The tourism industry has utilised the concept of push and pull factors as it can ultimately attract and motivate tourists to travel to various destinations. Push factors are the environment of particular destinations that satisfy travellers’ needs or wants by internal forces or intrinsic motivators (Kim and Lee, 2002; Uysal and Jurowski, 1994). Whilst with the pull factors, it explores why people want to travel away from base. As the population in Japan increases, host markets begin to targeting the Japanese since the Japanese are travelling to overseas more frequently than previous years (Sirakaya, Uysal and Yoshioka, 2003; Cha, Mccleary and Uysal, 1995). This essay will examine the concept of push and pull factors as well as how this concept has driven the Japanese to travel to particular destinations. Additionally, this essay will analyse the Japanese travelling behaviours which includes: the destinations of choice, preferred activities, service expectations and travel preferences. Furthermore, it will exemplify the implications that hosts should consider when dealing with Japanese tourists.
The tourism industry has employed the concept of pull and push factors to drive the Japanese to particular destinations. Various host markets can motivate the Japanese to travel to particular destinations by understanding the Japanese culture’s travelling habits and destination selections (Sangpikul, 2007 cited in Jang and Wu, 2006). The force of motivation can push and pull the Japanese to travel to particular destinations in order to satisfy needs and wants. Additionally, different age and education variables can precipitate the push and pull factors to drive the Japanese to travel. Therefore, understanding the Japanese destination attributes and motives to travel to various destinations are the concept of push and pull factors.
Push factors are the environment of particular destinations that satisfy travellers’ needs or wants by internal forces or intrinsic motivators (Kim et al, 2002; Uysal et al, 1994). In other words, the push factor explores why people travel away from home environment. These are some of the push factors that can drive particular cultures to particular countries which are “love of nature, enhancement of kinship, experiencing culture, living the resort lifestyle, escape, relax, adventure, family, sports, education in archaeology/history, living the extravagant lifestyle and travel bragging” (Sirakaya et al, 2003, p.297). Countries have employed some of these push factors to motivate various cultures to travel to particular countries. This is because different cultures will behave in different ways and thus tourists’ push factors will be different (Uysal et al, 1994).
Pull factors are external forces which are associated with the destination attributes such as the natural and theme parks attraction (Kim et al, 2002; Uysal et al, 1994). This factor provides reasons for tourists to tour to particular destinations. Different cultures perceive different expectations of destination attributes. This is because some cultures value more on popular images, the cost of airfare and safety whilst other cultures value more on the quality of the accommodation, unpolluted environment, clean facilities, rest and relaxation (Reisinger and Turner, 2000). Pull factors can be affected by tourism facilitators which include: disposable income, discretionary leisure time and basic tourism facilities and services, political stability and peace, accepted means of currency exchange and free access to travel documents (French, Craig-Smith and Collier, 2000). Tourists will not travel to any countries that do not obtain these tourism facilitators because tourists will not be able to engage in activities.
Statistic shows that over 75% of Japanese have travelled to United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore, France, Britain, Thailand and the Philippines (French et al, 2000). The push and pull factors would have affected the decision of the Japanese to travel to these countries. This is because these countries would have used promotional activities such as television advertisement or glossy brochures to attract the Japanese to travel to particular destinations (Sirakaya et al, 2003). The purpose of a promotion is to promote information about the major attractions of a country which might appeal to the Japanese to travel, and thus influencing the Japanese decision-making process (French et al, 2000). Countries have utilised the promotional technique as the Japanese relied heavily on print media, visitor guides, brochures and magazines when deciding the vacation destinations (Reisinger et al, 2002 cited in Mihalik, Uysal, and Pan 1995; Iwashita, 2006). Thus, the promotional technique is the major pull factor to drive the Japanese to particular destination. Furthermore, the tourism industry must understand Japanese tourists travel away from home environment because the Japanese want to experience a different level of importance. Sirakaya, Uysal and Yoshioka have studied the push factors that have driven the Japanese to travel. The results showed that Japanese travellers travel to different destinations because the Japanese value knowledge and adventure when travelling (Cha and et al, 1995).
The concept of push and pull factors have driven over 75% of Japanese tourists to travel to Thailand (French et al, 2000). The cultural and historical attractions are Thailand’s major push factors for Japanese tourists. Thailand understands the reason why Japanese tourists travel is because the Japanese are seeking to experience different cultures. This is the reason why Thailand’s tour programmes may also provide Japanese tourists with the opportunities to learn and experience Thailand’s culture (Sangpikul, 2007). The pull factors that drive Japanese tourists to Thailand are because of the Thai hospitality and locals’ way of life. This would allow the Japanese to engage in activities. Therefore, it is evident that Thailand has attracted Japanese tourists by employing the concept of push and pull factors.
Australia tourism operators have utilised the concept of push and pull factors to drive a majority of Japanese tourists to tour to Australia. A majority of the Japanese are willing to travel for more than 2,000 kilometres to Australia because Australia tourism operators have corresponded to the Japanese motives when travelling, which are exotic environment and opportunity to experience different cultures. The major push and pull factors that Australia Tourism operators have utilised to attract Japanese tourists are the package tour. The package tour may include natural, cultural and popular tourist attractions. The popular tourist attractions are the major pull factors for the Japanese which can be the Rock area of Sydney, Parliament House in Canberra and theme parks. Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Central Australia, the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast and the rainforests of Tasmania are some of the natural attractions that Australia has utilise the concept of pull factors to attract the Japanese. The major push factors to drive the Japanese to travel to Australia are the cultural tourism which can include the Aboriginal cultural dances. This is because the Japanese travel to experience different cultures (French et al, 2000) Therefore, these are the push and pull factors that have attracted Japanese tourists to travel to Australia for more than 2,000 kilometres.
The Japanese has been pushed to travel to the UK because the Japanese would like to experience different cultures, new or unusual experience and refresh or escape from a typical Japanese daily life when taking a holiday in a foreign country. The countryside, history, culture and tradition are the positive image that the Japanese perceive about the UK (Gilbert and Terrata, 2001). These positive images are the pull factors that have affected the decision of Japanese tourists to travel or visit to the UK. The UK’s attributes correlates with the Japanese preferences which are novelty, traditional culture and nature. However, there are some negative aspects that the Japanese perceive when travelling to the UK, which are the cost, distance and climate. Distance can affect the Japanese decision making because a majority of visitors are not willing to travel to any destinations that is located more than 2,000 kilometres from a visitor’s home environment unless there is a greater push factor to push tourists (McKercher, Chan and Lam, 2008). Therefore, the positive image has outweighed the negative aspect of UK, thus this is why over 75% of Japanese have travelled to the UK.
Japanese travelling behaviours differs between generations. Younger generation are slightly keener than the older generation when travelling abroad. This is because different generations have different perception or preference when travelling. The difference between younger generation and older generation travelling behaviour is that younger generation prefer to pursue individualism. On the other hand, older generation have a desire to travel to famous and popular places. Also, older generations are less likely to covet designer products during their overseas excursions. Both generations considers the most important when travelling is photography and socialising.
Japanese are comfortable in joining a package tour, especially older generation (Litvin, Crotts and Hefner, 2004). This is because older Japanese tourists find it difficult to speak in foreign language. Also, joining a package tour will provide assistance with foreign language which is one of the many Japanese expectations of destination attributes. The host communication skills are important as it will allow the Japanese feel safer when the host is confident. Therefore, the Japanese prefer to travel in groups. (Pizam and Sussmann, 1995)
In general, Japanese tourists are seeking to realise monetary savings when purchasing luxury products (Rosenbaum and Spears, 2006). Additionally, the Japanese considers the pricing when purchasing gifts for family and friends. The shop assistants’ attitudes are not important to Japanese as the Japanese would like to feel comfortable and have a sense of togetherness. However, presentations as well as quality, quick and attentive service are import to the Japanese. This is because the Japanese have adapted to this culture in Japan. Additionally, the Japanese value fine restaurants which thus make it the major influence on Japanese tourists’ destination choices.
The implications that hosts should consider when dealing with Japanese tourists are the constraint factors for Japanese travellers. The constraint factors include time, money, personal security and communication (Gilbert et al, 2001). Time and money restricts some Japanese from going overseas as it could possibly be because the Japanese have to take care of a family member. Also, money is the major problem for young people in Japan. Many Japanese are concern about their personal security when comes to travelling and participating in activities in particular destinations (Reisinger et al, 2000). Communication is a common problem for the Japanese, especially for older people. If host countries were to give gifts to Japanese tourists during arrival and departure, then gifts must be wrapped as the Japanese value external presentation. Gift is tangible way of saying thanks in Japan. Furthermore, the host must understand that Japanese are addressed by second names, titles or occupation in Japan. Addressing the Japanese using first name would be regarded as rude except for family members and childhood friends. In addition, many Japanese are not use to consuming foreign food because of the Japanese cultural behaviour (Gilbert et al, 2001).
In conclusion, countries have employed the concept of push and pull factors as it will allow the country to understand what motivates the Japanese to travel to particular destinations. Japanese tourists must have the time and money to travel to other countries. Japanese travellers travel to various destinations because the Japanese value knowledge and adventure when travelling (Cha et al, 1995). United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore, France, Britain, Thailand and the Philippines are the Japanese travelling preferences. Younger generation are slightly keener than the older generation when travelling abroad. Japanese are comfortable in joining package tours, especially older generation (Pizam et al, 1995). The implications that hosts should consider when dealing with Japanese tourists are the constraint factors for Japanese travellers. The constraint factors include time, personal security, communication and money (Gilbert et al, 2001). Furthermore, many Japanese are not use to consuming foreign food because of the Japanese cultural behaviour (Gilbert et al, 2001).
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