Original Research

Finding the key to success: A visitors' perspective at a National Arts Festival

M. Saayman, M. Kruger, J. Erasmus
Acta Commercii | Vol 12, No 1 | a142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v12i1.142 | © 2012 M. Saayman, M. Kruger, J. Erasmus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2012 | Published: 06 December 2012

About the author(s)

M. Saayman, Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, North-West University., South Africa
M. Kruger, Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, North-West University., South Africa
J. Erasmus, Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, North-West University., South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose and/or objectives: The purpose of this article was to segment festival visitors at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) based on their travel motives and their ratings of the Key Success Factors (KSFs) in terms of their festival experience.

Problem investigated: Previous research has indicated that the success and sustainability of an arts festival is dependent on the number of tickets sold for shows and productions during the festival. Therefore, success depends on attracting visitors who attend and buy tickets for different types of shows and productions. To achieve this festival organisers need to understand the aspects that visitors regard as satisfying their needs and which create a unique festival experience.

Methodology: A survey was conducted using a questionnaire at the festival. A total of 450 questionnaires were administered and 443 completed questionnaires were included in the analysis. Factor analysis was used to identify visitors' motivation to travel to and attend the KKNK. Cluster analysis followed the factor analysis to segments visitors based their identified travel motives. ANOVAs, Chi-square tests, two-way frequency tables and Tukey's multiple comparisons were conducted to investigate and determine any significant differences between the clusters based on demographics, behavioural variables and KSFs.

Analysis and interpretation of findings: The findings of this study revealed that the travel motives that are important to visitors to the arts festival are: Festival Attractiveness, Novelty and Escape and Socialisation. Furthermore, different markets have different travel motives, clustered as Escapists, Festival Junkies and Culture Seekers. These different clusters have different tastes and needs, for example the Culture Seekers are more interested in Rock shows and all three clusters enjoy Drama, Music Theatre and Cabaret and Comedy shows and productions. Different markets also focus on different KSFs that influence their experience of the event. Escapists rated Venues and Shows and Stalls as the most important KSF in managing the festival, whereas Festival Junkies and Culture Seekers rated Safety and Personnel and Shows and Stalls as the most important.

The value of the research: This research provides several insights. First, travel motives are a good base or foundation for segmenting visitors to arts festivals. Hence, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of why visitors attend the arts festival and what they expect to experience at the arts festival. Second, this research makes a contribution to the literature around travel motives, market segmentation, festival management and need satisfaction. Finally, the results show that festival organisers cannot base their planning on a general evaluation of visitors, but that different markets have different needs and also regard different factors are important to their overall experience.

Conclusion: This research can help festival organisers understand what visitors want to experience at an arts festival and how they want to experience it.


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