Tourism Happiness Index: An Upcoming Global Trend With Special Emphasis on Eastern India

Tourism Happiness Index: An Upcoming Global Trend With Special Emphasis on Eastern India

Abhijit Pandit (Amity University, Kolkata, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2603-3.ch010
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Abstract

Research on the happiness of tourists is becoming popular recently. The study thrives to start this work and develop a scale to measure tourism happiness in Eastern India. Two studies need to be conducted, following a cross validation approach. The first study is qualitative using content analyses, aiming to identify the factors and variables considered essential for making tourists happy. The sample in study 1 consists of 300 tourists of Eastern India selected by stratified random sampling method. Based on the content analyses, a questionnaire will be developed. Study 2 aims to initiate the scale validation. The questionnaire developed in study 1 will be answered by a second sample of 400 tourists visiting Eastern India. The exploratory analysis will identify some first order factors. The next step is to proceed with confirmatory factor analysis to validate the model and propose a final scale. A structural equation modelling approach is used with the help of current versions of SPSS and AMOS packages.
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Introduction

Increased competitions and complexities in the marketplace have introduced changes in the marketing strategy especially in the tourism sector where tour operators need to be alert physically as well as psychologically to provide quality tourism service to their customers in order to ensure organizational success and tourism happiness. There is need to investigate the relationship between consumer happiness and consumer engagement of firms in tourism sector.

Keeping in mind the relevance of consumer happiness, the present research aims to determine the following:

  • a)

    To identify the general factors which lead to consumer happiness in tourism sector

  • b)

    To identify the specific factors or categories which lead to consumer happiness in tourism sector.

  • c)

    To frame a questionnaire on consumer happiness in tourism sector.

  • d)

    To validate a questionnaire on consumer happiness in tourism sector.

Research on consumer happiness has been increasing in recent years but there is still a need to develop instruments to measure happiness of consumers, considering intrinsic and extrinsic factors. This survey aims to start this work, proposing a device to measure consumer happiness. Two studies were conducted, following a cross validation approach. The first study, qualitative, by applying content analyses, aimed to identify the factors and variables considered essential to make consumers happy. The sample in study 1 consisted of 100 active consumers in tourism sector from Kolkata, India selected by stratified random sampling technique. Based on the content analyses a first questionnaire was developed. Study 2 aimed to initiate the scale validation. The questionnaire developed in study 1 was answered by a second sample of 150 active tourists visiting Kolkata. The exploratory analysis identified four first order factors. Next step was to proceed with confirmatory factorial analysis to validate the model and propose a final device for measuring Tourism Happiness.

Literature Review

Since the World Health Organization defined health as “a state of complete physical, psychological and social well-being”, the concepts of happiness and well-being have been gaining interdisciplinary importance. These terms have been used interchangeably (Blanch, Sahagún, & Cervantes, 2010; Warr, 2013) or linked to other terms according the association to a use or a theory. Examples are the terms of subjective well-being (Diener, 2000; Strack, Argile, & Schwarz, 1991) or psychological well-being (Bryce & Haworth, 2003; Ryff & Keyes, 1995; Warr, 1987, 1990). A review of different definitions reveals that they always reflect the theory within which they have been built (Veenhoven, 2012). Like most happiness definitions, subjective well-being mostly refers to positive feelings associated to positive subjective assessments that individuals made of their life (Diener, Sandvik, & Pavot, 1991).

If, in his widest sense, 'happiness' is an umbrella term for all that is good, 'happiness of consumers’ is an umbrella concept that includes a great number of factors ranging from transient moods and emotions, to relatively stable attitudes and highly stable individual dispositions aggregated at an individual level (Fisher, 2010).

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