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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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2.1. Introduction

The theoretical framework of the study focuses on the basic concept of tourism, tourist's satisfaction, the attributes of a destination as it affects tourists' satisfaction, and on analyzing the relationship among these attributes and tourists' satisfaction with relation to their demographic and travel behavioral characteristics.

This chapter begins with discussing the definitions of tourism. After which, the chapter discusses previous research on the concept of tourist, such as tourists' characteristics, perception, expectation, and satisfaction. Finally, focuses will be made on the relationship among the attributes of destinations and tourists' satisfaction.

2.2. Tourism

There are so many definitions of tourism. World Tourism Organization defines tourism as a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which involves people moving from their usual environment to places outside their usual environment for different reasons which could be personal or business/professional [4]. These people are referred to as visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or nonresidents) and are required not to spend more than one consecutive year.

Tourism or voyage originally means movement of people with the intention of trade and conquest [5]. Holden in 2000 stated that “Nowadays, this phenomenon has experienced a shift towards pleasure which serves as a symbol of social status. It was influenced by media like social networks, web-based promotions and advertisement, and greater leisure awareness; tourism has become one of the rapidly growing industries in the world [5] .

According to Krapf and Hunziker tourism is the “sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected to any earning activity” [6].

From the definitions mentioned above, tourism can be seen as any activity which an individual, a group of individuals or an organization undertakes that goes out of their immediate residence sojourning to another place without a primary motive or intention of making a monetary or some other profit.

2.3. Tourists' Characteristics

The characteristics of tourist were studied by many researchers, some of which this study reviewed; theses authors had almost the same views. For instance Ivanovic (2008) identifies three different classes in which tourists characteristics can be expressed which are often useful in tourism research or marketing and promotion strategy. First is the demographic features included age, education, income, occupation, gender, marital status, family status, ethnicity. Secondly is the tourist socio-economic condition, which referred to how the tourist to be able to afford to engage in a chosen destination. Lastly is the tourists' behavioral characteristic which has to do with understanding of needs or desires, motivation and travel awareness of a tourist [7].

Zhu (2010) - tourist characteristics were modeled as a formative constructs consisting of customers' socio-economic characteristic and previous consumption experience and addition of tourist characteristic such as demographic and cultural background are valuable as to allow one to distinguish tourists' satisfaction levels [8].

Certain scholars such as Tassiopoulos (2008) and Ivanovic et al (2009) found that demography which consist of such factors as gender, income, age, family lifecycle, social status, occupation and educational level has some level of influence on tourism demand and these diversities make the tourism business more successful [9] [10].

Hond and Prideaux, (2000) dissected  the variance by age, gender, occupation and past trips of Taiwanese cultural/heritage vacationers to learn if demographic and travel behavioral characteristics affected reactions on the significance of attributes and levels of trip satisfaction [11].

Light, (1996) in his study made a correlation between tourists' characteristics travelling to a heritage site in South Wales. In this study, tourists' expectations/perceptions were essential attributes identified with satisfaction with the destination and in boosting the odds of tourists to return.[12].

Rafat S., (2012) in studying the Factors That Influence Tourists' Satisfaction shows that tourist satisfaction showed significant differences based on such controlling factors as travel behavior characteristics, demographic characteristics, cultural characteristics and information source [13].

After all these reviews, this study included demographic and travel behavioral characteristics of tourists as very necessary indicators as to examine the level of tourists satisfaction.

2.4. Tourists' Expectation

There has been different studies on consumers' expectation and some of which this part of the study reviewed. The term expectation has been defined by various authors in many ways. Richard, (2010) in his work “Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer” asserts that expectation is a prediction of the future results based on the past experience, current circumstances, or other sources of information [14].

Manente, (2008) – expectation takes place before the tour or visit. Tourists always picture in their minds their chosen destination and the likely benefits that they stand to gain from their future trip. This can normally be inspired from tourism advertisements, commercials, brochures, mass media and informal information, or word-of-mouth by friends and relatives [15].

In the case of Ireland, Jonathan and Dimitrios, (2011) observed that many first-time visitors had well prepared for their tour by getting some information in advance via the use of the internet. Numerous websites with virtual brochures are available for seekers to view idyllic scenery of Ireland. As a means of motivating tourist to travel destinations invest in creating unique and eye-catching attractions [16].

According to Teas (1994) expectation can be defined as performance of establishment, ideal performance or desired performance [17]. Regarding the relationship in the middle of expectation and satisfaction, expectation can be characterized as earlier estimations made by customers while been serviced Oliver (1981) [17].

It is generally accepted that tourists have expectations after making a destination choice for a holiday and that their satisfaction levels during and after their holiday period depend mostly on their expectations Jin et al (2006) [18].

2.5. Tourists' Perception

Charlotte and Ritchie (2003) find that the overall impressions and feelings of the image of a destination may have an influence on tourists' perception [19].

Reisinger and Turner (2003) assert that perception can be influenced by people's personal characteristics, their interests, their experiences, value orientation and even their expectations [20].

Yeganeh, (2007) in his study shows that certain risks like health risks, dissatisfaction risks, financial risks and especially risks of losing one's life during a trip can affect the travel decision. He gave an instance of the Luxor massacre in Egypt where 58 international tourists were killed by Islamic terrorism; this incident caused a decline in the tourism business which caused a lot of hard times and affecting a lot of those whose livelihood depended on the sector [21].

Anna & Stefan (2012), Perception has external and internal stimuli. External stimuli contain controlled, induced or targeted information such as advertisement. Internal stimuli take account of uncontrolled, naive or self-directed information on television, newspapers, authentic or prior experience, or by word- of-mouth. Uncontrolled information is usually considered being highly-remain and thus may have more impact on beliefs. Perception may not conceal and be acceptable if the information does not go through the current beliefs. In addition, internal stimuli with motives (push factors), needs (embodiment of the motive), want (expression of needs), and the benefits (expected results), act as a significant role in the tourists‟ perception. The element of personality, lifestyle, and attitudes may impact on how tourists feel pleasant, enjoyable, angry or surprised at a destination [22].

In the study of Haahti (1986) revealed  that tourist perceptions (of 12 examined European countries) may impact by a wide range of different attributes, such as money, accessibility, sports facilities and other activities, nightlife and entertainment, peace and quietness, hospitality, wilderness, tracking and camping, cultural experience, scenery, change from the usual destinations. Tourists may have negative or positive perception of these same values in different destinations [23].

2.6. Tourists' Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is very vital for any organization to continue to remain in business and the tourism industry is not excluded. Due to the importance of making sure customers are satisfied with what they consumer be it goods or services a lot of studies have been embarked by many researchers and this study will try to review most of which as a bit to gaining more insight.

Tribe and Snaith (1998) found out in their study that tourists' satisfaction towards a destination is dependent on the extent of evaluation of the destination attributes that surpasses the expectation before the trip or tour. The HOLSAT model was used as a measuring tool – it measured the extent of tourists' satisfaction by evaluating the relationship between their expectations before the holiday and their perceptions [24].

Reisinger and Turner (2003) argues that for consumers to be satisfied it means that the experiences they enjoyed should be more than what they expected but if the reverse is the case then tourists feels displeasured setting in dissatisfaction towards the trip[20]. In comparing satisfaction with attribution Valle and Wallendorf (1997) asserts that tourist satisfaction may be attributed either to the tourist themselves or to the environment and situation, these they classified to as internal attribution and external attribution respectively [20]. So it goes to say that those tourists who blame external factors do not easily get satisfied while those on internal factors mostly get satisfied.

As a result of intense studies on customer satisfaction, a lot of researchers have developed different theories and models for which satisfaction can be examined. In addition to the HOLSAT model mentioned earlier, we have some examples such as; Parasiraman, Zeithaml, and Berry's (1985) expectation - perception gap model, Oliver's expectancy - disconfirmation theory, Sirgy's congruity model and a performance – model.

 Pizam and Milman (1993) used Oliver's (1980) expectation - disconfirmation model to enhance the prescient force of travelers' satisfaction. They introduced the basic dynamic nature of the disconfirmation model into hospitality research, while testing part of the original model in a modified form. In order to assess the causal relationship between two different disconfirmation methods, they utilized a regression model with a single "met – expectation" measure as the dependent variable, and 21 diverse - score measures as the independent variables [25].

 Pizam, Neumann and Reichel (1978) examined the variable structure of visitors' satisfaction with their various destinations. The authors could indicate eight recognizable measurements of visitor satisfaction [26].

Barsky and Labagh (1992) presented the expectancy – disconfirmation worldview into lodging research. Fundamentally, the proposed model in these research works was that satisfaction of customers was the function of disconfirmation, measured by nine "met expectations" components that were weighted by attribute – specific significance. The model was tried with information gathered from 100 arbitrary subjects by means of visitor comment cards. This study came about into a proof that satisfaction of customer was discovered to be associated with a customer's intentions to return [27].

2.7. Relationship Between Tourists' Destination Attributes And Satisfaction

There is a need to investigate the relationship between destination attributes and tourists' satisfaction from the tourist's perspective in order to gain an indebt understanding of tourists' attitudes and behavior after they visit destinations. Tourists express satisfaction or dissatisfaction after they buy tourism products and services[28]. In the event that visitors are satisfied by the items, then they will have the inspiration to purchase them again or they will prescribe them to their companions and friends.

Glasson (1994) gives an outline of the characteristics of guests to Oxford, their effects, and the management responses to date. In general, around 80% of tourists who visited this cultural/heritage destination were satisfied. Over 80% of the tourists who visited Oxford said that they would like to make a return visit. The tourists particularly enjoyed the architecture, which together with the traditions of the university and colleges creates an attractive physical environment and atmosphere. The shopping facilities were also well liked, and local people were regarded as friendly. However, in several areas, Oxford scored badly. These were crowds, traffic, and accessibility of restrooms, the city expensiveness, poor signage, and poor climate [29].

Light (1996) reported a contextual analysis of the attributes of guests to a unique occasion (for these situation historical reenactments) at a heritage site (Carephilly Castle) in South Wales. By contrasting the attributes of guests on occasion and non-occasion days, it was clear that the occasions had specific appeal to tourists and were effective in empowering repeat visits. In Light's research, most guests were satisfied by the destination. This satisfaction drives tourists to extend the length of stay and visit it again [12].

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