International Journal of Tourism Policy (9 papers in press)
Measuring the competitiveness of Iran's health tourism
by Hassan Mohammadian Mosammam, Mozaffar Sarrafi, Jamileh Tavakoli Nia
Abstract: High competitiveness of the destination is one of the key factors of success and reaping the benefits of tourism in the international tourism market. Accordingly, this paper seeks to identify the determinants of health tourism competitiveness in Iran using customized indicators and Dwyers integrated model. The selection of competitiveness indicators is based on a three-stage web-based Delphi survey. After selecting the 138 indicators and categorizing them into six groups, the questionnaire was developed and 119 questionnaires were completed through a web survey. The results revealed that among six key determinants of health tourism competitiveness, only endowed resources have relatively favorable conditions and the overall images of Irans health tourism are not competitive. Such results may be an important step to understand the strengths and weaknesses of health tourism in Iran and can be used as a guide for tourism planners and policy-makers to adopt appropriate policies.
Keywords: competitiveness;health tourism;integrated model;Iran.
STAKEHOLDERS' MOTIVATION TO ADOPT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PRACTICES IN THE LODGING INDUSTRY IN AN ISLAND DESTINATION:
Balearic Islands case study
by Juan Carlos Valdivieso
Abstract: The lodging industry is very competitive and hotels have to search for new methods to attract clients. Some firms are applying social and environmentally friendly behavior beyond what is required by law. The tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the world's economy and the social and environmental responsibility is vital for this industry. This paper is an empirical work showing the motivation that hotel stakeholders located in islands have to adopt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. To prove the motivation, an index containing seven important social and environmental factors was created using three different approaches. The results show significant influence in some of the variables while no positive relations were found in other variables.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Hotel industry; Sustainable development; Tourism; Island Destination; Balearic Islands.
The impact of Airbnb on hidden and sustainable tourism: the case of Italy
by Giulia Contu, Claudio Conversano, Luca Frigau, Francesco Mola
Abstract: Aim of this paper is to investigate the extent of the impact of the Airbnb phenomenon on tourism indicators in general and, in particular, on Sustainable Tourism Indicators (STI). We conjecture that, notwithstanding the correctness of STIs construction, these indicators measure the tourism impact partially, since STIs are computed using data recorded by official statistics organization that do not include information about Airbnb flows. We demonstrate that Airbnb data offer a new point of view in the analysis of tourism impact in terms of sustainability. Results provide evidence about the substantial presence of Airbnb guests in Italy and the consequent relevant effect on economic, social and environmental sustainability of Italy as a destination.
Keywords: Airbnb; Sustainable tourism; measure of sustainable tourism; sustainable tourism indicators; touristic data; hidden tourism.
The cultural route of Hercules: mapping the tourists perspective
by Valia Chountala, Panos Chountalas, Anastasios Magoutas, Eleni Mavragani
Abstract: This study explores the interest of potential visitors to participate in a proposed cultural route, themed after the Labors of Hercules in the Peloponnese. The main objectives of this study are to outline the demographic profile of potential visitors of the route and to explore appropriate means of organization and promotion to ensure its success. To achieve these objectives, we conducted a field survey, distributing a questionnaire, from which 519 valid responses were collected. The survey results showed that there is strong interest for participation in the proposed route. In terms of demographics, most interest was expressed by highly educated women of all age groups. Survey participants expressed a strong desire for guided tours, and interest in modern services provided at waypoints. Finally, we concluded that the most feasible way to promote the route should not be limited to its cultural content, but should also emphasize the natural beauty and alternative tourism activities that it offers. The managerial implications of the present study could be useful for tourist operators, professionals and destination management organizations who may be interested in implementing this proposed route or any other cultural routes in the future.
Keywords: cultural route; cultural tourism; heritage tourism; tourist demographic profile; the Labors of Hercules.
Factors influencing e-word-of-mouth adoption among consumers availing travel services
by Sanjay Kumar Singh, Lalit Mohan Kathuria
Abstract: Indias travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the countrys Gross Domestic Product. Total contribution by travel and tourism sector to Indias Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase from Rs 15.24 trillion (US$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 (equivalent to approximately 9 per cent of Indias GDP) to Rs 32.05 trillion (US$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. As of 2017-18, about 80 million people are employed in Indias tourism sector accounting for approximately 12 per cent of total employment in the country. Travel and tourism is the third largest foreign exchange earner for India. Globally, digital tools are increasingly being used for planning travel services. Prospective travelers have found a new way of gaining information through e-word-of-mouth (e-WOM). Online travel portals comprise a majority of the digital commerce share. A large number of consumers now read e-WOM information before purchasing the product or service. Also, many prospective consumers use other consumers online opinions. This study was undertaken to explore the use of electronic word-of-mouth(e-WOM) information by consumers availing travel services, and to examine the adoption of electronic word-of-mouth information among consumers availing travel services. Data were collected from 240 respondents of three Indian cities using a structured questionnaire. Analysis was undertaken using mean score, exploratory factor analysis, and multiple linear regression. The study highlighted that respondents use online reviews for gaining information about travel destinations, selecting the place of destination, choosing hotels and the place (s) to eat etc. Consumers opined that using online reviews reduced the chance of making a bad decision about pleasure trips, and helped them plan trips in a better way. Factors like attitude, perceived usefulness, perceived risk, and perceived value significantly influenced e-WOM adoption among consumers.
Keywords: Electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM); travel; adoption; attitude; perceived usefulness; perceived risk; perceived value.
Villager Readiness in Rural Tourism: A Scale Development Using Exploratory Factor Analysis
by Arif Budy Pratama, Catur Wulandari
Abstract: Previous studies have shown that local community has an important role in rural tourism development. However, little attention was given to the investigation of community readiness toward tourism. This present study is located in the Balesari Village, Central Java, Indonesia. It aims to develop and test a measurement scale of villager readiness in tourism. A mixed-method consisting of qualitative and quantitative approach was conducted to tackle the research question. A focus group discussion involving five key informants was administered to build an initial measurement scale of villager readiness in tourism. Then, a survey of 187 respondents was conducted to test the instruments validity and reliability. The empirically tested scale contains of seven dimensions and twenty-three items. The result of this study extends our knowledge of rural tourism by providing a measurement scale through which policy makers can assess the level of villager readiness in tourism programme.
Keywords: rural tourism; tourism programme; villager readiness; measurement scale; Indonesia.
Exploring the Influence of Service Quality on the Religious Tourists Experience
by Hitendra Trivedi, Meghna Verma
Abstract: The paper aims to explore and analyze whether service quality has a significant influence on the experience of religious tourists. This paper also accounts for influence of attitudinal variables towards visitors experience and service quality to substantiate the relationship. Overall, the study argues that the influence of service quality can be leveraged to enhance the experience of religious tourists. Primary data was collected through face to face interview using structured questionnaire and with exploratory factor analysis and the dimensionality of observed variables was reduced to derive latent variables. The underlying relationship between the derived latent variables was understood through structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings of the study may help organizers to explicitly focus on key service areas for proficient hospitality management for the successful organization of such events. Further, the outcomes derived from the model may aid organizers for better planning of an event and enhance the experience of participants.
Keywords: Religious Tourism; Hospitality Management; Experience; Structural Equation Modeling; Service Quality.
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN KENYA: A DYNAMIC CAUSAL LINKAGE
by Sheilla Nyasha, Nicholas Odhiambo
Abstract: The study has examined the causality between tourism development and poverty reduction in Kenya one of the top tourism destinations in Africa during the 1980-2016 period. As a way of addressing the bias associated with the omission of variables, investment was the third variable used, alongside tourism development and poverty reduction, to create a trivariate Granger-causality setting. In addition, the recently introduced autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL)bounds testing approach was used within an error-correction model framework to examine this linkage. The empirical results show that tourism development and poverty reduction Granger-cause each other in Kenya, but only in the short run. In the long run, no significant causal relationship was found to between these two variables. Based on these findings, policy makers and relevant authorities in Kenya are recommended to consider both pro-poverty-reduction and tourism-enhancing policies in order to reduce poverty and boost its inbound tourism.
Keywords: Kenya; Poverty Reduction; Tourism Development; Granger-Causality.
Role of Social Media in outbound leisure travel: An interpretive analysis of Indian travellers
by Snigdha Singh, Pallavi Srivastava, Shailja Dixit
Abstract: The role of Social Media (SM) in the travel process cannot be ignored. With a steady growth of the Indian travel industry, we find an upsurge in the number of Indians travelling to outbound destinations. This research aims to explore the travel behaviour and the usage of SM for travel purposes by Indian outbound leisure travellers during their entire travel process. It adopts a qualitative approach where semi structured interviews were conducted with 30 respondents, who had travelled internationally for leisure over the past one year from the period of the study. A thematic analysis of interviews was carried out to identify manifest and latent contexts. In addition to the extent and scope of SM usage, the findings establish that the entire travel process is a cycle of pre-travel SM Consumption and post-travel SM Creation stages. There is a heavy usage of SM during the two stages though there is limited SM usage during the travel period. The findings have been used to develop a conceptual model.
Keywords: social media; leisure travel; outbound travel; qualitative approach; India.