Identify the predictors of tourist intentions to return to South Africa as a tourism destination

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Manuga, M
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Vaal University of Technology
Tourism is regarded as a modern-day engine of growth and one of the largest industries globally. In 2012, the G20 heads of state recognised tourism as a driver of growth and development as well as an industry that has the potential to spur global economic recovery. South Africa is currently receiving a higher number of first time visitors with the number of return visitors for leisure purposes very low. It is thus the aim of the study to identify the predictors of tourist’s intention to return to South Africa. Specifically, this study will focus on demographic characteristics, travel behaviour, travel motivations and satisfaction intention to return. This information can contribute to adjusting marketing and product strategies to enhance visitors’ intention to return. A quantitative survey was done at Aerial Cable Way (Table Mountain National Park) where 800 respondents were requested to participate in the study. The Cable Way attracts a high number of international visitors who was the population for this study. The questionnaire was distributed by fieldworkers who returned 720 completed questionnaires. The data was captured, analysed and interpreted to identify the predictors of visitor’s intention to return to South Africa as a tourism destination. The respondents were on average 40 years of age, mostly male, from the USA and UK respectively and married. They hold either a degree or a diploma and serve in professional or management occupations. When visiting South Africa these respondents stay on average 16 days, travel in groups of 3.71 and they prefer hotels and lodges. It was evident in this research that respondents were mainly first-time visitors, emphasizing the problem that this research assess. These respondents travel to enjoy Relaxation and Novelty, Social motivations, Cultural motivations, Personal Motivations and Product motivations of which Relaxation and Novelty and Cultural motivations were rated as the most important. These travel motivations were influenced by gender, occupation and accommodation preferences. Core to this study and addressing the main aim of the study was the finding that Communication, Experience, Safety and the Tourism offering contributes to willingness to return of which the Experience and Safety were the most important aspects. These willingness were also influenced by gender and occupation. Ultimately it is about the experience in South Africa. The relationship between willingness to return and travel motivations were also evident highlighting the inter- dependence of these variables. It was evident that marketing campaigns should be adjusted and more value-added products should be provided to increase intention to return. Continuous communication is needed with people that visited this country and showing new products, discount offers and unique products. Clearly the importance of intention to revisit is evident an aspect that needs attention in South Africa.
M. Tech. (Tourism and Hospitality Management, Faculty of Human Sciences)|, Vaal University of Technology.
return intention, loyality, destination, predictors, tourism and South Africa, tourism destination