The study involving IFTM researchers explores the potential role of performing arts in promoting a tourist destination
Research Corner | A partnership between Business Macau and the Institute of Tourism Studies Macau (IFTM)
Performing arts can play a role in improving the image tourists have of a particular destination, says a piece of research involving two researchers from the Macau Institute of Tourism Studies (IFTM). Staging such shows can be “an influential attribute” for places that might otherwise lack major visitor attractions, the researchers said.
“As such, performing arts branding programs should be emphasized in tourism marketing efforts where appropriate,” they suggested.
The study was conducted by IFTM researchers Dr Joe Zhou Yong and Dr Soey Lei Sut Ieng, in partnership with Dr Yan Libo from Macau University of Science and Technology. The findings were presented in the academic paper “Linking Tourists’ Performing Arts Experience and Perceived Destination Image”. It was published last year in the scientific journal Tourism Recreation Research.
The work was financially supported by the Macau University of Science and Technology Foundation.
The research was based on a survey answered by a sample of 419 tourists. They had all seen a live circus performance in an arena at an amusement park resort in the neighboring mainland city of Zhuhai.
The research team concluded that staging the performing arts can be an “effective tool” to show visitors the “cultural charm and diverse offerings” of a particular destination. For places that lacked “natural or physical attractions” but were “eager to modify or improve” the way they were perceived by tourists, “the performing arts could be a good and easy option to implement in their strategy package,” the researchers suggested. .
A good performing arts experience had “high potential” for “improving destination image”, the trio of researchers said. “This is an interesting finding as previous studies have rarely investigated such relationships.”
‘Beautifier’ for the image of a destination
The research concluded that the tourist experience of core and supplementary services related to a performing arts product had a “significant impact” on how tourists perceived the value of that offering. This, in turn, affected tourists’ satisfaction, ultimately influencing how they judged in “cognitive” and “affective” terms the image of the host destination.
The ‘core service’ of a performing arts offering refers to the ‘show’ or ‘act’ experience. ‘Supplementary services’ cover things such as the venue of the performance, ancillary facilities, tickets and transport to the venue.
The authors of the study pointed out that Chinese tourists were less concerned about supplementary services than about the basic service. Although performance organizers needed to ensure that supplementary services were of good quality, they should consider “allocating more resources” to develop and improve their core services for such visitors, it was suggested.
The performing arts should not be limited to serving the needs of local communities, the research team argued. The role played by the staging of such a work can be expanded, making the performing arts an “important activity of the tourist economy” and a “destination image beautifier”.
Offering theater-based performing arts programs to tourists was “an effective way” to diversify a destination’s tourism product offering, the researchers said. Diversification of products and attractions was “beneficial in keeping tourists” in place, useful in “encouraging repeat visits” and helped generate “word of mouth recommendations”, they added.
The research team said performing arts products can “contribute to the sustainable development of tourism”. Their research focused on performing arts shows offered in an arena setting, which the authors described as a form of “alternative tourism.” The benefits of this form of tourist consumption stemmed from the fact that live art products enrich the tourists’ experience, “extend their stay at the destination” and have “a relatively lower negative impact on residents,” the researchers said.
Dr. Joe Zhou Yong is an assistant professor at the Institute of Tourism Studies in Macau (IFTM). He holds a PhD from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests focus on destination development, tourism impact and community perception studies, and event and festival tourism.
IFTM lecturer Dr Soey Lei Sut Ieng Free Mp3 Download received a PhD from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on the impact of technological innovation on consumer behavior in the tourism and hospitality industry, with a focus on mobile applications and digital marketing.
Dr Yan Libo is an associate professor at Macau University of Science and Technology. He holds a PhD from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His academic research interests include tourism experience, tourism attractions, destination marketing and destination management. He is on the editorial board of the scientific journal “Tourism Review”.
(Joe) Yong Zhou, Sut Ieng Lei and Libo Yan: “Relationship of Tourists’ Performing Arts Experience and Perceived Destination Image”, Tourism Recreation Research, Volume 46, Issue 1, Pages 71 to 84, 2021.