Research project Report
You are required to prepare the research project report that describes and justifies the decisions you have made for your proposed research design, data collection methods, sample selection, ethical considerations and data analysis techniques that are relevant to the research proposal that you have selected. These components will be informed substantially by your literature review in Assignment 2. This research project involves the development of a Qualtrics survey which you need to design and include whether you choose to develop a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method of survey and/or interview questions.
Your final research proposal should address the following criteria (and use these headings in your Research Project Report):
i. Problem statement and research objectives state your problem statement and research objectives at the start of your final research report so your lecturer can refer to these when reviewing your proposal.
ii. Research design explain and justify the methodological approach you propose to guide your research proposal.
iii. Data collection methods explain and justify the methods you propose to address your problem statement and what data management tools you would use (e.g. Qualtrics, Excel).
iv. Qualtrics survey design and include your Qualtrics survey and/or interview format and explain and justify the questions and style of questions you use with respect to collecting appropriate data to address your objectives.
v. Sample selection explain and justify the sample selection process relevant to your research proposal.
vi. Ethical considerations explain how you would consider the ethical issues associated with the research proposal.
vii. Data analysis techniques explain and justify how you would propose to analyse the data collected, including the analysis performed by Qualtrics and discuss the format that Qualtrics data may be presented in (e.g. tables, bar graphs etc.).
viii. Reference list provide a reference list (Harvard) for any reference sources you use to justify your final research proposal.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for tourists to receive the kind of experience they would expect when they visit tourist sites. Players in the industry must address the numerous challenges that prevent the tourists from enjoying their time when they visit attraction sites. Stakeholders in the industry must also address the changing demographics, the changes in travel patterns and the uncertainties that have come with the changing economic times if the industry is to remain profitable. One of the main challenges facing tourism at the moment is determining what kind of experience visitors generally want to have (Guillet, Lee, Law, & Leung, 2011). Hence, there is a need for effective marketing campaigns on tourisms with tour operators making deliberate efforts to make public what it is that they have to offer. More importantly tour operators and other stakeholders need to find out the kind of experience the tourists expect and set out to provide it. However, it is difficult for tour operators to gather the data required to make such a conclusion accurately (Konu, Laukkanen, & Komppula, 2010). Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park is facing the same problem. The national park has a lot for visitors to see. These include ancient rock art, rare bird species, plants and various types of crocodiles. The national park is set up on the land of Aboriginal people hence it offers a lot of lessons on the culture of the aborigines. However, the park still has problems determining what it is that the visitors really want. Recently, insecurity in many places across the world has made it even more difficult to accurately determine the preferences of tourists (Kofler, 2013). This is because visitors are visiting destinations they would ordinarily avoid for fear of insecurity in their preferred destinations. This study hypothesizes visitors prefer a serene and secure environment with good quality services.
Statement of the problem
This study seeks to find out the experience visitors to attraction sites would wish to have so that the sites will be able to offer exactly what their customers need and at a price agreeable to both the customers and the businesses. Currently, Kakadu National Park does not know what experience visitors visiting the park really want to have. At times, the park spends a lot of money delivering services and putting up facilities the customers do not want.
The objective of our study is to:
1. To find out the kind of treatment visitors want from hospitality practitioners including the quality of services and the convenience they want.
2. To find out the kind of charges visitors want for services rendered and the various modes off payment they would wish availed to them when they visit an attraction site.
Significance of the study
Of late, the global tourism industry has become very competitive. Insecurity brought about by terrorism has discouraged many people from travelling. Attraction sites have to compete over the few visitors available (Coghlan & Prideaux, 2009). Studies show those with more resources available to them are able to attract more visitors, hence, make more money. With demand for visitors so high, tourists are for going for those attraction sites that meet their demands as precisely as possible. The situation has been made worse by the worsening economic situation in many countries globally. Fewer and fewer people are now able to afford holiday. This has resulted in fewer people visiting attraction sites in Australia but also across the world. Tourism has always been a volatile industry that depends mostly on leisure travelers. Unfortunately the degree of volatility seems to be increasing with each day. This is a bad sign for attraction sites like the Kakadu National Park. The more volatile the situation the fewer visitors the site receives (Decrop, 2010). It is not just the leisure travelers that are becoming fewer, non-leisure travelers such as business groups have also been affected by the tough economic situation. All this has served to make competition for customers even stiffer for attraction sites. The global tourism industry is on numerous times affected by factors beyond its control such as terrorism. Despite this, players need to address the challenges as well as take care of competition by offering services that match or even exceed customer expectations. Hence, there is need for Kakadu National Park to carry out research to determine the kind of experience visitors like when they visit the park.
This analysis will be used to guide the development of strategy and service delivery In Kakadu National park. It will be used to justify investment in various projects geared towards ensuring that tourists’ and visitors to the tourist site receive the treatment they expect. There is need to carry out further studies to determine what visitor expectations are and how best they can be met. By implementing the findings of this stud the national will be able to compete effectively against other parks and increase its revenues.
In conducting this study we will strive to use the most appropriate strategy for conducting such a research. While the study mainly focuses on Kakadu National park it also take into account experiences relating to other similar establishments. The preferred design for this study is a theoretical study. This is because it enables us look at the preferences and the expectations of both current and potential visitors to the tourist site. The study used a mixed method survey where both qualitative and quantitative research was employed. This design was the most suitable since the research focuses on obtaining information on people’s perceptions and experiences (Lyons, Mayor, & Tol, 2009). This methodology was the most appropriate considering that this was an introductory study only meant to introduce students to the complex process of research. This is as opposed to a professionally conducted study where the researcher fully understands the intricacies of the process. The methodology will allow us investigate the topic under discussion without forcing the researcher to seek knowledge beyond his scope. Te chosen methodology allows on describes a real world phenomenon without having to develop complex models and so on (Nicolau, 2010). . The study purposes to consider the preferences of both leisure and business travelers because in most cases it is difficult to separate the two. Studies show that in most cases, employees who visit tourist attraction sites for business are the same ones who visit the same place later for leisure accompanied by family or friends. The study will consider both citizens and non citizens as the two are frequent at the national park.
For this study we used online research software to collect data on the kind of experience tourists would want to have when they visit national parks. We settled on this method of data collection since it does not require a lot of expertise to carry out the data collection process. The method involves minimal physical interaction hence does not require the kind of advance preparation associated with one on one interviews (Weaver, 2009). Online data collection to a large extent protects the student from the kind of challenges associated with field data collection. The system makes it easier for the student to structure the data collection materials. The study intends to rely to a large extent on secondary data as it is readily available. It is also easier to make sense of than primary data because in almost all cases one finds it is found in analyzed form. Due to budgetary limitations and the little time allowed for the study, online data collection is the best for this study.
This kind of survey was chosen as it is the most effective to reach the target respondents within a short time and conveniently. The respondents will be required to identify themselves, by name, age and gender. They will also be asked the last time they visited a tourist attraction site and the specific place they visited. The respondents will also be to recall what they liked about their experience at the attraction site and what they did not like. Will also be requested to suggest changes they would wish to make their visit to the attraction site more enjoyable. All questions asked to the respondents are meant to understand their past experience at an attraction site and how it can be made better.
The survey targets primarily people who have visited a tourist site in the last 2 years. The logic behind this is that these respondents have a better memory of their experience at the tourist site hence would be better placed to suggest changes in how national parks and other tourists facilities deliver their service. The sample will include Australian citizens as well as non-citizens since the national park hosts both citizens and none citizens. They survey targets adults of all ages. This is because adults of all ages and genders visit national parks hence have important input on the same.
Data analysis will involve analyzing the sample results to find out whether the findings support our hypothesis or not. The analysis will be presented in the form of a pie chart. The process will involve going through the answers given by the respondents and comparing their responses based on gender and age. The analysis will show what the average experience for visitors is like (Huang, & Cai, 2011). We will also seek find out what their experience was in relation to the time they last visited a tourist attraction site. We are of the opinion that the experience may differ depending on the time one visited the tourist attraction site (Hsu, Tsai, & Wu, 2009. In the analysis, we will find out what is the foremost concern for tourists, as far as improving their experience is concerned.
This study will not consider sex tourism in considering the kind of experience visitors had to a tourist attraction site. Respondents saying they did not like the visit to the site because it lacked sexual adventure or vice versa will not be considered. This is because we believe in promoting ethical tourism where neither visitors nor hosts take advantage of other people’s inadequacies.
Coghlan, A., & Prideaux, B. 2009, Welcome to the Wet Tropics: The importance of weather in reef tourism resilience, Current Issues in Tourism, 12 (2), pp. 90-103.