Document Type : Research Article
PhD student in Business Management, Hamadan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamadan, Iran
Assistant Professor of Business Management, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran
Associate Professor of Industrial Management, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran
Among the types and varieties of tourism, cultural tourism has found an important motivation and place in the tourism industry, so that today millions of people set foot on the road to see cultural attractions. Cities, buildings, historical sites, people, traditions, food, clothing, etc. are all part of these cultural and social attractions. Markazi province and Arak city due to the establishment of an important part of petrochemical industries, machine building, etc. in the central and urban province of Arak and the average high industrial employment in Markazi province and specifically Arak city (compared to other parts of the country) have caused nature, history, culture and in general the tourist attractions of this city to be overshadowed by the industrial sector.
The research method used in this research was descriptive-analytical with quantitative analysis. The instruments used were the questionnaire and the test used were structural records (performed on LISREL software score) and exploratory factor analysis. The research hypotheses cover the relationships of the 6 research indicators including cultural motivations (26items), visitation expectation (24 items), quality of tourism services (11 items), retention and loyalty (9items), word-of-mouth advertising (5) and finally, tourist satisfaction (14 items). The statistical population of the present study also included all tourists referring to Markazi province (Arak city) in April 2019. The statistical population included visitors to museums, natural resources, antiquities, handicrafts of Arak. According to the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, it was equal to 668346 people and according to the Cochran's formula, 384 people has been identified.
Results and discussion
In the standard estimation mode, the factor loads are shown. The larger the factor load and the closer to one, that is, the better the observed variable (question) can explain the latent variable. If the factor load is less than 0.3, a weak relationship is considered and ignored. The factor load between 0.3 and 0.6 is the average relationship and if it is more than 0.6 is desirable and acceptable.
In the case of significance, the value of t (path coefficient in the case of significance) must be greater than the value of 1.96 so that the relationship between each question and the variable is significant. The value of t for all questions is higher than the critical value of 1.96, so the relationship between the questions and the variable is significant and therefore the questions are a good explanation for the variable (due to the large volume of tables, only the final table of confirmed factors, has been provided).
In total, the targeted items (according to the factor load less than 0.3) for the cultural drivers’ index were equal to 16 items, for the tourist retention and loyalty index were equal to 6 items, for the quality of tourism services index were equal to 8 items, for the tourist satisfaction index was equal to 5 items, for the expectation index from the visit site was equal to 15 items and finally for the word-of-mouth advertising index was equal to 1 item.
In the final model, the numbers obtained for the t-test are significant and can be examined for causal relationships (measurement indices with latent variable) and effects (latent variable together) according to the items mentioned in the tables and graphs, the model in terms of proportionality indices, is in good situation.
In connection with the results of the research hypotheses, it can be concluded that cultural drivers, with emphasis on the dimensions of civilization, including tangible (such as historical monuments, inscriptions, buildings and objects that can be kept in museums) and intangibles (customs, language, literature and music, traditional clothing, traditional food, etc.) can meet all the indicators of expectation from the place of visit, tourist retention and loyalty, word-of-mouth advertising, tourist satisfaction and quality of tourism services have an important and significant impact. In this way, from this dimension, we can understand the importance of paying attention to cultural drivers and their role in tourism development in the study sample. Regarding other hypotheses, some hypotheses such as the effect of tourist satisfaction on tourist longevity and loyalty are confirmed. Also, the logical impact of the quality of tourism services on tourist satisfaction, word of mouth advertising, and ultimately tourist retention and loyalty have been confirmed. Furthermore, expectation of the place has a significant effect on word of mouth advertising, durability and loyalty, tourist satisfaction and quality of tourism services. In this way, shaping reasonable expectations and a positive image (through advertising and branding processes) can improve these indicators. In general, paying attention to the relationships, indicators and items identified can be useful in planning tourism development in Markazi province and Arak city.