Travel motives of visitors to South African beaches
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The tourism industry is a fast-growing industry generating potential and economic benefits towards destinations. In terms of the Blue Economy, the marine tourism industry can be observed as an important aspect of this economy which enhances industry development where beach tourism is one aspect of. Beach tourism is enjoyed by many tourists partaking in activities (e.g swimming, surfing, walking and sunbathing) to create a unique experience. When investigating previous research on beach tourism and tourists’ motives to travel to beach destinations, it is found that these motives of beachgoers are not adequately researched in the tourism industry specifically in South Africa. As beach tourism is not only consisting of the sun, sea and sex experience, it is worthwhile to explore the needs and wants of these tourists when travelling to the beach. South Africa has numerous popular beach destinations i.e. Muizenberg, Jeffreys Bay, Camps Bay to name a few, which exhibits great potential for efficient marketing and management and improved product development once the motive of the beachgoers is known. Although a substantial amount of studies research the motives of marine tourists, no substantial research has been conducted in terms of beach tourism as an important aspect within the marine tourism industry. In order to fill this gap in the literature, the main goal for this study is to identify travel motives of beachgoers visiting South African beaches. The profile of these visitors and their travel behaviour were also evaluated. To achieve this goal numerous surveys were conducted at six beach destinations in South Africa (Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Hartenbos, Jeffreys Bay, Durban and Muizenberg). Self-administered questionnaires were distributed amongst tourists relaxing at the beach using a non-probability convenience sampling method. A total of 1138 questionnaires were collected from these respondents at different beach destinations. The layout of the study consisted of four objectives. Firstly, marine and beach tourism were discussed in the form of a literature review, in Chapter 2. Secondly, a literature review was conducted on motivation and market segmentation of marine tourism (Chapter 3). Thirdly, the results of the survey were statistically analysed in order to identify the travel motives of the respondents by performing a factor analysis as well as developing a profile for the visitors in terms of cluster analysis (Chapter 4). Lastly, the fourth objective was achieved in Chapter 5, which includes the conclusions drawn from the results and the recommendations made for future research and the industry. The statistical analyses methods used in this study included factor analysis, t-Tests, ANOVA’s, Spearman’s Rank Order correlation and cluster analysis. The socio-demographic profile of the respondents was identified in the descriptive results, to be an English speaking female at the age of 35 years, single, employed and possessing a diploma or degree. The respondent resides either in the Western Cape or outside of South African borders. The factor analysis identified six factors namely swimming conditions, activities, quality of beach, popularity, experience and accessibility. Although the mean values were in close range, it can be interpreted from the mean values that quality of beach (3.02) was the most important motive for visitors when travelling to the beach whereas activities (2.65) was indicated as the least important motivational factor for travelling to beach destinations. From the t-Tests, ANOVA’s, Spearman’s Rank Order correlation results statistical significances were eminent from the results between home language, province of residence and occupation. It can be concluded that the older, retired generation indicated all the motivational factors important when visiting the beach. Further a domestic and international market were compiled from the results as two different markets. The domestic beachgoers seek good quality beaches and good swimming conditions whereas the international market travel to the beach regardless of the swimming conditions and quality of the beach. These results were also confirmed in the cluster analysis where two clusters were identified namely the Sun seekers and the Experience seekers. The Sun seekers being identified as the international market who searching for the 3 S’s (sun, sea and sex) and the Experience seekers indicated as the domestic market searches for the unique beach experience where all the motivational factors are present to create this memorable beach experience. Thus, the cluster analysis was performed to confirm the results from the factor analysis. This study contributes to the literature, identifying the beachgoers motives in South Africa and contributing to the research of travel motives in beach tourism. The results of this study also add to the product development on beaches and improved marketing and beach management techniques when the travel motives of these beachgoers are known. Lastly, the research emphasises the importance of known travel motives to researchers and beach destinations in the tourism industry.