GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 751-761.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201404014

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Study on the self-drive tourists’ satisfaction based on structural equation model

SHI Chunyun1, SUN Yong1, ZHANG Honglei2, LIU Zehua2, LIN Jie1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221009, China;
    2. Department of Land Resources and Tourism Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2013-09-02 Revised:2014-02-22 Online:2014-04-10 Published:2014-04-10

Abstract: With the rapid development of drive tourism in many parts of the world, self-drive travel has become a favorite of urban residents in China for their holiday, and thus warrants serious research investigation. Studies on the tourist satisfaction have been one of the foci of tourism research for years, but the self-drive tourists' perception and their overall satisfaction have not been thoroughly addressed. Given the context of free passage to small passenger cars during our major holidays, the self-drive tourists' perception and overall satisfaction theoretical model is constructed through modeling methods based on survey data. The model is based on the assumption that small passenger vehicles are waived highway tolls during major holidays. Four dimensions are found according to exploratory factor analysis of the selfdrive tourists' perception. Then, theoretical model assumes that these four exogenesis latent variables influence the tourists' satisfaction. Confirmatory factor analysis of total sample model suggests that tourists' travel demands, self-drive advantages, destinations facilities and management have significant positive influences on tourists' overall satisfaction. Results show that the drive experience plays a critical role in the drive tourism system, while the correlation between highway availability and overall satisfaction is not supported. Invariance measurement of the calibration sample and validation sample shows that the self-drive tourists' perception and satisfaction theoretical model shows stability and validity between different samples.
Therefore, in light of these findings, we can make several recommendations. First, in order to develop self-drive tourism, we should give some fascinating itineraries. Then, we should reduce the travel expenses for self-drive tourists as much as possible. Free passage to small passenger cars during major holidays will reduce the travel costs effectively and will help to increase the self-drive tourists' overall satisfaction, which will lead to more self-drive trips. Finally, destination managers should improve the quality of related infrastructure facilities and services for self-drive.

Key words: self-drive trip, overall satisfaction, tourists&rsquo, perception, structural equation model, invariance measurement