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Abstract

Food is an important component of the attractiveness, an image of a destination in the tourism sector. Thus, it can be a major motivation factor for visitors. Considering the importance of implementing effective market strategy to promote a regional festival, it is necessary to understand visitors’ motivations to attend the festival. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify the underlying dimensions of motivations for visitors attending the food festival, using a factor analysis and (2) examine if socio-demographic characteristics varied with their motivations for festival attendance. A two page survey instrument was developed to explore visitors’ motivations as well as characteristics. A set of 35 motivation items was initially generated from a review of event-festival-specific research. Results indicate that six motivational dimensions (wine, escape/event novelty, food, known-group socialization, external socialization and art) identified using factor analysis. The most important reason for respondents to attend the festival is for fun (x = 5.85), followed by getting out in the open air (x = 5.75). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) reveals that there are significant differences between some demographic variables based on the delineated motivations. The age and the educational levels of respondents have significant differences on the dimensions of wine and escape/event novelty. Female respondents rate food as more important factor than the male respondents do. Explicit discussion regarding the implications of these findings is included.

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TOURISTS' CHARACTERISTICS AND MOTIVATIONS IN ATTENDING FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: A STUDY IN TEXAS

Food is an important component of the attractiveness, an image of a destination in the tourism sector. Thus, it can be a major motivation factor for visitors. Considering the importance of implementing effective market strategy to promote a regional festival, it is necessary to understand visitors’ motivations to attend the festival. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify the underlying dimensions of motivations for visitors attending the food festival, using a factor analysis and (2) examine if socio-demographic characteristics varied with their motivations for festival attendance. A two page survey instrument was developed to explore visitors’ motivations as well as characteristics. A set of 35 motivation items was initially generated from a review of event-festival-specific research. Results indicate that six motivational dimensions (wine, escape/event novelty, food, known-group socialization, external socialization and art) identified using factor analysis. The most important reason for respondents to attend the festival is for fun (x = 5.85), followed by getting out in the open air (x = 5.75). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) reveals that there are significant differences between some demographic variables based on the delineated motivations. The age and the educational levels of respondents have significant differences on the dimensions of wine and escape/event novelty. Female respondents rate food as more important factor than the male respondents do. Explicit discussion regarding the implications of these findings is included.