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Visitors to a Theme Park - Motives and Satisfaction: The Case of Janfusun, Taiwan

This thesis is a study that aims to understand the pre, during and post visit behaviours of theme park visitors. This study took place at Janfusun Fancyworld, which is situated at Gukeng village Yun-Lin County, Taiwan. The park was the first Taiwanese theme park to achieve ISO 9002 and has hosted over 2 million visitors every year almost since its inception over a decade ago. By these criteria Janfusun is considered the leading theme park in Taiwan. Theme parks originally emerged from medieval and travelling fairs, but the success of locations such as Coney Island in the late nineteenth century introduced the element of exciting rides. At present the definition of a 'theme park' might be said to be an 'amusement park' that possesses a central theme based on history, fiction or other core. However, it is the researcher's own observation that Janfusun focuses more on the installation of hardware facilities, but pays less attention in creating an unifying theme. This situation may have affected the research outcome since Janfusun operates more as an 'amusement park' from a western perspective but markets itself as a 'theme park' within Taiwan, and is consistent with a Taiwanese understanding of the term of being a 'theme park'. The main hypothesis adopted in this study is that satisfaction may be of two types: (1) generic, which relates to general 'push' needs such as those for relaxation, and (2) site specific, which relate to destination attraction features and 'pull' determinants. This thesis argues that the satisfaction of generic motives such as the requirement for relaxation and escape is contingent upon the ability of the attraction to meet the visit motives specific to the attraction. For example, a need for escape would not be met if a theme park visitor found the rides uninspiring, the portrayal of fantasy unconvincing and the food poor. Furthermore, researchers such as Foster (1999) suggest that some destination attributes, while considered important by the tourists, rarely act as an incentive to choose a specific destination, but the absence of these attributes can be a powerful deterrent. Some of the attributes, such as 'accessible toilets' and 'a place to rest', are considered as convenience factors in this thesis. This thesis attempts to understand the relationship of push, pull and convenience factors to the visitors' overall satisfaction. Also, this thesis tries to understand the role of socio-demographic variables in determining overall satisfaction. This thesis also includes a longitudinal study that allows the research to capture the effect of changes to visitors. For example, Janfusun has newly installed an artificial beach and wave feature that serves the social needs of its visitors. This thesis also examines the importance of repeat visitation in determining visitors' motivations and experiences. For example, it was found that visitors with high repeat visits are more aware of the 'new rides' than the first time visitors. Finally the last chapter attempts to answer two key questions, (a) why are the findings of importance to both conceptual literature and management practice, and (b) what might future researchers learn from this thesis. The objectives of this thesis are thus summarised as to: 1. Conduct a longitudinal study in Janfusun. 2. Identify visitors' pre-visit behaviour, which is associated with generic motives and push factors. 3. Identify visitors' during-visit behaviour, which is associated with site-specific features and pull factors. 4. Identify post-visit behaviour, which is associated with satisfaction and loyalty. 5. Identify the causal relationships between pre, during and post visit behaviours and conceptualise a model. 6. Identify the role of convenience factors.
Type of thesis
Yeh, S.-S. (Sam). (2008). Visitors to a Theme Park - Motives and Satisfaction: The Case of Janfusun, Taiwan (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2585
The University of Waikato
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