Experience quality in the different phases of a tourist vacation: A case of Northern Norway
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The overall goal of this study is to explore the relative importance different groups of tourists give to the vacation experience phases (pretrip, en-route, and on-site experiences). By clustering the tourist by their motivation and subsequently testing the relative importance given to the various trip phases, the idea is to get new knowledge in terms of quality perceptions of the different phases of a journey, not only on-site experiences for different tourist segments. The tourist journey is divided into three phases: pretrip experience, en-route trip experience, and destination on-site experiences. Factor analysis of motivation items resulted in four groupings of motivation factors: "Personal enrichment," "Escape," "Socialization," and "Family togetherness." Cluster analysis based on factor scores of the motivation items identified two segments. Segment I included 161 respondents (28% of the sampled visitors); Segment II contained 418 (72% of the sampled visitors). The two motivation based segments were then examined and profiled with quality elements of the three trip phases, visitor's demographic, and behavior variables. The results show that tourists value the various phases of the journey differently based on their motivation to travel. The study results are discussed in terms practical implication for the tourism industry to enhance the total experience quality of a journey by including all the phases of a vacation trip.
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