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Rezende morrisonismailjvm brazil

  1. 1. Journal of Vacation Marketing Volume 9 Number 3 Dazed and confused? An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination Aline M. Rezende-Parker, Alastair M. Morrisonà and Joseph A. Ismail Received (in revised form): 5th August, 2002 Anonymously refereed paper à Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1266, USA Tel: +1 765 494 7905; Fax: +1 765 494 0327; E-mail: Aline M. Rezende-Parker is a former masters atmosphere/exoticness’ were the two most impor- degree student in the Department of Hospitality tant images of Brazil among the respondents. The and Tourism Management, Purdue University, results also indicated that respondents were unable USA. to differentiate Brazil from Hispanic countries. Alastair M. Morrison is Professor of Marketing/ Tourism in the Department of Hospitality and BRAZIL AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION Tourism Management, Purdue University, USA. Despite its imposing territorial proportions, growing economic importance and countless Joseph A. Ismail is an assistant professor in attractions, Brazil still is not well known by tourism economics in the Department of Hospital- US residents. The proximity to Hispanic ity and Tourism Management, Purdue University, countries in South America and the increas- USA. ing popularity of ‘Latin music and culture’ that reflects very little about Brazil help to blur further US residents’ images of Brazil. ABSTRACT For Brazil’s tourism industry, it is very KEYWORDS: destination image, destination important to understand and improve the selection, factor and cluster analysis, Brazil image that US residents have of the country as a travel destination. American tourists The tourism industry in Brazil has been growing spend the most while visiting Brazil among sharply in the past few years. Among its visitors, all international visitors. They are also among US citizens are one of the most important and those who stay the longest (11.8 days on attractive markets for the Brazilian tourism indus- average) and thus represent an important and try. It is believed, however, that most Americans growing market for Brazil.1 Also, as Reilly2 still know little about Brazil and what it has to emphasises, ‘An accurate assessment of pro- offer. This study had three objectives: determine the duct image is a prerequisite to designing an images that American citizens interested in travel effective marketing strategy’, and this helps a and tourism have of Brazil as a travel destination, country to offer what its visitors are really determine if they differentiate Brazil from neigh- expecting or create more realistic expecta- bouring Hispanic countries and group them accord- tions if necessary. But little research has been ing to similar images of Brazil. Online discussion conducted to find out more about American groups on travel and tourism were used to obtain a visitors and what they think of Brazil as a Journal of Vacation Marketing sample of this population. The results indicated place to visit. Partially this is because of the Vol. 9 No. 3, 2003, pp. 243–259, & Henry Stewart Publications, that ‘natural attractions/interest’ and ‘vacation disinterest, until a few years ago, of the 1356-7667 Page 243
  2. 2. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination Brazilian government and private sector in component, named cognitive. The cognitive promoting Brazilian tourism abroad, and component is defined as an evaluation of partially it is due to the lack of Brazilian known attributes of the product or the un- academic and research institutions related to derstanding of the product in an intellectual tourism and travel as an economic activity. way.9 Studies using the cognitive dimension Therefore, the three main objectives of this to measure image were conducted by study were defined as: Schneider and Sonmez,10 who measured tourist images of Jordan; Bignon et al.,11 who — determine the image that American citi- measured the French image of the USA as a zens interested in travel and tourism have destination country; and Dimanche and of Brazil as a travel destination; Moody,12 who studied the image that Amer- — determine if Americans can differentiate ican travel intermediaries had of New Or- Brazil from neighbouring Hispanic coun- leans as a tourism destination. tries; Baloglu and Bringberg,13 however, in — identify groups of Americans who hold agreement with other scholars, recognised an similar images of Brazil. affective dimension as a second component of tourist image structure. The affective component is conceptualised as the feelings DESTINATION IMAGE AND that an individual has about an object or SELECTION place. Destination image and its components There is also a third stream who believe It is accepted among tourism scholars that the structure of destination image consists of image is a crucial component in the process three components. Gartner14 is part of this of destination selection.3 As Baloglu and group and has suggested that the three com- Bringberg4 stated, ‘image differentiates tour- ponents of image are affective, cognitive and ist destinations from each other and is an conative. According to him, the conative integral and influential part of the traveler’s image component ‘is analogous to behavior decision process’. The definition of image because it is the action component. After all and its components, however, varies among internal and external information is pro- scholars and there is still no consensus. After cessed a decision is reached’. Baloglu and an extended review of the literature on the McCleary15 suggested that the three compo- tourism image concept, Ko and Park5 found nents were cognitive, affective and an overall that there are usually three major emphases image formed by an interaction between the among researchers on the definition of desti- cognitive and affective components. nation image. Some researchers, such as Echtner and Ritchie16 presented a unique Crompton,6 emphasise the composite struc- three-dimensional model which separated ture of the image construct, defining it as the image into two components (attribute-based sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a and holistic) (Figure 1). Each component person has of a destination. Others use attitu- had items that could have functional or dinal components such as cognition and psychological characteristics, and each char- affect to access the concept of image.7 A acteristic could reflect common or unique third group sees it as an overall impression of features of the destination. In this sense, a an object, as, for example, Milman and three-dimensional diagram would be the Pizam,8 who defined destination image as best way to illustrate the components of the visual or mental impression of a place, a destination image. As Figure 1 shows, the product or an experience held by the general diagram has three scales. The first conti- public. nuum, attribute-holistic, is based on the idea Another aspect is what the components of that image is composed of specific attributes tourism image are, and again there are differ- (such as good restaurants, expensiveness, re- ent views. Some authors have suggested that ceptiveness of the people) and mental pic- image structure is made up of one single tures (holistic) such as people dancing on the Page 244
  3. 3. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail The components of destination image Figure 1 FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS COMMON ATTRIBUTES HOLISTIC UNIQUE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS Source: Echtner and Ritchie, 1993 beach or couples having dinner in a romantic torical sites, fishing activities, etc) were rated setting. using a Likert scale that ranged from one to The functional-psychological continuum five, and mean scores were used as inputs for divides perception of image into measurable multi-dimensional scaling. Chaudhary19 characteristics (such as beaches, shopping studied the image of India as a travel destina- facilities, national parks) and more intangible tion using a list of India’s attributes devel- or psychological characteristics (such as fame, oped from reports and articles about India in mood, friendliness, etc), while the third con- the media and also from a small survey of tinuum identifies unique attractions of the tourists, who were asked to describe India in destination (such as the pyramids of Egypt or their own words. the Eiffel Tower in France) and common Depending on the researcher’s conceptual attractions (mountains, beaches and natural definitions and understanding of the struc- life). ture of image, however, measurement methodologies and techniques vary. Reilly,20 for example, studying the affective compo- Measuring destination image nent of image, employed an unstructured Most image studies dealing with tourism approach. This method is an alternative have used attribute lists to measure the cog- technique that uses open-ended questions nitive component of destination image.17 and allows respondents to describe impres- Gartner 18 used this structured approach to sions of the product more freely. As he the measurement of the image of four desti- further explains: nations in terms of recreation activities and attractions. Several items (perceptions of his- ‘Here, the purpose is not so much to Page 245
  4. 4. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination reveal hidden or unconscious motivational according to their convenience. It was not states but rather to allow the respondents possible to estimate exactly how many sub- to describe the target stimulus in terms that scribers received and read the message. A are salient to the respondents, rather than total of 246 responses were received. As a responding to the researcher’s pre-deter- general rule, for factor analysis the sample mined image dimensions.’ should be four or five times as many obser- vations as there are variables to be analysed.23 Echtner and Ritchie,21 however, Thus, for this study a sample of at least 190 suggested that in order to capture all the respondents was expected and surpassed. components of destination image (attribute- Following the procedures suggested by based/holistic, functional/psychological, com- Echtner and Ritchie,24 a combination of mon/unique), a combination of structured structured and unstructured methodologies and unstructured methodologies should be was applied to develop the questionnaire. used. In their study they demonstrated that The questionnaire was divided into three the response to open-ended questions better parts. The first part presented three open- captured the holistic (affective), psychologi- ended questions borrowed from Echtner and cal and unique characteristics of a destina- Ritchie’s study on destination image and tion; while scale items developed over intended to capture the more affective or several stages (content analysis, focus groups, holistic components of image. The second literature review, etc) more effectively meas- part comprised a set of 39 statements or ured the common, attribute-based compo- image attributes of Brazil. Three of those nents. This model was used by Murphy22 to statements were about Brazilian culture, cos- determine backpackers’ images of Australia tumes, music and dance, and were included as a holiday destination. Some of the unique in order to address the second objective of elements of Australia, for example, were this study (the perceived differences between found to be kangaroos, the Great Barrier Brazil and neighbouring Hispanic countries). Reef, the outback, Aboriginal culture and Respondents were asked to rate their per- Ayers Rock/Uluru. This Echtner and ceptions of the 39 Brazil attributes on a five- Ritchie model was also adopted in this study. point Likert scale from one, for strongly The authors acknowledge that several other disagree, to five, for strongly agree. Three research studies have been completed on methods were used to generate the list of destination image and its measurement, and attributes: a content analysis of package tours that the preceding review has encompassed to Brazil, a review of the literature on desti- only a selected number of these previous nation image measurement and a focus works. group. The content analysis of package tours to Brazil was used to find out more about the Brazilian tourism products that were being sold in the USA by tour operators and METHODOLOGY travel agencies. The information identified Population and sample included the most popular destinations, main The population of this study was American activities and attractions featured, trip citizens interested in travel and tourism. To characteristics (trip length, transportation sample this population, online discussion modes, types of accommodation and type of groups on travel and tourism were used. A tour) and the photographic images used to total of 37 online discussion groups were depict Brazil as a destination. The focus contacted and messages were posted to their group was held at a large Midwestern uni- subscribers. The total number of subscribers versity. The participants were asked to to the lists was 9,183. Not all subscribers articulate their images, feelings and percep- received the message in their mailboxes, tions of Brazil, and their comments were however, since there is an option available used to produce a more accurate list of for subscribers to read just posted messages attributes. Page 246
  5. 5. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail The third part of the survey sought demo- nents analysis with varimax rotation was graphic information, and included questions performed, and factor loadings smaller than regarding respondent interest in visiting Bra- 0.3 were removed from the analysis. zil in the future. To achieve the third objective of this study, cluster analysis was prepared on the resulting factors to determine groups of Data collection Americans with similar images of Brazil. The survey was posted on the internet dur- A combination of hierarchical and non- ing the period from November 2001 to hierarchical procedures was used. Ward’s February 2002. To contact the subjects, hierarchical clustering procedure was used a LISTSERVs (online discussion groups) were priori and the results suggested a four-factor used. Online discussion groups related to solution. Next, a K-mean analysis was run travel and tourism were identified through on the major clusters to confirm and define search engines and directories (including cluster membership. In addition, analysis of Yahoo! and Google). Subscription e-mails variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if were sent to the owners of the lists. When the clusters were significantly different from the subscription was accepted, a message was each other. Chi-square tests were run to either directly posted or sent to the modera- determine if there were significant differ- tors/owners, which they forwarded to sub- ences among the four clusters in demo- scribers once approved. Responses were graphic characteristics and the proportion of submitted online and automatically sent to visitors and non-visitors to Brazil. an electronic file. One follow-up posting was made to the more active discussion groups. RESULTS OF THE EXPLORATORY STUDY Data analysis Demographic characteristics of The data were entered in the SPSS 10.1 respondents software package and the analysis started The majority of the respondents to the sur- with a grouping and counting of the words vey were aged 18 to 34 years (54.7 per cent) used by the respondents to answer the three and male (54.4 per cent). Some 45.1 per cent open-ended questions. This process gener- of the respondents were married and 37.6 ated tables with frequencies and percentages per cent were single (15.1 per cent were based on the number of people who an- divorced/separated and 2.2 per cent were swered the questions. More than one de- widowed). Most of the respondents (81.4 scription/word per person was allowed. per cent) had some college experience; 73.9 Later, the most frequent answers were com- per cent had earned college degrees and 13.7 bined with the answers to the attribute-based per cent had postgraduate degrees. Similar questions to compose the diagram of the proportions for low and median incomes components of destination image elaborated (44.4 per cent) were found. by Echtner and Ritchie25 (Figure 1). Next was the analysis of the 39 attributes to con- dense the information contained in the ori- Interest in visiting Brazil ginal variables into a smaller set of new Overall, most respondents were interested in dimensions or constructs. Before proceeding visiting Brazil: 43.3 per cent said they were with the analysis, tests of correlations, in- ‘very interested,’ 37.8 per cent said that they cluding a Kaiser’s measurement of sampling were ‘interested’ and 10.0 per cent were ‘not adequacy (MSA ¼ 0.83) and a Bartlett’s test interested’. This does not mean, however, of sphericity (chi-square ¼ 2,834, df ¼ 74, that a high percentage of all Americans are p , 0.01), were used to verify the appropri- interested in visiting Brazil. Possibly it was ateness of factor analysis. A principal compo- because the sample was composed of people Page 247
  6. 6. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination interested in travel and tourism and thus 244 243 241 No. more interested in knowing about foreign Note: These items were reverse coded for analysis. Items were measured on a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly cultures and destinations than other people. The proportion of visitors to Brazil in the Total mean 3.24 3.38 3.53 survey was 35 per cent, while the non- visitors comprised 65 per cent. A significant difference at p , 0.01 was 161 159 159 No. found among the answers of visitors and non-visitors (chi-square ¼ 17.27, df ¼ 3) re- Non-visitor garding respondent interest in visiting Brazil. Previous visitors were more interested in mean 3.00 3.16 3.25 returning to Brazil than non-visitors were in going to Brazil for a first visit. No. 83 84 82 Images of Brazil Overall, positive images (means above 4) Visitor were found for nine statements: many places mean 3.71 3.81 4.07 of interest to visit (4.3); several natural parks and much wildlife (4.3); good place for Table 1: Comparative statements: visitors, non-visitors and all respondents going to the beach (4.3); variety of music and dance (4.4); natural and scenic beauty The culture, art and customs of Brazilians are not very similar to those of other South and Music and dance in Brazil are not similar to those of other South and Central American (4.5); friendliness of the people (4.1); good nightlife (4.3); adventure (4.0); and several opportunities to increase knowledge about another culture (4.3). Negative images of Brazil (means of less than 3) were found for five statements: se- Brazilian food is not spicy and is different from some Mexican food.à curity of public transportation (2.9); crowd- edness of the cities (2.3); local standards of cleanliness and hygiene (2.8); beggars (2.5); and language barriers (2.9) (‘many people speak English in Brazil’). Significant differences between visitors and non-visitors were found for 24 items of the 39 attribute-based scales. Compared to non-visitors, visitors had a more positive image of Brazil in all aspects. For the state- ment ‘most people visit Brazil because of the à Significantly different at p , 0.01 Carnival in Rio’, visitors showed a tendency to disagree (2.9) while non-visitors were Central America countries.à more likely to agree (3.3). Regarding the comparative statements (Table 1), the overall results showed that Americans were not able to differentiate Brazil from Hispanic countries. The means for the three comparative questions were 3.2 countries.à for the statement on music and dance; 3.3 Statements for culture, art and costumes; and 3.5 for the agree). statement on Brazilian food. The number 3 on the scale stood for ‘neither agree or Page 248
  7. 7. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail disagree.’ This showed that respondents River/rainforest (40.8 per cent), Carnival seemed not fully to understand Brazil’s dif- (20.8 per cent) and Rio de Janeiro (19.1 per ferences. A closer look to the results, how- cent). Among the answers, one negative ever, revealed that visitors were more certain characteristic, insecurity, was mentioned by of the differences between Brazil and Hispa- 10.6 per cent of the respondents. nic countries. Visitors’ mean responses to the The second question asked the respon- three items were significantly higher than dents to describe the mood or atmosphere non-visitors, showing that they seemed to that they would expect to experience in differentiate Brazil better than non-visitors. Brazil. Fun/partying/festive/celebrating was the most popular answer (27.0 per cent), followed by friendly and relaxed/relaxing/ Subjective statements about Brazil laid back/loose (both 22.3 per cent). Again Table 2 presents a summary of the answers there was a concern for safety, reflected by provided by the respondents to the three 9.8 per cent of the respondents who ex- open-ended questions. For the first question, pected a frightening/dangerous/scary atmo- respondents were asked to provide the sphere in Brazil. images or characteristics that came to their The third question was ‘Please list any minds when they thought of Brazil as a travel distinctive or unique attractions that you can destination. The most frequent answers to think are in Brazil.’ Of those who answered this question were beaches/beautiful beaches this question, 57.5 per cent mentioned Ama- (42.1 per cent), Amazon jungle/Amazon zon jungle/Amazon River/rainforest as a Table 2: Most frequent answers to open-ended questions Images evoked when thinking of Brazil as a vacation destination (n ¼ 235) • Beaches/beautiful beaches (42.1 per cent) • Amazon jungle/Amazon River/rainforest (40.8 per cent) • Carnival (20.8 per cent) • Rio de Janeiro (19.1 per cent) • Climate (hot/warm/humid/tropical) (18.3 per cent) • Natural features (mountains/open spaces/beautiful scenery) (14.0 per cent) • Wonderful music/dancing people/samba (14.0 per cent) • Nature/biodiversity/flora/fauna (13.0 per cent) • Great food/good food/examples of Brazilian food (13.2 per cent) • Insecurity (crime/violence/high crime rates) (10.6 per cent) Descriptions of the atmosphere or mood expected while visiting Brazil (n ¼ 233) • Fun/partying/festive/celebrating (27.0 per cent) • Friendly (22.3 per cent) • Relaxed/relaxing/laid back/loose (22.3 per cent) • Hospitable/accommodating/welcoming/warm (12.8 per cent) • Frightening/dangerous/scary (9.8 per cent) Distinct or unique attractions in Brazil (n ¼ 214) • Amazon jungle/Amazon River/rainforest (57.5 per cent) • Rio de Janeiro (31.3 per cent) • Christ the Redeemer/Corcovado (26.2 per cent) • Waterfalls/Iguacu Falls (22.4 per cent) ¸ • Beaches (21.0 per cent) • Carnival (14.9 per cent) • Sugar Loaf Mountain (14.0 per cent) • Sao Paulo (7.0 per cent) Page 249
  8. 8. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination unique attraction in Brazil. The second most the respondents pictured Brazil in their cited answer was Rio de Janeiro (31.3 per minds in terms of its unique attractions and cent), followed by Christ the Redeemer/ holistic images as, for instance, people relax- Corcovado (26.2 per cent), which is an ing on beautiful beaches, having fun and attraction located in Rio de Janeiro. Three celebrating the Carnival or contemplating other answers associated with Rio de Janeiro the beauty of the rainforest. were provided but presented separately since the same respondent could have mentioned them simultaneously: Sugar Loaf Mountain Results of factor analysis (14.0 per cent), Copacabana Beach (6.5 per Factor analysis was applied to determine the cent) and Ipanema Beach (6.0 per cent). underlying dimensions of Brazil’s image that Iguacu Falls was mentioned by 22.4 per cent ¸ later were used to group respondents with of the respondents. similar images of Brazil. Eleven factors with The most frequent answers to the three eigenvalues greater than one emerged from open-ended questions, as well as the attrib- the first analysis and the variance explained ute-based statements with a mean of 4.0 or was 62.1 per cent. The Cronbach’s alpha higher, were placed on Echtner and coefficients of the last five factors were low Ritchie’s 26 three-dimensional model of desti- (0.55, 0.55, 0.5, 0.4 and 0.2), however, and nation image (Figures 2, 3 and 4). Figure 2 the overall alpha was 0.75. To improve this presents the attribute-holistic and functional- result, an analysis of the correlations between psychological components of Brazil’s image; each attribute statement and the total score Figure 3 provides the functional-psychologi- from the scale was conducted to find attri- cal and common-unique components; and butes that did not correlate well with the Figure 4 illustrates the common-unique and overall score from the scale. One attribute, attribute-holistic component. The placement ‘Beaches are Brazil’s main attraction’, had a of the items within the diagram was subjec- low correlation (-0.0927) and was removed tive, but still it gives a clearer idea of how from further analysis. Then the changes in Figure 2 The attribute/holistic and functional/psychological components of Brazil’s image FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS Interesting places to visit (4.36) Natural parks and wildlife (4.33) People on beautiful beaches (42.1%) Beaches (4.33) Jungle, rivers and rainforest environment (40.8%) Natural scenic beauty (4.55) Celebration of Carnival (20.8%) Nightlife (4.33) Variety of dance and music (4.42) ATTRIBUTES HOLISTIC Friendly people (4.13) Adventure (4.02) Festive and partying environment (27.0%) Opportunity to increase knowledge (4.37) with friendly people (22.3%) and also relaxing and laid back (22.3%) PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS Page 250
  9. 9. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail The common-unique and functional/psychological components of Brazil’s image Figure 3 FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS Interesting places to visit(4.36) Natural parks and wildlife (4.33) Amazon jungle and Amazon River (57.5%) Beaches (4.33) Rio de Janeiro (31.3%) Natural scenic beauty (4.55) Christ Redeemer/Corcovado (26.2%) Nightlife (4.33) Iguaçu Falls/waterfalls (22.4%) Variety of dance and music (4.42) COMMON UNIQUE Friendly people (4.13) Adventure (4.02) Festive and partying environment (27.0%) Opportunity to increase knowledge (4.37) with friendly people (22.3%) and also relaxing and laid back (22.3%) PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS The attribute/holistic and common/unique component of Brazil’s image Figure 4 COMMON Interesting places to visit (4.36) Natural parks and wildlife (4.33) Beautiful beaches (42.2%) with Beaches (4.33) friendly and festive people (22.3%) Natural scenic beauty (4.55) Nightlife (4.33) Friendly people (4.13) Adventure (4.02) Opportunity to increase knowledge (4.37) ATTRIBUTES HOLISTIC Variety of music and dance (4.42) Rio de Janeiro (31.3%) Adventure (4.02) and contemplation of the rainforest Christ Redeemer/Corcovado (26.2%) and its flora and fauna (40.8%) Carnival (20.8%) UNIQUE Page 251
  10. 10. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination Cronbach’s alpha after removing particular places to see and things to do (shopping) in attributes were evaluated and one more Brazil, and that the country has enough statement, ‘Most people visit Brazil because interesting attractions to be visited by itself of the Carnival in Rio’, was also removed and not just while touring neighbouring from the analysis due to its great influence in countries. This factor had the highest eigen- lowering the reliability coefficient. After value (7.76) and explained 10.36 per cent of these procedures, the factor analysis was the variance. repeated and ten factors emerged in a new The second factor, ‘safety and comfort’, solution. To retain an attribute statement, a included statements on relaxation, friendli- cut-off point of 0.3 for factor loadings was ness and safety. This factor had an eigenvalue established, and all the attributes satisfied this of 2.67 and explained 8.64 per cent of the criterion. variance. Factor three grouped the three The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were statements determining whether or not re- again measured and two factors were re- spondents differentiated Brazil from other moved due to poor reliability (0.2 and 0.4). South and Central American countries. The factor analysis was repeated for a third Named ‘cultural comparisons’, the factor in- time and the final solution had eight factors cluded statements involving art, costumes, and 33 items, which explained 57.7 per cent food, music etc. It had an eigenvalue of 2.12 of the variance. The overall Cronbach’s al- and explained 7.44 per cent of the variance. pha coefficient showed a high level of relia- ‘Facilities and information’ was the fourth bility at 0.89 (Table 3). Table 4 shows the factor and included six attribute statements factor solutions with their means, percen- related to travel and tourist facilities, such as tages of variance explained, eigenvalues and restaurants, hotels, guides and availability of loadings. Factor scores were computed by tourist information. Its eigenvalue was 1.57 taking the averages for the attribute state- and the variance explained was 7.02 per ments within each factor. cent. The first factor extracted was composed of Factor five was named ‘vacation atmo- six attribute statements and was named ‘nat- sphere/exoticness’, had an eigenvalue of ural attractions/interest’, based on the two 1.39 and explained 6.58 per cent of the vari- statements concerning natural parks, wildlife ance. ‘Economic and social conditions’ was and natural scenic beauty, and one statement the label attached to the sixth factor, which regarding historic attractions. The other included five attribute statements regarding three statements were related since they political stability, beggars, transportation emphasised the idea that there are many conditions, crowdedness of the cities and Table 3: Final results of factor and reliability analysis Number of Reliability coefficients Factors items (alpha) 1 Natural attractions/interest 6 0.74 2 Safety and comfort 5 0.72 3 Cultural comparisons 3 0.78 4 Facilities and information 5 0.62 5 Vacation atmosphere/exoticness 4 0.62 6 Economic and social conditions 5 0.63 7 Transportation 2 0.50 8 Adventure/learning 3 0.52 Total 33 0.89 % of variance explained 57.72 Page 252
  11. 11. Table 4: Percentages of variance explained, eigenvalues, and loadings of factors Item Factor Variation Eigenvalue Loading Factor 1: Natural attractions/interest (4.11) 10.36 7.76 2 There are several natural parks to visit and much wildlife to see (4.33) 0.78 1 There are many places of interest to visit in Brazil (4.36) 0.70 38 Brazil is not only worth visiting while touring neighbouring countriesà (3.97) 0.64 9 Brazil offers much in terms of natural scenic beauty (4.55) 0.61 3 Brazil has many historic sites and museumsà (3.83) 0.53 11 Brazil is a good place for shopping (3.65) 0.41 Factor 2: Safety and comfort (3.48) 8.64 2.67 35 Brazil is a good place to take children (3.48) 0.58 33 Brazil is a restful and relaxing place to visit (3.68) 0.65 32 Brazilian people are friendly (4.13) 0.61 27 In general, Brazil is a safe place to visit (3.35) 0.59 6 The Amazon is not a dangerous place to visit (3.27) 0.65 Factor 3: Cultural comparisons (3.38) 7.44 2.12 8 Music and dance in Brazil are similar to those of other South and Central America 0.87 countriesà (3.24) 10 The culture, art and customs of Brazilians are very similar to those of other South and Central America countriesà (3.38) 0.88 31 Brazilian food is spicy and similar to some Mexican foodà (3.53) 0.65 Factor 4: Facilities and information (3.50) 12 Good tourist information is readily available for Brazil (3.24) 7.02 1.57 0.72 13 Tours with guides are available in Brazilà (3.85) 0.61 18 Good-quality restaurants are easy to find in Brazil (3.80) 0.32 26 Travelling to Brazil is convenient and easy (3.07) 0.34 36 Good-quality hotels are easy to find in Brazil (3.56) 0.38 (continued overleaf ) Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail Page 253
  12. 12. Page 254 Table 4: (continued) Item Factor Variation Eigenvalue Loading Factor 5: Vacation atmosphere/exoticness (4.12) 6.58 1.39 4 Brazil is a good place for going to the beach (4.33) 0.67 10 Brazil has good nightlife (4.33) 0.55 22 Brazil is an exotic destination (3.99) 0.62 An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination 14 There are many sports and recreational opportunities in Brazil (3.84) 0.43 Factor 6: Economic and social conditions (2.74) 6.54 1.35 23 Local standards of cleanliness and hygiene are high in Brazil (2.87) 0.40 25 There is not a lot of political instability in Brazilà (3.02) 0.70 24 There are not many beggars in Brazil à (2.52) 0.73 21 Brazilian cities are not crowdedà (2.34) 0.58 17 Public transportation is safe in Brazilà (2.95) 0.37 Factor 7: Transportation (3.12) 5.99 1.27 16 Transportation in Brazil is inexpensiveà (3.16) 0.74 15 Transportation within Brazil is convenient (3.09) 0.60 Factor 8: Adventure/learning (3.94) 5.11 1.04 34 There are several opportunities within Brazil to increase my knowledge about another 0.45 culture (4.36) 37 Brazil is a destination that people dream of visiting (3.46) 0.55 28 A holiday in Brazil is a real adventure (4.01) 0.70 à These items were reverse coded for analysis
  13. 13. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail standards of cleanliness. Its eigenvalue and Note: Values are means based on a five-point Likert scale. Means with a different superscript (a, b and c) are significantly different from each other, based percentage of variance explained were 1.35 on Scheffe Tests at p , 0.05. For example, for transportation, Cluster III is significantly different from Clusters I, II and IV. Clusters II and IV are not and 6.54 per cent respectively. Factor seven ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 ,0.0001 was called ‘transportation’, and had two asso- ciated attribute statements and an eigenvalue level Sig. of 1.27. Factor eight was called ‘adventure/ learning’ and had an eigenvalue of 1.04. The last two factors explained together 11.1 per cent of the variance. The factors with the highest average F-ratio 7.11 8.00 55.88 38.55 14.94 10.50 10.07 23.97 attribute mean scores were ‘natural attractions/interest’ (4.11) and ‘vacation atmosphere/exoticness’ (4.12). The factor with the lowest mean score was ‘economic and social conditions’ at 2.74. Cluster IV n ¼ 53 3.38b 3.15a 2.94a 3.6b 3.0b 3.2a 3.5a 2.6 Identification of clusters Cluster analysis was applied to identify and classify respondents according to similar images of Brazil based on the eight dimen- Cluster III Table 5: Means of image factors among the four groups of respondents sions found in the factor analysis. Table 5 n ¼ 48 4.03b 3.28b 2.52b 3.31c 4.16a 3.81a shows the four clusters found through this 4.3a 3.4a analysis. The respondents in Cluster I were significantly different. Cluster I is significantly different from Clusters II, III and IV. characterised as possessing generally positive images of Brazil as a vacation destination. This cluster had the highest mean score for Cluster II the ‘safety and comfort’ factor at 3.97, which n ¼ 93 3.20b 4.22b 3.56a 3.67a 2.91a was significantly different statistically from 4.4a 3.1a 4.3a the other three clusters. Cluster I also had the highest scores for ‘cultural comparisons’ (4.18), ‘facilities and information’ (3.88) and ‘vacation atmosphere/exoticness’ (4.53). Cluster I This cluster, however, had negative images n ¼ 20 3.97b 4.18b 4.31a 3.88a 4.53a 2.48a 4.03a for two of the factors, ‘transportation’ (2.48, 2.78 significantly lower than the others) and ‘eco- nomic and social conditions’ (2.78). The respondents in Cluster I clearly differ- entiated Brazil from other South and Central American countries (4.18). They were male Vacation atmosphere/exoticness in the majority (57.89 per cent), 35 to 49 Economic and social conditions years old (50 per cent) and married (58.8 per Natural attractions/interest cent). This cluster had the smallest portion of Facilities and information single people (17.6 per cent) and the largest Cultural comparisons portion of divorced people (23.5 per cent) Adventure/learning Safety and comfort Dimensions ( factors) (Table 6). Some 60 per cent of Cluster I’s Transportation respondents had median incomes ($40,000– 79,000), and 80 per cent had college degrees. ´ Most importantly, it had more respondents that had been to Brazil than any other cluster (65 per cent). Page 255
  14. 14. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination Table 6: Characteristics of clusters Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 (n ¼ 20) (n ¼ 93) (n ¼ 48) (n ¼ 53) Characteristics % % % % Genderà Male 57.89 59.14 69.57 34.62 Female 42.11 40.86 30.43 65.38 Chi-square ¼ 13.390, df ¼ 3, p ¼ 0.004 Age 18–19 5.0 9.7 22.9 19.6 20–24 25.0 19.57 20.83 17.65 25–34 15.0 27.2 8.3 15.7 35–44 25.0 14.13 20.83 5.8 45–49 25.0 10.8 14.5 19.6 50–54 5.0 13.0 8.3 15.7 55–64 – 5.43 4.1 5.8 65 and over Marital status Married 58.8 43.0 41.8 48.0 Widowed – 1.1 2.3 2.0 Divorced 23.5 13.9 11.6 18.0 Separated – 1.1 2.3 – Single 17.6 40.7 41.8 32.0 Education Left high school – 5.4 2.1 3.7 High school 15.0 16.3 16.6 13.2 Some college 5.0 9.7 8.3 5.6 Associates degree 40.0 34.7 27.1 35.8 Bachelors degree 30.0 22.8 25.0 26.4 Masters degree 10.0 10.8 20.8 11.3 Doctoral degree – – – 3.7 Income Low (less than $39,000) 25.0 48.9 42.2 46.9 Median ($40,000–79,000) 60.0 41.1 51.1 38.8 High ($80,000 and more) 15.0 6.7 6.7 8.2 Unwilling to answer – 3.3 – 6.1 Visit Brazilà Yes 65.0 27.2 54.2 13.2 No 35.0 72.8 45.8 86.8 Chi-square ¼ 29.631, df ¼ 3 , p ¼ 0.000 à Significant at alpha ¼ 0.01 by chi-square analysis Clusters II and III were intermediate clus- ter II (72.8 per cent) had never been to ters in terms of positive to negative images. Brazil, 59 per cent were male and 68 per Cluster II had the highest means for ‘natural cent had college degrees. attractions/interest’ (4.4) and ‘adventure/ Cluster III had negative images of Brazil learning’ (4.22). These respondents had neu- for ‘economic and social conditions’ (2.52), tral images of ‘safety and comfort’ (3.56), and neutral images for ‘safety and comfort’ ‘cultural comparisons’ (3.1), ‘facilities and (3.4), ‘facilities and information’ (3.28), information’ (3.67) and ‘transportation’ ‘transportation’ (3.31) and ‘adventure/learn- (3.2). The majority of the members of Clus- ing’ (3.81). This cluster demonstrated posi- Page 256
  15. 15. Rezende-Parker, Morrison and Ismail tive images for ‘natural attractions/interest’ The results indicated that ‘natural attrac- (4.3), ‘cultural comparisons’ (4.03) and ‘va- tions/interest’ and ‘vacation atmosphere/ cation atmosphere/exoticness’ (4.16). Some exoticness’ were the two most prevalent 69 per cent were male, 51 per cent were in images of Brazil held by respondents. The the median income bracket ($40,000– analysis of the open-ended questions further 79,000) and 54.2 per cent had visited Brazil. clarified this result by revealing that the Additionally, this was the cluster with the images that came to respondents’ minds highest portion of respondents in the 18–19 when they thought of Brazil as a place to age bracket (22.9 per cent). visit were mainly of beautiful beaches and Cluster IV was characterised as having the rainforest/jungle. The two most popular more neutral to negative images of Brazil. unique attractions in Brazil were found to be This cluster had statistically significant lower the Amazon jungle and Rio de Janeiro. Up means for ‘natural attractions/interest’ (3.38) to now, these two attractions (along with and ‘vacation atmosphere’ (3.6). It also had Iguacu Falls) have been intensely promoted ¸ the lowest means for ‘safety and comfort’ by the majority of the most important tour (3.15) ‘cultural comparisons’ (2.94), ‘facilities operators in the USA, as was indicated by and information’ (3.2), and ‘adventure/ the content analysis of package tours to learning’ (3.5). This group had the highest Brazil. These are, however, two contrasting proportion of non-visitors to Brazil (86.8 per images that attract people with very different cent), and was composed of females in the interests and profiles. majority (65.3 per cent). Some 77.2 per cent In terms of negative images, the factor had college degrees, and 46.9 per cent had analysis and the answers to the open-ended incomes of $39,000 or less. questions indicated that respondents do not have good perceptions of the economic and social conditions in Brazil, and they have a CONCLUSIONS concern for their safety while visiting the The first objective of this study was to country. Words such as crime, violence, determine the image that Americans inter- poverty, dangerous and frightening were ested in travel and tourism have of Brazil as a used by approximately 10 per cent of re- travel destination. To achieve this, a combi- spondents to express the images and atmo- nation of structured (attribute-based scale) sphere that they would see and experience in and unstructured (open-ended questions) Brazil. Therefore, it is very important for methods of destination image measurement Brazil to address these concerns if it is to was applied, as suggested by Echtner and improve the images held by prospective and Ritchie.27 The attribute-based scale was used actual visitors and become more competitive to measure the common, attribute-based in the international market. components of image, while the open-ended Regarding the second objective, to deter- questions were used to measure the unique mine if respondents differentiated Brazil from and holistic components. neighbouring Hispanic countries, the results The variables contained in the attribute- were close to the midpoint of the scale. The based scale (structured approach) were factor answers to the three comparative statements analysed and summarised into a smaller set of were neutral, indicating that respondents new composite dimensions. Five of the eight were not able to pinpoint clearly the differ- factors that emerged from the analysis were ences between Brazil and Hispanic countries. equivalent to the factors found by Echtner A closer look at the answers of visitors and and Ritchie28 in their study on the measure- non-visitors, however, showed that visitors ment of destination image. These results were more certain of the differences than support their suggestions that this method non-visitors, particularly with regard to Bra- provides a generalised framework that can be zilian food. Furthermore, the results of the used to compare and contrast the images of cluster analysis revealed that there was one most tourist destinations. group of respondents (Cluster I) who clearly Page 257
  16. 16. An exploratory study of the image of Brazil as a travel destination differentiated Brazil from Hispanic countries. age and communications strategies that Past visitors to Brazil composed the majority clearly separate their destinations from near- of this group. The inconclusive results for the by areas, as well as from the principal com- overall analysis might be the lack of sufficient petitors. knowledge of the Brazilian culture among A third area of implications is the dilemma the majority of respondents. Another possible raised by the findings about Brazil’s image as a explanation could be the unclear and mislead- vacation destination. Should, for example, ing images gained from the media or other the marketing approaches be changed for information sources. people with different images of the country, The third objective was to group respon- especially for those with negative images? dents based upon similar images of Brazil. Alternatively, should a ‘one-size-fits-all’ ap- The cluster analysis did not reveal an empha- proach be employed in which the same image sis on one or more specific images among is communicated to all potential visitors? The different groups of respondents; rather, it current movement toward greater destination indicated that images varied from positive to branding appears to suggest the second strat- negative among the clusters. Cluster I had an egy. Moreover, trying to promote two or overall positive image, Clusters II and III had more different images to an overall audience, intermediate positive to neutral images, such as US travellers, could be confusing and while Cluster IV had neutral to negative ineffective. If the destination is difficult to images of Brazil for the eight image factors. picture and categorise in travellers’ minds, as The ‘natural attractions/interest’ and ‘vaca- appears to be the case for Brazil, then it may tion atmosphere/exotic’ factors had very not even make it into travellers’ destination high mean attribute statement scores for selection processes. Destinations might also three of the four clusters. have a strong appeal to specialised niche markets, however, including, for example, the attractiveness of Brazil’s rainforest, rivers and waterfalls to nature-based tourists. In this Marketing implications and future case, marketers need to develop further and research recommendations expand upon the broader destination image While this research has definite marketing to match each niche market’s interests and implications for Brazilian tourism, there are perceptual expectations. broader implications for destinations in gen- In Brazil’s case, the broader destination eral. The first of these is that past visitors to a image has not yet been effectively established destination may not only hold the most posi- in the US market and additional investment tive images of that destination, but also have in image development seems warranted. the most accurate understanding of the desti- Specifically, more effort is needed to change nation’s limitations, such as transportation and improve Americans’ perceptions of Bra- within Brazil. Testimonials and other forms zil. For example, special attention will have of endorsements by these past visitors could to be given to the first image cluster, which prove useful in clarifying potential visitors’ had negative images of transportation and images of the destination, and in alleviating economic and social conditions. Since this any misapprehensions among these people. group was composed of past visitors to Brazil The second implication arises from the find- in the majority, these respondents’ percep- ing that Americans were generally unable to tions were based upon real experiences and differentiate Brazil clearly from neighbouring indicate a weakness in the Brazilian tourism Spanish-speaking countries. This may be in- product that must be addressed by Brazilian dicative of a general tendency for people to tourism authorities. assume that neighbouring destinations are It should be acknowledged that this study alike, unless they have specific information was exploratory in nature, and as such the to refute this belief. Therefore, it is incum- results need to be verified through further bent on marketing managers to develop im- empirical research. It is also recognised that Page 258