ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE IMAGE:
MALDIVES AS A DESTINATION FOR CHINESE MARKET.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Destination image is a valuable concept in assessing the perception and behaviour of the target
market, contributes to the decision making process and visitation intentions. Hence due to the
important role of destination image, destination marketers need to be more attentive, since it enables
to identify the various information sources that influence the image formation and enables to create
and modify the image of the destination while reducing the negative images that might obstruct the
China travel industry has great potential for all the destinations and is definitely showing significant
growth in the Maldives. Due to its growing importance to the Maldives tourism, this research aims to
assess the destination image perceived by the Chinese Market based on the holistic - attribute
components along both functional and psychological dimensions. It is illustrated using the structured
questionnaire survey for both the visitors and non-visitors and measured on bipolar semantic
differential scaled items of 16 original attributes; the extracted three new factors measures the
common attribute components of the destination image. Thus to undertake the attribute based
perception on visitors and non-visitors an independent t-test done on factors (Atmosphere,
Comfort/Security and Natural State). It revealed that actual visitors perceived more favourable image
Whilst attribute based perception only assess the components that are common to the destination,
holistic perception measures attractions or auras unique to the destination. Holistic impressions are
characterised by a stereotypical mental picture, both in terms of functional (beaches, romantic, ocean,
tropical climate, sun, etc) and psychological (relaxing, honeymoon, hospitable, etc) characteristics.
The distinctive tourist attractions (honeymoon, romantic, tropical climate) of Maldives also help to
foresee holistic image that are only unique to the Maldives.
Various other tests carried out have statistically shown the positive image perceived by visitors has
potential for visitation and also shows strong correlations with the images towards recommendation.
However, ANOVA test demonstrates non-visitors show a low intention to visit, than visitors. In order
to further evaluate the intention to visit univariate general model is used; gender and age as covariates
shows no significant difference between income groups and intention to visit. It is perceived that cost,
lack of knowledge about Maldives and the absence of information in Chinese language are the main
constraints for visitation.
From a practical perspective this research contributes to destination positioning and marketing
strategies of a target market. This enables to identify, the attitudes and perception of the visitors as
well as the non-visitors whether it needs to be improved or altered through product improvement and
or product positioning or both.
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