2.3 Festival and satisfaction
Satisfaction researches have shown that satisfaction specifies consumers’ overall evaluation on how they perceive their consumption experience of a product or service (Fornell, Johnson, Anderson, Cha & Bryant, 1996; Mason & Paggiaro, 2012). Tourists’ satisfaction, reflecting overall satisfaction, has frequently been used to investigate the casual relationship between festival attributes and satisfaction in the festival context (Yoon et al., 2010; Akhoondnejad; 2016; Lee, 2016; Harrington, et al., 2017; Yürük et al., 2017). Such studies have demonstrated that tourists’ satisfaction with festival experience is a key element to identify why satisfaction is important to the festival and it is closely related to the satisfaction with the overall destination. Mason and Paggiaro (2012) emphasised that the element of a high level customer satisfaction had a big pivotal role in causing a major concern of managing any business, in return, establishing long-term relationships with tourists (Grappi & Montanari, 2011). The effects of ‘programme content’ on festival attribute were noteworthy and the ‘programme content’ was significantly associated with satisfaction and also it promoted repeated attendees (Grappi & Montanari, 2011; Lee, Lee, & Choi, 2011). The dimension of the programme was the most crucial aspect which influenced tourists’ satisfaction (Yoon et al., 2010). Saleh and Ryan (1993) found that the programme quality was the significant antecedent in attracting attendees to a jazz and handcrafts festivals. The factor of ‘access to the destination’ under the dimension of tourism infrastructure was considered to be important in selecting the tourist destination (Mussalam & Tajeddini, 2016). Yoon et al. (2010) categorized six dimensions (e.g., informational service, programme, souvenir, food, facility and festival value) to measure ‘festival quality’ and ‘value’ and how those dimensions influenced visitors’ satisfaction and loyalty and as a result, they proved that all the dimensions of ‘programme’ (e.g., program was funny, and program was varied), souvenirs (e.g., souvenirs were varied), ‘food’ (e.g., food was varied, and food price was reasonable) and ‘facilities’ (e.g., restroom was clean, and parking facility was convenient) were significantly related to ‘satisfaction’ (e.g., overall, I am satisfied with the festival, and as a whole, I am happy with the festival) except the dimension of ‘informational service’ (e.g., pre-informational service enabled me to have a good knowledge of festival programme and schedule) which was found to be the less important factor in explaining the relationship between festival attributes and attendees’ satisfaction in the festival context. However, this study included the dimension of ‘informational service’ as most visitors do not clearly know about the religion of Taegeukdo and how Gamcheon culture village was formed based on the Taegeukdo that are excluded by other social members regarding the experience booths with the works of artists which can be very difficult to find due to the complicated alleyways. Thus the factors of ‘pre-informational service gave sufficient information about the festival programme and schedule’ (Yoon et al., 2010), ‘experiential festival to understand local culture’ (Yoon & Uysal, 2005; Chi & Qu, 2008; Hsu et al., 2014; Mussalam & Tajeddini, 2016), and ‘festival staff provided good guide service’ (Yoon et al., 2010) were an important indicator to examine the relationship with satisfaction. In addition, Akhoondnejad (2016) examined how festival authenticity, festival quality, and festival value impacted the satisfaction with festival, trust in festival and loyalty to festival and the results of the study demonstrated that festival authenticity (e.g., local staff), festival quality (e.g., clean environment), festival value (e.g., festival value) had a positive relationship with satisfaction with festival (e.g., pleasure). In this regard, previous empirical researches of festival satisfaction was regarded and the overall satisfaction which builds on the total consumer experience revealed positive relationships between festival attributes and satisfaction hence this study has implemented the theoretical framework of the casual relationship between the festival attributes and satisfaction. Thus, the following hypotheses were proposed:
H1. Programme and food attributes positively influence satisfaction with festival.
H2. Facility and infrastructure attributes positively influence satisfaction with festival.
H3. Informational service attribute positively influences satisfaction with festival.
2.4 Satisfaction and loyalty
Customer loyalty is defined as “deeply held commitment to rebuy or repatronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future, despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior” (Lee & Back, 2008, p.338). It has been clearly established why market research feeds into building customer loyalty with their existing customers in previous literature and identified the importance of customer loyalty in the aspect of constituting a desirable stable revenue source (Zeithaml, Berry, & Parasuraman, 1996). The area of festival is not an exception to this general rule. Supporting this, there is a very clear evidence: “low switching behavior to competitors, less cost to retain loyal consumers than to create new ones, willingness to pay a price premium, and positive word-of–mouth advertising (Lee, Lee, & Yoon, 2009, p. 692). A number of festival researches demonstrated that customer loyalty was a significant indicator of visitors’ intentions to revisit and recommend the specific destination (Chi & Qu, 2008; Yoon et al., 2010; Chang & Gibson, 2015; Akhoondnejad, 2016; Tanford & Jung, 2017; Yürük et al., 2017). Satisfaction strengthens loyalty (Fornell, et al., 1996) therefore the trend of marketing literatures conducted researches to understand the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty through the specific festival and did not only focus on the single side of satisfaction or loyalty in the context of festival management (Chi & Qu, 2008; Yoon et al., 2010; Akhoondnejad, 2016; Tanford & Jung, 2017; Yürük et al., 2017). Satisfied attendees tend to have more intentions to revisit the same festival annually and to recommend the festival to other people such as family and friends (Drummond & Annderson, 2011). That is, the attendees’ behaviour contributes to economic impacts of the festival including the local community thus concerning the dimension of satisfaction and loyalty has been reported to have a positive relationship and both are very significant determinants to understand the attendees’ behaviour from the view of festival planners (Yoon et al., 2010). Measuring loyalty was addressed by examining the relationships between destination image, attribute/overall satisfaction, and destination loyalty from conceptual and empirical standpoints and found that satisfaction affected the attendees’ loyalty (e.g., revisit intention, and recommend intention) (Chi & Qu, 2008). Akhoondnejad (2016) tested the relationship among festival authenticity (e.g., unique products, and unique festival), festival quality (e.g., clean environment, and sufficient facilities), festival value (e.g., value for time, and value for effort), satisfaction (e.g., pleasure, and right decision), trust (e.g., confidence, and belief) and loyalty (e.g., revisit intention, and recommend intention) by applying structural equation modelling. The findings showed that festival value had an impact on satisfaction and loyalty and the satisfaction with festival had a significant relationship with loyalty. Yoon et al. (2010) found that quality dimensions influenced perceived value and whether the quality dimensions impacted satisfaction and the loyalty was a result of this satisfaction by using the structural equation model. The results of the research found that festival quality dimensions (e.g., programme, souvenirs, food, and facilities) had an impact on perceived value, these attributes had a significant positive relationship with visitors’ satisfaction and loyalty (e.g., I will keep attending the festival, and I will recommend the festival to my friends and neighbors). Another research showed that the programme, activities, and festival atmosphere were the most significant festival attributes of satisfaction and loyalty (Tanford & Jung, 2017) and they also revealed that there was a positive relationship between festival satisfaction with festival loyalty (e.g., encourage, recommend, and revisit intention). Yürük et al. (2017) confirmed that the social impacts (e.g., community benefits, and quality of life concerns) of events on attendees’ satisfaction, in turn, influenced attendees’ loyalty from the empirical study and a significant positive direct relationship was found between satisfaction and loyalty (e.g., I will keep attending the Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival, and I will keep attending the Kirkpinar oil festival) which indicated that satisfied attendants and enhanced loyalty was crucial for a festival to succeed. Lee (2016) demonstrated that there was a significant relationship between government policy and attendees’ loyalty and it appeared that government policy directly influenced attendees’ loyalty (e.g., I will keep attending the festival if it is held again in the future, and I will recommend this festival to my relatives and friends) and also government policy indirectly had an impact on attendees’ loyalty through the mediators of environment quality and satisfaction. Previous literature in relation to the casual relationship between satisfaction and loyalty in the festival context suggested that it was very important for destination planners to invest in festival resources which would lead to more enticing attendees to go to the festival, as this showed that they had a better understanding of the attendees’ behaviour on why they revisit or keep attending the festival every year. In order to examine satisfied attendees and their significant relationship with loyalty which was enhanced by the attendees’ experiences to a given alleyways festival of Gamcheon culture village, the following hypothesis was proposed:
H4. Satisfaction with festival positively influences loyalty to festival.
Drawing on the above literature, this study aimed to evaluate the relationships among festival attributes, satisfaction and loyalty to alleyways festival of Gamcheon culture village. Fig. 5 depicts the hypotheses of the research model.