Tourists' perceptions, travel motivations and memorable travel experience : the case of Uganda

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Tourists' perceptions, travel motivations and memorable travel experience : the case of Uganda

 

Author: Tukamushaba, Kurobuza Eddy
Title: Tourists' perceptions, travel motivations and memorable travel experience : the case of Uganda
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2013
Subject: Tourists -- Attitudes.
Travel -- Social aspects.
Tourism -- Uganda.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xx, 454 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2653054
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7259
Abstract: Developing strategic marketing tools in every business has been at the center of debate and scholarly work by both academics and practitioners in the tourism and hospitality field. In recent times, destination branding has been a focus for many tourism destinations that wish to differentiate themselves in order to achieve a competitive advantage. To obtain the benefits of destination branding, there is a need to understand tourists' perceptions of a destination in terms of tourism product, what motivates individuals to travel to particular destinations and memorable travel experiences. These constructs have been identified as essential inputs for successful destination branding and marketing in general. This study set out to identify and assess the current perceptions of "Uganda's brand" as seen from the tourist perspective, investigate the influence of tourists' perceptions on memorable travel experiences, investigate the influence of travel motivation on tourists' perceptions and lastly, to investigate the influence of travel motivation on memorable travel experiences. The relationships between the latent variables were guided by the following research questions: What are the current general perceptions of Uganda's brand from the perspective of tourists? To what extent do tourists' perceptions influence memorable travel experiences? To what extent do travel motivations influence tourists' perceptions? To what extent do travel motivations influence memorable travel experiences? An explanatory research design was adopted for this study in order to identify, explore and assess the relationships between the study variables. From a positivistic paradigm the study adopted nomothetic methods of data collection and analysis. A cross-sectional survey design was used to obtain data from 501 respondents. This sample comprised international tourists from 59 countries who were exiting Uganda through Entebbe International Airport. Convenience sampling technique was adopted to select the study participants. The final sample included only respondents whose purpose of visit was for holiday, visiting friends and relatives, volunteering or other reasons, but excluding business. Data analysis was mainly conducted using SPSS version 18 for the initial data cleaning and generation of descriptive statistics, while AMOS version 18 was used for conducting a confirmatory factor analysis.
The empirical findings of this study have established that tourists' perceptions of Uganda's tourism products have a significant influence on memorable travel experience. Furthermore, it was established that travel motivation has a strong and positive influence on tourists' perceptions. Travel motivation was also found to have a significant indirect effect on memorable travel experiences when mediated by tourists' perceptions. Lastly travel motivation was found to have a positive and significant influence on memorable travel experiences. The empirical findings obtained provide critical knowledge which will enhance marketing efforts of Uganda as a tourism destination. The development of appropriate tourism products and services that meets the needs of most visitors to Uganda is likely to improve perceptions and memorable travel experience. The study further affirms that understanding tourists' perceptions and their travel motivations is critical in the destination branding process. This is because travel motivation, tourists' perceptions and memorable experiences are considered key variables that trigger human behaviors, and therefore act as indicators for developing appropriate products and services. This study recommends the development of appropriate tourism products and services that have the ability to create positive emotions when interacting with different aspects of the destination because positive emotions have been found to positively influence memorable travel experiences. The study further suggests that all stakeholders within a destination must cooperate in the creation of memorable travel experiences. The theoretical contribution in terms of developing and testing a conceptual framework that acts as a basis for destination branding has been achieved. Practical implications related to the study findings have been highlighted, and include emphasis on infrastructure and other services, apart from and in addition to natural attractions, since attractions were found to have less influence on tourist's perceptions compared with other tourism product components. Lastly, reflections on the limitations of the study, and prospects for future research, especially using qualitative methods is made.

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