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The theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) was adapted to examine university tourist behavioral intention after the official establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in December 2015. An additional predictor of travel motivation was included in the original TPB model. This approach is novel in young tourist literature. A quantitative approach was utilized and 620 copies of questionnaires were distributed to Thai and Malaysian university students. Consequently, 583 valid responses were obtained. Factor analysis was employed to confirm the dimensionality of the constructs and to refine the multiple-item scales. A series of regression analyses were conducted to assess the scope of relationships between predictors and travel intentions within ASEAN. It was found that all three core predictors of the TPB, namely, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral constraints, significantly contributed to university tourists' intention to travel in ASEAN. In addition, the iterative analyses revealed that seeking job opportunities became a significant effect of the young tourists' intention to visit an ASEAN destination. Both theoretical and practical implications are suggested. The research findings extend the literature on Crompton’s push-pull model. The findings also support the applicability of the TPB in the context of young tourists. Tourism destinations in ASEAN need to re-image their destination to satisfy the referent groups which are perceived as the strongest predictor of young tourist behavior. Organizations and policymakers related to labor should also prepare for the flow of such skilled workers.
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