Tourist satisfaction - Discussions and Implications

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CHAPTER 6

DISCUSSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

6.1 Introduction

Tourist satisfaction is a key to a business’s success. It indicates the positive emotion and experience of consumers toward businesses. Satisfied tourists also have a propensity to repurchase and recommend products to their families and friends. To achieve tourist’s satisfaction, businesses must understand tourist’s needs to be able to provide their products and services that meet or exceed tourist’s expectations. One of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry is Heritage tourism. Therefore it is necessary to understand the international tourist motivation and satisfaction regarding heritage tourism.

This chapter covers the discussion, implications, and limitations of the study. The findings of the study are discussed in tourists’ demographic characteristics, tourists’ motivation, cultural and heritage attributes of golden triangle in India, and the relationship between tourists’ demographic characteristic, tourists’ motivation, cultural and heritage attributes and tourists’ overall satisfaction with heritage tourism in golden triangle. Implications are drawn based on the discussion. Finally, the limitation of the study is discussed.

6.2 Discussion of Results

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The purposes of this study were to explore demographic characteristic, tourists’ motivation, cultural and heritage attributes, and identify the relationship between them and tourists’ overall satisfaction with Heritage tourism in India.

Two hundred thirty three surveys were collected and utilized for the study. The respondents consist of 54.1% male respondents and 45.9% female respondents. 44.6 % of respondents are in the age group 26 to 40 years, 35.6 % respondents are 25 years or under, 14.6 % respondents are in between 41 to 60 years, whereas 5.1 % respondents are 60 years or above. When analyzing the tourist home country it has been found that 26.2% of the respondents belongs to United States of America, 18% belongs to England, 16.7% belongs to Bangladesh, 15.9% belongs to Pakistan and rest of them belongs to Australia, Japan, South Africa and Nepal.

The results showed that 36.5% of the tourists were single whereas 49.8% of the respondents were married. When analyzing the level of education, most respondents found to had Bachelor degree (46.8%),. Whereas only 14.6 % are postgraduate. Also, 18.9% of the respondents had a high school degree, and 19.7% of respondents had an intermediate degree. In term of respondents’ annual household income, the largest group was the approximate total household income of US $19,999 or below (41.6%), followed by US $20,000 to $39,999 (45.5%) and US $40,000 or more (12.9%) was the smallest group (Table 5.1).

The finding of the study by descriptive analysis revealed that the mean value of the respondents’ overall level of satisfaction was 5.07, which tended toward high satisfaction. This suggests that the Heritage tourism at golden triangle in India provides tourists with a satisfactory experience. The results of correlation analysis revealed that tourists’ motivation and cultural/heritage attributes collectively provide some measurement of the overall satisfaction of tourist towards heritage tourism at Golden triangle in India. The study also found that there seems to be a moderate correlation between tourists’ overall satisfaction and tourists’ motivation and cultural and heritage attributes.

Based on the objectives of the study, three main hypotheses were presented and tested. Independent Sample T-test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Factor Analysis, Correlation analysis, and Multiple Regression Analysis were performed for hypothesis testing.

First Independent Sample-Test (t-test) has been used to compare the difference Male and Female groups to determine the statistical difference. The results of the t-test revealed that there was no significant difference between male (M = 5.14, SD = 1.02) and female (M = 5.03, SD = .926); t (201) = .221, p = .832. So on average, tourists’ overall satisfaction had no significant difference between male and female.

A one-way ANOVA was conducted to identify the difference in overall satisfaction level by age groups, marital status, education level and total household incomes. The results revealed that there was no significant difference in overall satisfaction at the p<.05 level for age [F (3, 203) = .265, p = .737], Country of residence [F (6, 215) = .367, p = .8971] and marital status [F (3, 203) = .236, p = .522. Thus, hypotheses 1b, 1c and 1d were rejected. However, there were significant difference in overall satisfaction level among the tourists groups due to their education levels [F (3, 201) = 6.236, p = .05] and tourists’ total household income[F (2, 203) = 7.261, p = .05]. Thus, hypotheses 1e and 1f were accepted. There was a relationship between the overall satisfaction level, tourists’ education level and tourists’ household income.

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Then Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used in order to analyze the difference in the level of overall satisfaction in relation to other demographic characteristic. The results of ANOVA revealed that there was no significant difference in overall satisfaction at the p<.05 level for age [F = .265, p = .737], Country of residence [F = .367, p = .8971] and marital status [F = .236, p = .522], whereas the result also revels that there was a significant difference between the overall satisfaction and tourists’ education level (F = 6.236, p = .05), and the overall satisfaction and tourists’ household income (F = 7.261, p = .05). Thus, there was a relationship between the overall satisfaction level, tourists’ education level and tourists’ household income.

Moreover, the results suggest education levels that affected overall satisfaction were high school, 10+2, graduate degree, especially bachelor’s degree had the most effect on the overall satisfaction compared with other education levels. The results also revealed that the total household income affected overall satisfaction were total household income of less than $19,999 and the total household income of $20,000 to $ 39,999.

Factor analysis of 21 cultural/heritage attributes and motivation items were conducted in order to draw the underlying dimension of the attributes and dimension of tourists’ motivation. Then, a correlation coefficient was used to measure the strength of a linear between overall satisfaction of the respondents and five factors-Location/Lodging, Offering/Information, Unfamiliarity/Adventure, Familiarity/Relaxation/Trip Plan and General tour attraction.

The results revealed that the correlation between overall satisfaction and four factors was positive and was significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). The study also indicated that the correlation between overall satisfaction and Location and Lodging was higher than that between overall satisfaction and Offering/Information. It was also higher than the correlation between overall satisfaction and Familiarity/Relaxation/Trip Plan and General Tour Attraction.

Multiple regression analysis was used in order to identify the relationship between the cultural/heritage attributes and tourists’ overall satisfaction and the relationship between tourists’ motivation and tourists’ overall satisfaction. Using factor analysis, 25 Heritage attributes resulted in five dimensions: Location/Lodging, Offering/Information, Unfamiliarity/Adventure , Familiarity/Relaxation/Trip Plan and General tour attraction.

Multiple regression analysis revealed that all the five factors affected overall satisfaction of tourists who visited to Indian golden triangle. Therefore, Location and Lodging, Offering and Information, Unfamiliarity/Adventure, Familiarity /Relaxation/Trip Plan and General Tour Attraction were considered to be the important indicators determining the overall satisfaction level of tourists.As per the Location and Lodging, (β = .517, p < .000) most significantly impact tourists’ overall satisfaction toward their visit to Indian golden triangle. followed by Offering/Information, β = .341, and Unfamiliarity/Adventure, β =.322.

Regrssion analysis were also used to analyze the effect of factors on tourists’ motivation. The dependent variable, tourists’ overall motivation towards Golden Triangle, was measured on a 7-point Likert-type scale. The independent variables were Location and Lodging, Offering and Information, Unfamiliarity/Adventure, Familiarity /Relaxation/Trip Plan and General Tour Attraction. the results revel that the tourists had positive and high overall Motivation levels with the five dimensions. And the variation of tourists’ overall Motivation was explained by these five factors. In the results, the highest beta coefficient scores was Location and Lodging (β = 0.421, p = .000), followed by Offering and Information, (β = .331, p = .000) Unfamiliarity/Adventure, (β = .223, p = .001) and General Tour Attraction, (β = .161, p = .005). Only Familiarity /Relaxation/Trip Plan (β = .071, p = .301) showed insignificant role in determining tourists’ overall motivation. The results indicated that Location and Lodging (Factor 1), Offering and Information (Factor 2), Unfamiliarity/Adventure (Factor 3) and General Tour Attraction (Factor 5) would significantly impact tourists’ overall Motivation toward their visit to golden triangle in India.

According to the results of the study, the variables represented a judgment about demographic, cultural/heritage attributes and tourists’ motivation on the tourists’ overall satisfaction. Demographic characteristic (education level and total household income) would be a key indicator of tourists’ overall satisfaction. Cultural/heritage attributes and tourists’ motivation would be the predictors of overall satisfaction of tourists who visited Golden triangle in India.

6.3 Implications

The study also indicated that the correlation between overall satisfaction and Location and Lodging was higher than that between overall satisfaction and Offering/Information. It was also higher than the correlation between overall satisfaction and Familiarity/Relaxation/Trip Plan and General Tour Attraction. Based on the results of this study, several recommendations can be made to increase tourists’ satisfaction towards heritage tourism in golden triangle at India. The results of the study revealed that although four factors (Location/Lodging, Offering/Information, Familiarity/Relaxation/Trip Plan and General Tour Attraction) have a significant relationship with the tourists’ overall satisfaction, Location and lodging was a more important factor that influenced tourists’ overall satisfaction than other factors. This finding can be useful to the marketers of heritage tourism in developing strategies to enhance their competitiveness. They should focus more on maintaining or improving factors that contribute to tourists’ overall satisfaction. For example, Heritage tourism planner and marketers should provide quality lodging service with and should market the favorable attributes of the location. Other factors especially offering/information and unfamiliarity/adventure are also very important with regards to the nature of the study. . So heritage tourism marketer should plan specific offerings i.e. specific cultural or other events should be organized on a periodic basis and specific advertizing and tour packages should be provided.

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The study findings indicated that four factors Location and Lodging ,Offering and Information, Unfamiliarity/Adventure, and General Tour Attraction affect tourists’ motivation . This observation provides some insights on the importance of motivation factors and will be help for the Heritage tourism planners and promoters when proposing the marketing strategies to the potential and current tourists publicly. To gain more tourists’ motivation, marketing and management may require more attention on location /lodging , offerings and unfamiliarity/Adventures trips.

Thus, heritage tourism marketers should be aware of Unfamiliarity/Adventure such as a variety of activities, culture or ways of life, and cultural events in order to motivate tourists. It is suggested that the degree to which managers control the various types of motivation items will eventually influence tourists’ overall satisfaction and the development of successful programs, facilities, and management.

Because this study revealed that there were differences in the overall satisfaction of tourists in term of education levels, it is hoped that the results of the study will provide some insights that may help heritage tourism marketers in developing specific promotional strategies. The study revealed that most of tourists were from USA and England. 85% of respondents tended to be under 40 years old and 36.5 % of respondents were single. The study also revealed that tourists who earned bachelor’s degree and had total household income less than $19,999 had the most effect on overall satisfaction. Thus, these findings can be useful to heritage tourism planners to improve and create key attributes to attract target tourists. Also, heritage tourism planners may develop the special services and products such as promotional packages for target tourists in order to induce and maintain their interest in the destinations and attract potential tourists to heritage destinations.

This study hopefully will give Heritage tourism marketing managers a better picture of tourists’ satisfaction on both motivation and attribute issues and they should be given attention and consideration. Also, heritage tourism plan need to combine all kindsof factors to achieve tourist satisfaction. In order to create effective marketing strategies for products and services in the Heritage tourism industry a better understanding of tourists who visit heritage tourism destination is necessary.

6.4 Recommendation for Future Study

Although the study provided a general picture of the impact of tourists’ motivation and cultural/heritage attributes of heritage tourism on the tourists’ overall satisfaction and analyzed tourists’ level of satisfaction by demographics, the study did not mention the impact or the relationship between tourists’ overall satisfaction and intention to revisit a destination. Since the return visit to a destination is an important issue for tourism marketers, future research should investigate the impact and the relationship between tourists’ overall satisfaction and intention to revisit a destination. There is a need for further research to examine the impact on motivation and attribute on tourists’ overall satisfaction using a similar research method so that a competitive analysis in a different destination can be explored.

6.5 Limitations

The study had several limitations. First, the data of the study did not collect at different points in time (a longitudinal data), but it collected at one point in time (a cross sectional data). In other words, the results from this study were from a one-time measurement for data collection. Second, the motivation issues and the attributes chosen as independent variables could be a limitation because other motivation issues and other attributes, which were not used in this study, could affect tourists’ satisfaction. Next one is respondents perhaps provided similar answers between their motivation and their satisfaction because the study did not conduct pre- and post-evaluation. Finally, the research data were collected in few specific Locations - Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra ) which limited the generalization of the research findings.The limitation could suggest directions and guidelines for future study. The generalization issue could be better solved with further research in other settings that have different destination attributes and motivation perspectives.