Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Tourist Destination: Demand-Motivating Factors in Israel's Domestic Tourism

Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Tourist Destination: Demand-Motivating Factors in Israel's Domestic Tourism

Article excerpt

Introduction

Identifying the factors that bring tourists to a destination and examining the theoretical basis for their applicability is a major field of tourism research. The tourist destination as an attractive location for tourists to spend a limited amount of time (Pike, 2004) has been investigated extensively over the recent decades (Formica, 2000; Morrison, 2013; Ernst & Young, 2006). Among the research conducted so far, one can find research on the factors that affect the tourists' motivation to arrive at the specific tourist destination due to the perception of this particular destination as attractive. This topic's importance has prompted researchers to examine the effects on the tourist destination's demand and its success to attract tourists (Crouch & Ritchie, 1999). Moreover, it instigated research on the ways tourists perceive a destination (Ibrahim & Gill, 2005). The multitude of tourism destinations, both international and domestic, creates an intense marketing competition, thus generating the need to comprehend the factors that influence the customer's choice of destination. The way in which a perception regarding a destination is formed (Cai, 2002) characterizes the destination's competitive identity (Anholt, 2009) and conjures expectations (Herman, 2002) that affect the consumers (Kapferer, 2008) and evoke greater demand for the said destination. Literature emphasizes that the gap between consumers' expectations (potential customers) and the implementation in practice (actual customers) is problematic and should be minimized (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1985). The expectation from the destination to meet the expectations that entail certain factors is an important resource for the principle of anticipation, the manner in which one imagines the future, which affects both the performance (Coopperrider & Whinet, 2005) and the demand.

Thus, the potential customers are stimulated by expectations of certain factors that they wish to find at the target destination (Carvalho, 2011). It is important to know how the customer perceives the touristic product upon arrival in relation to their preconceptions of this destination (Tsang & Qu, 2000).

Several questions arise in view of the above:

A. What are the factors that influence and increase the demand for a destination?

B. Are certain factors more important than others?

C. Does each tourist destination have different attraction factors that increase the destination's demand?

D. How do potential customers, compared to actual customers, perceive these factors?

Browsing through professional literature on this subject, we have realized that there is a significant research gap regarding the possibility of presenting a fixed assortment of factors that affect the demand for domestic tourism in general and tourism in Israel in particular. An overview of the professional literature on the subject reveals eleven factors that influence tourism demand. These factors are: vacation experience, attractions, image, unique identity, the quality of the hotels, recreation and shopping venues, emotional identification, awareness, entertainment events, cost of arrival and stay, and finally, information materials. We also found no study that encompasses an examination of all eleven factors we identify as interrelated ones that should be viewed as part of the whole, as we do in the present study.

The assumption in this study is that in domestic tourism the destination is considered as attractive based on characteristics of the target destination that the tourist expects to achieve. Moreover, we argue that these desirable factors vary in their desirability and in their relative importance and weight with regards to the respective destinations. Some are essential for the desirability of any destination; other factors are considered indispensable for some destinations and not for others. …

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