Author: Fakfare, Pipatpong
Title: Developing and validating a multidimensional quality scale for honeymoon tourism : an investigation of the structural relationships among percieved quality, fantasy and destination relational value
Advisors: Lee, Jinsoo (SHTM)
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: ix, 231 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Honeymoon tourism has become an important sector of the tourism industry, creating a significant economic yield and visitation to many destinations. Despite many destinations management organisations (DMOs) around the world having invested significant resources and promoted honeymoon tourism activities to attract potential honeymooners to their destinations, research in this topic area is still not well-developed (Bulcroft et al., 1997, 1999; Kim & Agrusa, 2005; Jang et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2010). Existing studies on honeymoon tourism only cover limited research domains, such as the competitiveness and the positioning of overseas honeymoon destination (Kim & Agrusa, 2005), a choice-sets model for a couple in selecting a honeymoon destination (Jang et al., 2007) and the determinants of destination selection (Lee et al., 2010). Therefore, this study aims to address this lack of research and extend the range of honeymoon tourism studies by identifying and validating a quality scale for honeymoon tourism. In addition, by drawing together perceived quality, fantasy and relational value to synthesise a conceptual model, this thesis develops and verifies a model of the effects of honeymooners' perceived quality on their fantasy, as well as destination relational value. The current study applied a mixed research method and consisted of two main studies. Study 1 focused on identifying and validating a quality scale for honeymoon tourism using a multidimensional approach. Besides the literature search, it employed the item development procedure suggested by Churchill (1979). Following the steps for the item development process, face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 industry practitioners and 3 prospective honeymooners. The initial derived items were then reviewed by a panel of experts. After the refinement process, the items were used to perform EFA, CFA and scale validation. As revealed from the findings, the newly developed quality scale for honeymoon tourism indicated nine underlying dimensions (i.e. hospitality of local people, honeymoon destination image, accessibility, price, honeymoon accommodation, honeymooners' privilege, dining experience, honeymoon service provider and local tour product) with 27 measurement items.
Study 2 employed an advanced quantitative approach, utilising structural equation modelling (SEM) to verify the structural model with two paths: 1) from honeymoon quality dimensions to fantasy and 2) from fantasy to destination relational value. The main survey analysed 565 responses from international honeymooners who visited Phuket, Thailand. Statistical results revealed the model fits the data well. Research findings also exposed that seven out of nine sub-hypotheses from a honeymooner's perceived quality to fantasy were supported, as well as all three sub-hypotheses from fantasy to destination relational value. This thesis makes several theoretical contributions, the most important implication is its expansion of the range of studies on honeymoon tourism. Although some issues concerning honeymoon tourism have been examined by scholars, there is still only a handful of research available in this field (Kim & Agrusa, 2005; Jang et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2010). Existing studies tend to focus on the general aspects of honeymoon tourism. On the other hand, in-depth empirical studies have been overlooked, particularly in the area of honeymoon tourism quality (Kim & Agrusa, 2005; Bulcroft et al., 1999; Jang et al 2007). Although the importance of quality has been recognised as a key to understanding the nature of customers' evaluative perceptions in hospitality and tourism literature (Baker & Crompton, 2000), the concept has not been explored in a honeymoon tourism context (Bulcroft et al., 1999; Kim & Agrusa, 2005; Jang et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2010). As a scale for measuring honeymoon tourism quality has not been identified (Kim & Agrusa, 2005; Jang et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2010), the newly-developed quality measurement tool not only bridges the gaps not addressed in previous research but also opens the door for future research in the field. Furthermore, this study emphasised on investigation of a structural model, which is derived from the concepts of perceived quality, fantasy and destination relational value. By applying these important concepts to honeymoon tourism, a practical, valuable model is empirically developed that contributes to closing the gaps evident in existing literature. Future research on honeymoon tourism can build on these foundations and examine a deeper understanding in this particular field.
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Access: restricted access

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