Travel Tourism Destinations | Leisure Management Dissertations

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Abstract

The purposes of this dissertation are to demonstrate how the motivational theories in travel and tourism can be used as a foundation for research into ceasing participation in organized leisure activities, and to discuss methodological implications that emerge from such an approach. The research problem is the identification of three motivational factors that mostly influence the choice of leisure activity in the Lebanese tourism sector. The dissertation will rely heavily on literature review and primary research that used university students and a focus group of industry professionals in Lebanon.

The theoretical background of this study is structured according to Iso-Ahola’s motivational theory. Iso-Ahola’s theory asserts that personal escape, personal seeking, interpersonal escape, and interpersonal seeking motivate tourism and recreation. This dissertation operationalizes and empirically tests Iso-Ahola’s theory for similar tourism and recreation experiences. The motivation dimensions are monitored using scenario-based data for sporting events, beaches, amusement parks, and natural parks. The first investigation used confirmatory factor analysis to explore the efficacy of six competing motivational structures.

Three of these competing models achieved superior and similar fit statistics, with one model incorporating the most parsimonious structure. This model gave equal and direct salience to each of the four motivations. The second investigation examined the differences in motivation levels for tourism and recreation experiences. Tourism experiences exhibited higher levels of motivation, particularly for the personal seeking and personal escape dimensions. The third investigation found no relationship between the number of recent domestic and international vacations and tourism motivations among the subjects.

Chapter I Introduction

This dissertation seeks to explore the rationale for, and difficulties of operationalizing, the measurement of tourists’ satisfaction with their experiences in particular destinations. It suggests that the on-going systematic measurement of satisfaction with destinations is a valuable exercise that will have tangible benefits, but acknowledges the difficulties of doing this in a meaningful manner. The principal argument presented is that the measurement of tourists’ satisfaction with a particular destination involves more than simply measuring the level of satisfaction with the services delivered by individual enterprises. There needs to be a much broader, more encompassing means of measuring satisfaction, one that relates closely to the motivations which tourists have for visiting the destination in the first place.

The tourism industry consists of a number of different sectors including the travel, hospitality and visitor services sector. Within each of these sectors there are a number of individual enterprises that provide a range of services to people who are traveling away from their home environment. This travel could be for a variety of reasons including for pleasure, to visit friends and relatives, to work on a short term basis, to attend conferences, to participate in business activities, or any of a number of specific reasons.

While the industry distinguishes between the various groups according to their purpose for travel, convention has it that all these short-term travelers are defined as ‘tourists” Likewise, the industry distinguishes between various ‘markets’

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