Do Tourism Providers Know their Visitors?


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The paper this presentation came from awarded with the Best Full Paper Award and 500€ prize at the 2008 CHME Conference (Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Conference, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, 2008)

Even the sticking out positivists researchers (Grönroos, 2001; Gummesson, 1994, 2001, 2006; Iacobucci & Ostrom 1999; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2000, 2004) recognize the insufficiencies of traditional services research methodology and claim that the dominant models of service quality’s measurement have failed to conceive the customers’ perspective (Schembri & Sandberg, 2002). Whereas the customer is considered to be the focal point at contemporary Marketing and Services Marketing area, customer’s perspective is claimed to be missing from the dominant theory (Grönroos, 1993, 2006a). This article explores the potential for a modified gap analysis to serve as an alternative marketing tool. A research framework is constructed and tested using data produced by two survey efforts (tourists and tourism services providers) in a heritage destination.

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  • Thank you very much Dr Frochot! Good morning to all of you ladies and gentlemen. I hope we all have a pleasant and creative stay here, in this beautiful city. (Refers to slide 1 ) As you can see from the title, this presentation is about to examine the gap of PROVIDER ESTIMATE of CUSTOMER EVALUATION in the context of a tourism destination . The research field for this examination is the heritage destination of Ancient Olympia in Greece.
  • Do Tourism Providers Know their Visitors?

    1. 1. Do Tourism Providers Know their Visitors? An Investigation of Tourism Experience at a Destination Georgia Zouni, University of Piraeus, Greece Athanassios Kouremenos, University of Piraeus, Greece - The paradigm of Ancient Olympia, Greece
    2. 2. Presentation Overview <ul><li>Measurement of Destination Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of the scope of the research </li></ul><ul><li>Empirical Study </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of findings </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>adopts generally the assumptions and principles of the perceived service quality measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations when applied in tourism destination research field, due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>destination product integration and complexity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tourist experiences are essentially individualistic , although it is possible to discern consensual realities ( Ryan 2000, p. 119 ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the nature of tourism phenomenon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>customers overrating their experiences (Vogt & Fesenmaier 1995:766). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Measurement of Destination Experience
    4. 4. Customer’s Perspective on Measuring Experience <ul><li>An outstanding body of academics claim that service quality research does not sufficiently conceive the perceptions of customers (Edvardsson, 2005; Vargo and Lusch, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Quality is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. It is the experience and expectations of the customer . ( Edvardsson, Thomasson and Øvretveit 1994 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2000): organizations must aim to integrate the experience of the customer as a standard. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Customer’s Perspective on Measuring Experience <ul><li>Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (GAPS MODEL 1985) identify five gaps where customers’ expectations and performance evaluations are interpreted by providers. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown and Swartz (1989) expand Gaps Model to include a gap which reflects differences between customer’s experience and provider’s perceptions of customer experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite the recognition of this gap (see Candido & Morris 2000), only one study examines this gap ever since (Vogt & Fesenmaier 1995). </li></ul>
    6. 6. GAP of providers’ estimate about tourists’ experience <ul><li>Tourist experience - </li></ul><ul><li>Provider’s estimate of tourist’s experience </li></ul>
    7. 7. Scope of the research <ul><li>The purpose of the present study Is to provide in favour of the gap as an effective marketing tool for a better understanding of customer prospective by empirically testing it in the context of a tourism destination experience. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Research Hypothesis <ul><li>Ho there is no difference between tourists’ destination experience and providers’ estimate of tourists’ experience . </li></ul>
    9. 9. Ancient Olympia, Greece <ul><li>An ancient Greek religious site dating back 10 centuries B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>The birth-place of the Olympic Games. </li></ul><ul><li>The location of giant gold Statue of Zeus, one of seven wonders of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Place where Olympic flame is still lit </li></ul><ul><li>An UNESCO Heritage Site </li></ul><ul><li>It hosts one of the masterpieces of ancient Greek art, Hermes of Praxiteles. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Study Variables Nationality, age, gender, education, income. Profile Revisit intentions to country- destination, Recommendations Loyalty Attitude towards destination / residents Attitude from Attractions Accommodation Food services Transportation Tourism trade Total Satisfaction Satisfaction Attractions Accommodation Food services Transportation Tourism trade Assessment Primary or secondary destination, destinations before and after, type of transportation, reason of visit, attractions visited, activities during stay, degree of acquaintance with neighboring destinations, type of stay, type of food services , type of tourism trade, total / daily expenses Travel behavior at destination Holiday party composition, prior visit, length of stay, booking type, duration of planning, factors influenced decision Travel Patterns VARIABLES VARIABLES CATEGORY
    11. 11. Research Methodology 76, 5% response rate or 95 providers 71% or 268 tourists Questionnaire Collection Inventory method Two stages Random sampling Sampling Personal interview using structured questionnaire Personal interview using a structured questionnaire in 6 languages Data collection method 2 months 2 months Period 95 268 Sample size Lists of the local chamber of commerce. Providers were defined as owners or managers. National and international tourists, 15+ years old, that visited Olympia. Samples Providers’ population was determined using Tourism Satellite Account of WTO. Tourist population was determined using EUROSTAT and WTO Study population PROVIDERS SURVEY TOURISTS SURVEY
    12. 12. Analysis of Findings – Tourist Profile (1/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    13. 13. Analysis of Findings – Tourist Profile (2/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    14. 14. Analysis of Findings – Tourist Profile (3/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    15. 15. Analysis of Findings – Tourist Profile (4/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    16. 16. Analysis of Findings – Destination Assessment (1/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    17. 17. Analysis of Findings – Destination Assessment (2/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    18. 18. Analysis of Findings – Destination Assessment (3/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    19. 19. Analysis of Findings – Destination Assessment (4/4) Tourists Providers’ estimate
    20. 20. Analysis of Findings – Total Satisfaction Tourists Providers’ estimate
    21. 21. Gap Analysis Results Matrix       Demographic Profile       Loyalty       Attitude       Satisfaction       Destination assessment       Travel behavior       Travel Patterns No Gaps Minor Gaps Major Gaps  
    22. 22. Discussion <ul><li>Stereotypes about destination tourists’ characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Olympia is a mature heritage destination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Senior management contact with tourists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In order to gain first-hand knowledge of tourists' perceptions constant interaction between managers and tourists is required. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Implications <ul><li>This research demonstrates the importance of primary and timely research among tourists. </li></ul><ul><li>Useful tool for management in order to propose an ‘integrated solution’ to customer needs and wants (Buhalis, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>In line with the notion of “co-creation marketing” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Thank you very much!