Essay, 11 pages (2500 words)

Behavioural intention of penang tourism essay

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5. 0Introduction

This is the final chapter of this study report which consists of discussions, limitations, recommendations and conclusion. In addition, the explained discussions of the study based on research findings will be useful for tourism industry as well as academicians. Additionally, the provided recommendation might be useful insight for tourism industry players to improvise some tourism areas and also for future research. Moreover, the identified limitations information might be helpful and useful for future researchers to improve their research study. Therefore, this chapter will present discussions, limitations and recommendations guided by the research objectives and research questions set earlier in the first chapter. The research objectives and research questions are:

5. 1Research objectives

To identify international tourists’ perceived image of Penang. To analyze the relationship between cognitive image, affective image and behavioural intention.

5. 2Research Questions

What is the international tourists’ perceived image of Penang? What is the relationship between cognitive image, affective image and behavioural intention of Penang among international tourists?

5. 3Discussions

The study investigated the international tourists’ perceived image and behavioural intention, namely intentions to revisit and to recommend Penang as an international travel destination choice. Previous tourism researchers focused on investigating the demographics and travel behaviour characteristics of international tourists who visited Penang (Abdallat, 2012) Also, some other studies mainly investigated the relationship between the attributes and satisfaction (Som, Shirazi and Jusoh, 2011). This research was then conducted to seek the relationship between destination image and behavioural intentions. The two main dimensions of destination images namely cognitive image and affective image perceived by the respondents of this study can be the factors influencing them to trigger their behavioural intentions. Moreover, identifying it can assist the tourism players understand and foresee potential opportunity area or factors to market Penang internationally. Besides, it will assist in the area which international tourists perceived unfavourable by improvising it. During this studies, a set of 185 usable questionnaires were collected at the Penang International Airport in the month of October 2012. Based on the findings revealed in Chapter Four, there were various demographic profiles of respondents identified, such as gender, age, marital status, country origin, education and occupation. Majority of the respondents were male tourists due to the fact that male tourist travel more than the females. Furthermore, nearly half of the respondents were aged between 30 years to 39 years old. This is because of the fact that tourists within this aged are very eager to explore the world and witness new things besides they have started to have stable income and life. Next, more than half of the respondents were single. Based on the observation results of travel companions of tourist travel pattern, most of them travelled with companions such as their friends even though they were single. Therefore, it is understood that most of the tourist preferably to travel with their companion. Moreover, most of the respondents were Asian. It was found that Asian and Oceania are the two continents that make up the majority of the tourists’ continent of origin. Penang was chosen by most of the Asians because of the nearly similar culture and value portrayed with other Asia country whereas Oceania tourists mostly likely travelled to Penang due to the short distance travel time and cheap expenses. In terms of education, almost all of the respondents have degree or higher education levels. Therefore it can be assumed that this group have good jobs and earn stable incomes thus are able to travel, contrary with the lower level education. Finally, the results showed that executive/managerial level made up most of the respondents’ occupation demographic which supports that tourists with better or secured jobs can afford to travel the most because of the stable income.

5. 4International Tourists’ Perceived Image of Penang as a Travel Destination

This sub chapter will discuss based on findings answering the first objective question which is ” What is the international perceived image of Penang?” Referring to the findings table, the highest mean score showed that majority of the respondent agreed that Penang have distinctive history and heritage due to the fact that Penang multiracial communities living make up the population of Penang. It was followed by good infrastructure of hotel and apartments. High score of mean can also be seen on good cultural experience. Respondents also agreed that Penang is surrounded by hospitable and friendly people. Therefore, the main preferences of image perceived by the respondent are the heritage history and culture. This is true due to various multi heritages, culture and history that Penang offers. Those can be considered as preferable factors to influence international tourist’s intentions to revisit or recommend Penang. Other than that, there were several other positive statements on Penang derived from the unstructured questions in determining their perceived image. Friendly and warm hospitality among the people in Penang, for instance, supported the high mean score in the item for the hospitable and friendly people statement. Other than that, multi-culture, history and heritage statement were among the favourable attraction perceived by the respondent. Such favourable image statement resulted in Georgetown being endorsed as UNSECO’s World Cultural Heritage Site on 7th of July 2008 which boosted world attention. The sunny weather of Penang is also considered favourably to be the positive image that can influence behavioural intention. This point of statement is derives from the European respondent. On the other hand, respondent also gave lower scores on some of the listed attributes such as Penang having tempting and colourful culture events. It was followed by a low score on personal safety. Meanwhile almost all respondent gave low scores to cleanliness. This is caused by low hygiene practices in Penang city, restaurants and especially public toilets. In fact, the unstructured questions section identified several other negative images perceive by the respondents, for instance, the heavy traffic congestion. This negative perceived image by the respondents is supported a study conducted by Chia, Tsui and Whalley (2003) which mentioned that traffic congestion in Asia has worsened and it has became a key issue on debate in seeking solution for the problem. According to Lee, Osman, Talib, and Ismail (2008) road traffic congestion in Penang are caused by roads merges at major routes, especially. The road merges tend to make vehicles move slower when they reach the merging point. Other interesting finding derived from the unstructured question section was the expensive alcohol price. This was one of the unfavourable images perceived by the respondent regarding Penang. Drinking is part of the European, Soviet and American culture and those countries show a very high statistic on alcohol consumptions (WHO, 2011). Such culture of drinking alcoholic beverages has made them spend more during their visit in Penang due to the high tax and duty imposed on alcoholic beverages in Malaysia. Other than that, there was also the cloudy or dirty beach water which is related to the cleanliness. Therefore considerable action in improving such unfavourably perceived image of Penang among the international tourists should be taken seriously to ensure international tourist’s intentions to revisit and recommend. Furthermore, this study undertook the opportunity to explore and identify the unique image attributes perceived by the respondent. Unique image attribute can assist in differentiating Penang to compete with other holiday destination. Interestingly, Monkey Beach has been mentioned as unique. This is due to the unique experience offered in Monkey Beach for instance feeding the monkeys by themselves. Numerous tourist attractions that offers historical, heritage and culture of Penang such as Kek Lok Si Temple and Georgetown UNESCO heritage site were also has been identified as some of the uniqueness of Penang. Also, respondents tend to state that the spicy food, asam laksa and roti canai to be unique. Furthermore, experience eating using fingers was also considered as unique.

5. 5Relationship between Cognitive Image, Affective Image and Behavioural Intentions

The other purpose of running this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive images, affective image and behavioural intentions. Based on the findings, cognitive image and affective image significantly influenced behavioural intentions directly and it supported the hypotheses of this study as well. Moreover, the result is also in line with Chen and Tsai (2007) in their study which found that destination image have a direct influence towards behavioural intentions compare to implementing mediator, namely satisfaction and perceived quality. Later, Abdullah and Kim (2010) found that there is a positive relationship between cognitive and affective image towards behavioural intentions directly. Moreover, behavioural intention was found to be highly influenced by both of the destination components. The results shows that international tourists who give high score to distinctive, history and heritage, infrastructure of hotel and apartments, unique cultural experience, friendly people, good vintage building and diverse gastronomy after their visitation do intend to revisit and recommend Penang. However, tourists who give low score to the image of Penang namely cleanliness, beautiful beaches, exotic places, good night life, adequate publicizing cultural activities, personal safety and colourful culture events would not revisit and recommend Penang. Since both components can be considered as crucially important, both academically and practically, it will later assist in promoting Penang as a travel destination with favourable experience and to know which factors influence behavioural intentions the most. It will also contribute toward Penang tourism growth. For academic, it will shows how image to be a direct antecedents of behavioural intentions.

5. 6Revisit and Recommend Intention

In the section of measuring respondent behavioural intentions, respondents were provided a section to give their reasons for their recommend intentions and revisit intentions. The reason is because of the friendliness and warm meant treat from the people in Penang and their capability to speak English. In addition, the multicultural environment of Penang is considered interesting and attractive. Also, the fact that travelling to Penang does not require VISA by most tourists is one the reasons why they have the intention to recommend and to revisit. Other than that, the sunny weather and diverse Asian food are also reasons given. Conversely, respondents also gave reasons for their unwillingness to recommend or revisit Penang. Top reasons were lack of cleanliness or hygiene of the food and city. They also disliked the bad traffic congestions on the road which is caused by poor road connections. Other than that, respondents especially the westerners found alcohol prices in Penang to be expensive compared to other countries that they visited. Lastly, the most surprising reason for the women tourists not to revisit or to recommend is because of the sleazy, aggressive and disrespectful manners by the men towards them. On top that, this study found that affective image seems to have been strongly influenced towards behavioural intentions which are intention to recommend and intention to revisit. It can be said that the tourists’ feelings have much influence over their behavioural intentions.

5. 7Limitations of the Study Findings and Possible Future Research

In this study, the researcher faced several limitations as explained below: Inability to cover all tourist exit points in PenangAs mentioned earlier in Chapter Three, international tourists who have visited Penang, in other words who were departing Penang after their visitations were the targeted population used in this study because of the setting of this study to measures perception of Penang’s image after tourists visitation. Based on Penang Tourism Malaysia, there are five international tourist exit point in Penang namely International Penang Airport, Butterworth Railway Station, Georgetown Ferry Terminal, Butterworth Bus Station and Port Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal which have the potential to reach the targeted population for this survey. However, the researcher was unable to cover all exit point to get access to the respondents. Data was only collected at the Penang International Airport, specifically in the departing hall area. The reason was because of the researcher’s convenience and due to the fact that most of the tourists travelled by air internationally (WTO, 2008). Future research should consider all tourists’ exit point as places to get access to all potential respondents in order to get more generalizable surveyed results and to find out more variety of perceived images by the international tourist. Data could also be collected at tourist attractions however since the setting of this study is to measures after tourists visitation therefore exits points are the place to consider. Unbalance proportion of touristBased on Chapter Four on the table of respondents’ country of origin, there were imbalanced in the proportion of respondent country of origin. Many of the respondents were from Asia with the proportion of 38. 4 percent. There were also large number of respondent coming from Oceania with the proportion of 28. 1 percent and 27. 6 percent of respondents’ proportion coming from Europe. Lastly, 8. 1 percent respondents’ proportion came from North America. It was such an obvious imbalance of the tourist proportion therefore with such proportion; a question arises as to whether the findings would remain the same if more responses were available especially from North America. Future researchers might want to investigate on one focus group to better understand more their behavioural intention. Language barrierEnglish is globally known as the major language used as a communication medium. Therefore, the English language has been used in developing research questions since the scope of this study involves tourists from various origins globally. Unfortunately, not all potential respondents could understand and speak English for instance, the new huge potential tourism market segment which is China couldn’t take part in the survey as they barely understood English. In that case, it results in a low response rate. Therefore future researcher should consider providing multiple language questions developed using Chinese language for example. Low response rateThe next limitation of this study was the low response rate which was due to language barrier. Rate of response for this study was less than fifty percent. Specifically, only forty eight percent of response rate were available to represent the population. According to Gallup (2007), determinant of response rate can be ranged in between thirty percent and above. Therefore, forty eight percent of response rates for this study is considered acceptable. However, to overcome this limitation, future researchers should consider implementing the other three limitations mentioned earlier, namely the inability to cover all tourist exit points in Penang, the unbalanced proportion of tourist and the language barrier.

5. 8Recommendations

The purpose of this study was to identify international perceived image on Penang. The results of this study can help practitioners in the tourism industry and academic in the tourism industry to better understand the international tourists’ perceived image whom visited Penang as their travel destination. In addition, the strengths or weaknesses of image in the tourists mind regarding Penang can be understood and analyzed. Therefore, it will be an advantage for destination managers and marketers to cooperate in understanding the image in order to develop or improvise special tourism attributes and activities besides valuable experience. Such improvement and development will reinforce tourists’ intentions to revisit Penang again or to recommend Penang to other potential tourists. Moreover, understanding the characteristics of international tourists visiting Penang is crucial to create effective tourism marketing strategy. Tourist travel characteristic provide informative findings to market tourism products to a specific tourist segment. Each segment might have different preferences. It will contribute towards effective promotional activities by the tourism marketers in marketing Penang towards the international tourist. On the other hand, this study will also provide several recommendations academically in the tourism area specifically for destination image and behavioural intention. Referring to the research hypothesis findings, behavioural intention were influenced by two major components of destination image namely cognitive image and affective image. Both components of destination image were equally important in giving influence towards behavioural intentions. Therefore, it is recommend for future researchers to extend this conceptual framework by adding some other mediating variables or antecedent of behavioural intention such as overall image, satisfaction, perceived value and quality. Other than that, future researchers should also consider other specific setting using this framework, such as other geographical areas, tourism attractions and other tourism services such as transportation and accommodation.

5. 9Conclusion

In summary, the earlier objectives of this study to identify international tourist perceived image and to identify the relationship between cognitive, affective image and behavioural intentions were found by choosing Penang as the setting for this research. The result of this study of course has several implications towards the tourism practitioners and academicians. The study shows that even without the mediating factors such as overall image, satisfaction, perceived value and quality, image can still directly influence tourists’ behavioural intention. Additionally, identified perceived image by respondents can be useful in improvising and strategizing new marketing plans. This finding can also be helpful to better segment the present market so they will revisit and recommend. Other than that, it will provide reason and points for tourism practitioners in managing factors influencing international tourists’ intention to recommend or to revisit Penang.

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