University of Oulu

Managing the customer satisfaction of tourists in an experience economy

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Author: Gabova, Marina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201609082735
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Gabova, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-09-16
Physical Description: 87 p.
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Mainela, Tuija
Reviewer: Mainela, Tuija
Pajari, Sauli
Description:

Abstract

Nowadays, the great importance of tourism and its impact on the wide range of aspects of progress and globalization, development and international relations promotion does not ask for argumentations. The responsibility of providing this impact lays on every company in the sector: in addition to making profit, enterprises are in charge of satisfying the customers. Furthermore, the key mean to reaching these goals is to be found in experiences that people are so keen on receiving. Consequently, companies representing the tourism industry must focus on creating the best possible experiences, which will ensure them satisfied visitors, who will be willing to return again, and again.

Theoretically the discussion is supported by the experience economy theory, which performs as a solid base to investigate the phenomenon of customer satisfaction. However, since the topic is multifaceted and should be analyzed appropriately, the study refers also to such notions as service quality, marketing destination and brand. Additionally, the issues connected to cross-cultural differences cannot be omitted while considering a company that belongs to tourism industry, and therefore serves the international flow of customers.

The study is devoted to the exploration of customer satisfaction in an entertainment park in Finland, with the focus on visitors from Russia. The goals and objectives of the research were possible to be realized by using interviews and observation as methods of the study. In total 16 groups of people (mostly families) participated in data collection. The questionnaire was structured around three main topics: expectations from holidays, experience in the Park and Finnish Lapland as a touristic destination, therefore enabled to form a detailed understanding of the four realms of the experience, service quality, destination brand and marketing. Thus, the data analysis allowed evaluating current customer satisfaction level in the organization and offering the recommendations for developing it in the future seasons.

The study contributes to customer satisfaction, tourism and cross-cultural research. The results of this research demonstrate the complexity of the analyzed phenomenon and endeavor to present the relation and mutual influence of the simultaneously considered notions. Thus, four realms of experiences appear to have different importance for the interviewed audience and therefore influenced the overall satisfaction accordingly. Next, service quality was planned to be measured on the base of expectations, but the insufficient amount of them led to the conclusion that it is not possible to rely only on expectations in this case. However, the ones that were discovered should be carefully followed in the developing of the services and customer satisfaction in general, in the future. Lastly, the insights about the perception of Lapland and opinion of the brand retrieved from the target group, can be used for improving the destination facilities, infrastructure and overall image, as well as correcting the destination marketing strategy.

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Copyright information: © Marina Gabova, 2016. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.