Dr Nikolaos Stylos is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Director of the Marketing Science Laboratory (MarS Lab) at the University of Wolverhampton Business School. He has a PhD in Business Administration (Marketing), an M.B.A, an M.Sc. in Mechanical Reliability Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
His research interests include consumer behaviour, tourism marketing, environmental management and sustainable development. Dr Stylos has published in various international journals including Tourism Management, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, and Journal of Cleaner Production. He has worked on EU funded projects and served as a professional management and technical consultant for more than a decade.
The world tourism market is worth an estimated 10% of global GDP ($7.6 trillion). In order to benefit from this market, we need to predict the plans and behaviour of tourists. This research investigates factors that make tourists likely to revisit Birmingham by examining the direct and indirect effects of a bus sightseeing experience as part of an overall tourist experience. It contributes to the wider literature of tourism destinations marketing and service management, as well as, offering specific benefits for managing urban tourist destinations.
Understanding consumers’ behaviour is essential in designing marketing strategies that would attract consumers’ interest in a certain tourism destination. During the last ten years, a series of conceptual models based on theories of diffusion, economic theories designed for policy simulation, cognitive theories, life style theories, as well as theories of socio-technical barriers have been presented in an effort to explain consumer preferences and choices. Therefore understanding the factors that affect an individual’s likelihood to revisit a tourist destination is vital. These factors include past experience, emotions, word-of-mouth communication and other that are essential for designing a successful tourism destination.
Enhancing travelling with new experiences has become crucial in order to build a holistic perspective of the tourism product. This was one of the first studies seeking to investigate the effects of bus sightseeing experience offered in urban areas and the relevant impact on the overall experience during tourists’ stay. In doing so, we examined effect of bus travel experience factors and also of any past sightseeing experience on perceived value of the sightseeing experience and their intentions to spread their evaluation of travel experience through electronic word-of-mouth communications, as well as on the intention to revisit the destination.
The project employed quantitative methods drawing on primary data collection. The field research study took place in Birmingham where a bus company offers city-circle sightseeing services. Respondents were approached to participate in the field research study while being on-board to capture their experience best possible way. A self-administered paper based questionnaire was distributed on-board. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was implemented to analyse data and specify the factors that significantly influence tourists’ behavioural intentions.
The research design was based on the following 9 items (as per Sekaran & Bougie, 2010):
Perceived value of bus sightseeing experience plays an important role in shaping tourists’ future intentions. It actually exerts a strong direct effect on electronic word-of-mouth and another weaker one on tourists’ intention to revisit Birmingham. Relevant communications strategies should be designed and planned to focus on particular reference groups in order to support destination management organisation’s efforts to develop Birmingham as a an important UK tourism destination.
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