Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

How Promotional Activities and Evaluative Factors Affect Destination Loyalty: Evidence from International Tourists of Vietnam

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

How Promotional Activities and Evaluative Factors Affect Destination Loyalty: Evidence from International Tourists of Vietnam

Article excerpt

Abstract

Tourists' expectations regarding a given destination are affected to a certain extent by the destination's promotional activities. Although tourism destinations have promotional strategies that are put into effect with the goal of increasing the number of visitors, destination promotional failures are inevitable in the tourism industry. Many of the marketing planners in Vietnam tend to encounter difficulties when deciding which promotion tools to employ because they fail to understand tourists' consumer behaviors. The main purpose of this study is to explore how promotional activities and evaluative factors affect destination loyalty within the tourism industry. This study proposes a structural model of the relationships among promotional activities (PAs), tourist expectations (TEs), tourist satisfaction (TS) and destination loyalty (DL). Randomly selected respondents from the population of international tourists departing from Vietnamese international airports were selected to participate in the questionnaire study. Initially, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to test the validity of the constructs, and the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), using AMOS, was used to test the significance of the proposed hypothesis model. The results show that the relationships among PA, TE,TS and DL appear significant. The results also indicate that, beside their high expectations regarding a given destination's features, international tourists seem to be dissatisfied with the services that they received when visiting Vietnam. This dissatisfaction leads to a low level of tourists' intentions to return to Vietnam. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings from the study for tourism marketers.

Keywords: tourism promotional, tourist expectation, tourist satisfaction, destination loyalty

1. Introduction

Reilly (1990) indicates that tourists eventually choose their travel destinations based on images of their destinations. Pearce (1989) conceptualizes a destination as an amalgam of products and services available in one location that can draw visitors from beyond its spatial confines. Other researchers (Murphy, Pritchard and Smith, 2000) have also viewed a destination as an amalgam of individual products and opportunities for experiences that combine to form a total experience of the area visited. Hu and Ritchie (1993, p 26) define a tourism destination as "a package of tourism facilities and services, which like any other consumer product, is composed of a number of multi-dimensional attributes." In defining the nature of the tourism product, several other researchers have incorporated a supply-side and a demand-side approach that describes how multiple components of the destination interact with travelers during their trip (Gunn, 1997; Inkeeps, 1991; Lew, 1987). Molina et al (2010, p. 722) indicate that "understanding how customers acquire information is important for marketing management decisions." A promotional activity is a business activity that communicates a company's interests and embodies a transmission-reception of a variety of types of information between internal business processes and external business relationships. Modern companies have complex communication systems, which operate in various manners and through various feedback mechanisms. In researching tourists' expectations, scholars use information regarding tourists' opinions of a destination before they visit said destination (Gursoy and McCleary, 2004; Um and Crompton, 1990; Molina et al, 2010). Therefore, the destination is defined as not only the perceptions of individual destination attributes but also the holistic impression made by the destination through promotional activities (PAs). Referring to a destination's attributes and promotional activities, Dann (1977) uses the pull factors (such as landscape, culture, price, service and climate)as the composite destination attribute "attractiveness", which have the ability to pull travelers to some of the supply-side components such as attractions or destination PAs. …

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