Perspectives on Cross-Cultural, Ethnographic, Brand Image, Storytelling, Unconscious Needs, and Hospitality Guest Research: Volume 3

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Table of contents

(12 chapters)

Volume 3 in the Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research series provides useful answers to the following questions. In what ways should data collection about tourists' activities and hospitality experiences vary within a variety of non-Western contexts (e.g., in Dubai (UAE), Peshawar (Pakistan), and Macau (China)? How do interactions between a professional sports team and its major sponsor affect brand image and brand equity for the sponsoring brand? What does ethnographic research report on long-term overseas country visits by international students? In what ways does visual narrative art inform consumer behavior theory of tourism behavior? How do consumption values affect destination image formation? What insights follow from historical research on the use of hotel guest survey methods? How does unconscious needs influence traveler's interpretations and preferences of alternative tours and hotels?

Among the complexity of issues a researcher faces in a cross-cultural setting are the differing views of cultural psyche. This paper focuses on this issue because it may be central to understanding why some research is not as valuable as other research. The paper points to the very basis of the data gathering process, that is, what data is helpful to gather, what data is possible to gather, and what data has the potential for unpacking priceless gems, which can change a process, an outlook, or even an industry.

This study explores the relationship between brand image and brand equity in the context of sports sponsorship. Keller's (1993, 2003) customer-based brand equity models are the conceptual inspiration for the research, with Faircloth, Capella, and Alford's (2001) conceptual model – adapted from the work of Aaker (1991) and Keller (1993) – the primary conceptual model. The study focuses on the sponsorship relationship between the New Zealand All Blacks and their major sponsor and co-branding partner, adidas. The sporting context for the study was the 2003 Rugby World Cup held in Australia. Data were collected from two independent samples of 200 respondents, utilizing simple random sampling procedures. A bivariate correlation analysis was undertaken to test whether there was any correlation between changes in adidas' brand image and adidas' brand equity as a result of the All Blacks' performance in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Results support the view that Keller (1993, 2003) proposes that brand image is antecedent to the brand equity construct. Results are also consistent with the findings of Faircloth et al. (2001) that brand image directly impacts brand equity.

This paper reports on findings from an ethnographic study of international student adjustment. The paper recommends the use of ethnography as a way to research the experiences of tourists and migrants to build up a body of knowledge on the outcome of cross-cultural contact for these two groups. The aim of my ethnographic study was to capture the adjustment journey of a group of international postgraduate students at a university in the South of England. The ethnographic approach involved regular in-depth individual interviews with 13 students of different nationalities and overt participant observation of the entire postgraduate cohort of 150 students. Research began on the first day of induction in September 2003 and ended upon completion and submission of the Masters dissertation in October 2004. Students' experience of adjustment to academic and socio-cultural life was therefore captured from arrival in the new country to the return home one full year later. This study finds that stress was at its height in the initial stage of the academic sojourn; the struggle to cope with the challenges of foreign language use and an unfamiliar academic and the socio-cultural environment at a time when students were beset with homesickness and loneliness are the causes of this stress. An association was made between the passage of time and a gradual decrease in acculturative stress; however, this was not a generalisable process; there was fluctuation not only in experience across the student body but also in the individual's subjective sense of success across different aspects of life in the new country. This led to the conceptualisation of the adjustment journey as an unpredictable and dynamic process that is experienced differently among sojourners and fluctuates throughout the sojourn as a result of a host of individual, cultural and external factors. The relevance of this study to tourism scholars comes from drawing parallels between the long-stay tourist and the international student who represents an important segment of international travel. However, a gap in the literature exists on the impact of tourism on the tourist that this study helps to fill.

Scholars acknowledge the crucial role of values in influencing behavior and market choices. This paper examines the role of consumption values in influencing destination image and travel behavior by proposing a destination image formation model. Having as theoretical base the means-end chain theory and the theory of consumption values, the model suggests that destination image is a function of five consumption values and that these in turn influence travel behavior. The essay discusses some pertinent issues with respect to the measurement of such values. This involves conducting in-depth interviews based on the laddering technique, developing a structured questionnaire based on data from laddering, applying fuzzy logic to quantify the consumption values, and finally using k-means clustering to define segments of travelers holding similar images of the destination.

The paper emphasizes that combined use of a qualitative data collection method such as laddering with a structured questionnaire is an effective way of researching consumption values and their influence on image and travel behavior. The study also discusses a k-means clustering approach to define segments of travelers holding similar images of a destination and the degree of membership of travelers to each value. The paper concludes that segmenting travelers based on their consumption values enables destination marketers to better understand travelers' behavior. Value research has particular application for market analysis, segmentation, destination product planning, and promotional strategies. This paper contributes to the very limited number of studies that analyze the influence of consumption values on destination image and travel behavior. The theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches that the paper proposes are also new contributions to destination image studies. However, the paper does not empirically test the theoretical frameworks and methodological steps. To contribute further to this field of study, scholars should attempt to empirically test the approaches that the study discusses.

This paper reviews the literature on hotel guest questionnaires, also commonly known in the industry as comment cards. Considered a hotel tradition, the ubiquitous questionnaire remains the primary method employed by mainstream hotels to elicit and record guest feedback despite shortcomings in data reliability and response rates. Hence questionnaires play a key facilitation role in the collection of guest feedback (guest–hotel dyad in hotel communication). The paper traces the history of questionnaire utilization in the hotel industry, and examines evolutionary changes in terms of form and function. A typology of questionnaire genre is constructed. Used either independently or in combination with other methods, the traditional paper guest questionnaire has been complemented or even superseded by e-based variants. Obsolescence threatens the paper questionnaire as technology uptake permeates the hotel industry. This paper considers a “service innovation” by using the questionnaire as a communication tool along the hotel–guest dyad. A back-to-basics approach potentially yields a valuable and cost-efficient guest service encounter opportunity whilst mitigating questionnaire data deficiencies.

People have unconscious motives which affects their decision-making and associated behavior. The paper describes a study using thematic apperception test (TAT) to measure how unconscious motives influence travelers' interpretations and preferences toward alternative tours and hotels. Using the TAT, the present study explores the relationships between three unconscious needs: (1) achievement, (2) affiliation, and (3) power and preferences for four package tours (adventure, culture, business, and escape tours) and for seven hotel identities (quality, familiarity, location, price, friendliness, food and beverage, and cleanliness and aesthetics). The present study conducts canonical correlation analyses to examine the relationships between unconscious needs and preferences for package tours and hotel identities using data from 467 university students. The study scores 2,438 stories according to the TAT manual to identify unconscious needs. The findings indicate that (1) people with a high need for affiliation prefer an experience based on cultural values and hotels that are conveniently located, (2) individuals with a high need for power indicate a preference for high prices and good value for their money, and (3) people with a high need for achievement prefer a travel experience with adventure as a motivation. The study findings are consistent with previous research of McClelland (1990), Wilson (2002), and Woodside et al. (2008) in exploring impacts of the unconscious levels of human need.

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Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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