Original Research

The influence of cognitive dimensions on memorable experiences within a marine tourism context

Altouise G. Jonas, Laetitia Radder, Marlé van Eyk
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 23, No 1 | a3579 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v23i1.3579 | © 2020 Altouise G. Jonas, Laetitia Radder, Marlé van Eyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2020 | Published: 27 October 2020

About the author(s)

Altouise G. Jonas, Department of Marketing Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Laetitia Radder, Department of Marketing Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Marlé van Eyk, Department of Marketing Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Consumers are increasingly demanding memorable experiences, thereby placing pressure on businesses to meet these demands. The provision of memorable experiences is particularly important to the tourism industry as its core business is to provide experiences. To stage these experiences, businesses must know which dimensions to include. For this purpose, cognitive dimensions present a reasonable starting point.

Aim: The current research aimed to explain and examine the cognitive dimensions that have an influence on the memorability of three marine tourism experiences, namely whale-watching, shark-cage diving and visits to marine protected areas. Marine tourism is one of the most popular forms of tourism worldwide, but also a desperately under-studied field, particularly in South Africa. The results of the research will assist providers and marketers of these activities in satisfying the experience needs of marine tourists by focusing their offerings on those dimensions that will enhance the memorability of the experience. The results will also help fill the gap in knowledge of the cognitive dimensions impacting the memorability of marine tourism experiences.

Setting: The study was conducted in South Africa.

Methods: Data were collected from 444 respondents using an exploratory design, mixed method approach and survey methods. Data were analysed through frequency distributions, Pearson’s product-moment correlations and multivariate analysis of variance.

Results: Knowledge, meaningfulness, novelty and social interaction positively influence the memorability of marine tourism experiences in South Africa.

Conclusion: The results indicate that positive interrelationships exist among all the dimensions, suggesting that these dimensions all represent the cognitive domain. Furthermore, the results also indicate that all four dimensions have a positive influence on memorable marine tourism experiences. These findings are important for the enhancement of memorable marine tourism experiences. An understanding of the identified cognitive dimensions in a marine tourism experience will lead to a more memorable experience for consumers and can result in post-purchase behaviour such as a repeat purchase, loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations resulting in increased profitability for the business.


Keywords

cognitive; memorable experience; marine tourism; memorable marine tourism experience; marketing.

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