تصویر مقصد از جمله عوامل مهم مؤثر بر رفتار گردشگر و انتخاب مقصد است. پژوهش حاضر با هدف شناسایی عوامل مؤثر بر تصویر ذهنی گردشگران خارجی از ایران با استفاده از تکنیک دلفی فازی انجام شده است. برای دستیابی به این هدف، با مطالعهی ادبیات موضوع همچنین انجام مطالعهی توصیفی، عوامل مؤثر بر تصویر مقصد شناسایی گردید و با پرسش از خبرگان میزان تاثیر این عوامل بر تصویر ذهنی گردشگران خارجی از ایران بررسی شد. سپس میانگین نظرات خبرگان در مورد هر عامل محاسبه و در قالب اعداد فازی بیان گردید. در نهایت با استفاده از تکنیک دلفی فازی، اتفاق نظر خبرگان در مورد اهمیت هر عامل محاسبه گردید. در این پژوهش پانل دلفی مشتمل بر 12 عضو است که از استادان دانشگاه و متخصصان فعال در حوزهی گردشگری، تشکیل شده است. نتایج تجزیه و تحلیلها نشان میدهد که فاصلهی روانی استنباط شده،گستردگی فعالیتهای بازاریابی مقصد، انگیزهی سفر، آشنایی با مقصد، تصویر کلان کشور، ریسک ادراک شده و تصویر خاورمیانه عوامل مؤثر بر تصویر ذهنی از ایران هستند.
Understanding the Effective Factors in the Mental Image of Foreign Tourists Who Visit Iran
Extended Abstract Destination image is one of the most important factors affecting a traveller’s behaviour and their choice of destination. The present study, therefore, seeks to identify the effective factors which determine the mental image of foreign travellers coming to Iran using Delphi-fuzzy technique. To this aim, through referring to the related literature, the important factors were identified through asking questions from the experts and in this way, the extent to which these factors influenced the mental image of foreign travellers coming to Iran was investigated. Then, the average of experts’ views with regard to each of the factors was computed and expressed in terms of fuzzy numbers and accordingly, experts’ agreement on the importance of each of the factors was determined. In this study, the Delphi-fuzzy consisted of 12 members, including some university professors and active experts in private and public sectors who worked in travel industry. The results showed that the psychological distance felt by the travellers, the extent of destination marketing activities, motivation for trip, country’s macro image, and the risk felt for travelling to destination and Middle East image were found to be the effective factors determining the mental image of Iran.
Introduction Destination image is an important concept employed in investigating tourists’ decision about destinations, with much contribution to our understanding of tourist behavior. Researchers, academicians, industry practitioners, and destination marketers can all are interested about image concept. This growing interest can originate from growing international tourism as well as the current intense competition among tourist destinations. Positive images of destinations can help the potential tourists to choose among competing destinations, thereby making the destination an element of potential travelers' “aware” and “evoked” .It can be inferred that the success or failure of any tourism destination is largely akin to the images held by the potential travellers. The effective management of those images by the destination should also be taken in to account. Understanding the way in which destination image is developed by the travellers can be of great help in making a destination attractive and competitive. There have been few studies determining the structure and manner of image development. The studies conducted in this area have investigated destinations in a general way, without considering the especial conditions of them. Also, some studies have looked at only one factor among many others. The present study, therefore, tried to identify the effective factors shaping the mental image of potential travellers to Iran.
Materials and Methods In the present study, to identify the effective factors determining the mental image of Iran as a destination, Delphi technique was used. The reason for using this technique is having access to the views of some experts with regard to a given topic. This was done with some questionnaires and interview with the experts in a number of times. The results were averaged too. Since the views of experts are very subjective depending on their personal ideas, it is better to represent data in the form of fuzzy numbers instead of definite numbers. The main difference between the traditional and new Delphi techniques is that experts express their views in terms of verbal variables and then these variables are converted to fuzzy numbers. The Delphi panel in this study consisted of 12 members who were university professors and experts active in the public sector and industry.
Discussion and Results In this study, the first stage in Delphi technique consisted of two parts. In the first part, reviewing the literature, the present researcher prepared a list of effective factors on the mental image and gave them to the experts in terms of Likert five-choice questions in order to determine the degree of the effect of each of the factors. These factors are psychic distance, data sources, motivation, self-congruity, familiarity, macro image and demographic variables. In the second Part, through designing some open questions, the researcher identified dimensions that were important in the development of image of Iran but not identified in the literature. According to the responses received from the experts, some dimensions were explored that had not been considered by the researcher. These included the perceived risk, Islam, Word of mouth, the image of Middle East and cultural activities in the international domain. The responses received were expressed in terms of fuzzy numbers. The average of ideas was defuzzified in the second stage. In the second stage, experts, along with observing the averages defuzzification, observed the views of all panel members from the first stage, as well as the rate of differences between their views and that of the average .Accordingly, they made their new evaluation. When the average difference for each of the dimensions in the first and second stages was more than 0.2, this process was repeated. The average difference of the dimensions for the two stages (second and third stages) in this study was estimated and because it was less than 0.2, the process was stopped (Cheng & lin,2002).
Conclusion The present study sought to identify the effective dimensions influencing the mental image of Iran as a destination country for travellers. As many different factors have been identified in the literature, the researcher tried to identify these factors using Delphi-fuzzy technique and considering the special position of Iran. The results of the analyses showed that psychological distance, development of marketing activities in the destination, travelling motivation, familiarity with the destination, the macro image of the country, the felt risk for travelling to the destination and the image of the Middle East were recognized as effective dimensions shaping the image of the potential travellers.
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