Destination personalities of Alacati and Ayvalik in Turkey: consumer perceptions of a summer holiday
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CitationTosun, P., ve Öksüz, M. (2019). Destination personalities of Alacati and Ayvalik in Turkey: consumer perceptions of a summer holiday. Journal of Yaşar University, Vol. 14, ss. 82-91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.19168/jyasar.628614
In 2018 summer, Alaçatı and Ayvalık have been listed among the top cities that are preferred as tourism destinations for local tourists. These destinations have been popular for tourists in the last decade and Turkish tourists increasingly prefer local destinations for their summer holidays because of the devalued Turkish lira. Attracting tourists is among the primary goals for tourism marketers, and consequently understanding customer perceptions regarding destinations is one of the key factors to achieve this goal. In this context, the purpose of this study is to examine the destination personalities of Ayvalık and Alaçatı and compare them in terms of destination personality dimensions. In a quantitative research design, respondents (n=191) have been asked about their perceptions about the destination personalities of Alaçatı and Ayvalık, in which they compare the two destinations on a 5 Point-Likert scale. Destination personalities have been examined within the conceptual framework of destination personality dimensions, which are, sincerity, excitement, and conviviality. In addition, respondents have answered a question by writing their opinions about “a great summer vacation” with a few words, which have been analyzed by content and cluster analyses, aiming to have a deeper understanding about the consumer perceptions about their summer vacations. Significant differences have been found between the destination personality dimensions of Ayvalık and Alaçatı. Ayvalık is perceived as sincerer and more convivial than Alaçatı, whereas Alaçatı is perceived as more exciting than Ayvalık. Regarding their expectations from their summer holiday, consumers have been grouped into 4 clusters such as; (1) fun, excitement, and activity oriented, (2) travelling and exploring oriented, (3) family and friends oriented, (4) relaxation, comfort, and silence-oriented consumers. There is not a significant difference among clusters regarding the perceived destination personalities of Ayvalık and Alaçatı. This study aims to contribute to researchers not only by implementing destination personality research in the Turkish context, but also by extending the existing knowledge by assessing destination personality concept together with the consumers’ descriptions of an idealized summer vacation. Moreover, findings of the study will be beneficial for marketing activities of tourism agencies, hospitality industry, and local governments.