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Hospitality & Tourism Management

Consumer Experience And Destination Loyalty In Tourist Site

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 ABSTRACT

This study explores the relationship between consumer experience, satisfaction and destination loyalty intention in tourist sites. The research was conducted with 486 tourists visiting Oguta crystal lake, a South eastern tourist destination. Taking as the basis the use of structural equation modelling (SEM), the results substantiate the importance of tourism satisfaction as a determinant of destination loyalty. Also, a categorical principal components analysis (CATPCA) provides a detailed analysis of this cause-effect relationship by establishing that greater levels of satisfaction (measured by overall satisfaction in terms of holiday experience, destination attributes and met expectations) result in increased likelihood of future repeat visits and a keen willingness to recommend the destination to others. Clusters of tourists were also identified and characterized in relation to satisfaction levels and loyalty intentions. These analyses provide a useful background in the planning of future tourist marketing strategies.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0 Background of the Study

Oliver (2009, p. 34) has defined loyalty as a deeply-held predisposition to repatronize a preferred brand or service consistently in the future, thereby causing repetitive same brand purchasing, despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior.‟ When a customer is loyal, he or she continues to buy the same brand, tends to buy more and is willing to recommend the brand to others (Hepworth and Mateus, 2004).

Loyalty has been measured in the following ways: (1) the behavioral approach, (2) the attitudinal approach, and (3) the composite approach (Jacoby and Chestnut, 2008). The behavioral perspective defines loyalty as actual consumption, as a sequence of purchase (Brown, 1952), as proportion of market share (Cunningham, 2006), as probability of purchase (Frank, 1962), as duration, as frequency and as intensity. This behavioral approach was viewed as producing only static outcome of a dynamic process (Dick and Basu, 1994). In contrast, the attitudinal approach goes beyond overt behavior and expresses loyalty in terms of consumers‟ strength of affection toward a brand (Backman and Crompton, 2001). Finally, composite measures of loyalty integrate both behavioral and attitudinal dimensions. Day (1969) argues that to be truly loyal, a consumer must both purchase the brand as well as have a positive attitude toward it. This composite approach has been used a number of times in leisure settings. While this composite measurement seems to be the most comprehensive, it is not necessarily the most practical. It has serious inherent limitations, simply because of the weighting applied to both behavioral and attitudinal components.

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In this study, loyalty is defined as tourists‟ intention to revisit and their recommendations to others (Oppermann, 2000; Yoon and Uysal, 2005). This loyalty refers to committed behavior that is manifested by propensity to participate in a particular recreation service (Backman and Crompton, 1991a). This definition is supported by Jones and Sasser (1995) who argued that intent to repurchase is a very strong indicator of future behavior. Apart from using intent to revisit, many tourism researchers have used tourists‟ recommendation to others as a measure of attitudinal loyalty (Chen and Gursoy, 2001; Oppermann, 2000). This research focuses on attitudinal loyalty because the purchase of a tourism product is a rare purchase (Oppermann, 1999). It does not occur on a continuous basis but rather infrequently (Jago and Shaw, 1998). It can also be covert behavior as reflected in intention to revisit in the future (Jones and Sasser, 1995).

Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer’s attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase and use of a service. It is measured by the individual’s experience during all points of contact against the individual’s expectations. Thompson, Ed and Kolsky, Estaban (2004), Gartner asserts the importance of managing the customer’s experience.

Verhoef, Peter C (2009) said that customer experience implies customer involvement at different levels – such as rational, emotional, sensorial, physical, and spiritual. Customers respond diversely to direct and indirect contact with a company.

In the consumer marketing community, customer loyalty has long been regarded as important goal (Reicheld and Schefter, 2000). Customer loyalty is critical for business to gain competitive advantage. Firstly, it is much less expensive to retain current visitors than it is to seek new ones (Reicheld and Sasser, 2000). Further, loyal customers are more likely to create a positive word-of-mouth advertising at no extra cost to the service provider (Shoemaker and Lewis, 2009). Thirdly, it secures the relationship between customer and service provider, when the customer is faced with increasingly attractive competitive offers. Finally, loyal customers are more easily accessible than first-timers since organizations usually retain records, making targeted indirect marketing more feasible. This knowledge permits suppliers to precisely target the repeat segment and solicit direct responses to promotions (Reid and Reid, 1993).

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1.2     Statement of Research Problem

In today’s dynamic and competitive global environment, planning and developing tourism attractions is only half the battle faced by destination managers considering the fact that so many destinations globally offer similar attractions, services and experiences. Destination managers also have to plan and strategize the marketing aspect of destination management. A well planned and developed tourism product and/or destination will be useless unless it attracts and retains its target market. Therefore, it is vital for managers to understand what makes customers loyal to a destination and what their expectations are so that destinations can modify their offerings, service delivery and communication strategies to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

  1. Consumer’s expectations and quality of service are not meet with.
  2. The cost of service and the quality of service are not relative to each other.
  3. Consumers complain that they are not welcomed as a result of lack of communication between service providers and consumers.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

As previously mentioned, both marketing scholars and practitioners need to identify and assess the relative impact of competitiveness factors and destination equity on the loyalty of tourists. In doing so, the destination marketers can properly develop strategy and manage resources efficiently. Therefore, the objectives of this research are three fold;

  1. To assess the relative impact of destination equity on the loyalty of tourists and
  2.  To differentiate those results between the domestic tourists and the international tourists.
  3. To evaluate consumers experience and irrigate tourist site.
  4. To express the degree of relationship between the two variables, (consumers experience and destination loyalty).
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1.4     Scope of the Study

Regression and correlation are common methods of analyzing data to provide useful information in making decision. The project covers a period of 10 years (2005-2015) thus predictions shall be made on the bases of the accuracy of the analyzed data.

There are many numerical variables to be considered in in this research work such as the income and expenditure of Rivers State on tourist destination (tourist center) on which this project work is based.

 1.5     Research Hypothesis

Hypotheses are some finding which are yet to be proved. In statistics, when data are collected the purpose is to find a reasonable criterion for deciding on a proper line of action, whether the assumption is to be accepted or rejected.

Hypothesis

H0.There is no linear regression between consumers experience and destination loyalty.

H1.There is linear regression between consumers experience and destination loyalty.

1.6     Limitation of study

During the course of performing/researching this project work, the researcher encountered a lot of challenges as well as opposition which ranges from financial constraints, time factor. This factors in their own ways, slowed down the speedy progress of this work that resulted to the researcher not being able to finish the research work on time as is required

Also,  within the area of study the researcher was faced with some other forms of constrains that contributed to the limitation of this researcher work, like accessibility to data, information and facts concerning the present study due to some reasons or the other, some not willing to give out information that it is to be within the workers.


Pages:  35

Category: Seminar

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo                                     

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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