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Title: Destination competitiveness in Perhentian Island, Malaysia : the role of image, experience and loyalty
Author: Binti Mior Shariffuddin, N. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 953X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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In an increasingly saturated global market, Tourism Destination Competitiveness (TDC) is fundamental for the sustained growth of tourism destinations. It is essential in shaping long-term economic growth, improving community well-being and aiding in attracting investment to the development of a destination. This, however, can be problematic to destinations like small islands, which have limited resources, are environmentally vulnerable and which are economically dependent on international trade. The development of the destination requires a crucial understanding to achieve, enhance and strengthen competitiveness. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between TDC and other main variables such as the quality of tourism experience, Tourism Destination Image (TDI) and tourist loyalty, as well as to develop a theoretical model of destination competitiveness for island destinations based on the tourists' and stakeholders' perspectives of Perhentian Island, Malaysia. To achieve its research aim and objectives, this study adopts a sequential, exploratory mixed methods design. Tourism related government agencies were interviewed in the first phase of the qualitative data collection, and 21 attributes of TDC were determined to provide a platform for assessing TDC in the second and third phases of the data collection. In the second phase of the qualitative data collection, semi-structured interviews were conducted with other tourism stakeholders. The stakeholders highlighted issues and gave recommendations on themes that are the basis for destination and marketing development of the island. The different perspectives, viewpoints and opinions contribute to a niche understanding of destination competitiveness for Perhentian Island. In the third phase of the quantitative data collection, 213 usable questionnaires were obtained from tourists visiting Perhentian Island. An analysis of the survey data revealed the relative importance of TDC factors in assessing the competitiveness of Perhentian Island and of competing destinations. A comparison of the relative importance of TDC factors between tourists and stakeholders shows the differing priorities set for Perhentian Island. Another statistical analysis also showed 2 dimensions of tourist characteristics namely: (1) number of overnight stays and (2) educational level, which have statistically significant differences and relationships with the importance of quality of tourism experience and TDI respectively. The result indicates that these two variables (quality of tourism experience and TDI) together with tourist loyalty positively influenced the level of destination competitiveness. Moreover, TDC appears to have a mediating effect on the relationship between TDI and tourist loyalty. This study outcome provides several implications for the development of TDC theory, methods and application of competitiveness to small islands like Perhentian. The study also postulates managerial implications for tourism stakeholders, especially the policymakers and decision-makers, as TDC plays an important role for the development of Perhentian Island. These include the recognition of the core resources and attractors of Perhentian Island that are most appealing to the tourists to enhance destination competitiveness. The result identified attributes that would benefit the tourism stakeholders in promoting the destination.
Supervisor: Shaw, G. ; Taylor, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: tourism destination competitiveness ; quality of tourism experience ; tourism destination image ; tourist loyalty