The role of personal values in information search strategies for community-based tourism – a study of homestays in Malaysia

Gan, Siew Wei (2023) The role of personal values in information search strategies for community-based tourism – a study of homestays in Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The growth of international tourist arrivals in the developing and emerging economies has made it a main contributor of export in services and over 100 million jobs in small and medium sized enterprises. However, it also creates a threat to the social and cultural fabric of the communities involved in the industry and to the environment. Community-based tourism such as the Homestay Programme in Malaysia can be leveraged as a means of conservation of the social, cultural and environmental heritage of these communities. However, the uptake of community-based tourism in Malaysia is developing slower than anticipated.

Therefore, this research intends to investigate this problem with a view towards advancing the development of this unique tourism experience. It will study the role of personal values as an antecedent to information search strategies and destination selection, to provide insights into the profile of Homestay visitors and their information search strategies. The conceptual framework developed for this study is based on the contingency model synthesising theories of economics of information, information processing and psychographic/motivational approaches. Data collected for this mixed methods study comprised of 7 in-depth semi-structured interviews and 239 survey responses. Interview data were analysed using directed content analysis. Adopting Schwartz’s Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ) as part of the survey instrument, survey data collected were analysed through univariate, multi-variate, regression and exploratory factor analyses.

Findings indicate that the personal value prioritised by Homestay visitors is indeed different from other tourists. The majority of Homestay visitors are young urban Malaysians with higher education, prioritising the personal value Self-Direction, in contrast to other visitors in Malaysia and Asia who prioritise Security. Currently, the only important source of information for Homestays is friends and family. Due to a lack of resources and technical competency, Homestays are not able to establish and maintain a robust online presence. Therefore, there is currently a mis-match between available information sources and the preferred information search strategies of Homestay tourists such as search portals, online agencies and influencers.

To address this challenge, policy intervention and management strategies are needed to develop a customised information infrastructure that meets the specific needs of Homestay tourism. Contributing to extant literature, results of this study support the assertion that models which incorporate the element of personal values add significant insights in studies on information search strategies and destination selection. This study also sheds light on the current information infrastructure for Homestays, providing insights into issues relevant for Homestay tourism and improvement strategies for consideration by relevant stakeholders.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wastell, David
Wong, Meng Seng
Keywords: community-based tourism, information search, personal values
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 71979
Depositing User: Gan, Siew Wei
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2024 04:30

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