Assignment 2 – Quantitative Research
An Investigation of Food Tourists’ Perceived Destination Food Image
Food is a core element of the tourism product and has a special role in establishing memorable experiences in the travel and hospitality sector. Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) are concerned about how food tourists perceive their destination’s food image. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to analyse analyse, interpret and report quantitative information that is useful to destination marketing organisations (DMOs) to increase attractiveness of their destinations to food tourists. There are six initiatives and two variables that are being measured. To achieve this, a quantitative research will be used. From the analysis, recommendations are provided to aid in destination marketing.
The aim of this literature review is to examine dimensions of destination food image. Based on previous research, dimensions of destination food image, for example; food quality and taste, special and distinctive culinary arts, restaurant service, benefits of the food health wise, the food culture and attractive presentation of different dishes are used by food destinations to attract tourists to their cities and restaurants as a way of promoting business growth in the food industries of the same cities or countries.
Soonsan and Somkai (2021) examine the food image portrayed by Chinese and Australian tourists in various destinations. This study discusses the loyalty intentions likely obtained by these Chinese tourists with regard to the food image experienced in different destinations point to the importance of food in creating memorable travel. Pestek & Cinjarevic (2014) term food as a vital component of the tourism product for a reason because it highlights one’s experience when travelling, especially to different destinations away from local locations. Some of the notable elements in destination marketing relate to a good cultural experience, unique serving style, delicious, nourishing food, and exotic cooking methods. In the discussion of the dimensions described by Yasami, Promsivapallop, and Kannaovakun (2020), respondents pointed to a vibrant food culture in various destinations as an element creating positive perceptions and generating returning customers and repeat business. In a more specific study, Satchapappichit (2020 found that Thailand food image has four dimensions including; restaurant service, food safety and hygiene, variety and table manners and the food taste and popularity. These dimensions were used to measure the impact the Thai food had on the Chinese tourist in terms of satisfaction. However, from the study, the food taste and popularity comes out as the most distinctive parameter that was highly reflective in the perception the tourist had on the image of Thai food.
Omar et al. (2020) further expand the food image debate on destination marketing by examining the perception of Malaysian food image on tourists and their levels of satisfaction which are used to determine the likelihood of the same tourist to consider revisiting the area again. The study focuses on the general dimensions that are associated with the Malaysian food and their effect on the tourists visiting the area. The main dimensions revealed in the study included the deep cultural heritage and the cultural diversification embedded in the presentation of food to tourists (Omar et al., 2020). Additionally, Saad, AbdulRahman, & Umadi (2019) express that Malaysia consisted of different tribes and which had different cuisines with a variety of different cultural cuisines seen to influence each other resulting to a diversified culture of food. It is in this diversification of cultural cuisines that the tourists are greatly influenced developing satisfaction in the general Malaysian food heritage. The influence of the Malaysian traditional cuisines by the neighbouring countries practices adds to the general perfection and authenticity of the Malaysian cuisine culture, a component highlighted in a study by Satchapappichit (2020) as important in destination marketing. The culture borrowing practices enriches the traditional cultural cuisine of Malaysia promoting perfection of the food characteristics. Most of destinations today including, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand have adapted to the promotion of the local cuisine using it as an effective strategy in the attraction of tourists to these destinations. The food culture in tourism destinations has an upper hand in influencing destination marketing and tourist purchase intentions.
1) what is the important elements for the demographic profile of the sample of food tourists?
2) Are the food tourist ratings for males and females significantly different to each other?
3) Do the overall ratings of intention to visit a destination correlate with destination food image?
4) how are the dimensions of food tourist ratings related?
Definition of Quantitative Analysis
Quantitative research is a data collection and analysis process of numerical data. It is a systematic investigation of a particular phenomenon, which is achieved through the process of gathering the quantifiable data, and performing statistical techniques for this information to make sense to the researcher (Matthews & Ross, 2010). The quantitative research mainly entails the process of collecting information from a group of respondents who fit the criteria of the population that the researcher intends to investigate.
Data Collection and Analysis
The data of this study was collected from tourists who visited different tourism destinations to sample, or for the purpose of undertaking the local cuisine. The data of this study was collected using a 6-point Likert questionnaire, whereby ‘1’ signified the rating of the respondents as ‘not at all attractive,’ while ‘6’ signified, ‘extremely attractive,’ in line with the item in the questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted using the Microsoft Excel, and the researcher used descriptive statistics, t-tests and correlation tests to conduct an assessment of the data that had been collected from this study. In this study, there were a total of 402 research participants who were involved.
There were three types of calculations that were conducted in this study. The first type of calculation was the descriptive study where the mean and standard deviation of different variables was assessed (Bland & Altman, 1996). The mean is the average of a collection of data. On the other hand, standard deviation is the measure of the variation of a set of values whereby a low standard deviation is an indication that the values are close to the mean, while a high standard deviation is an indication that the values have been spread out over a wide range (Bland & Altman, 1996). The other tests that were conducted on this data were t-tests and correlation tests. T-test is determined as a form of inferential statistic that is mainly used to determine if there is any form of significance difference between the means of two groups such as the gender of the research participants (Kim, 2015). The correlation test is a form of bivariate analysis that can be used to assess the strength of association between two variables and determine the direction of the relationship (Nyirongo et al., 2008). There were two tables that were produced for this study i.e. the Demographic profile table and the Means, Standard Deviation and t-test table, which are illustrated in the Results section.
Table one below is the demographic profile table. It contains the following variables: Gender, Age, Highest Education level, Income level, other purpose than the food experiences and the Number of nights stayed at a destination.
Table 1: Demographic Profile of the Research Participants
Variable Category Frequency
Gender Male 213
Age 18-30 121
Over 50 145
Education Bachelor 148
Year 12 or below 120
Other Purpose than Food Business/Conference 53
Visiting Friends and Relatives 128
Working Visa 39
Number of Nights 0 33
Based on the utilization of descriptive statistics, it was determined that there were more male than female respondents who participated in this study. The number of the male research participants was 213, while that of the female research participants was 189. This could be an indication that, men like to travel more than women. In terms of the age demographics, a majority of the respondents were over 50 years (145), followed by the age group 18-30 years (121). On the other hand, the group with the least number of respondents was 31-40 years (48). From this result, it can be deduced that older people are likely to travel to sample local cuisines because of a reduction of obligations, or that they have more free time on their hands. A majority of the research participants stated that their highest level of education attainment, or qualification was a Bachelor’s degree (148). On the other hand, only 10 of the 402 respondents stated that they had a PhD. In terms of the income level, most people had an income level of $100,001-$150,000 (131 respondents), and $50,000-$100,000 (127 respondents). The highest education level and salary income seem to be correlated, whereby as most people have a Bachelor degree, it has had an impact on the amount of salary that they are provided. In addition to that, it was determined that a majority of the tourists had visited the tourist destinations with the intent of visiting their friends and relatives (128 respondents). Also, for a majority of the visitors (110), their duration of visit was 3 days, while 92 respondents stated that their duration of visit was one day.
The second aspect that the researcher was interested in was determining the descriptive statistic for each of the food tourist ratings on the dimensions for the total sample, male and female food tourists. To achieve this, the researcher relied on the mean, standard deviation and t-test analysis. This information is provided in table two below:
Table 2: Means, Standard Deviations and T-Tests
Total Female Male T-test
M SD M SD M SD P-VALUE
Unique Cooking Method 2.9005 1.75139 3.1481 0.81715 2.6808 1.66015 0.008
Feelings About Food 4.0871 1.43518 4.7566 1.12232 3.4930 1.42292 0.000
Health Benefits 4.4502 1.67533 4.0106 1.67583 4.8404 1.57901 0.000
Destination Food Image 4.5572 1.07009 4.7090 1.16918 4.4225 0.95654 0.008
Appearance 4.2985 1.52957 5.3016 0.84994 3.4085 1.44631 0.000
Food Safety 4.2164 1.15848 4.1693 1.37334 4.2582 0.92858 0.453
Food Culture 4.4055 0.78150 4.3598 0.81715 4.4460 0.74804 0.273
Based on the findings in table 2, the most important dimension rated by the male food tourists is health benefits, with a mean of 4.8404. The reason for this that, the research participants value their health more than all the other factors that were assessed by the researcher in relation to the local cuisine. On the other hand, the most important dimension rated by the female food tourists is the feelings about food with a mean of 4.7566. The reason for this is that, different foods make them develop different feelings and this they consider an important factor when selecting the local cuisines. In addition to that, the most important food dimension for both the male and the female is the destination food image, with a mean of 4.5572. This may be because of food image is an important factor when it comes to the selection, and how individuals perceive food.
The results from the t-test in table 2 show that: Food safety (0.453) and Food culture (0.273) all had a p-value that is greater than 0.05. It is an indication that there is no significant differences in these variables between the male and female food tourists. On the other hand, Unique cooking method (0.008), Feelings about food (0.000), Health benefits (0.000), Destination food image (0.008), and Appearance (0.000) had a p-value of less than or equal to 0.05. This means there are significant differences in these variables between the male and female food tourists.
In terms of the correlation, from the total sample, the overall rating of the intention to visit a destination and the destination food image is 0.524. This means that there is a moderate positive correlation.
The purpose of this report was to examine dimensions of destination food image. The research found that the demographic profile of the sample of food tourists consists of male and female samples who value different elements including health, food safety, and a rich food culture. The food tourist ratings for males and females significantly differ as each group is drawn to a different element. The study finds that the overall ratings of intention to visit a destination correlates with destination food image. The dimensions of food tourist ratings are all related because they define how an consumer perceives a destination on the basis of what matters to them. The study findings correspond to those discussed in the literature review, revealing a pattern of food appreciation amongst travellers and tourists and presenting destination food image as important for destination marketing organizations.
The most important dimension rated by the male food tourists is health benefits, with a mean of 4.8404. The reason for this that, the research participants value their health more than all the other factors that were assessed by the researcher in relation to the local cuisine. This element must be considered by DMOs when appealing to a male target market.
The results from the t-test in table 2 show that: Food safety (0.453) and Food culture (0.273) all had a p-value that is greater than 0.05. It is an indication that there is no significant differences in these variables between the male and female food tourists. Therefore, DMOs should not focus on these elements but should provide them in general to appeal to both demographic groups.
Unique cooking method (0.008), Feelings about food (0.000), Health benefits (0.000), Destination food image (0.008), and Appearance (0.000) had a p-value of less than or equal to 0.05. This means there are significant differences in these variables between the male and female food tourists. It is recommended that these elements be incorporated in the overall destination marketing strategy.
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