گردشگری روستایی : استراتژی های بازاریابی برای صنعت رختخواب و صبحانه در تایوان
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 32, March 2013, Pages 278–286
Market segmentation based on consumer motivation has proven to be one of the most valuable marketing tools for business promotion. The current study segments the bed and breakfast (B&B) market to better understand the different characteristics and demands of visitors to B&Bs in Taiwan. Our findings can assist B&B operators to determine resource allocation in developing marketing strategies. This study methodology utilized a questionnaire survey. Four clustered segments were identified based on five motivational factors. Based on our findings, most B&B visitors were repeat customers from nuclear families. They were well-educated with low to mid-range median family incomes. Though websites and travel guidebooks were expected to be the dominant sources of information on B&Bs for such visitors, word-of-mouth was found to be the most effective advertising channel for B&B accommodation choices.
Current trends suggest that the 21st century will see increased growth in the global service sector. One of the world's major service industries, tourism, has contributed significantly to the global economy in recent decades (Law et al., 2011). For this reason, many governments aggressively promote the development of this so-called “chimney-free industry” (Su, 2011). The same is true for Taiwan. Facing greater agricultural competition since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government is eager to offer assistance in rural agricultural areas (Gian, 1997). Tourism has long been considered a potential means for socio-economic development and regeneration of rural areas, in particular those affected by the decline of traditional agrarian activities. Rural areas are also considered to be repositories of older ways of life and cultures that answer postmodern tourists’ quest for authenticity (Urry, 2002). As such, the encouragement of rural tourism has become a common policy in developed countries. The bed and breakfast (B&B) sector is a promising part of rural tourism due to its positive contribution to the innovation of tourist products and its small scale. ‘Green’ issues and special facilities differentiate B&Bs from other types of accommodation (Hjalager, 1996 and Hsieh and Lin, 2010). B&Bs add to the tourism diversity of an area and enhance the appeal of the community to travelers because the properties are personal in nature, offering a friendly, private atmosphere that entices guests to become acquainted with the local environment (Nuntsu et al., 2004). They combine the advantages of local culture, ecology, and natural beauty, creating leisure attractions with a unique local flavor (Wu and Yang, 2010). In Taiwan, B&B regulations were enacted in 2000. Government support helped the B&B industry to mushroom across the country. From 2001 to 2010, legal B&B properties increased dramatically, from 36 to 3236 (Tourism Bureau, Taiwan, 2011). In 2011, the B&B sector accommodated 1.83 million travelers (Tourism Bureau, Taiwan, 2012). B&Bs can have a substantial positive economic impact, especially in smaller communities where motels and hotels are limited and B&Bs may handle a large percentage of visitors (Zane, 1997). The B&B industry has thus altered the use of Taiwan's agricultural areas. In many localities traditional crop-producing functions have been augmented by the development of a leisure-based economy, which has reduced the negative agricultural impacts associated with Taiwan's accession to the WTO. In addition to economic development, the B&B sector also stresses community sustainability (Sharpley, 2002). For instance, townships might experience a population increase if B&Bs attract repatriates or immigrants who invest their resources in these aging rural areas. Rural life remains a central part of the visual and social image of the countryside, particularly for urban dwellers (Frochot, 2005). B&Bs thus offer a promising opportunity for the regeneration and extension of lifestyles and cultural images within local communities (Sharpley, 2002). In order to successfully operate a B&B, it is essential to identify and target particular market segments (Heung et al., 1995 and Lee et al., 2004). While the B&B sector has several advantages over more traditional types of accommodation, B&Bs in rural areas often experience resource-based marketing obstacles. First, many B&B operators are frustrated or uncomfortable with making marketing decisions because of the lack of immediate returns (Davies et al., 1993, Oppermann, 1996 and Rogak, 2000). Further, B&B operations typically generate relatively low levels of income during the off-seasons, making marketing expenditures a challenge for many operators. Moreover, B&B owners may lack professional skills or accommodation management knowledge to promote their products. Finally, Taiwanese owners of legal B&Bs are often threatened by investors from illegal large-scale or more upscale B&B properties (Tourism Bureau, Taiwan, 2012). Therefore, defining appropriate target markets and developing effective marketing strategies for those markets are critical issues for legal B&B operators. This study identifies market segments and visitor characteristics for Taiwan B&Bs to help operators develop marketing strategies, allocate resources efficiently, and achieve sustainability. This study has four main objectives: (1)Identifying the underlying dimensions of visitors’ motivations when choosing B&B accommodations. (2) Segmenting the B&B market using a cluster analysis based on motivations. (3) Understanding visitors’ decision-making channels in order to allocate resources to promotion channels. (4)Offering managerial implications from a marketing mix perspective.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
B&B development in Taiwan is an effective way to revitalize rural communities that have suffered from economic and socio-cultural difficulties (Tseng and Yang, 2010). They have taken on increased importance since the five-day work week system was instituted in 2001, giving people more free time for domestic leisure activities. The findings in the current study suggest that the characteristics of the Taiwan B&B market segments are similar to those identified in Europe and North America in many aspects (Fleischer and Pizam, 1997, Koth and Norman, 1989 and Vofeler, 1977). This study found that most B&B visitors are part of nuclear families with children under the age of 16, have attained a college degree (or higher), and have a median or low family income. The results of the factor analysis show that the five motivation dimensions among the B&B visitors who participated in the study include socialization/learning, relaxation, accessibility, novelty, and physical utility. The two primary dimensions are socialization/learning and relaxation (mean values = 4.12, 4.18 respectively), which account for 30.4% of the total variance. Based on this, we conclude that B&B visitors are strongly motivated by socialization/learning and relaxation. Thus, these two dimensions can serve as key references for future B&B development. This finding is also consistent with previous studies that cited learning or relaxation as the most important motivations for rural tourists ( Gian, 1997, Park and Yoon, 2009, Sharpley and Sharpley, 1997 and Song, 2005). The clustering of tourist motivations proved to be an effective method to segment markets. Based on 22 identified motivations, participants were further classified into four clusters. The largest group, novelty seekers, looked forward to relaxation, freshness, and unusual products. This group was composed of a high percentage of young, single, university-educated people without children, and they tended to travel with friends and/or classmates. The second largest group, trend followers, tended to be middle-aged, married with children (aged between 7 and 16), weekend visitors who often travel with family and/or relatives. The third group, socialization & accessibility seekers, was usually middle-aged or elderly with grown-up children (over 17) and had the highest proportion of extended family style among all the clusters. The smallest group, physical utility seekers, was largely made up of people who are part of a nuclear family with young children (under age of 6). Almost all of the adult members of the group (95.5%) had at least a bachelor's degree. Further, nearly 35% of the cluster were weekday visitors. Our findings suggest several potential marketing strategies. First, a “product” perspective is offered for each cluster as follows: (1) Novelty & relaxation seekers: B&B operators may arrange an easy-going atmosphere with warm and friendly hosts to attract this relatively young group. Moreover, natural or outdoor activities in rural areas may draw this group, who want to escape from their ordinary lives. For instance, some traditional farming and fishing activities like bull-cart riding or chiangu (an old-fashioned method of catching fish by herding them into nets using groups of people) might appeal to visitors from this segment. (2) Trend followers: Based on the factor analysis results, this segment does not appear to be very interested in B&B's. However, they may be interested in staying in B&B accommodations due to their current popularity as a stay-over alternative in Taiwan. B&B operators should thus consider increasing the number of attractions offered, such as sharing in the local culture and more personalized hospitality. In addition, B&B operators should employ the personal charisma of the host to differentiate their product from resort hotels. Given the apparently central role of the host in the B&B accommodation product, creating and revealing a story that demonstrates the owner's philosophy behind starting the B&B may prove useful in fostering customer relationships (Lynch, 2005). Most importantly, potential travel risks need to be reduced in order to transform trend followers into loyal B&B customers. For instance, testimonials or training certificates including CPR, fire precaution, food handling procedures, and housekeeping operations should be listed on the B&B website homepage to enhance the B&B's credibility in offering clean, hygienic, and safe products (Whyte, 2006). (3) Physical utility seekers: B&B operators may choose to focus on well-designed landscaping and animal/pet accommodations to attract this group, whose features include advanced education and families with young children. In addition, this group has a greater probability than any other group to become weekday visitors. Thus, B&B operators looking to boost weekday occupation rates should focus on this market segment. (4) Accessibility and socialization seekers: This group is predominantly middle-aged and elderly, traveling with extended families. B&B operators may offer senior-friendly products to attract this segment. For instance, alternative health-care diets such as tea-making and indoor activities including sauna and hot spring pools, as well as low-impact outdoor activities, are desirable. Second, the findings in the current study are similar to those of previous studies in that word-of-mouth advertising is shown to be the most common source of awareness of the B&B for domestic guests. Based on this finding, the current study recommends a “public relationship” perspective to leverage the potential effects of word-of-mouth advertising: (1) Extending relationships with B&B associations or government agencies to gain access to resources such as training and certification that help to maintain product quality. Housekeeping and maintenance training is required to maintain cleanliness and safety standards. Advanced culinary classes may prove useful when stressing the availability of local cuisines. Moreover, programs that focus on service quality, risk management, and customer relationships are helpful in creating enjoyable and unique accommodation experiences. (2) Maintaining customer relationships through greeting cards, postcards, birthday cards or news updates can sustain the relationship between operators and guests, and provide an avenue to deliver targeted market information. Specifically, greeting cards that include pictures of guests at the B&B will foster positive post-consumption images (Stankus, 2004). Positive emotional and cognitive bonds with a place can affect an individual's critical assessment of a destination and his/her loyalty to the place (Yuksel et al., 2010). Thus, sending greeting material might be helpful in maintaining repeat B&B visitors. Third, B&B operators should do more than just rely on word-of-mouth in order to broaden their market to potential visitors. Several ideas relating to “promotion channels” are offered as follows: (1) Cooperate with clients who have blogs in English to attract more visitors from international markets. Blogs are informal; however, decision making behavior is often influenced by reference groups (Reid and Bojanic, 2006). Thus, potential social connections through blogs should be valued (Huang et al., 2010). (2) Focus on websites. In the past, guests booked B&B rooms by phone or fax to B&B owners, or even by wandering past accommodations on the road. At present the Internet is one of the most popular ways for visitors to make reservations (Huang, 2008). Customers’ satisfaction with the information provided by the B&B website appears to be the most powerful determinant of customers’ intentions to use the website again (Jeong, 2004). Moreover, even though the website may initially be very attractive, it must also be maintained so that it may be distinguished from the websites of competitors. Audio, video, or 360° photography are strongly recommended (Lituchy and Rail, 2000). If the content is not seen as interesting, useful, visually attractive, and most importantly, up-to-date, customers will quickly lose interest and leave the site. Since many B&B owners are intimidated by or unfamiliar with online technology, more training or consulting with an affordable price is necessary (Lituchy and Rail, 2000). (3) Connect with B&B associations or tourist bureaus to ensure the legality of the B&B operations. In Taiwan, there are many illegal but attractive B&B properties. However, only B&Bs listed in the recommendations of B&B associations or tourist bureaus offer assured levels of quality. In other words, a B&B license is a critical quality attribute not only when customers choose among accommodation alternatives but also when they contemplate revisiting (Wu and Yang, 2010). (4) Network with the broader travel and leisure industry in a variety of ways in order to broaden marketing channels and acquire rare market resources. Via networking strategies, Taiwan's B&Bs may attract traditional tourists and promote themselves to other markets, including senior travelers, incentive tour travelers, business groups, and those traveling to attend festival events (Huang, 2008). Especially, senior citizens are one of the largest prospective segments for hospitality industry. They not only possess a relatively large share of all discretionary dollars, but also tend to travel more often, and stay away longer than any other age group (Huang and Tsai, 2003). Accordingly, senior citizens may boost weekday and return business. Finally, the results suggest that a focus on “partnership” is required. Since our findings show that most domestic B&B visitors enjoy traveling with family members, the creation of special programs to attract this segment is crucial, especially programs that meet the needs of multiple age groups. In addition, since B&B operations tend to be seasonal in nature, operators should consider offering interesting package deals that entice guests to visit during the off-season. Further, well-organized tour packages supported by entire B&B communities often play an important role in both increasing the range of B&B accommodations and providing positive experiences for visitors (Alonso, 2010). For instance, Dawson and Brown (1998) noted that visitors do not come to B&B properties if the overall tourist area is not attractive enough. Moreover, the image and other local attractions of the region should be included in all B&B package promotions to boost the emerging experience economy (Oh et al., 2007). Tourists seek unique experiences that go beyond traditional products and services. This new demand for memorable experience requires destinations to offer value-added packages. For instance, a local cuisine demonstration at a rural bed-and-breakfast facility offers guests educational, entertaining, and esthetic experiences (Oh et al., 2007). By combining related cultural activities with unique experiences, B&B development may witness a leverage effect in rural areas (Su, 2011). In sum, networking with the local B&B community provides economic and social advantages (Alonso, 2010). The effects of partnership among B&B establishments and other businesses are not limited to providing supplementary incomes or new employment opportunities for local communities, but are also about providing opportunities to revitalize local arts and cultures such as local cuisines, folk singing and dance, paper cutting, wood and stone carving, bamboo weaving, lace-making, wine-making, and traditional herbal therapies (Su, 2011).