The effect of tourists’ perceptions of a tourism product on memorable travel experience: Implications for destination branding.

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Tukamushaba, E. ; Xiao, H. ; Ladkin, Adele (2016)

The purpose of this study is to analyse how tourists’ perceptions of a destination’s tourism product influences memorable tourism experiences and how gender differences influence tourists’ perceptions of tourism product. To achieve these objectives, Uganda, one of the developing economies in East Africa, was chosen. The five A’s of tourism product was used as a basis for the questionnaire construction and data was analysed. Explanatory research design within the framework of confirmatory factor analysis - a structural equation modelling technique was adopted using the AMOS 18 program. A sample of 501 respondents consisting of tourists departing Uganda through Entebbe International Airport was used.\ud \ud Results showed that both the measurement and structural models exhibited better model fit indices. Overall, tourists’ perceptions of the retained four dimensions of tourism product (Attractions, ancillary services, amenities and accommodation) had a positive effect on memorable travel experience. Additionally, the independent T-test for gender and tourists’ perceptions of Uganda’s tourism product showed that on average, females had a positive evaluation of Uganda tourism product compared to their male counterparts. However, the observed difference was not significant.\ud \ud It is recommended that destination management organisations pay attention to infrastructure, particularly transport that links potential and actual tourists to key tourism attractions. This is likely to enhance positive perceptions and was found to positively influence memorable travel experience. Other implications for destination branding are discussed.
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