Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Investigating the Role of Government Policy and the Environment on Locals' Loyalty to Spring Music Festivals

Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Investigating the Role of Government Policy and the Environment on Locals' Loyalty to Spring Music Festivals

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the importance of government policy and the environment in determining locals' perceived value of and loyalty to festivals. Although past studies have analyzed attendee loyalty, little research has examined the perspectives of local businesses and residents. Locals with unsatisfactory experiences can hinder festivals from being held. This study applied a structural equation model (SEM) approach to investigate the responses of locals to spring music festivals in southern Taiwan. The results indicated that both government policy and the environment affected perceived value, which consequently influenced loyalty. Implications are drawn for government policy support, festival management, and tourism.

Keywords: Festival Loyalty, Festivalscape, Perceived Value, Music Festival

INTRODUCTION

Festivals and special events incorporating unique offerings have grown rapidly during the past decade (Huang, Li, & Cai, 2010; Yoon, Lee, & Lee, 2010). Research on festivals and special events has been linked to tourism from several perspectives, including generating economic benefits (Litvin & Fetter, 2006; Mckercher, Mei, & Tse, 2006), preserving local culture (Xie, 2004), and marketing targeted place (Boo & Busser, 2005; Felsenstein & Fleisvher, 2003). In Taiwan, more than 400 festivals are held each year, indicating the arrival of a culture-consumption era (Global-Views-Monthly, 2013). Much of the past research has focused on festival attendees (e.g., tourists), because expenditures made at festivals heavily determine the economic impact. For example, prior study has investigated the relationships between "festivalscape" and "patrons' emotions, satisfaction, and loyalty or future behavior" (Lee, Lee, Lee, & Babin, 2008; Mason & Paggiaro, 2012). Festival attendees include tourists, local businesses owners and/or managers, and residents (Bres & Davis, 2001). The results of such research have indicated that social costs of festivals more strongly affect locals (i.e., business owners and/or managers and residents); consequently, they more frequently impede the festival when the social costs are excessive or the experience is unsatisfactory. Despite the importance of locals as patrons, scant research has been conducted to elucidate the loyalty of locals to festivals. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to investigate locals' loyalty to festivals. The following overarching questions guide the course of this study:

(1) What are the underlying factors and causal relationships that determine the loyalty of locals to music festivals?

(2) What are the differences in music festival-loyalty factor means between local business owners and/or managers and residents?

The study context is the spring music festivals occurring annually in southern Taiwan during spring break. Two of the most famous festivals are Spring Scream at Kenting National Park and Spring Wave at Hengchun Airport. Approximately 150,000 to 500,000 person-trips have been generated each year since 2007 (SpringScream, 2014). Both festivals are outdoor events, and the length of each festival ranges from 2 to 11 days. In addition to music, the festivals feature a film festival, art exhibits, stalls, food vendors, and camping (Wikipedia, 2013). At the same time each year, a variety of other music and entertainment events occur in the surrounding areas. Kenting National Park is a famous attraction for international tourists; the number of tourist visits to scenic spots in Kenting National Park reached 7.25 million in 2013 (Kenting National Park, 2014). The spring music festivals provide multifaceted attractions, such as ocean, beaches, sunshine, weather, landscape, maritime activities, pop music, and ecotourism, and many of the activities are suitable for and attract youths. The influx of crowds boosts tourism and benefits the local economy. By understanding the factors and relationships affecting loyalty to festivals, government administrators and festival management parties can increase the loyalty of and prevent resistance from locals, resulting in sustainable festivals. …

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