), including their perceived value and perceived trust in a country. Heinrichs, Lim, and Lim explained that the perceived value and quality of social media and the content displayed influence the pattern of social media use among individuals (Heinrichs et al. 2011). In addition, a relationship exists between social media networks and the multiple values perceived by individuals, which can also alter individual behavior. Mohamad et al. (Mohamad et al. 2021) have also indicated that the behavioral intentions of travelers who booked hotels via online platforms were significantly influenced by the perceived price value and perceived enjoyment. Wang and Huang explained that social media users receive a variety of perceived values from such platforms, such as emotional, informational, and entertainment values (Wang and Huang 2017). By evoking feelings of attachment and other positive feelings among its users, social media often contributes to making its users feel as if they belong and are capable of altering human behavior (Wang and Huang 2017). On the other hand, Perceived trust is also another important variable that has been discussed in relation to social media content. Due to the fact that everyone is allowed to share different content of varying quality on social media, credibility and trust issues have arisen (Tang and Liu 2015). Though many people interact with each other on social media platforms, Cao et al. argued that many do not always trust the content given as some have less value and are redundant (Cao et al. 2021). In their systematic review, Tang and Liu reported a positive relationship between social media and trust in eight studies, while two studies reported no association (Tang and Liu 2015). A study carried out in Malaysia showed that electronic word of mouth and online marketing activities affect the purchase intentions of boutique hotels through perceived trust as a mediating variable (Garg and Kumar 2021). Another study by Lee, Kim, and Lee argued that trust in online platforms when planning to travel has multiple cognitive and affective aspects that must be considered, as well as the other trust aspects related to the destination image and the quality of service received (Lee et al. 2014).
Interestingly, social media may act as an important tool for promoting destinations and increasing revisit intentions. Through the use of high-quality images and videos, social media platforms allow potential tourists to get a sense of a destination’s unique features and experiences (Herman et al. 2020; Zhou and Sun 2022). For example, a study by Sun and Wang (Sun and Wang 2019) found that social media images significantly impacted tourists’ perceptions of a destination’s attractiveness and their intentions to visit. Reviews and ratings from other travelers can provide valuable insights into the destination’s offerings and overall experience. This can increase a person’s trust in the destination and their likelihood of visiting. Furthermore, social media platforms also allow destination marketing organizations to create and maintain a relationship with potential tourists by providing them with regular updates and information about the destination, and this also increases the likelihood of revisit intention. A study by Ibrahim and Aljarah (Ibrahim and Aljarah 2018) found that social media relationship marketing increased revisit intentions among tourists. Alalwan (Alalwan 2018) has also found that social media advertising could significantly impact customers’ behavioral intentions via a structural modeling methodology. Therefore, based on the above review, we hypothesized the following:
Tourism social media content in Saudi Arabia significantly affects tourists’ intentions to revisit local tourism destinations.
Tourism social media content in Saudi Arabia significantly affects the perceived value of tourism services.
Tourism social media content in Saudi Arabia significantly affects the perceived trust in tourism services.

2.2. Tourism and Perceived Value

Tourism causes tourists to develop a more complex and differentiated image of a country during the actual experience of the visit, regardless of the information or image the individual priorly established. Consumer perception of value refers to the information about what is received and given and how much it is worth to them for a product or service (Iniesta-Bonillo et al. 2016). The values acquired during the actual visit can be either positive or negative, which in turn, impact individual satisfaction and intention to revisit a destination (Rini et al. 2021). The association between perceived value and intention to revisit has been established in prior studies (Allameh et al. 2015; An et al. 2019; Nadarajah and Ramalu 2018; Rini et al. 2021). According to Allameh et al. (2015), perceived value strongly influences the tourist’s intentions to return to destinations that offer sports tourism. Similarly, a cross-sectional study by Abbasi et al. reported perceived value to have a significant effect on the intentions to revisit (Abbasi et al. 2021). An, Suh, and Eck explained that perceived value is mostly the product of the quality of service received, as tourists who receive better quality often perceive value as higher compared to tourists who receive a lower quality of services (An et al. 2019). More specifically, An, Suh, and Eck emphasized that individuals often evaluate the quality of service in terms of cost and benefits, which reflects on the overall perceived value (An et al. 2019). In contrast, Rasoolimanesh et al. emphasize that perceived value is impacted by emotional and functional factors that can be both direct and indirect (Rasoolimanesh et al. 2022). Based on these observations, the authors hypothesized that:
The perceived value of tourism services significantly affects tourists’ intentions to revisit local tourism destinations.

2.3. Tourism and Perceived Trust

Perceived trust between two parties can be described as a perception of reliability and goodwill from one party toward the other (Yao et al. 2019). Tang and Liu emphasized that trust is an indication of our ability to share information and accept information from others (Tang and Liu 2015). Similar to perceived value, the relationship between trust and the intention to revisit a destination has been explored in multiple studies (Abubakar et al. 2017; Ardani 2021; Nadarajah and Ramalu 2018). According to Nadarajah and Ramalu (Nadarajah and Ramalu 2018), trust is significantly associated with loyalty and intention to revisit. Another study by Abubakar et al. reported that destination trust impacts the intentions of individuals to revisit specific destinations, with differences in effects among gender as more notable effects were observed on women compared to men (Abubakar et al. 2017). In Indonesia, Ardani explained that consistent service quality and high-quality products are important factors in building tourist trust and encouraging repeat visits (Ardani 2021). Ardani added that there are also multiple drivers such as organizational, interpersonal, and other factors that can all impact the trust in service and intention to revisit (Ardani 2021). Based on these observations, the authors hypothesized that:
The perceived trust in tourism services significantly affects tourists’ intentions to revisit local tourism destinations.

2.4. The Effect of Social Media on Tourists’ Intentions, Value, and Trust

In the past several years, social media has become a vital source of information about destinations that can be obtained in an expedited manner. In the electronic world of mouth communication, social media have emerged as a popular method due to their interactivity, ubiquity, and mobility (Bilal et al. 2022). Moreover, social media content has been greatly utilized in tourism as they offer a variety of tourism resources, including images of various destinations, videos, and personal reviews (Bilal et al. 2022). Indeed, social media may influence tourist behavior since social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide travelers with information on travel destinations, experiences, and services. This information would eventually affect tourists’ decision-making processes by shaping their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors toward destinations and tourism products (Javed et al. 2020). For instance, according to Bhati et al., tourism behavior, perception, and attitude were heavily influenced by social media during COVID-19 due to extensive information about the pandemic (Bhati et al. 2020). In Saudi Arabia, a study by Al-Khaldy et al. reported that content from social networking services has the potential to alter the behaviors of individuals (Al-Khaldy et al. 2022). Another recent study in Saudi Arabia explored the impact of social media on tourism and argued that social networking sites have the strongest impact on tourists’ attitudes compared to online advertisements and electronic word of mouth (Bahurmuz and Al-Kubaisy 2022). Furthermore, according to Javed, Tučková, and Jibril, the information shared on social media networks influences tourists and encourages them to travel to exotic destinations (Javed et al. 2020).
When it comes to social media marketing and content, the use of media and proper strategic planning are key factors in attracting international tourism when mega-events such as sports events are being hosted (Vierhaus 2018). Javed, Tučková, and Jibril also explained that social media could have a significant impact on tourists’ behavior by influencing factors such as the perceived value of tourism products and services (Javed et al. 2020). Juliana et al. found an independent relationship between perceived value and social media marketing (Juliana et al. 2022). Seemingly, by accessing information from other tourists through different social media platforms, travelers can compare prices, quality, and experiences to make informed decisions about their travel plans. Social media also enhances tourists’ overall travel experiences by providing them with access to real-time information, reviews, and recommendations.
Social media might also have a role in influencing tourists’ trust (Javed et al. 2020). Ideally, tourists can interact with destination stakeholders, such as tourism boards, travel agencies, and local businesses, which can further influence their trust in the destination, and this might be affected by service quality parameters (Abdul-Rahman et al. 2023). Evidence has shown that trust in tourism destinations (as developed by social media influencers) has a positive impact on every stage of travel decision-making (Pop et al. 2022). Actually, social media platforms facilitate interactions between tourists and tourism service providers, which can increase trust levels between them. In a Chinese study, Yuan et al. (Yuan et al. 2022) showed a correlation between trust levels and the influence of social media, and this was linked to changes in travel decisions. Social media has an impact on increasing the visibility of destinations (Dedeoğlu et al. 2020), allowing tourists to learn more about them and their offerings. This increased visibility and exposure have been found to positively impact the perceived trust of the destination (Aftab and Khan 2019). Based on the above, the below hypothesis where generated:
The perceived value of tourism services significantly mediates the relationship between tourism social media content and tourists’ behavioral intentions.
The perceived trust in tourism services significantly mediates the relationship between tourism social media content and tourists’ behavioral intentions.

2.5. Social Media and Digital Transformation in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, digital transformation in recent years has significantly increased social media use across the country and eased the cultural restrictions that have been previously considered a challenge (Lee et al. 2014). Consequently, there are still few types of research that discuss the impact of social media and its content on the different sectors and departments in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, regardless of the impact of social media on changing individual behavior that has been established in prior papers, there is still a gap in the studies that explores this association. Javed, Tučková, and Jibril argued that despite the growing importance of social media in the tourism industry, the channels through which the behavioral intention and actual behavior of tourists and their influence are ignored in the literature (Javed et al. 2020). In addition, Bilal et al. argue that consumers use social media at different stages during their journey, and social media plays different roles in the production of tourist impact. Thus, further research is needed to explore social media’s impact on the perception of tourists using quantitative and qualitative approaches (Bilal et al. 2022).
Based on the above review, we developed a dedicated framework for the study hypotheses, which are depicted in Figure 1.

3. Materials and Methods

3.1. Study Procedures and Sampling

The current survey-based study was carried out in Al-Ahsa city, which is a popular destination for tourists due to its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. It is located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, near the border with Qatar (the distance between Doha and Al-Ahsa is 262 km). The target participants were football fans who were attending the events of the World Cup in Qatar and were able to pass the Al-Salwa border crossing and stay in different hospitality destinations in Al-Ahsa. We asked travel agencies in Al-Ahsa to recruit participants and distribute the survey. All participants were informed of the purpose of the research and provided information about how their data would be used before they agreed to participate in the survey. All responses have been kept confidential and anonymous.

3.2. Study Tool

When determining the worth of a survey, having multiple domains allows for a more thorough comprehension of the results. The questionnaire consisted of five domains (25 items). In the event of a survey investigating tourists’ attitudes and use of tourism-related services in the destination activities, the first domain of tourists’ gender, age, income, education, and nationality should be included. The second domain of the survey is the importance of social media and networks (tourism social media content in Saudi Arabia) in attracting tourists’ attention and arousing curiosity; we adapted this construct from (Vierhaus 2018). Social media and networks are increasingly important in recruiting tourists and informing them about available travel and tourism services. TripAdvisor, and Facebook, for example, compare reviews and ratings of various hotels, restaurants, and attractions. As a result, understanding the tourist’s opinion of the use of social media and networks to attract and pique their interest provides vital insight into tourism service marketing. The survey’s third domain focuses on the perceived value of tourism services. We adapted the questions from a previous study about the impact of perceived value on customers’ intentions (Wang and Huang 2017). The adapted items cover the organization, pricing, and overall service quality; therefore, they are suited for the objectives of our analysis. While there may be variances in pricing and levels of quality in organization and services, understanding the tourist’s point of view provides insight into what factors they evaluate when selecting a specific tourism service. This can help to shape future service marketing and pricing initiatives. Finally, the perceived trust in tourism services is included in the fourth domain questions adapted from the literature (Wang and Huang 2017). Tourists’ inclination to trust a given service is determined by its dependability and trustworthiness. This can be determined by various factors, including customer reviews, referrals from customer service, safety precautions implemented, and other comparable trust signals (An et al. 2021; Eid and El-Gohary 2015; Park 2020; Reichstein and Brusch 2019). Finally, we used four items to express tourists’ intentions to revisit tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia, including participants’ intentions to visit local destinations, the intended sites of attractions on the next trip, future sites of visits in Saudi Arabia and assigning the local tourism sites a priority for future visits. A full list of the domains and items is listed in the Supplementary File (Table S1).

3.3. Statistical Analysis

In this study, categorical variables were summarized using frequencies and percentages. Internal consistency reliability of different domains of the questionnaire was measured using Cronbach’s alpha. We also used rhoC as a measure of composite reliability to account for the assumption of equal indicator loadings by Cronbach’s alpha testing (Jöreskog 1971) and rhoA as a relatively conservative measure of internal consistency (Dijkstra and Henseler 2015). For the convergent validity, we used the domains’ average variance extracted (AVE) for each indicator to assess the degree to which a given domain converges in order to explain its indicators’ variances (Hair et al. 2021). Regarding the discriminant validity, the criteria of Fornell and Larcker (Fornell and Larcker 1981) were used by comparing the square roots of AVE values to the inter-domain correlation. Furthermore, the heterotrait–monotrait ratio (HTMT) of correlations was used as another measure of discriminant validity (Henseler et al. 2015). For the structural path, we performed bootstrapping using 1000 bootstrap samples (Streukens and Leroi-Werelds 2016). Beta coefficients and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to express the results of the bootstrapped structural framework. Data analysis was constructed using RStudio (R version 4.1.1), and statistical significance was considered at p < 0.05.

4. Results

4.1. Characteristics of the Participants

In this study, data from 300 world cup fans were collected using a convenient sampling method. Males represented 52.3% of the sample, and 37.3% of them were aged from 31 to 40 years. The majority of respondents had a monthly income of USD 3001–6000 (75.0%) and had obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher (74.0%, Table 1). The most common countries to which the participants belonged were Senegal (16.0%), the United States (16.0%) and Portugal (11.7%, Figure 2).

4.2. Outcomes of the Convergent Validity and Construct Reliability

In order to assure factor loadings, we constructed an exploratory factor analysis using a varimax rotation, indicating a four-factor model for all the items. Nevertheless, three items were excluded due to their inadequate loadings, including one item from the tourism SM content domain, one item from the perceived value domain and one item from the perceived trust domain (more details are provided in the Supplementary File, Table S1). The obtained model structure was further validated in a confirmatory factor analysis, and the model was well-fit to the data (χ2 = 289.147, df = 113, p < 0.001, TLI = 0.959, CFI = 0.966, RMSEA = 0.072).
As demonstrated in Table 2, bootstrapped factor loadings were all adequate (all above 0.50). Additionally, rhoA and rhoC values exceeded 0.70 as recommended (Dijkstra and Henseler 2015; Jöreskog 1971), and domain reliability statistics were excellent (Cronbach’s alpha values ranged between 0.899 and 0.956). Notably, AVE values were above 0.50 (ranging between 0.766 and 0.883), which indicates that the domain explained more than 76% of the indicators’ variance that form the domain (Hair et al. 2021).

4.3. Results of the Discriminant Validity

As a measure of the discriminant validity, we compared the shared variance between the domains (expressed as the inter-construct correlation) to the square root values of the AVE of each construct. Results revealed that the square roots of AVE were higher than the between-construct correlations, as shown in Table 3. This was corroborated using the HTMT criteria, in which the bootstrapped HTMT values and their respective 95% CIs did not differ significantly from 1 (Henseler et al. 2015) (Table 4).

4.4. Structural Model

In the structural model, indicator collinearity may pose a significant problem when two or more indicators are highly correlated. Collinearity can be assessed using a variance inflation factor (VIF), which is a standard metric for high collinearity at VIF > 5 (Becker et al. 2015). Results of this study showed no significant risk of collinearity since VIF values were 0.499 or lower (Table 2). Results of the structural model showed that tourism social media content did not directly impact the tourists’ intention to revisit (Beta = −0.14, 95% CI, −0.35 to 0.13, p = 0.860). However, SM content significantly predicted tourists’ perceived trust (Beta = 0.80, 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.86, p < 0.0001), and the perceived trust, in turn, predicted the future intention to revisit the destination (Beta = 0.31, 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.59, p = 0.015); therefore, the perceived trust has fully mediated the relationship between SM content and tourists’ intentions, and the mediation path was statistically significant (Beta = 0.25, 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.49, p = 0.015). Regarding the perceived value, although tourism-related social media content was a significant predictor of higher levels of the perceived value (Beta = 0.86, 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.90, p < 0.0001), the perceived value did not influence tourists’ behavioral intentions, and the mediation path was not statistically significant (Beta = −0.13, 95% CI, −0.43 to 0.18, p = 0.788, Figure 3).

5. Discussion and Limitations

5.1. Discussion

The intention of an individual to revisit a specific country is related to the individual attitude and is greatly influenced by multiple factors and perceptions. In order to change the attitude and intentions of individuals, Lee, Kim and Lee emphasized that both emotional and functional dimensions of perceived value must be appropriately targeted and measured (Lee et al. 2014). According to the belonging theory, social media platforms have the ability to strengthen users’ emotional connections with social media, as well as the individual’s emotional value by enhancing their ability to express their selves and gain care from others (Hsu and Lin 2016). Considering this connection, the content displayed on these platforms is thought to influence the perceived value of a particular cause. In order to maintain a brand’s or company’s reputation, Freberg et al. argued that social media platforms and messages are increasingly important (Fotis et al. 2012). In addition, Fotis, Buhalis and Rossides emphasized that travelers use social media before, during, and after the holiday, whether to look for or share information, which can greatly affect their perceptions of values and behaviors, as well the whole travel planning process (Freberg et al. 2013). From this point of view, this study showed that social media content mediated and was a significant predictor of higher levels of perceived value and the intention to revisit the Kingdom (p < 0.0001). This finding was consistent with findings by numerous previous studies (Allameh et al. 2015; An et al. 2019; Nadarajah and Ramalu 2018; Rini et al. 2021), which specifies that proper content utilized using social media platforms has the ability to increase both the perceived value and intention to revisit. To further explain these results, perceived value among tourists is often the result of direct and indirect functional and emotional values (Rasoolimanesh et al. 2022). Thus, positive, informative content is more likely to increase the perceived value of a destination. In addition, Agapito, Mendes and Valle explained that individuals perceive emotional stimulations differently and develop different feelings and ideas (Agapito et al. 2013). Moreover, considering that different types of information are used in social media, the level of impact can normally vary depending on the type of content provided. In addition, social media utilizes multiple tools such as blogs, social networking services, social bookmarking, and others, which are used to deliver different types of content, and thus might yield different results when their effect on individual perception is examined (Askool 2013). In order to have the desired influence on their intentions, Chen and Lin argued that social media marketing activities must be used appropriately depending on the purpose since they result from the interaction between individual mental states and events (Chen and Lin 2019). In addition, social media marketing allows strategic decision makers to understand the tourists’ needs in the early phases, which aids in the work toward targeting their perceived value and satisfaction (Chen and Lin 2019). Rini et al. also stressed that tourism and hospitality sector products and services are more likely to appeal to tourists if they identify the distinctive aesthetic and service characteristics (Rini et al. 2021). By doing so, tourists will more likely perceive the country with a higher value, and thus increases the chances for them to return in the future.
In addition, this study found that social media content significantly predicted tourists’ perceived trust (p < 0.0001) and that perceived trust, in turn, predicted the future intention to revisit the destination. This finding was consistent with the findings in the Ardani study, which reported trust as a significant factor that controls the tourists’ behavior and their intentions to revisit (Ardani 2021). In their study that assessed multiple factors associated with the intention to revisit a specific destination, Primananda et al. reported a significant association between both social media and trust in the intention to revisit; however, no significant influence was reported by social media marketing on trust (Primananda et al. 2022). On the other hand, Poon and Koay reported contradicting results as they did not find a significant association between trust and intention to revisit a destination (Poon and Koay 2021). These inconsistencies in findings might be attributed to the lack of consistency in measuring trust as a variable between the different studies. According to Alhadad et al., individuals can evaluate trust variable differently as some focus more on the service quality aspects, while other focuses on the service provider aspects (Alhadad et al. 2013). In addition, Alhadad added that there is no specific unified measure followed in the studies or organizations to assess trust (Alhadad et al. 2013). Moreover, the trust involved in traveling is often a cumulation of different services and processes. In their study that assessed the influence of online reviews on intention to revisit, Lee, Kim, and Lee argued that there are different trust aspects related to the online reviews’ website (cognitive and affective trust) and other aspects related to the trust in destination (Wang and Huang 2017). Many people also have trust issues and different beliefs when it comes to the use of social media and the content shared, according to Jennings et al. (Jennings et al. 2021). Jennings et al. added that more attention must be given to the government to avoid the use of unregulated social media sources (Jennings et al. 2021). Therefore, inconsistencies in findings are anticipated depending on the measure and analysis used, the number of services involved, and the perception and evaluation of trust among travelers.
From another important perspective, sports mega-events, such as the World Cup, can have a significant impact on tourists’ intentions to revisit a destination. The World Cup is one of the most significant sporting events globally, attracting millions of fans from different countries. It offers a unique opportunity for tourists to experience the culture, people, and attractions of the host country and neighboring countries while enjoying the football matches. Tourists’ intentions in a sporting event might be apparent due to the emotional connection that develops with the destination of interest (Sung et al. 2021). The country’s attractions, culture and hospitality represent another important domain that might influence behavioral intentions. This is because tourists often have the opportunity to explore the unique features of the host country and neighboring destinations, including their landmarks, cuisine, music, and customs (Santos et al. 2017; Wang and Jin 2019). They may also interact with the locals, which can provide them with a genuine insight into the country’s way of life. Such experiences can leave a lasting impression on tourists, which can influence their intentions to revisit the destination in the future. Accordingly, emotional connections and exposure to the local and regional attractions and culture, and economic improvements resulting from the event can all play a role in shaping tourists’ attitudes towards the destination.

5.2. Strengths and Limitations

In this study, we did not only assess the impact of the SM content, perceived trust and perceived value but also the interrelationships between these factors and the mediating role played by each.
A strength that this study offers is that it does not only assess. In addition, this study supports the current vision of Saudi Arabia and adds to the current knowledge available on the topic. On the other hand, this study’s limitation includes the use of a survey as a data collection method, which increases the chances of response bias. In addition, the type of social media content used to influence the perceived trust and value is not specified in this study, which poses another limitation in understanding the relationship between the variables and the intention to revisit. More studies that explore the types of social media tools, the contents used in social media and the differences between demographics are recommended for future studies in Saudi Arabia. Of note, in this study, we did not analyze the differences in SM content effects across different countries of origin (nationalities), which might be a matter of future research to identify spatial variations in social media perceptions.

6. Conclusions and Implications

6.1. Conclusions

Social media has become a vital source of information about destinations that can be obtained in an expedited manner. To conclude, the tourism and hospitality industries around the world are faced with great competition and multiple challenges to provide the best services. Online tourism is a growing industry, and understanding user behavior and psychology in social media interactions is crucial to its development. Moreover, social media tools are powerful to the extent that they can affect the perception of visitors to a country and their intention to revisit. The current study reported social media content to be a significant predictor for perceived trust and, thus, the intentions to revisit. In addition, a higher perceived value of Saudi Arabia as a destination among participants was significantly associated with higher intentions to revisit the country.

6.2. Theoretical Implications

Measurements and analyses of different individual perceptions vary among studies. Perceived trust was a significant mediator of the relationship between social media content and tourists’ intentions. Understanding this relationship can help marketers and tourism professionals to create effective social media content that builds trust and influences tourists’ intentions. The current study can contribute to the existing literature on tourism and social media by providing a better understanding of the role of perceived trust in shaping tourists’ intentions. While previous studies have examined the influence of social media content on tourists’ behaviors and attitudes, the mediating role of perceived trust has received less attention. By identifying and examining this relationship, this study can add new insights to the field. This study can also contribute to the broader literature on perceived trust and its role in shaping consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. By examining the mediating effect of perceived trust on the relationship between social media content and tourists’ intentions, this study can provide a deeper understanding of how trust operates as a mechanism in consumer decision-making processes.

6.3. Practical Implications

The current study can help tourism practitioners and marketers to develop more effective social media strategies by highlighting the importance of perceived trust and value. Understanding how tourists perceive the trustworthiness of social media content can help marketers to create more credible and trustworthy content that resonates with tourists and drives their intentions to visit a destination. Considering the recent new transformation in Saudi Arabia and the advancement in technology, understanding the tourists’ behavioral patterns and choices is essential to increase the number of tourists, improve the county’s economy, and increase the possibilities of future visits among those who have already visited the country. Managers and strategic leaders in Saudi Arabia must work on managing the content displayed on social media networks to reflect the country’s new and developed image, including the advances in tourism, hospitality and other sectors. In addition, a focus must be placed on the type of social media utilized during mega events to reach the maximum number of possible individuals. Finally, we recommend conducting further research to assess the utilization of social media within each sector and the effect of the type of social media used and the content shared.

Supplementary Materials

The following supporting information can be downloaded at: Table S1: The used domains and items in this study.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, E.A.H., M.A.A. and T.H.H.; methodology, A.H.A., M.I.S. and A.E.S.; software, M.Y.H., A.E.S. and A.H.A.; validation, T.H.H., E.A.H., P.S.-A. and M.A.A.; formal analysis, Y.A.M., S.H.R. and A.E.S.; investigation, M.S.A., P.S.-A., Y.A.M. and M.I.S.; resources, S.H.R., P.S.-A., A.H.A. and E.A.H.; data curation, T.H.H., M.S.A. and M.Y.H.; writing—original draft preparation, M.A.A., M.I.S. and A.E.S.; writing—review and editing, S.H.R., M.Y.H. and A.H.A.; visualization, E.A.H., S.H.R. and M.S.A.; supervision, M.Y.H., P.S.-A., T.H.H. and Y.A.M.; project administration, Y.A.M., M.I.S. and Y.A.M.; funding acquisition, M.S.A., T.H.H. and M.A.A. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research, Vice Presidency for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia (Grant No. 2648), through its KFU Research Summer initiative. The researchers are supported by a full Ph.D. scholarship under the joint executive program between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Saint Petersburg State University for the fifth author (M.I.S.) number EGY-0026/20 and Kazan Federal University for the sixth author Egy.6572/19 (M.Y.H.).

Institutional Review Board Statement

This study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Deanship of Scientific Research Ethical Committee, King Faisal University.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Data are available on request due to privacy/ethical restrictions.


We would like to thank King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia (through its KFU Research Summer initiative) and the joint executive program between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Saint Petersburg State University for their entire support and encouragement to the research team throughout the research period.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. A framework of this study’s hypothesis. SM: social media.
Figure 1. A framework of this study’s hypothesis. SM: social media.
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Figure 2. Proportions of countries from which the participants came.
Figure 2. Proportions of countries from which the participants came.
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Figure 3. Results of the applied model. SM: social media.
Figure 3. Results of the applied model. SM: social media.
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Table 1. Demographic characteristics of world cup fans.
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of world cup fans.
ParameterCategoryN (%)
Gender Male157 (52.3%)
Female132 (44.0%)
Prefer not to say11 (3.7%)
Age 18–3093 (31.0%)
31–40112 (37.3%)
41–5041 (13.7%)
51–6047 (15.7%)
61 and above7 (2.3%)
IncomeBelow USD 100045 (15.0%)
USD 1000–300021 (7.0%)
USD 3001–6000225 (75.0%)
USD 6001–90005 (1.7%)
USD 9001 and above4 (1.3%)
EducationPrimary education14 (4.7%)
High school64 (21.3%)
Bachelor or higher222 (74.0%)
Table 2. Outcomes of the convergent validity and construct reliability.
Table 2. Outcomes of the convergent validity and construct reliability.
Domains and ItemsBFLVIFalpharhoCrhoAAVE
Tourism SM content in Saudi Arabia 0.9240.9420.9250.766
Tourism SM content is expressive and attracts my attention0.8472.785
Tourism SM content arouses my curiosity0.8692.941
Tourism SM content provides a holistic overview about it0.9043.487
Tourism SM content offers easy usability0.8833.222
Tourism SM content satisfies expectations that arise0.8713.005
Perceived value 0.9350.9530.9360.836
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia are well organized0.9304.200
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia are maintained throughout0.9173.763
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia have acceptable level of quality0.9033.288
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia are reasonably priced0.9073.248
Perceived trust 0.9560.9680.9560.883
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia have integrity0.9394.999
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia are reliable0.9434.191
The tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia are trustworthy0.9424.261
I can trust the tourism services provided in Saudi Arabia0.9324.553
Intention to revisit 0.8990.9300.9000.768
I have the intention to visit the tourism attractions in Saudi Arabia0.8482.458
My next trip assigns to the attractions in Saudi Arabia0.8933.208
I am preparing to visit tourism attractions in Saudi Arabia0.8472.291
Visiting the tourism attractions in Saudi Arabia is a priority to me0.8642.549
Alpha: Cronbach’s alpha; BFL: Bootstrapped factor loading; AVE: average variance extracted; VIF: variance inflation factor.
Table 3. Outcomes of the discriminant validity.
Table 3. Outcomes of the discriminant validity.
1. Tourism SM content0.875
2. Perceived value0.8600.914
3. Perceived trust 0.8040.8720.940
4. Intention to revisit0.0010.0230.0880.876
The square roots of AVE are on the diagonal, and inter-domain correlations are on the lower triangle.
Table 4. Outcomes of the model heterotrait–monotrait ratio.
Table 4. Outcomes of the model heterotrait–monotrait ratio.
PathB-HTMT Values (95% CIs)
Tourism SM content → Perceived value0.822 (0.784 to 0.857)
Tourism SM content → Perceived trust0.854 (0.780 to 0.908)
Tourism SM content → Intention to revisit0.080 (0.043 to 0.136)
Perceived value → Perceived trust0.822 (0.781 to 0.855)
Perceived value → Intention to revisit0.074 (0.034 to 0.166)
Perceived value → Intention to revisit0.106 (0.035 to 0.223)
B-HTMT: bootstrap mean heterotrait–monotrait ratio; CIs: confidence intervals.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Helal, E.A.; Hassan, T.H.; Abdelmoaty, M.A.; Salem, A.E.; Saleh, M.I.; Helal, M.Y.; Abuelnasr, M.S.; Mohamoud, Y.A.; Abdou, A.H.; Radwan, S.H.; et al. Exploration or Exploitation of a Neighborhood Destination: The Role of Social Media Content on the Perceived Value and Trust and Revisit Intention among World Cup Football Fans. J. Risk Financial Manag. 2023, 16, 210.

AMA Style

Helal EA, Hassan TH, Abdelmoaty MA, Salem AE, Saleh MI, Helal MY, Abuelnasr MS, Mohamoud YA, Abdou AH, Radwan SH, et al. Exploration or Exploitation of a Neighborhood Destination: The Role of Social Media Content on the Perceived Value and Trust and Revisit Intention among World Cup Football Fans. Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 2023; 16(3):210.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Helal, Emad Ahmed, Thowayeb H. Hassan, Mostafa A. Abdelmoaty, Amany E. Salem, Mahmoud I. Saleh, Mohamed Y. Helal, Magdy Sayed Abuelnasr, Yasser Ahmed Mohamoud, Ahmed H. Abdou, Salaheldeen H. Radwan, and et al. 2023. "Exploration or Exploitation of a Neighborhood Destination: The Role of Social Media Content on the Perceived Value and Trust and Revisit Intention among World Cup Football Fans" Journal of Risk and Financial Management 16, no. 3: 210.

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