Evaluating the level of loyalty, attachment and satisfaction of tourists to urban tourism destinations Case study: Rasht City

Document Type : Articles extracted from Thesis


1 Department of urban planning, University of Guilan.Rasht. Iran

2 Department of Urban Planning&Design, Faculty of Architecture&Art, University of Guilan.

3 Department of Geography & urban planning. University of Guilan, Rasht. Iran


Cities are one of the most important tourist destinations; they need the attention of managers and urban planners. Because tourism in many cities and countries has been able to cause high economic returns and get rid of the single-product economy. Therefore, tourism development and tourist attraction are significant, especially in developing countries such as Iran. What is certain is that just attracting tourists to a tourist destination can't guarantee the success of the destination in tourism because success in tourism is to provide the necessary conditions for tourists to be loyal to the destination. Loyal tourists generate a sustainable income for the tourist destination. As a communication channel, they share the desired destination information with friends, relatives, acquaintances and other potential tourists. Their statements are a good advertisement for the tourist destination. Many studies consider loyalty to the destination critical to the sustainable development of tourism destinations because the tourism industry relies heavily on loyal visitors. Therefore, it is important to study the degree of loyalty, attachment and satisfaction of tourists to urban tourism destinations and the factors that affect their loyalty to help stakeholders improve urban tourism destinations and their adaptation to the needs of tourists. This study has studied the city of Rasht as a well-known urban tourism destination. This city is considered the largest and most populous city in northern Iran and the country's third most visited tourist city.

The study aims to assess the extent of tourists loyalty, attachment and satisfaction of tourists to the Rasht tourism destination. this study is applicable in terms of method, descriptive - analytic and in terms of purpose, and seeks to answer the following questions: how much tourists are loyal to the Rasht city? What is the degree of satisfaction of tourists to Rasht tourism destination? To collect data from a five-level Likert questionnaire from completely agree to disagree, 404 questionnaires were completed by tourists using the Convenience Sampling method. The statistical population of this study includes visitors to the tourist destination of Rasht who have visited this city at least once. First, the reliability of the research items was confirmed by Cronbach's alpha test (α = 0.981), which shows the very high internal validity of the items. Then, the data obtained by SPSS software were evaluated using Friedman ranking tests, binomial and stepwise regression.

This result shows that the tourists who traveled to Rasht had a relatively high level of satisfaction with their visit and experience in this city. Also, the results of the regression test show that the attachment index of tourists has the greatest impact on the loyalty index of tourists to The tourist destination is Rasht. This means that the predictor variable has been able to predict 62.9% of the variance share of the criterion variable, and in other words, 62.9% of the variance share of the tourist loyalty variable is only from the tourist attachment variable. Also, according to the correlation coefficient of these two indices (0.793), which is very high, it can be said that this index has a significant effect on the loyalty of tourists.

The present study results showed that several factors affect the loyalty of tourists to urban tourism destinations. One of the remarkable results of this research is the high impact of tourists' attachment Indicator on their loyalty to tourism destinations. Therefore, Rasht city management can take a practical step in promoting tourist loyalty by increasing tourists' attachment and improving this indicator's situation. Therefore, the city manager of Rasht, by reducing the cost of travel to this city and the costs related to accommodation, will improve the perceived value Indicator in this city to attract more tourists to the city Rasht.

This research includes concepts for planners and managers in the field of tourism to meet the demands and expectations of tourists by adopting methods and provide unique experiences in line with the development of tourism and meeting the needs of tourists. In order to expand and complete the contents of this section, taking into account the characteristics of the study sample as well as the findings and results obtained, suggestions can be made to improve the level of attachment and loyalty of tourists in Rasht city:

• Improving the individual and group skills of residents in order to increase creativity in providing recreational and tourism services.
• Increasing the use of native capacities of Rasht city in the field of holding traditional and ritual ceremonies.
• The use of social networks by the local management to introduce the tourism elements of Rasht city.
• Strengthening the public spaces and tourism axes of Rasht city in order to increase the sense of belonging of tourists.
• Development and strengthening of welfare infrastructure (such as entertainment centers, arts, etc.) in tourism areas.
• The use of successful global experiences of tourism development and its correct adaptation and localization in the study sample.