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http://jtr.sagepub.com/ Are Tourists or Markets Destination Loyal?
Bob McKercher and Basak Denizci Guillet Journal of Travel Research 2011 50: 121 originally published online 19 March 2010 DOI: 10.1177/0047287510362779 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jtr.sagepub.com/content/50/2/121
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which in turn attaches possessive feelings toward that company. Yet a competing body of theoretical work supported by empirical evidence suggests otherwise. The findings have significant implications for destination marketing organizations and also raise questions about tourism loyalty research. the profiles of actual and intended visitors were virtually identical. suggesting some form of loyalty. discussed elsewhere in this article. School of Hotel and Tourism Management. Pearce and Lee 2005).Yet overall arrivals from mature markets are largely stable. As a result.nav DOI: 10. 1 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Moreover. repeat visitation Introduction Are individual international tourists destination loyal? A substantial body of destination loyalty literature has been developed based on the presumed validity of this proposition. The European Travel Commission (2006) has noted a sharp decline in both destination and product loyalty as the number of opportunities increases and travel costs fall.sagepub.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15.1177/0047287510362779 http://jtr. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. more so than individual tourists.The proposition of whether individuals or markets are loyal was tested by examining year-on-year visitation and repeat-visitation intentions of Hong Kong residents to 11 popular destinations. repeat purchasers who feel a sense of belonging to an organization and who are reluctant to change even in the presence of similar offerings from other firms (Henry 2000).hk Downloaded from jtr. Shoemaker and Lewis (1999) and Reichheld (2002) note the importance of attitudinal loyalty. and Song (2008) also remind us that tourists are now more activity and interest based than destination based. but overall market stability. The concept of a loyal consumer seems to be at odds with the belief that variety seeking is an underlying dimension of travel (Castro. some form of loyalty behavior must exist at a more macro level. This article examines the proposition that markets or market segments. with the exception of periodic shocks caused by externalities (UNWTO 2005. with the costs of retaining them substantially less than those associated with attracting new consumers (Haywood 1989.Are Tourists or Markets Destination Loyal? Bob McKercher1 and Basak Denizci Guillet1 Journal of Travel Research –132 50(2) 121 © 2011 SAGE Publications Reprints and permission: sagepub. The consumer behavior literature stresses the importance of building a loyal customer as the foundation of product or enterprise success. The unit of analysis is the country. Oppermann 2000). therefore. that markets are broadly loyal. Hung Hom. 2012 . They are also thought to be the most profitable user group. Chon. Kowloon. the continent. are loyal by examining the travel patterns of Hong Kong residents to 11 popular destinations. The study concludes. and Ruiz 2007. Such customers are unlikely to switch over small price or service differences and moreover will often display a level of empathy toward the firm and its employees not seen in other customers. By contrast.sagepub.edu. Rosenberg and Czepiel 1984.com Abstract This study asks whether individual tourists are destination loyal or whether markets can be considered as loyal? While loyalty research has focused on the individual. then. indicate that repeat visitors represent a minority of pleasure tourist arrivals from all but the most proximate of source markets. a strong body of evidence suggests that individual tourists revisit international destinations rarely. Hong Kong Corresponding Author: Bob McKercher. 2008). Hong Kong Email: hmbob@polyu. one would expect volatility in visitor numbers. the profiles of visitors to different destinations were substantially different.com/journalsPermissions. or in the case of Europe other than the United Kingdom. Armario. The belief exists that the loss of loyal consumers can threaten the very livelihood of an organization. If tourists are not loyal. where a strong emotional bond occurs between the customer and firm. The study identified low individual repeat visitation intention. It tests the proposition by comparing actual with intended visitors to the most popular destinations frequented by Hong Kong residents. Yet arrival figures from mature outbound markets to established destinations change little over time. Hung Hom. while arrival figures. heavy users who generate a reliable revenue stream. Kowloon. Pan. Loyalty Loyal customers are defined as frequent. for loyal customers provide a solid base of regular. Keywords destination loyalty.
The more loyal person has positive attitudes and high repeat propensity. gender. Destination studies conducted by Castro. with the unique nature of tourism challenging the validity of applying product theory to the destination. The use of “repeat visitor” as a proxy for a loyal consumer is even more challenging. 1995. and Ruiz (2007) and Chi and Qu (2008) had larger sample sizes but were limited to a single locale and a single point in time. value and image as well as satisfaction. Jang and Feng 2007. As Oppermann (1999) discusses. Lee. Backman and Crompton 1991. and Ruiz (2007) on visitation to a Spanish city. Skogland and Siguaw 2004) factors as playing a role. conceptualization and scale problems. Journal of Travel Research 50(2) distance. novelty seeking. and Madden 1993. in spite of the recognized unique features of tourism. Previous studies attempting to examine this phenomenon have faced significant sampling. Gounaris and Stathakopoulos 2004). Chi and Qu 2008. Allen. definitional. The degree of loyalty and the underlying likelihood of tourists ever becoming loyal are still being debated. Szivas. and Riley (2004) found much higher loyalty rates in their study of English tourists. in particular because of difficulties involved in disaggregating the loyal consumer from the consumer who engages in habitual buying patterns (Bowen and Shoemaker 2003. Yoon and Uysal 2005. Szivas. and selfdevelopment (Pearce and Lee 2005) may push some people to seek different destinations. Petrick 2004). Shoemaker and Bowen 2003).sagepub. A study conducted by Castro. and Ruiz 2007. intention to return. whereas it is lessened when returning to a known one. But an alternate argument suggests loyalty may be low. Chen and Gursoy 2001. therefore. while weakly loyal people may still be frequent purchasers. Loyalty can be measured using feelings and attitudes in the forms of preference. Both Niininen. with an international trip often being a once a year or less frequent activity. and Yarnal 2006) or demographic (Homburg and Giering 2001. 2000. Backman and Veldkamp. Skogland and Siguaw 2004).com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15. Pritchard and Howard 1997). They also encountered low response rates to postal surveys. Graefe. activity involvement.122 Loyalty is seen to exist along a continuum ranging from consumers who show no or low loyalty to the deeply loyal person. an elevated level of risk of a poor experience is associated with trying a new destination. Niininen. Mothersbaugh. limited travel barriers. Chen and Gursoy 2001. Operationalization of the loyalty construct has proven challenging. since these data can be gathered relatively easily in standard departing visitor surveys conducted by destination management organizations (DMOs). Pritchard and Howard 1997. Armario. with 59% visiting selected destinations three or more times in a 5-year period and 16% visiting each year. Kim and Crompton 2002. and risk perception and high switching costs as factors thought to influence loyalty directly or indirectly (Bowen and Shoemaker 2003. and travel behavior are believed to influence loyalty (Homburg and Giering 2001. age. and Beatty 2000). Henry (2000) argues that loyalty exists only when the customer stays with a company because the value provided by the company surpasses that of all other competitors. negative attitude toward the brand or positive attitude toward a competitor (Rowley and Dawes 2000). 2012 . revealed that 70% of respondents surveyed had medium to high need for variety in their tourist experiences. Chi and Qu 2008. which likely induced some element of response bias. As such. A lack of loyalty may be attributed to a lack of interest. Pritchard and Howard 1997. and Burns 2007. for example. Destination loyalty measures include willingness to recommend. Dick and Basu 1994. Yuksel and Yuksel 2007). and actual repeat visitation propensity (Castro. Yoon and Uysal 2005). Weakly loyal individuals may also be infrequent repeat purchasers. but are not as committed to the product. or behavior patterns such as actual repeat business and positive word of mouth (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978. Niininen. repeaters could include someone who returns to the same destination often in the same year or someone who Destination Loyalty and Tourism Most destination loyalty research is framed conceptually within the broader product and service loyalty literature (Oppermann 1998. with each having a combination of weak or strong attitudinal and behavioral measures (Day 1969. Huang and Chiu 2006. Risk aversion. Demographic variables such as education. with older customers and those who are less adventuresome presumed to have firmer destination loyalty than others. Tourism is something that must be purchased at a Downloaded from jtr. trust. Armario. and low opportunity costs may also push variety seeking. Andreassen and Lindestad (1998) note tourism is an infrequent purchase. Both measures are used in this study. Underlying travel motives of wanderlust (Crompton 1979). Szivas. motivation. and Riley 2004. quality. for the application of who constitutes a repeater is not time bound. Kerstetter. most destinations use either repeat visitation or repeat visitation intention to define loyal customers. Repeat purchase intention is one common metric used to measure loyalty (Machleit. Oppermann (2000) found that about 5% of his sample of New Zealanders who had visited Australia previously could be described as very loyal. having visited six or more times in the previous 10 years. without the opportunity to pretest before buying. Typically. may induce loyalty (Jones. liking. One argument holds that tourists may show a high propensity to be loyal. Henry 2000. trust. Others identified social (Morais. Choice. Proponents of this argument identify brand equity. making it difficult to determine loyalty with any great degree of accuracy. Armario. Kahn and Schmittlein 1992). Oppermann 2000. and Riley (2004) and Oppermann (2000) relied on a sample of fewer than 150 people.
and long-haul markets have never visited before. and if so. But is it valid? While destinations can clearly be branded and promoted as singular entities (Morgan. it may not be as relevant to tourists. Pritchard.” “skiing.” “golf. who were then contacted.” or “urban” styles of vacations can express that loyalty in any number of destinations around the world and at any number of firms operating within each style of destination. It has physical and administrative boundaries defining its management. they are discrete geographic spaces where an amalgam of products and experiences are concentrated. lies in the concept of “destination as product.” Two further related questions arise. motives and the demographic profile of the respondent. while those for Malta. can express that loyalty in dozens of resorts offering all styles of holiday experiences in more than 30 countries. the importance of engaging in pleasure travel every year and indicate their level of agreement about the importance of a series of motivational statements affecting their decision to travel. Others may be vacation-style “loyal. The survey has been operating since 2000 and to date. future travel intentions in the upcoming 12 months. including Downloaded from jtr. Perhaps the greatest conceptual challenge. on a 5-point Likert-type scale. Since 2004. and especially to international tourists. These observations suggest that while destination loyalty may be a critical concern for DMOs. An examination of departing visitor surveys conducted by many DMOs found that most do not set a time limit on when the person repeated (McKercher and Chan 2005). The unit of analysis is the country. Most pleasure visitors from the majority of source markets are first-time visitors. and the United Kingdom represent the former instance. While a minority of arrivals from proximate 123 markets are first-timers (China. The survey instrument was designed to gather information on pleasure travel in the preceding 12 months. Mattila 2001.” People who prefer “sea. they are not products per se. Mauritius. The figures for Hong Kong. and Pride 2002). though. In addition. Questions about recent pleasure travel activity were divided into two parts for surveys conducted between 2000 and 2003 and three parts for surveys conducted afterwards. the sample approximated the profile of the population. Table 1 highlights the share of first-time visitors to selected destinations where either the pleasure market has been disaggregated from the general tourist population or where the destination attracts primarily pleasure-oriented tourists. European countries to the United Kingdom). or in the case of Europe other than the United Kingdom. eight rounds have been conducted with more than 9. The UNWTO (2002) defines a local destination as “physical space that includes tourism products such as support services and attractions. beginning with the 2004 survey round. The United Kingdom (VisitBritain 2005). depending on budget availability.sagepub. Taiwan. Data were collected via telephone interviews. Skogland and Siguaw 2004). the empirical evidence supporting destination loyalty at an international scale is ambiguous at best. Finally. the continent (because of data aggregation needs to ensure suitable cell sizes for analysis). to identify the number of overnight trips taken. As such. 2012 . for example.” The assumption that destinations function as products lies at the core of applying generic product theory. sand and sun. Instead.450 residents interviewed. with collection contracted to one of two local universities that employ a computer-assisted survey team (CAST) system to select candidates. Australia in relation to New Zealand. Shoemaker and Lewis 1999. and images and perceptions defining its market competitiveness. Such a person may be firm loyal but not be destination loyal. This table suggests that destinations need to replenish between 67% and 90% of arrivals from medium. the majority of tourists from medium. travel to the China mainland and to other international destinations. New Zealand. this section was divided into two parts. including trips elsewhere in China. CAST uses a modified random-digit-dialing (mRDD) strategy to generate a sample list of prospective respondents.McKercher and Guillet visited once possibly many decades earlier. adopts a 10-year time horizon. with the proportion of first-time visitors increasing with distance. Method This study examines destination loyalty through a comparison of actual with intended visitors to 11 popular destinations frequented by Hong Kong residents. ranging from the firm to a destination (Barsky and Nash 2002. while Malta (Malta Tourism Authority 2006) asks if people had visited previously at any time and whether they visited in one of their two most recent holidays.to long-haul markets each year if they are to retain their existing volume of arrivals. this research suggests that tourism loyalty can exist on many levels and need not be spatially bound. All respondents were asked to indicate if they had traveled into the immediate hinterland areas of Macau and Guangdong Province in China. respondents were asked to rate. Interviews were conducted during the winter and involve a sample of between 750 and 2. and South Africa represent the latter cases.000 residents. The study relies on secondary data analysis of annual pleasure travel surveys conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management. The first is what exactly is the loyal tourist loyal to? The second is does an expression of loyalty need to be geographically bound? Loyalty has been examined at many scales. and Singapore in relation to Hong Kong. for example. and tourism resource. Respondents who traveled were asked to indicate the total number of overnight pleasure trips taken and then to provide details on their most recent trip. they were then asked about all other international travel. Collectively. Prior to 2004. Someone who is loyal to Club Med.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15.
length of stay. were then asked about the likelihood of taking an overnight pleasure trip in the upcoming 12 months. All respondents. of which 1. This metric is measured using a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from definitely will not travel to definitely will travel. This technique had been used previously with the Downloaded from jtr. Two cohorts of respondents are identified: actual visitors and intended visitors.9% of that cohort. The total sample therefore consists of 3. including China Holiday 68% 42% 68% Austria 75 44 81 83 Australia 59 26 53 76 Canada 62 64 47 China 36 85 62 40 79 43 91 72 France Germany 70 74 46 79 82 42 55 Hong Kong Italy 77 53 82 91 Japan 60 72 57 74 75 72 85 Korea Malaysia 51 37 Netherlands 76 28 83 New Zealand 69 50 Scandinavia (or Sweden) 71 30 82 87 Singapore 24 50 58 92 South Africa 67 36 60 Switzerland 66 29 79 71 Taiwan 38 49 69 Thailand 37 24 United Kingdom 74 59 46 84 United States 63 67 47 78 a 51 60 69 70 54 69 70 54 67 46 63 Hong Kong Tourism Board (2007). c VisitBritain (2005). very likely will.403 people who either did not travel or who restricted their travel to the China mainland or Macau. e Government of Mauritius (2005). d Malta Tourism Authority (2006). • 952 Actual Visitors who intended to travel to different destinations. and expenditure.389 discrete cases appeared in the Actual segment representing 54. respondents who offered the equivocal answer (4) were not included in this study.528 respondents who traveled internationally (outside of the China mainland and immediate hinterland areas) over the 8 years. 2012 . This sample consists of 2.sagepub.2% appeared uniquely in the Intended segment. Those who answer with a 4 or higher were asked to identify their likely future main destination city and country.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15. This figure compared poorly with the three-quarters or more of those who answered 5 to 7 (likely will. The Actual Visitor group includes 2. irrespective of whether they had traveled. The sample was derived by aggregating the eight survey rounds. independent). and • 1. Less than half who selected 4 (unsure) identified a future main destination. The Intended Visitor group includes those individuals who indicated a positive response (5 to 7) to the intent to travel question and who specified a main destination outside of the China mainland. The two groups of respondents were considered as discrete groups for analysis purposes. First-Time Visitors as a Share of Arrivals Journal of Travel Research 50(2) Hong Kong (vacation New Zealand United Kingdom overnight (Fully Independent (Holiday market 2004. Malta Mauritius Tourists)b excluding expatriates)c (all arrivals)d (all arrivals)e visitors)a South Africa (all arrivals)f All 45%.124 Table 1.139 appeared in both categories. but intended to travel internationally in the coming 12 months and named a destination outside of China. New Zealand Ministry for Tourism (2008). organization (package vs. and 1.403 cases or 55. Another 1.931 cases. and definitely will travel) who specified a destination.542 people composed of • 187 Actual Visitors who intended to return to the same destination the following year. b destination identity. f South African Tourism Strategic Research Unit (2007). As such.
545 (3) 536. visiting friends and relatives.724 4.985 (1) 571.094 (3) 468.950 (8) 178.075 (1) 465. the importance of travel.793 (9) 219.205 (1) 723.57).140 (2) 420.114 (10) 142.284 (4) 268. Saunders.106 (5) 253.232 (2) 414. The second and third sections analyze data collected from our own resident surveys. It is estimated that about 78% of outbound travel to destinations other than China and Macau is pleasure oriented (UNWTO 2006).002.660 (11) 155. travel experience. Results This section is divided into three parts.499 (6) 238. The first part determines whether Hong Kong residents can be considered as destination loyal in aggregate.039 (7) 201.266 (5) 200.540 (9) 172.106 (6) 172.159 (7) 192.787 5.876 (1) 615. Note: Popularity rank in parentheses.098 (1) 691. As discussed earlier.551 (6) 218.456 (4) 313. Household incomes dropped during periods of economic hardship and increased during periods of GDP growth.679 (8) 190.119 (9) 152. 2012 . with the proportion of pleasure tourists highest among short-haul destinations and relatively smaller in long-haul destinations.471 (11) 129. fitness. Data include all departures but exclude travel to the China Mainland. Validity refers to the degree to which the instrument can predict a criterion. Malaysia.526 (2) 538.113 4.208 (4) 367.663 (7) 219. Reliability and sensitivity criteria relate to the extent to which data can provide consistent results and subtle enough detail for the purpose of the research.495 (10) 129. Section 2 examines individual destination loyalty through an analysis of year-on-year repeat visitation intentions.688 (2) 525. While the data set used in this study satisfies these criteria. given that many people may only take one or two international trips a year.040 (5) 233.175 (7) 187. In particular. the sets were internally consistent.757 (8) 185.735 (9) 184. even though it registered the greatest volatility in share change.125 (1) 559.708 (5) 277.588 (8) 200. Consistency was measured by comparing annual data for each cohort using demographic variables. Thailand remains Hong Kong’s preferred destination of choice.289 4. Small but statistically significant differences were noted in age and income among people who intend to travel to Taiwan and Japan. The HKTB/Immigration Department ceased maintaining such records after 2005. regardless of trip purpose. Overall.283 (3) 484. the use of a 12-month repeat time frame is recognized as being short. same data set (McKercher 2008) and is considered valid.sagepub. providing the data are internally consistent.371 (7) 196.828 (6) 177.996 (11) 4.241 (10) 126.834 (7) 192. a.657.307 (3) 302.681 (11) 137.485 4.734 4.251 (10) 157. Lewis.287 (8) 205. Churchill 1995.117 (6) 217. and other travel purposes. but the income patterns were similar in all cases.183 (2) 460. based on an analysis of HKTB/ Immigration Department figures.380 (2) 578.893 Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board (2006). Fitness recognizes that data collected for one purpose may not be relevant. Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) data derived from Immigration Department departure statistics are used to provide broader background on tourist flows and context for this study. Korea.790 (11) 158. with only minor differences noted.709.003 (4) 278. Japan and Taiwan compete to be the second and third most popular destinations.909 (4) 314. In addition.028 (5) 220. Mean household incomes of actual visitors for six short-haul destinations of Japan.519 (4) 310. and Thornhill 2000).804 (2) 586.364 (6) 193. and so the figures include business. Departure statistics for the period 1999 to 2005 are included.728 (6) 215.427.174.335 (10) 149.192 (5) 339. and Taiwan differed somewhat.McKercher and Guillet Table 2.236 (7) 176.044 (5) 172.563 (10) 158. and validity criteria for the desired purpose (Pizam 1994.386 (8) 224. Thailand. Secondary data represent a valid data source for tourism research providing the survey instrument and resultant data satisfy reliability. Singapore.200 (3) 479.510 (3) 521.876 (1) 528. In addition.071 (3) 555. pleasure.668 (9) 205. All departures are recorded.117 (8) 199. when Hong Kong shifted to e-channels for resident departures.333 (4) 331.956. and responses to motivational questions. Section 3 examines segment or market loyalty by comparing actual and intended tourists to the 11 selected destinations and further conducting a between-destinations analysis of market profiles.791. or suitable for another purpose.115 (11) 150. p = .910 (9) 180. some limitations inherent with the use of this set must be recognized. Volume of Hong Kong Visitors to Main Destinations and Popularity Rank of These Destinations Thailand Japan Taiwan Singapore South Korea United Kingdom Malaysia United States Australia Canada Europe Total outbound travela 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 125 2005 485.247 (10) 215. the survey instrument adopts intention to return within 12 months as the single measure of loyalty. with Singapore consistently ranking fourth and South Korea generally coming in as the fifth most Downloaded from jtr.086 (9) 191.611. Over time.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15. repeat purchase intention is a valid measure of loyalty even though intentions do not always correspond directly to actions. sensitivity. the relative ranking of destinations visited by Hong Kong residents has changed little as shown in Table 2 (Kendal’s W test revealed c2 = 3.949 (11) 151. timely.
Overall only 7% of tourists intend to revisit the same place the following year. Journal of Travel Research 50(2) n 478 91 149 114 474 97 141 349 221 104 117 193 2528 Number Intending to Return the Next Year 71 11 16 9 37 7 8 15 7 2 2 2 187 % Intending to Return the Next Year 14. Replenishment can come from one of two sources: enticing new visitors or attracting previous but infrequent visitors to return. for similarly low numbers were reported here. the United Kingdom.2 5. the profiles of actual and intended visitors to each destination are virtually identical. and the United States registered the highest yearon-year loyalty rate. with Korea registering the lowest revisitation intention level of only 1%.2 1.9 7. (Kruskal-Wallis test revealed no significant differences in the proportion of respondents intending to return each year. the importance of travel.01 level were noted for ease of interpretation. The overall ranking of Australia. The city entered a period of strong economic recovery in 2004. Small changes in visitation numbers suggest Downloaded from jtr. resulting in a jump in outbound travel.3 3. This proposition is tested by comparing actual and intended visitors within each destination through a chi-square analysis of most demographic variables. while the household size of intended Taiwanese visitors was larger than that of actual visitors. But in each case. Stated another way. 2000 to 2008 (Intention to Revisit in the Upcoming 12 Months) Japan United Kingdom United States Europe Thailand Canada Australia Taiwan Other (non-China) Singapore Malaysia Korea Total Source: PolyU Resident surveys. Malaysia. For example.4 popular destination. The ratio of intended to actual visitors was also calculated for each destination.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15.9 1. Destination Loyalty. As can be seen from Table 4. between 85% and 90% of them did not intend to return. departures to the United States still have not recovered from 9/11. and perceived travel experience and a t-test analysis of six commonly identified motives and household size. If similar. Research on inbound tourism for Malta (Malta Tourism Authority 2006) suggests that Hong Kong is not an isolated case.7 7. with almost none of the visitors to Korea.126 Table 3. The third part of the analysis section examines if the pool of actual and potential visitors is similar. departures grew sharply between 1999 and 2000 and then remained largely stable before declining substantially in 2003 because of the combined impact of SARS and a deep economic recession. the intended visitor had less travel experience and was somewhat younger than the actual visitor.8 7.0. overall visitor volume is stable.sagepub. suggesting each destination does draw replacement visitors from a similar psychodemographic pool of residents.7 4. which stabilized in the 2005. while the decline in arrivals to Thailand in 2005 can be attributed to a post-tsunami effect. This table presents summary statistics of the number and share of visitors who intend to return to the same destination within 12 months of their last visit.0. Destinations succeed.7 1. But the stability in visitor numbers cannot be attributed to high year-on-year repeat loyalty intentions on behalf of individual consumers. the household income of people who intended to visit Japan was lower than that of actual visitors. for as discussed earlier. Volatility in departures can be attributed largely to externalities related to the Hong Kong economy and various crises that have affected the region.) Japan. where in each case. The United Kingdom seems to be gaining in popularity as the post-handover backlash is receding. Canada.1 10. Low return intention levels mean that destinations must replace virtually their entire stock of visitors each year.9 12. while other short-haul destinations and the United Kingdom had scores of less than 1. 2012 . which highlights those cases where statically significant differences at the . or Singapore intending to return. Overall. Results are presented in an aggregate form because of the small cell sizes year on year. as shown in Table 3. though.0 7. and Europe has changed little as well. Only minor differences were noted in short-haul markets relating to travel experience and age. Most other destinations recorded revisit intention rates of between 4% and 8%. Long-haul destinations and Japan recorded intention/visitation ratios of greater than 1. then one could argue that markets might demonstrate a level of destination loyalty not witnessed by individual tourists. only 10% to 15% of existing visitors intended to revisit the following year. while Malaysia’s popularity has changed somewhat. In addition.
Blank cells indicate no significant differences between actual and intended visitors to the destination. *p = .73 0.81 * 0.70 0.86 * * * 0.18 1.11 0.06 1. 127 .96 * * Table 4.44 * * 0. Motive 166 103 199 687 82 76 156 301 364 165 87 1.75 1. Comparing Actual with Intended Visitors Market Actual Intended Number Number Ratio Family Meet Level of of Visitors of Visitors Intended Importance and Different Increase Travel Household Household (n = 2528) (n = 2542) to Actual of Travel Friends People Relax Escape Discovery Knowledge Experience Gender Age Education Size Income Downloaded from jtr. Note: Intention 5 or above = likely to definitely will travel.01.80 1. 2012 Australia Canada Europe Japan Malaysia Singapore South Korea Taiwan Thailand United States United Kingdom 141 97 114 478 117 104 193 349 474 149 91 Source: PolyU Resident surveys.sagepub.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15.
5. 9. 12. Relatively fewer differences were noted by other motives (between 2 and 12 cases depending on the variable). 13 3. 7 1. 11 11 1. 3 = motive: rest and relax. 4 Europe 2. 6. suggesting that outbound markets in totality are loyal. 9. 5. Australia and Singapore. and overall importance of travel (13 cases). 12. 10. 10 4. 9. 9. 10. 7. and the United States and Singapore. and importance of travel. gender (14 cases). 12 South Korea 6. 12. 11. collectively. 10. Significance levels of 0. 4. 10. 8 = importance of travel. 6. 7.05 are represented in the table. and to a lesser degree importance of travel and travel motives in virtually every destination– destination pair. 7. 9. 12. Discussion This study tested the proposition that individual international tourists from Hong Kong may not demonstrate a high degree of destination loyalty but that the Hong Kong market. 8. 11 1. 12 3. 7. 13 Journal of Travel Research 50(2) Australia 1. 13 4. 4. 10 1. 10. 10. 13 5. 10 9. household income (25 cases). 10 4 Taiwan 2. 11 9. 10. 9. 9 = age. 9. 6. average household size (16 cases). 4 = motive: get away from daily routine/role obligations/stress/troubles. 13 2. Instead. 2. 12 5. 9. 13 = household size. 9. 13 10 3. 13 4. 5. 10 4. Different destination cohorts were compared using one-way ANOVAs. 7 = level of travel experience. 4. the motive of escape (16 cases). 12 = household income. 10. 12. 7. For ease of presentation. 10. 6. 11. 11. 12 5. 12. 10. 10. because of their similar characteristics. 2012 . 12 7. Actual and intended visitors have been collapsed into one destination cohort for this analysis. level of travel experience. 7. friends or relatives. 10. Strong within-destination-market profile congruity contrasts sharply with the equally large between-destination differences noted (Table 5). 9. 12. 9. 13 4.10. 10. 9. 9. 9. For example.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15. 13 5. 8. 9. 13 8. 10. 12 9 Malaysia 1. 7.12 2. 12 1 8 Source: PolyU Resident surveys. The study confirmed this proposition by demonstrating consistency in the popularity ranking of destinations over time. 12 United Kingdom 7. that destinations scoring greater than 1.128 Table 5. where desire does not necessarily translate into visitation. 9. is loyal. they may be traded off for visits to places that scored lower on the intention/visit scale. 9. 7.0 may be aspirational in nature. 13 Canada 3. 10. 12. 5. 10. 12 7. 12. 9. 9. 13 4 3. 11. 6. 10. though individual tourists may not display the Downloaded from jtr. 9. age (33 cases). and likewise until all destination pairs were analyzed. 7. 9 . 13 United States 4. 6. 13 1. 10. 13 4. However. 8. 6 = motive: increase my knowledge. 7. travel experience. 10. and a post hoc Scheffe test was used to identify whether significant differences at the 0. 10 9 Singapore 2. 8. 10. The only destination pairs that showed no differences were Australia and Malaysia. 5. 8.sagepub. 9. 10. 9. Note: 1 = motive: spend time with family. The greatest number of differences by variable were with education level (36 of 55 destination pairs). 9. 6. 12 1. while escape was a common motivation variable separating the United States from other destinations. 10. 11. 7. Discovery and self-development discriminated between Europe and other destinations. 9. 12 10. 7. 12 1. 8. 9 7. 5 = motive: discover new places and/or things. 8. 4. 11. 7. 2 = motive: meet different people. 4. level of travel experience (21 cases). 9. 7. Differences between Target Destinations Market Japan Thailand South Korea Malaysia Singapore Taiwan United States Canada Australia United Kingdom Thailand 5. 12. Blank cells indicate no significant differences between destinations on selected variables. 12. 10. 12. 9 . 5. 8. 11. 8. even though low year-on-year repeat visitation intention was noted. 11. the profile of actual and intended visitors to each place was similar. Substantial differences emerge in the demographic profile. 6. 10. 13 8.05 significance level existed between destination pairs in terms of six triprelated motive variables. 11. 7. 10. 5. 9. 9. 7. 6. variables have been coded and only those cases where significant differences were noted have been included. 11 4. 11. 10 = education level. 10 10. 12. 8. the cohort of actual and intended visitors to Japan was compared with the cohort of actual and intended visitors to all other destinations. 11 = gender.
Significantly. single-purpose trips and show a strong preference for package tour travel. multidestination trips and sought to have multiple trip purposes satisfied. This task is too large for any single enterprise Downloaded from jtr. and f. Those who restrict their travel to the destinations prior to the ETEZ tend to travel more for recreational. and also enjoy an exponentially larger array of destinations to satisfy their wanderlust. the need for strong and financially well supported DMOs is reinforced. but it suggests that members of individual segments may “cycle” through destinations. for they must compete against a much larger potential choice set of destinations. single-destination.McKercher and Guillet same level of loyalty. the composite profile of the market for each destination will be different. by extension. Yeoman and Lederer (2005) further discuss the aspirational nature of much long-haul travel and how it is viewed as a rare. The data set did not permit more detailed segment analysis. escapist. b. and Marsinko 1995) that suggests some people do change destinations. then the challenge arises to shorten the cycle as much as possible to maximize repeat visitation. often once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. DMO marketing initiatives therefore must reinforce their brands and maintain visibility in a cluttered marketplace to entice the lapsed consumers and those who are unlikely to return to revisit.com at Alexandru Ioan Cuza on March 15. Tourists who transcend this zone and engage tend to travel more to have exploration. And so. Hwang and Fesenmaier (2003). is more common and 129 the motives are more escapist or recreation-oriented. and Australia. These findings have a number of implications for tourism marketing practice and raise a number of questions worthy of further research. Their desire to seek familiarly and to travel for reset and relaxation. and f.sagepub. one segment may visit Destination A one year. as well as psychological reasons relating to the ability and/or willingness to enter a culturally strange landscape. First. and Destination C on their subsequent trip before returning to Destination A. they must also attract a continuous supply of first-time visitors. Conative loyalty reflects a deeper level of commitment by the customer based on the development of behavioral intentions. say. More research on this proposition is required. 2012 . as mentioned above. Barrett. Cognitive loyalty relates to the belief that one brand is preferable over others while affective loyalty refers to positive attitudes or liking based on satisfied consumption. and Tideswell and Faulkner (1999) noted further substantial differences in both travel patterns and tourist behavior between long-haul tourists and short-haul tourists. Long-haul tourists tend to engage in longer-duration. for destinations must virtually replenish their entire pleasure visitor population each year. d. and Destination C may attract visitors from segments c. Data shown in Table 1 suggest such a set is more likely to occur among proximate. it creates more opportunities to visit more places. which reflects transfer of behavioral intentions to action and motivation to overcome barriers related to that action. e. one segment may show a preference for. to replace those who will only ever visit once. explaining why arrivals from any segment may be relatively stable over time. This collective body of research suggests that long-haul tourists are more likely than short-haul tourists to be variety seekers. Affective and conative loyalty may exist in tourism but do not necessarily translate to action loyalty. It appears that many tourists will never cross this threshold for a variety of pragmatic reasons. rather than among long-haul destinations. b. while distance does not define loyalty explicitly. It is also equally recognized that discrete segments may find competing destinations appealing. e. coupled with a smaller destination choice set. and other deeper personal benefits met. Destination B on their next trip. knowledge building. Greer and Wall (1978) illustrated that the number of destination opportunities increases exponentially with distance. shorthaul destinations. conative and action. affective. explaining low repeat visitation levels. Conversely. representing more than 80% of all arrivals in many instances. The obverse applies to short-haul tourists. Data limitations necessitated the analysis of aggregate market profiles. while another may show a preference for Japan. In doing so. destinations replenish their stocks of visitors from intended visitors who share similar psychodemographic profiles to actual visitors. cognitive. If so. The authors recognize that markets are not homogenous. and hedonic reasons. Thus. a destination may be part of a loyal destination set that may be visited from time to time. Alternatively. In addition. Japan. c. Destination A may draw visitors from segments a. For example. Instead they are composed of a series of segments. The final stage is action loyalty. Moreover. the observed decline in repeat visitation propensity and intention with distance is explained partially as a function of distance decay. McKercher and Lew (2003) identified a threshold region between short-haul and long-haul travel where little tourism activity occurs. Thus. This Effective Tourist Exclusion Zone (ETEZ) represents a psychological as well as a physical transition area. Thailand. it makes the jobs of DMOs targeting long-haul tourists all that more important. For example. McKercher and Lew (2003). Destination B may draw visitors from segment a. Effective marketing to position destinations uniquely and eliminate the perception that other destinations may represent acceptable substitute brands can help achieve this goal. short-haul tourists tend to take shorter-duration. Short-haul travel. Singapore. including time availability and cost of travel. The idea of cycling has been inferred indirectly by studies of destinationswitching behavior (Uysal. or risk entering into rapid decline. and Taiwan. and d. Oliver (1999) discusses loyalty as existing in four stages. are less intimidated by cultural distance. But because the range of segments attracted to destinations differs from destination to destination. may explain higher repeat visitation/intention levels observed.
2012 . which may be overly liberal. Crompton (1991). and L.. Nash (2002). Instead it suggests that the unique nature of tourism may require a rethinking of the applicability of standard product and service loyalty theory to the tourism context. and S.. S.” Annals of Tourism Research. The findings suggest that deeper research is needed into the phenomenon of loyalty in international tourism. It also raised. low short-term repeat intention may act as a barometer of destination health and likely wordof-mouth impact. M.” Journal of Advertising Research. 9 (1): 7-23.” Leisure Sciences. Barsky. G. Tourist Satisfaction and Destination Loyalty: An Integrated Approach. This study suggests that research into loyalty needs to extend beyond the individual to the group or market segment. Wall (1979). and G. the intriguing prospect of a loyalty hierarchy. 6 (4): 408-24. “Examination of the Relationship between Service Quality and User Loyalty. 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