Golf Tourists’ Satisfaction: Hard-core versus Recreational Golf Tourists
Authors: Moital, M. and Dias, N.R.
Editors: Shipway, R. and Fyall, A.
Some types of tourism are centered on practicing favourite leisure activities in a different setting. One such example is golf tourism, which has established itself as a significant tourism activity in many countries, including Portugal. In order to improve the performance of the sector, golfing destinations should aim at not only increasing re-visitation rates through greater levels of loyalty, but also to generate new demand, for which word-of-mouth plays a critical role. For these two outcomes to happen, current tourists need to be highly satisfied with their experience. This chapter aims to examine the determinants of golf tourist satisfaction, with a focus on tourists visiting Lisbon. The chapter compares two types of golf tourists: the hard-core golf tourists (those who travel to Lisbon to play golf) and the recreational golf tourists (those who play golf but for whom practicing this sport is not the main reason to travel to Lisbon).
Data from the Lisbon Tourism Board’s 2010 survey profiling golf tourists in Lisbon (Portugal) was obtained and used for the purposes of the empirical study. A total of 520 questionnaires were used in the analysis, 199 from “hard-core” and 321 from “recreational” golf tourists. Pearson correlation was undertaken to identify whether there was a relationship between overall satisfaction and each of the 10 attributes of Lisbon as a golfing destination. The chi-square test was applied when the dependent variable was nominal (gender and reservation of golf course in advance), while the Mann-Whitney was used for ordinal dependent variables (age, number of nights spent in Lisbon and number of golf courses to be played at).
The main results were: • Golf tourists in Lisbon were middle aged, predominantly male, travelled on a long holiday (over three nights), played in a reduced number of golf courses and booked golf course(s) before arriving at the destination, suggesting that playing golf in Lisbon was a planned rather than a spontaneous activity. • When compared to hard-core golf tourists, recreational golf tourists are older and a greater proportion are females. In addition, recreationists stay longer but play in fewer golf courses, and are less likely to book the golf course in advance of the trip. • Tourists evaluated their golfing experience in Lisbon positively. They appeared particularly pleased with the accommodation and the easy access to golf courses. • According to the correlation coefficients, the value elements appear to play the most important role in influencing overall satisfaction (satisfaction with the price of accommodation, green fees and the cost of playing golf).
- For the hard-core golf tourists, quality aspects in the form of service quality of golf courses, ease of booking and quality of accommodation appear to be a more important influence on satisfaction, while recreational golf tourists appear to consider value as a most important influence (notably price of accommodation and cost of playing golf)