Measuring tourists' satisfaction with quality of life issues at an arts festival
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to measure tourists' satisfaction with quality of life issues at an arts festival - the Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom. Problem investigated: Understanding satisfaction with quality of life issues could assist Festival organizers and other businesses to improve services for tourists by tailoring these to meet their needs. Satisfied tourists spread positive word-of-mouth communication and are more likely to return in the future. Methodology: A self-administered survey developed and validated by Neal, Sirgy and Uysal (1999:156 & 2004:245) was fielded at the 2007 Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom. The target population included all visitors to the Festival who were staying for two or more days, and who had travelled to Potchefstroom from elsewhere. Findings and implications: Respondents were satisfied with travel / tourism services and experiences at the Festival, and with their leisure time and life in general. However, certain things at the Festival led to lowered levels of satisfaction. Demographically, respondents did not differ significantly in their levels of satisfaction with travel / tourism services, travel / tourism experiences, leisure life, and life in general at the Festival except in terms of population group and region from which they came. Organizers of the Festival and other businesses should take cognizance of the fact that all parties involved in providing services to tourists attending an arts festival impact on their satisfaction levels with travel / tourism services and experiences - and ultimately also on their quality of life. Tourists attending the arts festival are not homogenous and differ substantially in terms of their demographic profile. Tourist service providers should tailor their offerings in order to satisfy the varied needs of the different types of tourist attending the Festival. Originality and value of the research: This research focused on measuring tourists' satisfaction with quality of life issues at an arts festival. Such research has never before been conducted in South Africa; the results contribute to the deeper insight of interested parties (such as the tourism industry and arts festival managers) into what they need to offer at such events.