Document Type : Articles extracted from Thesis
M.A of Tourism Management, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
Assistant Professor of Tourism, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
To be successful today, tourism destinations should not focus solely on providing services, but must identify and provide experiences that differentiate them from other destinations and thus offer a competitive advantage. Today the focus of businesses has shifted from products to services and then to experiences. Provision of memorable experiences is an important factor for tourism destinations' success. Tourists expect satisfying memorable experiences and such experiences can benefit destinations by encouraging loyalty.
Due to the changes in the consumer consumption patterns, the most valuable marketing tool for destinations and tourism businesses is the "experience" which they provide to tourists. Tourism service providers found provision of attractive memorable experiences necessary as a new marketing strategy to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. If tourists value the travel experience at a high level, tourism destinations can expect loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising to help sell their products. In this new point of view, tourists are allowed to actively construct their own travel experience through personalized interaction with the environment, thereby creating unique value for themselves. Memory impacts choice of destination. The memorability of a tourist’s total experience can be sufficiently powerful to motivate tourists to visit a specific destination and/or tourism service provider. Research papers show that tourists like to revisit destinations linked with positive memories of previous visits. Considering the limited studies discussing the impact of travel memories on tourists’ behaviour, the present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the effect of tourists' experience on their memories, satisfaction and behavioral intentions in Shiraz.
The present study is an applied research in terms of purpose and a descriptive-correlation according to data gathering method. Statistical population of the research included domestic tourists visiting shiraz. To achieve the goal, 384 questionnaires were distributed among domestic tourists in Shiraz, in places such as Saadieh and Hafezieh, of which 318 questionnaires could be used. The sampling method applied was simple random sampling.
First, the study used SPSS to process the descriptive statistics and reliability analysis of the collected data, and assessed the demographic profile of the sample and the internal consistency of the constructs. In the data analysis phase, the normality of the data distribution was tested using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Partial least squares (PLS)-based SEM was used in this study to test the structural model and hypotheses.
Results and discussion
According to demographic analysis of the population studied, the sample included 183 men (% 57.54) and %50.3 of the participants was 20 to 30 years old. Descriptive statistics showed that the tourism experience, memories and tourists' satisfaction are in a good position since their mean value were 3.18, 3.39 and 3.01 respectively which is higher than 3. However, the mean value for tourists' behavioral intentions was lower than 3(2.91).
The standardized regression coefficients of the impact of tourism experience on memories and satisfaction were 0.739 and 0.512 respectively. The R2 coefficient of memories and satisfaction were 0.546 and 0.605 respectively which means %54.6 of the variance in memories and %60.5 of the variance in satisfaction is predictable from the tourism experience. Moreover, the standardized regression coefficients of the impact of memories and satisfaction on behavioural intentions were 0.199 and 0.322 respectively and %58.8 of the variance in behavioural intentions is predictable from research variables. Since all t-values were higher than the critical t-value (1.96), null hypotheses were rejected which means paths are meaningful. In other words, hypotheses of the study based on the research conceptual model are confirmed.
Tourists enjoy having new experiences during their travel. Tourist experience can be defined as an interaction between tourists and destinations in which destinations are the site of the experience and tourists are the actors of the experience.
To be successful, tourism destinations should not only provide high quality services, but should also recognize and provide experiences that distinguish the destination and provides it competitive advantages. The experience provided to tourists is one of the most valuable marketing tools. If tourists evaluate the experience offered by the destination as highly acceptable, then positive word-of-mouth advertising helping tourism businesses sell their products can be expected.
This study explored tourism experiences and their impact on the memories, satisfaction, and behavioural intentions of tourists in Shiraz. The results of the study show that:
1-tourism experience positively influenced tourists' memories, satisfaction and behavioral intentions and has a direct and significant effect on them, 2-tourism memories significantly affects satisfaction and behavioural intentions of tourists, and 3- satisfaction of tourists has a significant effect on their behavioural intentions. These results indicate the widespread effects of the tourism experience on creating positive tourism consequences for the city of Shiraz.