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An empirical investigation of the relationship between perceived quality, value, satisfaction and behavioural intentions among visitors to UK attractions

Oriade, AD 2013, An empirical investigation of the relationship between perceived quality, value, satisfaction and behavioural intentions among visitors to UK attractions , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Evidence abounds that visitor attractions are the central element of tourism development. Academics and practitioners have therefore focused much attention on attraction service quality, customer satisfaction and subsequent behavioural intentions. However, there is a dearth of empirical investigations supporting most claims relating to quality and satisfaction in an attractions context. Furthermore, perceived value, which theoretically influences behavioural intentions regarding attractions, has been omitted from models investigating attraction service constructs. Thus, there is a need for empirical investigation of the relationship between the perceived quality of attractions, visitor satisfaction and other service constructs, particularly perceived value. This study explores these service quality issues within the UK visitor attractions industry with particular reference to Alton Towers and Blists Hill Victorian Town. The aim of the research was to gain an understanding of how attraction visitors evaluate quality and to explain the relationship between service quality, value, satisfaction and behavioural intentions. To this end, a sequential, exploratory mixed-methods approach was employed. This included unstructured interviews, content analysis of promotional materials, expert opinion and a questionnaire survey of visitors at the two attractions. The sample for the latter was drawn from individuals who had visited the two attractions within the last 12 months. To identify key quality dimensions in the attractions, principal components analysis (PCA) was employed; the results revealed six underlying factors: ‘activities’, ‘staff’, ‘operation and environment’, ‘retail’, ‘access’ and ‘ease of use’. Ordinary least squares (OLS) multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between the constructs. The factors that most influence quality are ‘activities’ and ‘retail’, and value is primarily determined by ‘activities’, ‘staff’ attributes and ‘retail’. Satisfaction is most influenced by perceived value whereas visitor satisfaction explains most of the variance in behavioural intention. The findings also show that satisfaction partially mediates the relationship between value and behavioural intentions, and that between quality and behavioural intentions. Value was shown to partially mediate the relationship between attraction attributes and satisfaction and between quality and behavioural intentions. The research makes several significant theoretical and managerial contributions. The key finding is that attraction attributes exert more influence on perceived value than on perceived quality. This suggests that the conceptualisation and measurement of value in previous research were possibly inadequate in capturing the dimensions of this construct. The findings also confirm the cognitive-affective-conative order between the service constructs within the context of UK visitor attractions and the important role of perceived value in understanding quality, satisfaction and behavioural intentions. However, the relationship between these constructs cannot be generalised and further research is needed to examine the relevance of the findings to other sectors. The results also indicate that attraction managers need to review their promotional materials, particularly websites, and ensure that the most effective messages are communicated to both existing and potential visitors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Schofield, P (Supervisor)
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Schools > Salford Business School > Business and Management Research Centre
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: AD Oriade
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2013 18:21
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2015 23:04

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