Keywords

service quality, leisure benefit, overall satisfaction, revisit intention.

Introduction

In recent years, the growth of Taiwanese local cultural awareness has contributed to the prevalence of cultural experience activities. Cultural industries have attracted academic attention and excited global discussion in recent years. In addition, advanced countries have established social and economic development policies relevant to cultural industries. During the process of cultural industrialization, industrial transitions caused by globalization and localization should be considered while actively promoting the development of cultural industries. Culture and economy must be integrated to create high value-added benefits. In response to the mainstream thinking of “Global Thinking; Local Action,” the Taiwanese government vigorously promoted the “Challenge 2008: National Development Plan (2002– 2007),” in which cultural and creative industries are an integral part. Through the incorporation of arts creation and commercial mechanisms, products exhibiting local cultural features can be created to enhance people’s cultural identification and add industrial values. This was the first development plan in Taiwan to include cultural “software” as an element of national major construction engineering.

The joint efforts of the government and private institutions have drawn attention from various fields to the topics related to cultural industries. By using local cultures as a basis, leisure-based industries can demonstrate the value of uniqueness, aesthetics, delightfulness, and locality specific of local cultures. Rather than focusing only on the monetary value of the cultural product itself, the intangible value of delightfulness and aesthetics generated from the products should be emphasized. Local governments and cities in Taiwan have played vital roles in the development of cultural arts. A total of 25 local administrative areas (including Taipei City, Kaohsiung City, Kinmen County, and Matsu Islands) have invested substantial funds and efforts in developing cultural art activities and creating cultural spaces in recent years. Culture has become a primary appeal for local development and the optimal strategy to increase local visibility.

After changes in social forms and the implementation of the 2-day weekend, Taiwanese people began to adopt a lifestyle of fulfilling both material and spiritual lives, thereby exciting a trend of participating in leisure activities. The rise of leisure activity trends can substantially boost local social economic benefits as well as preserve and sustain local cultures. In response to the admission of Taiwan into the World Trade Organization, the Taiwanese government has assisted in transforming local cultural industries in addition to planning and developing leisure and tourism industries that present local features. Moreover, the government has promoted planning and research activities that involved community, local, and cultural industries, and advocated the approach of “Culture Industrialization and Industries Culturalization” to improve the international popularity of local cultural industries through marketing and packaging.

Service quality is a focus of the service sector. The service sector primarily provides services as intangible products and thus values the quality of these services. To assess service quality, businesses often apply diverse methods to investigate customers’ ratings of the quality of services provided, as well as to understand customer expectations and their perceived service quality after consumption. Concurrently, management teams adjust their management strategies and control quality in a timely manner according to the investigation results to increase service quality and the growth of business performance. Researchers indicated that services consist of four characteristics, which are intangibility, inseparability, perishability, and heterogeneity [1-4]. These characteristics prevent customers from seeing or trying out the services in advance and thus cause high uncertainty and anxiety among customers. However, maintaining excellent and quality relations with customers can generally reduce customer uncertainty and further affect their expectations for future interaction and trades [5]. Therefore, building favorable relations with customers is essential for the service sector. The proper method of maintaining favorable quality of relations with customers is a concern of service business owners. Accordingly, one of the motivations of the present study is to investigate visitors’ satisfaction with and revisit intention to a cultural park from a service quality perspective

Leisure benefits are experienced as a subjective perception and can be categorized into physiological, psychological, social, and educational benefits. Performing regular exercise can yield physiological benefits such as the retention or improvement of physical fitness and reduction of the incidence of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Leisure activities are effective social lubricants. Social benefits such as the retention of friendship and family relations are gained when adults share the same hobbies and interests and participate in the same leisure activities. Educational benefits such as the increase of personal knowledge occur when individuals satisfy their desire to know and create through formal or informal participation in diverse fields of interest. When people participate in diverse leisure activities, they gain psychological benefits such as the attainment of recognition and identification as well as a sense of achievement derived from situational role transition. Accordingly, the second motivation of this study is to explore, from the perspective of leisure benefits, whether visitors’ satisfaction with a cultural park influence their revisit intention.

Relevant studies regarding cultural industries have focused on cultural industry development [6], local culture development [7], digitization of local industries through the Internet [8], arts and culture [9], cultural and creative industries [10], promotion of cultural industries [11], marketing of cultural industries [12], and Hakka cultural industries [13]. Furthermore, leisure benefits have been investigated from the perspective of visitors [14]. However, few studies have explored the relationship between cultural park management and visitor experiences. Thus, we analyzed and discussed the influence of park service quality and recreational attractiveness on visitors’ satisfaction and revisit intention. The analysis results of the present study can serve as a reference for relevant businesses and government departments in making decisions regarding cultural park management.

Literature review

Studies on the correlation between service quality and overall satisfaction

Akama and Kieti (2003) [15] and Hui, Wan, and Ho [16] have claimed that visitors’ perceived service quality at an ocean ecological education park affects their satisfaction with their visit. Martín-Cejas (2006) reported that the service quality of a leisure farm affects visitors’ perceived satisfaction [17]. In other words, visitors primarily perceive the tangible aspects of the service quality of parks. Visitors typically believe service staff’s care and consulting services require further enhancement. Such a belief affects visitors’ satisfaction with the leisure park. Spreng, Shi, and Page (2009) indicated that customers’ perception of hot spring hotel service staff and the staff’s reliable information and consideration affect customers’ satisfaction [18]. Thus, Hypothesis I was proposed as follows: Service quality is significantly correlated with overall satisfaction.

Studies on the correlation between leisure benefits and overall satisfaction

Allen (1990) have suggested that leisure and travel experiences of psychological benefits originate from two mutually reinforced actions, namely the evasion of daily and stressful environments and the pursuit of entertainment [19]. Reichel and Haber (2005) asserted that obtaining social, psychological, educational, and physiological satisfaction can affect visitors’ overall satisfaction with the recreational park [20]. In other words, playing in a recreational park increases visitors’ perceived physiological, psychological, educational, and social satisfaction, thereby improving their satisfaction with the recreational park. Tsai and Ho (2008) argued that outdoor recreational activities (e.g., mountain climbing, exploratory educational activities, and skiing) can satisfy visitors’ leisure needs [21]. They also indicated that an increase in leisure benefits leads to an increase in satisfaction with recreational parks. Accordingly, Hypothesis II was proposed as follows: Leisure benefits are significantlycorrelated with overall satisfaction.

Studies on the correlation between service quality and revisit intention

Ho and Lee (2007) claimed that digitized tourism services can affect customers’ behavioral intention [8]. Choi and Chu (2001) found that satisfactory service quality impresses visitors, improves word of mouth, and increases visitors’ revisit intention [22]. Administrators of national scenic areas can design effective plans to improve these dimensions and provide physiological and psychological satisfaction for visitors. Ha and Jang (2009) asserted that service quality directly affects behavioral intention [23]. Thus, Hypothesis III was proposed as follows: Service quality is significantly correlated with revisit intention.

Studies on the correlation between leisure benefits and revisit intention

Hightower, Brady, and Baker (2002) suggested that the process of participating in leisure recreation activities can help participants improve their physical and mental status, as well as influence their travel intention [24]. Hsu (2008) contended that overall leisure benefits affect visitors’ revisit intention [25]. In other words, when visitors attain maximum psychological, physiological, and social satisfaction, they tend to have a strong revisit intention. Huang, Chang, and Lo (2009) suggested that to resolve the problem of low visitor numbers and increase the number of elderly visitors on weekdays, the leisure and health benefits of elderly visitors must be ensured to enhance their revisit intention [26]. Accordingly, Hypothesis IV was proposed as follows: Leisure benefits are significantly correlated with revisit intention

Studies on the correlation between overall satisfaction and revisit intention

Jang and Feng (2007) asserted that from the perspective of visitors, satisfaction directly affects visitors’ travel intention [27]. Chen and Chen (2010) indicated that regardless of the type of recreational areas, visitors’ revisit intention is significantly correlated with their satisfaction [28]. In other words, visitors’ recreational satisfaction is positively correlated with their revisit intention. Thus, visitors’ satisfaction with their recreational experience possibly promotes their revisit intention. Ryu, Han, and Kim (2008) indicated that the factors of product services, restaurant services, staff services, and environmental landscape in the recreational satisfaction dimension are the most influential [29]. Williams and Soutar (2009) contended that when recreational areas provide a sense of satisfaction for visitors, visitors’ revisit intention increases substantially [30]. Thus, Hypothesis V was proposed as follows: Overall satisfaction is significantly correlated with revisit intention.

Research methods

Research framework

The five hypotheses are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Research framework

Sampling method

A random sampling method was adopted to select six currently operating local cultural parks for field survey. After explaining the research procedure and purpose to each visitor and obtaining participant consent, we distributed questionnaires to each participant in person.

Questionnaire design

The questionnaire comprised five sections: service quality, leisure benefits, overall satisfaction, revisit intention, and demographic data. The service quality instrument devised by Parasuraman et al. [1] was applied to measure service quality by using a Likert scale. To measure leisure benefits, the leisure benefits Likert-type scale designed by Philipp (1997) [31] was applied. To measure overall satisfaction, the recreational satisfaction scale developed by Dorfman (1979) [32] was employed, in which a Likert scale was used. The revisit intention scale developed by Dodds, Monroe, and Grewal (1991) [33] was applied to measure revisit intention in a Likert scale format. Finally, the participants’ demographic data, comprising gender, age, educational attainment, and number of prior visits, were surveyed.

DATA ANALYSIS

The present study investigated the correlations among visitors’ perceived service quality, leisure benefits, overall satisfaction, and revisit intention regarding cultural parks. Statistical analyses were performed to separately verify the hypotheses developed in this study.

Descriptive statistical analysis

A total of 160 questionnaires were distributed, and 156 were retrieved for a return rate of 91.8%. Among the sampled participants, 36.5% and 63.5% were men and women, respectively. Those aged 20 years or younger, 21– 30 years, 31–40 years, 41–50 years, and 51 years or older respectively accounted for 3.2%, 60.9%, 21.2%, 13.5%, and 1.3% of the total participants. Regarding the number of prior visits, 46.8% of the participants had visited the cultural park once, and 53.2% had visited the cultural park two or more times.

Factor analysis

To further verify the correlation hypotheses proposed in the present study, we employed a factor analysis to reduce the original variables of service quality and leisure benefits into several main factors to simplify the complex relationships between variables. A principal component analysis was applied to extract the main factors. Factors with an eigenvalue higher than 1 met the criterion for extraction. After varimax rotation, items with a factor loading (absolute value) higher than 0.5 were determined to compose a factor. Finally, each factor was named according to the implications of its composing variables.

According to the factor analysis, service quality was determined to consist of five dimensions. Factor Dimension I comprised three items for empathy (Cronbach’s α = .829), representing the degree that park operators provide heartwarming and individualized services. Factor Dimension II consisted of three items for assurance (Cronbach’s α = .818), representing the degree that the service proficiency and etiquette are rated as acceptable by customers. Factor Dimension III comprised three items for reliability (Cronbach’s α = .795), representing the staff’s ability to correctly and reliably provide promised services. Factor Dimension IV consisted of three items for responsiveness (Cronbach’s α = .773), representing the service staff’s quickness and willingness to help customers. Factor Dimension V comprised two items for tangibility (Cronbach’s α = .770), representing the quality of the venue, equipment, and personnel provided

According to the factor analysis, the variable of leisure benefits was divided into four dimensions. Factor Dimension I consisted of nine items for psychological benefits (Cronbach’s α = .945), representing the opportunity to obtain and value of recognition and identification from participating in various leisure activitiesand to attain a sense of achievement through situational role transition. Factor Dimension II comprised eight items for social benefits (Cronbach’s α = .910), indicating the degree that adults sharing the same hobbies and interests can easily foster friendship and family relations through participation in leisure activities that function as social lubricants. Factor Dimension III consisted of four items for educational benefits (Cronbach’s α = .834), referring to the degree that individuals can satisfy their desire to know and desire to create, as well as increase personal knowledge through formal or informal participation in diverse fields of interest provided by leisure activities. Factor Dimension IV comprised three items for physiological benefits (Cronbach’s α = .784), representing the degree that regular exercise can maintain or improve physical fitness, as welas reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

Analysis of the correlation between service quality and overall satisfactio

A regression analysis method was applied with service quality being used as an independent variable and overall satisfaction as a dependent variable. Table 1 reveals that service quality was significantly correlated with overall satisfaction, reaching a 40.4% explanatory power, which was sufficient to affect the overall satisfaction. Thus, Hypothesis I was supported. Further analysis determined tangibility in service quality as the primary factor influencing overall satisfaction. In other words, the attractions in cultural parks and staff’s appearance and manners affect visitors’ overall satisfaction with the parks.

Table 1

Correlation analysis of service quality and overall satisfaction

Independent variable Overall satisfaction (Dependent variable)
Standardized beta coefficient
Service quality Empathy -0.03
Assurance 0.111
Reliability 0.062
Responsiveness 0.18
Tangibility 0.457**
Adjusted R2 0.404
F test 22.002**

*P<0.05 , ** P<0.01

Analysis of the correlation between leisure benefits and overall satisfaction

A regression analysis method was applied with leisure benefits being used as an independent variable and overall satisfaction as a dependent variable. Table 2 reveals that leisure benefits were significantly correlated with overall satisfaction, reaching a 50.1% explanatory power, which was sufficient to affect the overall satisfaction. Thus, Hypothesis II was supported. Further analysis determined psychological benefits in leisure benefits as the primary factor influencing overall satisfaction. The secondary and tertiary influential factors were physiological and social benefits, respectively. In other words, when visitors perceive that they can relieve their physical fatigue, receive adequate rest, and experience improved and harmonious friendship and family relations, their overall satisfaction with the park may be improved.

Table 2

Correlation analysis of leisure benefits and overall satisfaction

Independent variable Overall satisfaction (Dependent variable)
Standardized beta coefficient
Leisure benefits Psychological benefits 0.398*
Educational benefits 0.083
Social benefits 0.139*
Physiological benefits 0.259*
Adjusted R2 0.504
F test 40.334**

*P<0.05 , ** P<0.01

Analysis of the correlation between service quality and revisit intention

A regression analysis method was applied with service quality being used as an independent variable and revisit intention as a dependent variable. Table 3 reveals that service quality was significantly correlated with revisit intention, reaching a 37.1% explanatory power, which was sufficient to affect the revisit intention. Thus, Hypothesis III was supported. Further analysis determined tangibility in service quality as the primary factor influencing revisit intention. The secondary and tertiary influential factors were assurance and responsiveness, respectively. In other words, when visitors perceive the attractions and staff’s appearance and manners in a cultural park to be pleasing, their revisit intention may be improved. Moreover, when a park can ensure visitors’ rights and that staff can immediately answer visitors’ questions, visitors’ revisit intention may be improved.

Table 3

Correlation analysis of service quality and revisit intention

Independent variable Revisit intention (Dependent variable)
Standardized beta coefficient
Service quality Empathy -0.068
Assurance 0.235*
Reliability -0.005
Responsiveness 0.231*
Tangibility 0.353**
Adjusted R2 0.371
F test 19.323**

*P<0.05 , ** P<0.01

Analysis of the correlation between leisure benefits and revisit intention

A regression analysis method was applied with leisure benefits being used as an independent variable and revisit intention as a dependent variable. Table 4 reveals that leisure benefits were significantly correlated with revisit intention, reaching a 44.4% explanatory power, which was sufficient to affect the revisit intention. Therefore, Hypothesis IV was supported. Further analysis determined psychological benefits in leisure benefits as the primary factor influencing revisit intention. The secondary and tertiary influential factors were physiological and social benefits, respectively. In other words, when visitors experience psychological relaxation and stress relief during their visit to a cultural park, their revisit intention may be improved. In addition, when perceiving that they can relieve their physical fatigue, get adequate rest, and experience improved and harmonious friendship and family relations, visitors’ revisit intention may be strengthened.

Table 4

Correlation analysis of leisure benefits and revisit intention

Independent variable Revisit intention (Dependent variable)
Standardized beta coefficient
Leisure benefits Psychological benefits 0.354**
Educational benefits 0.042
Social benefits 0.146*
Physiological benefits 0.285**
Adjusted R2 0.444
F test 31.885**

*P<0.05 , ** P<0.01

Analysis of the correlation between overall satisfaction and revisit intention

A regression analysis method was applied with overall satisfaction being used as an independent variable and revisit intention as a dependent variable. Table 5 reveals that overall satisfaction was significantly correlated with revisit intention, reaching a 55.5% explanatory power, which was sufficient to affect the revisit intention. Thus, Hypothesis V was supported. In other words, when visitors feel satisfied with a cultural park and perceive that their choice to visit the park is correct, their revisit intention may be increased.

Table 5

Correlation analysis of overall satisfaction and revisit intention

Independent variable Revisit intention (Dependent variable)
Standardized beta coefficient
Overall satisfaction Overall satisfaction 0.747**
Adjusted R2 0.555
F test 194.569**

*P<0.05 , ** P<0.01

Conclusion and suggestions

This study explored the correlations among visitors’ perceived service quality, leisure benefits, overall satisfaction, and revisit intention regarding cultural parks. The correlation analysis between service quality and overall satisfaction yielded results that supported Hypothesis I and were consistent with the conclusion of Hui et al. (2007) [16]. In other words, when visitors perceive the attractions and staff’s appearance and manners in a cultural park to be pleasing, their overall satisfaction may be improved. The results of correlation analysis of leisure benefits and overall satisfaction supported Hypothesis II and corresponded to the results of Reichel and Haber (2005) [20]. Accordingly, when visitors feel psychologically relaxed, have their stress relieved and physical fatigue alleviated, receive adequate rest, and experience improved and harmonious friendship and family relations, their overall satisfaction with the cultural park may be improved. The analysis results of the correlation between service quality and revisit intention supported Hypothesis III and corresponded to the results of Ho and Lee (2007) [8]. Thus, when visitors perceive the attractions and staff’s appearance and manners of a cultural park to be pleasant, their revisit intention may be increased. In addition, when the park protects visitors’ rights and the staff immediately solves visitors’ problems, visitors’ revisit intention may be improved. The analysis results of the correlation between leisure benefits and revisit intention supported Hypothesis IV and corresponded to the results of Hightower et al. (2002) [24]. In other words, when visitors feel psychologically relaxed, have their stress relieved and physical fatigue alleviated, receive adequate rest, and experience improved and harmonious friendship and family relations, their revisit intention may be improved. Finally, the correlation analysis of overall satisfaction and revisit intention yielded results that supported Hypothesis V and were consistent with those obtained by Ryu et al. (2008) [29]. Accordingly, when visitors feel satisfied with a cultural park and perceive their choice to visit the park to be correct, their revisit intention increases. Thus, we suggest that relevant institutions and agencies improve park service staff’s qualifications and problem-solving abilities to develop and manage cultural parks effectively. Regarding the overall appearance of the parks, maintenance of facilities and improvement of traffic convenience can increase visitors’ revisit intention. By using these results, sustainable operation guidelines for the parks can be developed.