This chapter described the methodology used in achieving the objectives of this study. It involves discussions on how data were collected, the area of study, the selection of sample and the procedure used to analyze the collected data. In this chapter, tourists’ demographic and travel behavioral characteristics were analyzed, an investigation into which destination attributes satisfies the tourists most was also made.
5.2. Study Area
An area of study can be defined as an enclosed or particular target of interest where data samples are collected or gathered from. In this study the area of study was North Cyprus.
There are five (5) districts in the Island but due to some constraints not all the five districts were visited. Data were mainly collected from Famagusta, Girne and Lefkosa which happen to be the major districts in the Island with Famagusta contributing slightly above 50% of the total questionnaires leaving the remaining percentage to be shared between Girne and Lefkosa. The reason for more data collected from Famagusta was mainly because the tourists who visited there were much more receptive compared to those who visited Girne and Lefkosa so it was far easier to get the work done.
5.3. Study Framework
This study in a bid to identify to what extent the international tourists were satisfied with North Cyprus tourism and also in identifying the relationships between the destination attributes and tourists’ satisfaction, analyzed different attributes, overall satisfaction, controlling for tourists’ demographic and travel behavior characteristics. The attributes of the study were carefully selected through the similar tourism literature review. In the review of the tourism literature, the selected attributes were critical and important ones affecting tourists’ satisfaction.
Also, through an analysis of past studies, this study chose tourists’ demographic characteristics (which includes country of origin, age, gender, level of education, employment status and annual income before tax), travel behavior characteristics (which includes duration of stay, source of information, type of visit, travel party etc) and destination attributes (which includes security/safety, accommodation quality, cleanliness, transportation, shopping, weather conditions etc.), in order to determine the differences in the contribution of attributes to tourists’ satisfaction.
5.4. Hypotheses of the study
For the purpose of analyzing the relationships between the different variables used in this study, three main hypotheses which were expressed in null forms were used. They are as follow;
Ho1: there is no statistically significant difference in tourist overall trip satisfaction as regards to tourists’ demographic characteristics.
Ho2: there is no statistically significant difference in tourist overall trip satisfaction as regards to tourists’ travel behavioral characteristics.
HO3: there is no relationship between tourists’ perceived loyalty and the derived tourists’ demographic/travel behavioral characteristics that influenced tourists’ overall trip satisfaction.
5.5. Study Design
The sample population for this study was derived from tourists who visited North Cyprus in August and September, in 2015. The survey was conducted over a 3-week period at different strategic places in the districts of Famagusta, Girne and Lefkosa that are frequently visited by tourists. Questionnaires distribution was carried out only during the daytime. Respondents were politely approached and informed about the reason for the study ahead of time before the survey were given to them, they were also asked if they wished to participate in the survey. Data were collected at these different strategic places randomly but with particular exception to those who appear to be below 18 years of age. However, tourists were selected at different times of the day. A total sample size of 464 was completed.
This study analyzed which destination attributes were important in satisfying tourists who visited North Cyprus, and identified the relationship of satisfaction to tourists’ characteristics. In developing an instrument for this study, previous literature from studies with similar objectives was examined as to identify suitable instruments for this study.
The questionnaire used in this study consisted of four parts. The first part explored the travel behavior characteristics of the tourists. Part 2 explored some different destination attributes affecting tourists’ expectations, perceptions, and levels of satisfaction in relation to North Cyprus tourism sector. Respondents were asked for to give a score to each of the 16 attributes on the levels of perceptions and expectations independently using a 5-point likert - type scale ranging from completely unimportant expectation (1) to completely important expectation (5) and from completely disagree (1) perception to completely agree (5) perception. The third part consist of two parts; firstly, the (dis)satisfaction and loyalty part where respondents were asked to score their intentions after they leave North Cyprus on a 5-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) while the second part they were to rate and make suggestion for improvement on some of the chosen attributes ranging from poor (1) to excellent (5). Finally the last part of the questionnaires explored the demographic characteristics of the tourists.
The dependent variable of this study is the tourists’ satisfaction, the independent variable include all the listed 16 destination attributes while the control variable are the tourists’ demographic characteristics and their travel behavioral characteristics. All these can be seen in the questionnaire in appendix 1.
5.6. Survey Instrument (questionnaires)Pretest
The survey instrument was revised as to strengthen its validity; the questionnaire which was taken from a previous work with a similar contest was given to the Head of Department of Industrial engineering (my supervisor) for assessment and possible corrections. Based on the feedback received, the questionnaire was modified. Then, the questionnaire was tested through few samples of tourists in one of the destinations. The main aim of the pretest was to validate the questions of the study.
5.7. Data Reliability And Validity
Reliability can be defined as consistency in measurement. It shows the extent to which a measurement is without bias (error free). The reliability coefficient (Cronbach Alpha) was verified as a means to establish the reliability of the tourists’ satisfaction measurement used in the survey instrument. Therefore, the reliability of tests on the selected destination attributes was accomplished.
Validity indicates the degree to which an instrument measures the construct under investigation. Content validity refers to the subjective agreement among professionals that a scale logically appears to reflect accurately what it is designed to measure; hence, in this study, content validity was strengthened through an extensive review of the literature.
5.8. Method Of Data Analysis
The data collected from the 464 respondents were carefully sorted out of which 411 were valid while the remaining ones were discarded. The selected data were coded, computed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). In analyzing these data, certain statistical analysis such as descriptive analysis, frequencies, paired-samples T test, ANOVA and independent samples t-test were used in accordance to the various objectives of the research.
The paired –samples T test was used to analyze the comparison between the expectation means and the perception means.
In identifying the differences in the overall trip satisfaction of tourists in terms of their demographic characteristics and their travel behavioral characteristics, independent t-test and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used.
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