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Abstract

The purposes of the study were 1) to determine the perceived image of India as a travel destination; 2) to identify the recreational and leisure needs of travelers to India; and, 3) to investigate the relationships between perceived destination image and recreational needs. A quantitative survey research design was employed to answer the research questions. The target population comprised of travelers visiting India, who were residing in the United States. A convenience sampling method was employed due to the potential difficulty in locating potential travelers. Participants were randomly selected from the travelers going to India on the survey days. A total of 358 travelers voluntarily participated in this study. Utilizing a questionnaire, participants’ perceived image of India, their recreational and leisure needs and demographic information were collected. Results indicated that perceived image of India consisted of culture and heritage, tourism infrastructure, nature resources, social environment, entertainment services, and lodging services. Recreational needs of the travelers included need for sanitary and quality tourist services, entertainment, cultural activities, natural resources, and adventure activities. Results of multiple regression analyses revealed that dimensions of destination image explained limited variance of recreational needs. Findings of this study suggest that India needs to capitalize on its culture and heritage resources and package them with the array of existing natural attractions. In addition, it is necessary for India to improve its transportation network, tourist services, and social environment in order to create a favorable destination brand image, and position itself more advantageously in the global tourism market.

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A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PERCEIVED DESTINATION IMAGE AND RECREATIONAL NEEDS OF TRAVELERS TO INDIA

The purposes of the study were 1) to determine the perceived image of India as a travel destination; 2) to identify the recreational and leisure needs of travelers to India; and, 3) to investigate the relationships between perceived destination image and recreational needs. A quantitative survey research design was employed to answer the research questions. The target population comprised of travelers visiting India, who were residing in the United States. A convenience sampling method was employed due to the potential difficulty in locating potential travelers. Participants were randomly selected from the travelers going to India on the survey days. A total of 358 travelers voluntarily participated in this study. Utilizing a questionnaire, participants’ perceived image of India, their recreational and leisure needs and demographic information were collected. Results indicated that perceived image of India consisted of culture and heritage, tourism infrastructure, nature resources, social environment, entertainment services, and lodging services. Recreational needs of the travelers included need for sanitary and quality tourist services, entertainment, cultural activities, natural resources, and adventure activities. Results of multiple regression analyses revealed that dimensions of destination image explained limited variance of recreational needs. Findings of this study suggest that India needs to capitalize on its culture and heritage resources and package them with the array of existing natural attractions. In addition, it is necessary for India to improve its transportation network, tourist services, and social environment in order to create a favorable destination brand image, and position itself more advantageously in the global tourism market.