Socio-Cultural Attitudes affecting Consumer Behaviour for digital Tourism in India
The main focus of this specific study is to understand the various socio-cultural factors that affect the consumer behaviour in digital tourism sector in India. Tourism as an industry, in today’s modern language is considered as a growing and emerging sector with lots of attractions. In India, there is a lot of scope for travel and tourism. There are growing people with enough Income, leisure time and mobility. Attitude toward travel and tourism are subset of wider views about people’s desired quality of life and how to achieve it. They vary according to different national cultures the place people live and they are reflected and stimulated by different media. They are developed in childhood and modified with experience of life. Attitudes can also be influenced by effective promotion and marketing and it is always most effective when it works with the grain of changing social attitudes to motivates and stimulates purchase. This study indicates the change in trend and attitudes of the consumers towards digital tourism in India. People frequently used experiences by their family and friend shared in social media for their further trip. They make planning accordingly.
Keywords: Consumer Behaviour, Digital Tourism, Attitude, Travel and Tourism
Attitude generally reflect the ideas, beliefs, aspirations and fears that people hold about their life. Attitudes towards travel and tourism is the subset of wider views about people’s desired quality of life. An equally important consideration for marketing managers, because it shapes the consumer expectations of products. Most people in developed countries, holidays and leisure time are part of their Rights and necessities of quality of life and relieving the stress of modern living. Visit abroad for pleasure or business have become outward symbol of economic and social status in society. Gap year involving extensive travel for university students and school leavers have become ever more popular youthful end of the lifetime travel scale and extensive travel following retirement is equally popular at the senior end.
Digital Tourism can be defined as the digital support of the tourist experience before, during and after the tourist activity. This might be a recommendation system to help someone find suitable accommodation during holiday planning (Ardissono et al. 2003), a mobile tour-guide application on their smartphone while there (Abowd et al. 1997) or the ability to easily explore holiday photos around a table once at home (Apted et al. 2006). The concept of digital tourism is not new and permeates many of the online activities people engage in today with trip planning using Expedia and Trip Advisor, travel management with airline frequent flyer websites and Tripit, mobile tour-guide applications on smartphones and photo management including Facebook, Flickr, iPhoto or Picasa.
However, what is new is the concept of demonetisation. Because of demonetisation people trending towards digital tourism. Let’s take a look at some recent examples of digital tourism application that marketers from any industry can learn from:
Booking: Due to that fact, there is an emerging trend of mobile-only travel agencies (MTAs). These companies offer travellers the ability to book tickets through downloadable mobile/tablet-exclusive apps. Due to demonetisation these companies are earning a nice profit because people are using online booking of hotels and travel tickets more frequently than before.
Purchasing: For travellers it was more difficult to carry cash with them because of managing and stealing of cash during travelling. Now it’s become easier by some apps like (paytm app) etc. These all apps became usable after demonetisation. Tourists became more comfortable because of these apps during their travel.
II. Present Status of Tourism of India
Today tourism is the largest service industry in India, with a contribution of 6.23% to the national GDP and providing 8.78% of the total employment. India witness’s more than 8 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and 1400 million domestic tourism visits. The tourism industry in India generated more than US$100 billion in 2015 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the development and promotion of tourism in India and maintains the “Incredible India” campaign. According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hotspot from 2009-2018, having the highest 10-year growth potential. As per the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 by the World Economic Forum, India is ranked 11th in the Asia Pacific region and 62nd overall, moving up three places on the list of the world’s attractive destinations. It is ranked the 14th best tourist destination for its natural resources and 24th for its cultural resources, with many World Heritage Sites, both natural and cultural, rich fauna, and strong creative industries in the country. India also bagged 37th rank for its air transport network. The India travel and tourism industry ranked 5th in the long-term (10-year) growth and is expected to be the second largest employer in the world by 2019. Moreover, India has been ranked the “best country brand for value for money” in the Country Brand Index (CBI) survey conducted by Future Brand, a leading global brand consultancy. India also claimed the second place in CBI’s “best country brand for history”, as well as appears among the top 5 in the best country brand for authenticity and art & culture, and the fourth best new country for business (Bhatt and Padnya).
Table 1: Domestic Tourism Growth in Last Ten Years
Year Domestic Tourist Visit (in mn) Annual Growth Rate (%)
2006 462.31 18
2007 526.26 13.90
2008 562.98 6.9
2009 650.03 15.5
2010 747.21 10.7
2011 864.53 15.6
2012 1045.05 20.9
2013 1142.53 9.3
2014 1282.80 12.3
2015 1431.97 11.6
Source: Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
III. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
Every tourist is different. Every tourist feels attracted by different tourist destinations, prefers to engage in different activities during vacation, likes varied entertainment facilities and complains about different aspects of their vacation. While all tourists are different, some are more similar to each other than others: many people enjoy Heritage tourism, many tourists like to try different sports and weather during winter holiday, and many tourists like different entertainment facilities for their children at the destination. Concerning with this fact forms the basis for market segmentation. Behavioural and attitude segmentation divides customers into groups based on the way they respond to, use or know of a product. The study will contribute to a theoretical enhancement of the current and past level of knowledge in the existing consumer behaviour towards travel and tourism. The findings can help to find out various factors like (experiences shared in social-media, online advertising etc.) that are the driver for resulting behaviour of consumers and change of attitude and experience towards the industry as a whole. The needs, purchase motives, and decision process associated with the consumption of tourism products can be understood.
IV. LITERATURE REVIEW
Kotler (1999) shows that globalization has changed tourist consumer behaviour as it has the capacity to create impacts on 1) cultural criteria 2) social criteria 3) personal criteria and 4) psychological criteria (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes).
Goldsmith & Litwin, (1999) Like many business, travel agencies and tour operators need to segment their market mostly behavioural segmentation and develop marketing strategies targeted towards heavy users of customers.
Jamieson (2001); Klanarongran (2001); Douglas and Derrett (2001) In the globalization era, tourists tend to be concerned about safety, security, and health as a main consideration for travel. Beerli and Martin (2004) proposed a model of the formation of destination image. Tourists formed the destination image from information sources and personal factors.
Lam & Hsu (2006) test the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour to destination choice decisions and suggest that it can explain the link between attitudes and behaviour in this context. Yurtseven (2006) indicated that perceptions of tourist destination’s service quality by tourists were not homogenous.
Therefore, the provided services should be designed according to type of tourists. From the available literature, researchers were not able to found different attitudes and Behavioural factors considered by tourists. The study will fill the gap in the existing literature.
V. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This framework gives a summary of this study which will help in identifying the following objectives:
– Exploring the interest of consumers for online tourism
– Exploring the change in attitude of the consumers in a time lap of 10-15 years with reference to online tourism.
– Exploring the important factors considered for the growth of Indian tourism industry and the factors considered by the consumer while choosing the travel destination.
VI. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The study was carried out in the Delhi;NCR region on the sample size of 50 respondents using convenience sampling to overcome the constraints of time and budgets. This study used structured questionnaire taken from various literature review, which covered to study the attitude, perception and the choice of preference of the consumers for the tourism. Questionnaire was distributed to the all segments (age group) of the consumers. The questionnaire was divided into four sections: Part (a) Personal Profile of the consumers which included: Sex, Age, Occupation, Expenditure etc., Part (b) consisted of questions exploring perception of the consumers towards online Tourism before 10-15 years before of their age, Reason for online tourism now and factors influencing for online tourism now. Part(c) explored consumer’s choice of preference for tourism through different variables and (d) explored consumer’s choice of preference for their past experiences and future growth in Indian online tourism through different variables where questions were being measured through five point Likert scale (5 as Very Bad and 1 as Very Good) and 3 point Likert Scale (3 as Highly Satisfied and 1 as not satisfied).
Secondary Data: Online data and survey reports from Ministry of tourism during the period of study were collected.
Sampling Period: The data was collected in January 2017. A total of 50 usable questionnaires were returned resulting in overall response rate of 100%.
VII. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Table.1 Demographic characteristics of the Respondent
Demographic variable Categories Frequency Percentage
Sex Male 28 56%
Female 22 44%
Total 50 100
Age 0-20 1 2%
20-30 22 44%
30-40 16 32%
40-50 6 12%
50-60 4 8%
;60 1 2%
Marital Status Married 34 68%
Newly Married 1 2%
Unmarried 15 30%
Occupation Student 5 10%
Working 34 68%
Retired Person 3 6%
Other 8 16%
Nationality Indian 50 100%
Like Travelling Yes 50 100%
Expenditure 0-5000 9 18
5000-15000 10 20
15000-25000 11 22
;25000 20 40
Source: Author’s own
As shown in Table 1, out of the 50 respondents that participated in this study, 56% of the respondents were male that the 44% were female. The age of the respondents ranged from less than 20 years of age, 2% of the sample, 20-30 years are44%. Between 30 to 40 years, there were 32%, 12% were between 40 to 50 years and 8% were 50-60 and 2% were 60 years and older. Respondents who were married, Unmarried and newly married were 68%, 30% and 2%. Respondents exhibit different expenditure where 18% of the respondents falls between the category of Rs 25000 per visit. About 10% of the respondents are students, 68 % of them are working and 6% are retired person and 16% falls in other category. Out of 50 respondents, 100% of the respondents were Indian and 100% of them like tourism.
The present study had three major objectives. The first objective was to examine the awareness level of the consumers for tourism. The results obtained from the study showed that the respondents who falls between age group of >20 were emphasise on the economic factor and the lack of knowledge in the response of the factors influencing before 10-15 years of their age, they also consider promotional advertisement and family/friends’ experiences as important factors in reason for tourism now. In this age group respondents also consider Escape stress and feeling close to nature as important factors responsible to change in attitude for travel. Below 20 years age group want to spend their holidays with friends. Like this in the age group of 20-30 years respondents consider Economic factors and lack of media are most important factors affecting tourism before 10-15 years of their age of now. Overall study of respondents tell that majority of the respondents were consider the Economic factor and lack of media were the factors affecting the tourism 10-15 years of age of now, 80% of respondents considered the promotional advertisement and experience by their family and friends are the important factors responsible to change in attitude for travel ,78% of respondents emphasise on the Escape stress and want to spend time with family and friends are the important factors for reason for tourism now.
According to the first objective of the study, the authors conclude that the respondents were aware towards the environment friendly attributes of the hotel industry. The second objective of this study was to examine the consumers’ perception towards Indian tourism. The findings are depicted in Table 2 in which respondents had given their views on the basis of the importance attached to different variables for factors for choosing in their travel destination.
Table.2 Perception of the respondents
Factors For choosing online Travel Destination Mean Importance
Adventure 9 Very important
Night life 8.2 Very important
Culture 8.2 Very important
Health 7.4 Very important
Nature 6.8 Very important
Religion 5.2 Important
Rest 3.2 Important
Sport 3.2 Important
Family/Relative 2.8 Least important
Visiting places seen on TV, or in a movie 3.2 Important
Recommended by others 20.5 Very important
Advertised places 13.5 Very important
Place known for food & drinks 10 Very important
Unknown Places 6 Important
Familiar places 10.5 Very important
Source: Authors own
According to the above Table.2, the mean value of all the variables were found out which had ranged from 20 to 1. The range between 10 to 6 has been considered as very important (in first 10 variables), 5 to 3 has been considered as important of main interest in selecting a destination and range between 2 to 1 as least important for consumers. In the second five variable 20-10 has been considered as very important and range between 10-5 as important. The table shows the result of factors considered while choosing the destination and motivation for tourism. The results clearly show that consumers had perceived the following adventure, night life, culture, health and nature as very important and religion, rest and sports are important factors in choosing a travel destination. The third objective of this study was to find out the choice of preference of the consumers for green attributes while choosing a hotel. Table 3 below shows the various the variables based on respondent’s past experiences in travel and important factors they considered for the growth of Indian online tourism sector.
Table.3 Choice of preference of the respondents
Factors Percentage Rating
Facilities available 86% Satisfied
Cleanliness 78% Satisfied
Accessibility by road/air/ rail networks 78% Satisfied
Attitude of locals 90% Satisfied
Packages available 82% Satisfied
Food/drinking water 78% Satisfied
Accommodations 78% Satisfied
Tourist information centres 68% Satisfied
Working guides 72% Satisfied
Advertisement 80% Satisfied
Good climate 88% Good
Ancillary Services 62% Good
Accessibility 74% Good
Accommodation 80% Good
Amenities 60% Good
Historical ; Cultural factors 64% Good
Religious Factors 54% Good
Source: Authors own
According to the above Table.3, the respondents had shown their preferences towards various attributes based on their past experiences and factors considered for the growth of Indian tourism sector. The satisfaction level of these attributes has shown in the percentage of majority of respondent. The table clearly shows the result that almost all the attributes like food, accommodation, accessibility etc. are satisfactory and majority of the respondents considered that India has a good climate condition for tourism and a good advertisement can enhance the tourism industry in India.
The current research has moved beyond the previous studies and come out with the results. The first objective of this study was to explore the interests of consumers towards the online tourism. The results obtained from the study showed that 100% of the respondents were interested in tourism. They like to spend time with their family and friends in their leisure time. Respondents want to go for a different place for escape stress. They want to feel close to nature.Inspite of them who has facilities of internet prefer online services provided.
The second objective of the current study is to explore the consumers’ perception towards the online tourism before 10-15 years of their age of now and reason of tourism now and what are the different factors that motivate them towards tourism where results showed that lack of internet facilities and knowledge about it and lack of media are the important factors which are considered as less interest in tourism of consumers before 10-15 years as of now. Respondent feel escape stress and speed are the important factors for the reason of online tourism now. Majority of respondents feel spending time with family and friend is the important factor for tourism .they can have a quality time with their family/friends from their busy life. In today’s lifestyle everybody wants to spend the time with family/friends and love to share experiences with altogether.
According to the third objective of the current study to explore the important factors considered for the growth of Indian tourism industry and the factors considered by the consumer while choosing the travel destination. The results showed that respondents satisfied with the attributes like facilities available, Food, attitudes of the locals etc. and they considered that India has a good climate condition so it can have good revenue generating tourism industry because of this. Result showed that a good and effective advertisement can be an important factor in growth of Indian tourism sector.
In addition to this I want to say Demonetisation is also a main factor towards digital tourism these days. Due to this many of companies like paytm, Goibibo, make my trip are also making a good profit.
Limitations of the Study
The limitations of the study are as below:
• The research has been conducted for only Delhi ; NCR region. The implications of the research may or may not apply to other parts of the country.
• Out of all the respondents, there may be few who may not be travelling, but may have provided their data just for the sake of being part of the research.
Further Scope of Research
The further scope for research is very wide in this area of market research. Similar research and analysis can be done for other cities and/or states of India. It could be possible that the respondents differ in their tastes and preferences across states and/or cities.
The research can also be carried out to segment the respondents on some other bases, like cluster analysis. The implications for marketers may be different for different types of segmentation. Demonetisation factor can also be considered for further research in digital tourism.?
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