A Critical Review of Lee, K W, Kim, H B, Kim, H S & Lee, D S 2010, ???the Determinants of Factors in FIT Guests??™ Perception of Hotel Location??™, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 167-174. Wray, M, Laing, J & Voigt, C 2010, ???Byron Bay: An Alternate Health and Wellness Destination??™, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 158-166. And Pesonen, J & Komppula, R 2010, ???Rural Wellbeing Tourism: Motivations and Expectations??™, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 150-157.
Wellbeing refers to a connection with community or nature, in the respect of wellbeing tourism; it is often connected to fine products and hotels (Personen & Komppula 2010). Wray et al (2010) conducted a study tracing the development of wellbeing tourism products and experiences in the destination and identifying the factors that contribute to establishing Byron Bay as a wellbeing tourism destination. Personen and Komppula (2010) conducted a study to investigate if rural tourism could be wellbeing tourism in terms of motivations and expectations. Furthermore, Lee et al (2010) conducted their study evaluating the factors of wellbeing tourism to assess the differences between tourist??™s satisfaction and how those differences impact guest??™s satisfaction with hotel choosing. This Critical Review will emphasis on evaluating and comparing perspectives that the authors have pointed in the three articles, analysing and discussing the wellbeing tourism in terms of tourist??™s motivation and destination choose.
The authors of the three articles made unique viewpoints on tourism motivation and environment related factors. In the research reported by Wray et al (2010), both domestic and international visitors are motivated by Byron Bay??™s rich natural surroundings such as beautiful beaches and ???laid-back??? lifestyle. However, Personen and Komppula (2010, p. 151) stated tourists are most often motivated by opportunities to learn and explore nature of different cultures, participate in outdoor activities or search for peace and solitude. In the respect of hospitality services, as Lee et al (2010) argued hotel??™s factors also affect the overall satisfaction and expectation of guests. Hotels do not function only to provide accommodation, because the hotel user can take advantage of variety of entertainment tourism attractions and historical facilities (Lee et al. 2010, p. 172). Whilst, an interesting view in terms of environment of wellbeing tourism is pointed by Wray et al (2010) that the ???alternative??? service functions are significant. Byron Bay can also be considered as a ???new-age??™ destination offering an eclectic mix of ???alternate??™ health and wellbeing experiences and practices that are well matched to the environmental integrity, including ???new-age??™ shops, ???spiritual??™ services (Wray et al. 2010). However, Lee et al (2010, p. 172) added another distinguished view that, besides the tourism resources and facilities, along with the possibility of transportation impact the ???likelihood to revisit??™ category: ???Surrounding environment??™ and the ???the hotel??™s scenery??™ influenced word-of-mouth among customers. Meanwhile, the safety of the traveling destination should be considered as an important factor of wellbeing tourism (Lee et al, 2010).
Statistics showed over 416,000 domestic and 181,400 international overnight tourists have visited Byron Bay at the year of 2008 (Toursim Research Australia, 2009). As Wray et al (2010) referred that the Byron Bay is recognised as a popular tourism destination that is well known to both domestic and international visitors for its rich natural environment as well as abundant recreation opportunities. To large extent, tourists expect to have a peaceful, quiet and rush-free country holiday (Komppula, 2005). Additionally, Personen and Komppula (2010) explained a growing number of tourists are motivated by factors of wellbeing tourism such like; they seek relaxation, healthy gastronomy and escape from busy jobs. Hence, in the respect of the hospitality industry, the importance of a hotel??™s location is dependent upon the customer??™s reason for travel (Yavas & Babakus, 2005). An expanded argument is made by Lee et al (2010) that according to the wellbeing tourism, the hotel??™s location is critical and must be in accord with the surrounding environment and tourists??™ satisfaction. This argument is supported by Mdelik (1993), whose statement has been made that, the three most important things for a hotel??™s success are location, location, and location.
Referring to different methodologies of the three articles, each study expands and provides perspectives on wellbeing tourism with unique angle of view. Wray et al (2010) develop the case study forming part of a sustainable Toursim Cooperative Research Centre project to understand the development of wellbeing tourism in the popular destination region of Byron Bay, Australia. Besides, Personen and Komppula (2010) collected the relevant data on the Finnish Cottage Holidays, which is a dominant intermediary organisation on tourism services in Finland, to find out and segment the motivations and expectations of the rural tourism in Finland. Both authors agree the destinations as well as diversity of wellness products and surroundings are critical to influence visitor??™s behaviour. Whilst, the service functions, high-quality tourism resources also play important roles as is researched by Lee et al (2010), whose study is mainly on a basis of the quantitative and exploratory research on the group of people whom were selected based on information from the Korea National Tourism Organisation concerning foreign immigration statistics, to assess the hotel guests??™ perception of tourist destination and hotel location in South Korea. However, studies on Byron Bay, Finland or South Korea are apparently limited in terms of territorial scope. As a worldwide industry, tourism and hospitality have been expanded to almost every region on the earth (Dwyer, 2000). However, researches according to the three regions above would narrowly prove the theories. Hence, the studies and approaches in relation to the three articles have their limitation in generalisation that the factors can be problematic if directly applied to other settings that would be different to the preconditions to other regions.
In summary, each study expands and provides perspectives on wellbeing tourism with unique angle of view in terms of tourism products, tourists??™ experiences, motivations, expectations as well as satisfactions of hotel choosing. Tourists are most often motivated by opportunities to learn, explore nature of different cultures, variety of entertainments, surrounding environment, and the hotel??™s scenery. However, the limitations must be considered in approaching the findings of each study. The current studies which conducted in Byron Bay, Finland and South Korea only, are technically limited in the generalisation. Therefore, there would be problematic to generalise the results to other regions.
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Tourism Research Australia, 2009, ???National Visitor Survey and International Visitor Survey January to December 2008??™, Byron Bay SLA, Sydney, Australia.
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