1 RESEARCH OF THE TOURIST SATISFACTION OF KEFALLONIA ISLAND Dimitris G. Lagos University of the Aegean Chios, Greece Evangelia D. Parisi University of the Aegean Chios, Greece ABSTRACT The research in question regarding as tourists satisfaction is particularly critical due to its impact the choice of tourist destination and relevant decisions made. The research of tourist satisfaction has the potential to provide important information for the position that tourist destination holds for the preferences of tourists. The aim of the research which was conducted in Kefallonia was to investigate the strong and weak points of the offered services on the island. The main tool used during the research was a properly constructed questionnaire filled in by a satisfactory sample, which was supported by the theory of descriptive statistics. The conclusions drawn are likely to provide us with useful information on the techniques and policies applied so as to improve the specific destination and the awareness of the factors which make more attractive to tourists. Key words: Tourist satisfaction, Kefallonia, descriptive statistics. INTRODUCTION Greek tourism is one of the most dynamic fields of Greek economy, it contributes approximately 1 to Gross National Product and it is one of its main sources of revenues. The biggest profit for tourist industry is tourists who are so satisfied of their stay at the tourist destination that they visit it again. Therefore, big tourist expenses at tourist destinations are not enough, as a positive picture of the destination and a sense of satisfaction of products or services is more important. In tourist bibliography the satisfaction of tourists through the offer of services-products which a tourist destination provides, constitutes an essential topic, which has been studied especially in the last four decades. ( Tse & Wilson, 1988, Tribe and Snaith, 1998, Kozak & Rimmington, 2000, Joppe, Martin & Waalen, 2001, Conklin, Swarbrooke and Horner, 2001, Powaga, Lipovetsky, 2002, Kottler, 2001, Petrick, 2004, Yoon, Uysal, 2005). Researcher have tried through a range of theoretical approaches to analyze the notional contents of tourist satisfaction as well as to interpretate the way they are formed before, during and after the visit to the tourist destination. The perception of tourist satisfaction is related to quality, loyalty, profit (Parasurama et al., 1985). In other cases it has occasionally been linked with the image of destination (Chen & Hsu, 2000), with incentives (Crompton & Love, 1995), with the previous behavior of the tourist (Konecnik & Ruzzier, 2006), up to the results of comparison of tourist perception and expectation (Chon & Olsen, 1991, Pizam & Milman, 1993, Spreng et al., 1993, Tribe & Snaith, 1998, Danaher & Arweiler, 1996, Qu & Li, 1997).
2 The development of tourist destination is closely related to the satisfaction of the tourist-consumer from the offer of products and the other tourists goads and services, as well as the prospective decision to return to the same destination (Kοzak & Rimmington, 2000). This research focuses its interest on researching the strength and weaknesses which the offered tourist services present on the island of Kefallonia which affect the level of tourist satisfaction and create gratification or displeasure from the tourist destination they visit. It can exploit the strengths which exist in the formation of the offer of a competitive tourist product, which can offer multiple benefits to the viability and the touristic development of the island. The methodology used was divided into a theoretical part and empirical analysis. The theoretical part refers to approaches of the tourist consumer behaviour. The empirical analysis which is based on a sampling survey using questionnaires includes the aim of the survey and an analysis of the parts of the questionnaire. ΤΗE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF THE RESEARCH Tourist satisfaction is the basic parameter in the way consumers behavior is conveyed. The specific research is based on the theory of consumers behavior, which assumes that consumers are able to compare alternative combinations of products and classify them according to the satisfaction rate or the usefulness they offer. A basic feature of the consumers preference system is the existence of different combinations of products which yield usefulness of the same standard. This means that a product can be replaced by another one so that the consumer remains equally satisfied. In order for the consumer to achieve the maximum satisfaction attuned to his budget, they must choose products from the highest indifference curve. Tourists act like any consumer in order to meet their needs. The demand for tourist products depends on their budget, the prices of products and services as well as the preferences of tourists-consumers. Tourists divide their income in a way that allows them to choose among certain combinations the one that will increase their satisfaction. The specific research attempts to investigate the connection between the tourist product of the tourist destination and tourist satisfaction setting off the strong and weak points of the destination through the tourists preferences-choices. PLANNING OF THE RESEARCH This research attains quantative assessments of tourist satisfaction during their stay on the island of Kefallonia. Α guideline method was used, which was based on primary evidence which was gathered by personal interviews with the tourists who visited the island of Kefallonia during the months of July-August, The questionnaire designed was simple but specialized. It consisted of the main bodies which were questions to measure satisfaction. This has been divided into five units, which concern the dimensions of satisfaction which are accommodation, food (nutrition), transport, infrastructure and entertainment. Each unit contained questions for each of the allotted dimensions of satisfaction. In addition, an overall question for the main dimension. At the end, there was a question for the measurement of the overall satisfaction as well as some demographic questions of general content. Therefore, there were questions concerning value for money, the information source which contributes to the selection of the destination, the habits-lifestyle and goads of the tourists, the importance the tourist attributes to some factors-features of the destinations and behaviouristic questions (intentions of returning-recommendations to other people). On the whole 191 tourists of different nationalities on the island of Kefallonia took part in the research. However, after processing the questionnaires 24 of them were excluded as their answers were not satisfactorily relative or the questionnaires were appropriately filled in. In this way 167 valid and reliable questionnaires were totally gathered. The total population was approximately 800 departing tourists during July and August The sample is considered quite important statistically since it covers a great number of demographic and other characteristics of the tourists and depicts their satisfactory rate concerning various aspects of the tourist product. The questionnaires were filled in by departing tourists. People who were about to depart (airport) were included in the research. Before the start of the research, a preliminary-pilot research was conducted in order to try the questionnaire on 13 tourists (5,9 %). Linkert s 5-grade scale was used in the rating of satisfaction, which
3 corresponds to the lowest and the highest level of satisfaction, dissatisfied, slightly satisfied, satisfied, very satisfied, fully satisfied. ANALYSIS OF THE RESEARCH RESULTS The results of the research are displayed in graphs in this unit. As mentioned before, in all, 167 questionnaires were collected for the research in question, 47% were answered by women and 53% by men 14% Dutch, 7% Greeks, 1 British, 25% Danes, 7% Swiss, 1 Swedish, 2% Νοrwegians. There were also some tourists () from other countries. Most of them were aged between (49%) and the next age group consisted of people were older between (31%). 53% of them were married, with low and middle level education (35%), travelling with company or family (35% & 26%), their maximum stay on the island was a week (5), stayed in hotels (6) and other kinds of accommodation like rented rooms, apartments or villas (27%). The highest percentage of the sample planned their holiday through the Internet with the travel agent being their next preference. In most cases, the groups of the people who travel consist of two people (5). In graphs 1 we can see the first part of the results. In this part the Overall Satisfaction of the accommodation is very high (77%). The result is favourable for the development of tourism in Kefallonia as the highest percentage of the people who were asked proved to be satisfied with their holiday accommodation. Accommodation prices and hygiene conditions make up the highest satisfaction rates. At the some time, a high rate of dissatisfaction is conveyed (dissatisfied or totally discontented customers) in the above ranging between 17-. Next, as far as feeding is concerned (graph 2) the total satisfaction rate comes to 84% showing an important satisfaction degree, particularly emphasizing the staffs promptness in servicing (8) and the landscaping of the surrounding areas (84%). There was dissatisfaction (ranging between 12-27% of hygiene in dinning places and variety of dishes (24% - 27%), which are points that need to be improved. Satisfaction of means of transport (trains, places) ranges to a high percentage 84% (graph 3), the most important of which are itinerary timetables-announcements and other services (cash points, chemists etc). At the same time there is dissatisfaction of the staffs friendliness (25%), security () and journeys (24%). Satisfaction rates concerning the means of transport at the tourist destination range up to 87% (graph 4). The condition of vehicles, quality of service, safety, availability, prices and cleanliness display a fairly good satisfaction rate of 85%. Moreover, there was dissatisfaction of entertainment variety and cleanliness of the premises (25% and 2). Correspondingly. The overall satisfaction rate of infrastructure on the island (graph 6) comes to 86%, while security and esthetics in public areas display a particularly high percentage (83%). Some dissatisfaction of the overall condition of the road network (26%) is detected as well as of hospitality () by the locals and the quality of medical services (). These points are basic improvement priorities Next, in graphs 7-15, the importance-interest degree in activities-attractions offered the tourist destination is displayed. It ranges between 31-42% with a preference in the markets (42%), folk events (39%), water sports (3), culture-festivals (37%) and night life (34%). The overall satisfaction rate is 52%. In the last part of the questionnaire there were some questions concerning the dealings relations among the above with their value (graphs 16-18). The results showed a high satisfaction rate with accommodation (62%) as well as transport (55%) compared to other parts of Greece. This comparison though, displayed a disadvantage concerning service (24%), entertainment (32%) and the residents attitude () towards tourism. Finally, a good intention for recommending the island to friends and acquaintances (7) as well as returning to the same tourist destination (67,1 %) is detected
4 CONCLUSION - SUGGESTIONS POLICY The conclusions are based on a sample of 167 people who were asked and after analyzing and resuming the results we found that: The overall satisfaction comes to 52% a rate which is not particularly high and therefore heeds to be improved. The means of transport on the island (87%), the infrastructures (86%), the feeding and the public transport (plane, ship) 84% show the highest satisfaction rates followed by accommodation, which displays a quite lower rate (77%). Some basic activities which are considered to be an attraction for the tourists who select Kefallonia as their tourist destination. Such are the possibility for purchases on the island (42%), folk events (39%), water sports (3), cultural elements of the place festivals (37%) and nightlife (34%). High dissatisfaction rates were conveyed concerning the prices and hygiene conditions of the lodges the dining areas, the variety of dishes, the friendliness of the staff and safety on the means of transport, the variety in entertainment, cleanliness, of facilities, the road network, the quality of medical services and finally the hospitality and helpfulness of the locals The suggested measures refer to all the above taken into consideration in the research in question, estimating the importance given by the specific sample, the visitors satisfaction. Specifically, the following measures per sector are suggested. As far as transport is concerned it is essential that there are several means of transport throughout the tourist season as well as adequate information about transportation on the island. In addition all reception places (harbours, airports, etc) should be improved in order to facilitate the visitors to the island. Security should be top priority as well as cleanliness of the resorts and friendly personal. Since public transport is vital that should be improvements to the road network. In order to inform tourists about the main attractions local authorities should organise projections. It should be useful to organise events such as excursions around the island so as to attract the visitor s attention to local traditions. Accommodation is a vital part of tourism so great care should be taken in order to provide visitors with secure and economical lodging. As far as dining is concerned the choices of food, οι συνθήκες υγιεινής should be improved and the prices should be reasonable. Great importance should be attributed to the improvement of medical services so as to enable them to deal with any needs concerning medical treatment of the tourists on the island. English speaking medical staff would improve the situation greatly. Finally reinforcing the tourists consciousness of the locals through organised actions by local authorities (seminars etc) would help accepting the tourists more efficiently.
5 REFERENCES Chen, J.S. & Hsu. C.H.C (2000). Measurement of Korean tourists perceived images of overseas destinations. Journal of Travel Research, (38): Cho, K.S. & Olsen, M.D. (1991). Functional and symbolic approaches to consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction in tourism. Journal of the International Academy of Hospitality Research, (28): Conklin, P. & Powaga, K. & Lipovetsky, S. (2002). Customer satisfaction analysis: Identification of key drivers. European Journal of operational Research, (154): Crompton, J.L. & Love, L.L. (1995). The Predictive validity of alternative approaches to evaluating quality of festival. Journal of travel Research, 34 (1): Danaher, P.J. & Arweiler, N. (1996). Customer satisfaction in the tourist industry: A case study of visitors to New Zealand. Journal of Travel Research, 35: Joppe, M. & Martin, W.D. & Waalen, J. (2001). Toronto s image as a destination : A Comparative importancesatisfaction analysis by origin of visitor. Journal of Travel Research, 39 (3): Konecnik, K. & Ruzzier, M. (2006). The influence of previous visitation on customer s evaluation of tourism destination. Managing Global Transitions, 4 (2) : Kottler, P (2001). Marketing Management, Pressley Milchom: University of N.Orleans. Kozak, M. & Rimmington, M. (2000). Tourist satisfaction with Mallorca, Spain, as an off-season holiday destination. Journal of Travel Research, 38: Parasuraman, A. & Zeithaml, V.A. & Berry, L.L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of marketing, 49: Petrick, J. F. (2004). First timers and repeaters perceived value. Journal of Travel Research, 43(1): Spreng, R.A., & Olshavsky, R.W. (1993). A desires congruency model of consumer satisfaction. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 21: Pizam, A. & Milman, A. (1993). Predicting satisfaction among first time visitors to a destination by using the expectancy disconfirmation theory. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 12 (2): Qu, H. & Li, I. (1997). The characteristics and satisfaction of mainland: Chinese visitors to Hong Kong. Journal of Travel Research, 36: Tribe, J. & Snaith, T. (1998). From servqual to holsat: Holiday satisfaction in Veradero, Cuba. Tourism Management, 19 (1): Tse, D. K. & Wilton, P. C. (1988). Models of consumer satisfaction: An extension. Journal of Marketing Research, 25: Yoon, Y. & Uysal, M. (2005). An examination of the effects of motivation and satisfaction on destination loyalty: A structural model. Tourism Management, 26:
6 APPENDIX Graph 1 Satisfaction of the Accommodation Συνολικά,πόσο ικανοποιηµένοι είστε από τη διαµονή σας; 12% 14% 11% 4 Graph 6 Satisfaction of the Infrastructure Συνολικά πόσο ικανοποιηµένοι είσαστε από τις υποδοµές της Κεφαλονιάς 1 4% 43% Graph 2 Satisfaction of Food Συνολικά,πόσο ικανοποιηµένοι είστε µε τις υπηρεσίες διατροφής; Graph 7 Importance of Water Sports Θαλάσσια αθλήµατα Σηµαντικό 25% 3 29% Graph 3 Satisfaction of the Airports Συνολικά,µε το λιµάνι ή το αεροδρόµιο είσαστε ικανοποιηµένοι; Graph 8 Importance of Nature Φυσικά αξιοθέατα (παραλίες,βουνά κοκ)_σηµαντικό % 14% 1 31% Graph 4 Satisfaction of Means of Transport ενοικίαση αυτοκινήτου Graph 9 Importance of Excursions Εκδροµές/Extreme sports_σηµαντικό 6% 52% 13% Graph 5 Satisfaction of Entertainment Συνολικά,πόσο ικανοποιηµένοι είσαστε από τη διασκεδασή σας; Graph 10 Importance in Night Life Νυχτερινή ζωή/διασκέδαση Σηµαντικό 6% 12% 1% 34% 2 14% 2 24% 3
7 Graph 11 Importance of Art Τέχνη, φεστιβάλ Σηµαντικό Graph 16 Value/money of Accommodation vfm_η διαµονή 1 15% 2 62% Πήρα πολλά περισσότερα από ότι ανέµενα από τα χρήµατα που ξόδεψα Ότι πλήρωσα πήρα Δεν άξιζαν τόσο τα λεφτά που πλήρωσα Graph 12 Importance of Archaeological Places Αρχαιολογικοί χώροι Σηµαντικό Graph 17 Value/money of Visit vfm_επίσκεψη 1 15% 25% 57% 29% Πήρα πολλά περισσότερα από ότι ανέµενα από τα χρήµατα που ξόδεψα Ότι πλήρωσα πήρα Δεν άξιζαν τόσο τα λεφτά που πλήρωσα Graph 13 Importance in Events Τοπικές φολκλορικές εκδηλώσεις Graph 18 Value/money of Food vfm_η διατροφή 49% 2 15% 34% Πήρα πολλά περισσότερα από ότι ανέµενα από τα χρήµατα που ξόδεψα Ότι πλήρωσα πήρα Δεν άξιζαν τόσο τα λεφτά που πλήρωσα Graph 14 Shopping Ψώνια Σηµαντικό Graph 19 Loyalty Να επισκεφτείτε πάλι το νησί 2 24% 1 76% Βέβαιο Πιθανό Απίθανο Graph 15 Total Satisfaction Συνολική ικανοποίηση Graph 20 Recommended to Others Να συστήσετε σε άλλους να έρθουν 1 12% 3% 42% 4 85% Ενθουσιασµένοι Πολύ ικανοποιηµένοι Ικανοποιηµένος/η Λίγο ικανοποιηµένοι Καθόλου ικανοποιηµένοι Βέβαιο Πιθανό Απίθανο