What Makes a City Cool? Understanding Destination Coolness and its Implications for Tourism

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Cool cities have an appeal with tourists and destination managers intuitively know that being considered cool pays out. Yet, existing literature does not provide an answer for what ‘destination coolness’ is and what attributes characterize cool cities. The current research is the first to address these important questions. The author employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative studies to conceptualize destination coolness and thereby identify what makes a city cool in the eyes of tourists: Cool cities are perceived as authentic, rebellious, original and vibrant. In two consecutive quantitative studies, the author develops a multi-dimensional reliable, valid and parsimonious coolness scale, and documents its importance for research and practice empirically. Coolness is an important driver behind relevant attitudinal and behavioral phenomena, such as intention and actual visit behavior, a destination's social return and city-self connection. The author concludes by explaning the implications of the study and paving new research avenues.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104317
JournalTourism Management
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Destination coolness
  • Destination choice
  • Tourist behavior
  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Scale development

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