Research Article
THE ROLE OF EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TOWARDS SATISFACTION AND RE-INTENTION TO VISIT A TOURIST DESTINATION
Nono Wibisono, Eddy SyahYahya
Corresponding Author: Nono Wibisono, Business Administration Department, Politeknik Negeri Bandung, Bandung 40559, Indonesia
Received: 20 February 2018; Accepted: 06 June 2018; Published: 26 January, 2019;
 

Competition among tourist destinations is increasingly tight. Thus, every tourism destination needs to create a favorable impression in the minds of tourists. One of them is by providing attractive packaging of tourism products/services that can offer emotional experience and touch the hearts and feelings of the tourist. This study aims is to explore the relationships between experiential marketing, tourist satisfaction and tourist intention to revisit.

This study used quantitative approach with a large scale survey to explore tourist experiences. The survey was conducted to domestic tourists with a total of 303 around Bandung regency such as Kawah Putih, Ranca Upas, Situ Patenggang and Situ Cileunca.

                    The data was analyzed by Structural Equation Model (SEM) for empirical testing, while analyzing of the relationship between experiential marketing, tourist satisfaction and re-intention to visit used Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis.

The results of this study indicate that each dimension of experiential marketing plays a significant role in both satisfaction and re-intention to visit. Act dimension has a dominant role, followed by the dimension of think and relate, while the role of sense and feel dimensions are minor. Furthermore, all dimensions of experiential marketing have impact to satisfaction and influence on re-visit intention. This analysis can provide a framework for destination marketing in order to create a proper promotion.


Keywords: Competition, Experiential Marketing, Satisfaction, Re-Intention to Visit, Bandung Regency.

INTRODUCTION

 

            Competition between tourist destinations is getting tougher, thus every tourist destination needs to create a favorable impression in the minds of tourists. One of them is by packing good tourism products/services to offer emotional experience and feelings of the tourists in order to meet their satisfaction. Experiential Marketing (EM) is one of the marketing strategies that can be used as a tool to encourage the sensation and emotional level so that it will affect tourist satisfaction (Aronne & Vasconcelos, 2009; Gentile, Spiller & Noci, 2007). This concept is designed to gain the satisfaction of tourist, so destination should provide different and unique experiences; as a consequence the tourists will have a positive and favorable emotional impression. Previous research has suggested that experiential marketing will have a significant effect on satisfaction and ultimately want to re-visit (Alkilani, Ling & Abzakh, 2013; Hosany & Whitam, 2010; Lee, Hsiao & Yang, 2011). As one of marketing strategies, it can be said that experiential marketing is very important for a destination by offering different and unique experience of products/services to the tourist.

               Bandung regency with an area of 1.767.96 km2 is one of the places covering a wide range of mountains and green land that offers natural beauty. As one of tourism areas, it offers many kinds of tourism attractions ranging from nature tourism, cultural tourism and water tourism, which can attract tourists to visit. Viewed from the location, Bandung regency is adjacent to the city of Bandung so the accessibility is quite easy. However, the number of tourist visits to Bandung regency is not significant. This may because of some factors such as congestion and slum conditions. This condition forms an unfavorable impression for tourists because it creates an opinion that Bandung regency is identical with congestion or inconvenience.

               A study conducted by Bolton et al. (2014) and Suhartanto & Wibisono (2017) reveals that experience in traveling is very important for tourists to choose tourist destination. Their decision to visit a tourist destination is influenced by their experience. It means that experience is a very important variable that can affect a traveler in the process of choosing a destination and also has the power to attract tourists to visit a tourist area (Agapito, Valle & Mendes, 2013; Assaker, Vinci & O'Connor, 2011). Thus, based on their experience, tourists will tell what they saw and what they did at the tourist destination, either positive or negative memorable things (Garcia et al., 2014; Tosun et al., 2007).

               Previous studies show that a relatively new research has focused on tourist experience, as well as the underlying dimensions (Ghaghramani & Zare, 2013; Hosany & Whitam, 2010; Klaus & Maklan, 2012). As a result, literature about the constructs is also limited. For that reason, knowing the experiential marketing is very important in order to manage destination properly and to be able to compete with other tourist destinations.

               Blackjack Promotion (2014) informs that according to the statistical data, there are several trends of experiential marketing indicating that 64% of visitors advocate experiential campaigns and 80% agreed that experiential marketing allows information other than communication and more easily to accept the marketing of products/services or brands. Thus, experiential marketing activities are crucial (Chao & Shou, 2015) because they have positive impact on a brand/destination brand (Chao & Kuo, 2013).

 

Problem Identification

 

The sustainability of tourist destinations is very important. Therefore, creating unique and satisfying travel experiences are vital for tourist destination. Referring to the statistic of tourist visits, it is a challenge for Bandung regency to increase the number of tourist visits. Moreover, many information-sources about Bandung regency tell different starting points, perceptions and experiences by the tourists when considering Bandung regency as a tourist destination. Looking to these facts, the problems can be formulated as follows:

 

1.    To describe experiential marketing using the experiential marketing dimensions.

2.    To analyze the relationship between experiential marketing and satisfaction toward Bandung regency.

3.    To analyze the relationship model among experiential marketing and the re-intention to visit.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

 

   The concept of Experiential Marketing (EM) is developed from traditional marketing concept. EM concept develops various concepts and techniques involving consumers’ experience. The purpose of this concept is to create a holistic experience from consumers through their participation as well as activities from which they are motivated to buy and consume products/services and tell to others.

               Smilansky (2009) states that experiential marketing is the process of identifying and satisfying the visitor needs and their desires through two-way communication that animates brand identity and adds value to the target of visitors. Kartajaya (2010) experiential marketing is a marketing concept that aims to create a loyal customer by touching customers' emotions, by creating positive experiences and giving them positive feelings towards the services and products. Thus, with experimental marketing there will be a strong relationship between the brand and its consumers, since experience can create an emotional relationship between them (Gentile et al., 2007). Furthermore, the most important thing on experiential marketing is to create communication about the products/services through experience. It can also be considered as a tool to encourage word of mouth (Masterman & Wood, 2008).

               For tourist destinations, providing different experience is crucial in order to get more value compared with their competitors. Tourists want more than just quality of the products or services. They want something different; like something that can give sensation, touch their feelings and meet their lifestyle needs (Oh, Fiore & Jeoung, 2007; Zena & Hadisumarto, 2012). In other words, attractiveness of products/services offered can provide impressive and different experience compared with others (Oh et al., 2007; Suhartanto, 2017).

 

The Dimension of Experimental Marketing

 

               Schmitt (1999) divides experiential marketing into 5 dimensions: sensory (sense), affective (feel), creative cognitive (think), physical/behavior and lifestyle (act) and social-identity (relate), as shown in Figure 1. Sense

 

               Sense focuses on feelings with the aim to create an experience through the customer's senses. The indicators used in the sense are sight, taste, smell, sound and touch.

 

               Feel

 

               It is a strategy that affects the emotions and moods of consumers. Feel is formed by emotion, feeling and mood. According to Kartajaya (2004), feel is “a concern-attention small aimed at consumers with the aim to touch consumer emotions”.

 

               Think

 

               It is a thought that encourages consumers to be interested and think so that it may be able to generate a re-evaluation of the company and brand. Think has indicators: convergent, divergent, surprise, intrigue and provocation.

 

               Act

 

               It is a marketing strategy used to create a physically-related consumer experience, on long-term behavior and lifestyle and experiences that occur from interactions with others. The act indicators include: interaction, action and life style.

 

               Relate

 

                 It is a combination of sense, feel, think and act. In general, relate experience shows the relationship with the outside environment such as state, society, culture. The goal is to connect consumers to the culture and social environment that is reflected by the product brand. The dimensions of relate are social identity, brand communities, cultural values and social roles.

 

Satisfaction

 

               In a high of business competition, consumer satisfaction is a critical issue for accompany and an important aspect of the company's success (Hazra, 2013). Spreng et al. (1996) suggest that satisfaction is an affective state of emotional reactions to a product or service, which is consistent with the notion of satisfaction. Kotler & Armstrong (2016) note that “customer satisfaction the extent to which a product perceived performance matches a buyer expectation. In other words, customer satisfaction is an emotional reaction to products/services of which the results can be expected in accordance with the expectation received” (Varga et al., 2014).

               Satisfaction occurs when consumers use products/services directly and meet their expectation (Varga et al., 2014). From the company perspective, customer satisfaction can increase profits and gain customer loyalty so that business continuity will be guaranteed (Kao, Huang & Yang, 2007; Varga et al., 2014).

In tourism, tourist satisfaction is the main variable to consider for the sustainability of tourism, because one of tourist decisions to visit the place is determined by the satisfaction (Saleh, Omar & Yaakop, 2013). Moreover, tourist satisfaction will also affect tourists to consume tourism products/services, or re-purchase tourism products/services (Chang, 2014; Esbjerg et al., 2012; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000) and provide recommendations through word of mouth (Bagdare & Jain, 2013; Bolton et al., 2014; Rajesh, 2013; Tung & Ritchie, 2011). Thus, providing tourist satisfaction is a very important because it will positively affect the next visit (Garcia et al., 2014). On the contrary, if they are not satisfied, they will not decide to visit (Lin & Chen, 2013). Tourist satisfaction is also necessary because it can create visitors’ loyalty to make return to the destination (Suhartanto, 2016). Based on the discussion, it  can be underlined that tourist satisfaction is very important because it is an evaluation of overall tourist experience that they have, either meet or exceed their expectation or cause disappointment (Wang, Lo & Yang, 2004; Suhartanto et al., 2016).

 

Re-Intention to Visit

 

               For a company, maintaining its customers to rebuy the product or service is very important. Chang et al. (2014) state that keeping existing customers is a breeze than getting new customers. Therefore, the company should keep maintaining relationships with the consumers so that in the future they will rebuy.

In the service context, the desire to rebuy is a condition in which consumers want to repurchase the products/services provided by the same company (Hellier, 2003). In the context of behavior, the desire to repurchase is a condition in which consumers want to repurchase in the future (Bala, Ibrahim & Ali, 2015). Furthermore, from a tourism perspective, fundamentally the re-visit intention is a condition in which tourists are satisfied with their prior visiting experiences (Guthrie & Anderson, 2010) and at the same time as a result of emotional and satisfaction attitudes of tourists towards what they obtained from the destination (Hosany & Prayag, 2011). This condition is also supported by Chi & Qu (2008) and Santouridis & Trivellas (2010) who argued that overall satisfaction on travel experience is a main antecedent of revisit intention. In addition, Nicoleta & Servidio (2012) and Moreira & Iao (2014) affirm that there is a significant relationship between satisfaction and experiences and it has positive impact on tourist revisit intention to destination.

 

RESEARCH METHODS

 

This research used quantitative approach. The objective of quantitative method is to produce much more precise findings in numerical data and the inquiry results should be objective (Barton, 2000; Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004).

               In terms to identify the experiential marketing of Bandung regency as a tourist destination, the participants were asked to rate various aspects of their experience using a five seven-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). A descriptive analysis was carried out to identify the most important items of tourist perception. In order to measure tourist experience, 21 attributes of Bandung regency were assessed and summarized using descriptive statistics. In addition, the empirical testing used SEM (Structural Equation Model), while analyzing the relationship among experiential marketing, tourist satisfaction and re-intention to visit used PLS (Partial Least Square) analysis.

 

Data Collection

 

               The data collection was done through a survey by distributing questionnaires directly to domestic tourists with a total of 303 respondents around Bandung regency such as Kawah Putih, Ranca Upas, Situ Patenggang and Situ Cileunca. The study was conducted from July to August 2017, as this period is holiday season in Indonesia.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

 

The profile of respondents shows that the proportion of female (50.5%) and male (49.5%), respectively. For the age level, the sample composition is dominated by productive age groups; 89.7% were under the age of 45 years. The majority of respondents have university background (44.2%). In addition, approximately 48.2% have professional or managerial occupations in the private sector with a further 15.2% composed of civil servants. Lastly, the income profile suggests a reasonable spread of income groups; 24 million represents the average income. Thus, it can be concluded that the sample composition tends to be dominated by a slightly middle income, highly educated professional managerial who are often regarded as desirable ‘quality tourists’ in the future.

 

Overall Experiential Marketing of Bandung Regency as a Tourist Destination

 

In order to describe Experiential Marketing of tourists to destinations, this study used questions asking the respondents to rate various aspects of experiential marketing using a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). A descriptive analysis was carried out to identify the most important items of experiential marketing. Thus, in order to measure experiential marketing, 21 attributes of Bandung regency were assessed and summarized using descriptive statistics. Table 1 illustrates the analysis of experiential marketing dimensions. Based on the results of a descriptive analysis, the constructs was developed in this study. It was found that each tested dimension has Cronbach α above 0.6. It means that the test model is reliable (Nunnally, 1978). Furthermore, to broaden our understanding of experiential marketing, this paper has attempted to identify the dimensions of experiential marketing which influence tourist satisfaction and re-intention to visit. For the sense dimension (Mean 4.15), the highest item is fresh air (4.40) followed by beautiful scenery (4.36), while the lowest score is distinctive place (3.81). This indicates that the tourist destination is very pleasant.

               For the feel dimension (3.54), the highest rating level is good people (3.60) followed by nice employees (3.50), while the lowest score is having comfortable entertainment at the place (3.30). This shows that the performance of the place is quite good.

               For the think dimension, the highest rating level is the convenient eco-tourism (3.91), followed by service (3.49), while the lowest value is good tourist information facilities (2.96). This indicates that this tourist spot is convenient, although the tourist information given a less satisfactory for tourists.

               For the dimensions of Act (3.34), the highest rating level is the desire to visit (3.70), followed by good tourism products (3.41), while the lowest value is typical food (2.96).

               For the relate dimension, the highest rating level is knowing the tourist object through a social media (3.10), while the lowest score is the tour is a part of my life (2.50). Based on the results, it can be concluded that experiential marketing dimensions are essential aspects for the sustainability of the destination because they can restore the brand image that is going down, can differentiate with their competitors' products/services, as well as can create the image and identity of a destination (Schmitt, 1999).

 

Measurement Model (Test Validity and Reliability)

 

            In order to measure the questionnaire model, using the 2 (two) ways of evaluating loading and composite reliability (CR), Cronbach Alpha and average variance extracted (AVE) factors, as well as valuing the convergence and discriminant validity and construct reliability as shown in the following Table 2. It can be seen from Table 2 the results show that the validity discriminant test (AVE) is valid, as Anderson & Gerbing (1988) suggest that the threshold value for AVE is 0.5. All of the variables tested also show valid results, since they have values above 0.5. It means the validation testing required for this construct is reached. Furthermore, for reliability testing using Construct Reliability (CR), the result shows that each construct has a value above 0.7. It means the constructs tested in this study have been reached. This is in line with Henseler, Ringle & Sinkovic (2009), who state that the threshold for a reliability categorization of a construct is 0.7.

 

Structural Model

 

               Based on the analysis (Table 3), there is some information about the construct. From the results of the analysis, the GoF result for this construct has a value of 0.597. It shows that GoF results for constructs are categorized into large respectively categories (Tenenhaus et al., 2005). R² describes the strength of independent variables (experiential dimension) on dependent variables. From the results of the analysis, it is seen that overall experiential dimension has a very big value that is 91.5% (R²=0.915). Furthermore, the overall dimensions (sense, feel, think, act and relate) contribute to satisfaction of 51.3% (R²=0.513). As for the desire to revisit the overall experiential dimension has a value of 41.9% (R²=0.419). Chin et al. (2008) divide R² into three categories; weak (R²=0.19), medium (R²=0.33) and large (R²=0.76). Based on these assumptions, it can be concluded that tourist satisfaction and re-intention to visit is between medium to large score.

               Moreover, Q² explains empirically how well the data in a model and made parameters in the PLS. The Q2 threshold value is when greater than 0 which means the variable designates the predictive relevance of the tested model, whereas for value less than 0 identifies the lack of predictive value (Hair et al., 2014). The results of the analysis show that Q² values show that simultaneously experiential marketing dimension (0.412), affects satisfaction (0.291) and revisit intention (0.285). As a result, found that it is significant that among three factors (experiential marketing, satisfaction and to re-visit intention have a positive value (Table 3).

The Relationship between Experiential Marketing, Satisfaction and the Re-Intention to Visit by Using Multigroup Test Model

 

               In order to assess the relationship between experiential marketing, satisfaction and the re-intention to visit by using multi-group test model (Table 4). Based on the above path model, it is seen that each dimension has significant and positive relationship to the formation of experiential marketing (t Stat>0.96). Among these dimensions, the act dimension gives the greatest contribution to experiential marketing with a coefficient path of 0.327. Followed by think (0.318), relate (0.231), sense (0.198) and feel (0.192). The results of this analysis found that experiential marketing was formed to influence the satisfaction significantly with the path coefficient of 0.717. Furthermore, satisfaction has a significant role in the desire to visit again with a value of 0.649 as shown in Figure 2. It can be concluded that experiential marketing dimensions have significant impacts to satisfaction and re-intention to visit and it is likely influence to the communication of tourism marketing practically. Thus, experiential marketing is an important element in order to create tourists’ perceptions of places and also to establish reputation (Thompson-Carr, 2012). From the marketing perspective, it can be assumed that experiential marketing is an essential means of projecting the richness of experience that tourists can gain and expect from the destination.

 

Managerial Implications

 

               Competition among tourism destinations is increasingly demanding for every tourism destination to implement a maximized business strategy, especially a good marketing concept in order to win the competition. One of them is by forming the entire tourism product and services well, so tourists will get a memorable experience gained from the destination. The results of this research show that experiential marketing has a fairly positive impact on satisfaction and revisit intention to the destination. Therefore, in order to sustain the destination needs to be improved such as:

 

·      Providing complete information facilities

·      Keeping the cleanliness of tourist attractions

·      Increasing transportation facilities

 

            In terms to survive and sustain the destination, the service provider and destination management who has a role as a tourism product/service provider needs to improve the level of service that can provide a favorable impression or experience through experiential marketing. Thus, giving a good experiential marketing will provide added value for the destination to become one of tourism place, so that tourists will not decide to visit other tourism destinations. This is in line with the last research conducted by Gover et al. (2007) who argued that the success of marketing communications will significantly affect travel behavior and as a consequence the tourists have re-visit intention to the destination.

 

Limitation and Future Research

 

Although the scope of the research on experiential marketing is well established, but for the region like Bandung regency, its relevance has hitherto remained untested. Since the markets are dynamic, although the research tested for domestic tourists, such research needs to be conducted regularly, particularly by service providers and destination managers. The sample in this research reflected the origins of tourists at the time of the fieldwork.  As Indonesian tourism market has matured, it is likely that the number of tourists visiting Bandung regency is increasing. Therefore, in order to generalize the result of experiential marketing from the tourist; future research should be considered for international tourists with addressing on their expectations and perceptions of the place in order to get more solid results. 

 

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