Scholarly article on topic 'Understanding Cultural Heritage Visitor Behavior: The Case of Melaka as World Heritage City'

Understanding Cultural Heritage Visitor Behavior: The Case of Melaka as World Heritage City Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"cultural heritage" / "visitor behavior" / "heritage city" / "responsible tourism" / memorable / tourists}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Carol Boon Chui Teo, Noor Rita Mohd Khan, Faizah Hj. Abd Rahim

Abstract Visitors’ interests traveling to Melaka have increased recently and expected to continue. Melaka recorded one of the highest tourist arrivals ever in 2012 at 13.7 million tourists. Despite this trend, very little is known about individuals who visit cultural heritage sites. Evidence suggests many types of tourists who progress from general travelers to specialized tourists. This study investigates visitor behavior to cultural heritage sites in Melaka. Melaka as World Heritage City inscribed by UNESCO in July 2008 forms the scope and location of this study. Methodology utilized survey on 505 local and foreign tourists. The survey was aided by enumerators using Responsible Heritage Tourism Scale translated into four languages. Findings acknowledged that tourists displayed responsible tourism behavior and cultural significance towards heritage buildings and local culture. Visitors exhibited environmental concerns at the tourist surroundings. Memorable tourist and cultural heritage experiences were sought by these tourists. Heritage visitors were classified into memorable tourism experience seeker, cultural significant, responsible, willingness to pay and green tourist. Findings had practical implications for destination marketing of heritage sites.

Academic research paper on topic "Understanding Cultural Heritage Visitor Behavior: The Case of Melaka as World Heritage City"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 130 (2014) 1 - 10

INCOMaR 2013

Understanding Cultural Heritage Visitor Behavior: The Case of Melaka as World Heritage City

Carol Boon Chui Teoa*, Noor Rita Mohd Khanb, Faizah Hj. Abd Rahima

aArshad Ayub Graduate Business School, University Teknologi MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia bFaculty of Business Management,University Teknologi MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia


Visitors' interests traveling to Melaka have increased recently and expected to continue. Melaka recorded one of the highest tourist arrivals ever in 2012 at 13.7 million tourists. Despite this trend, very little is known about individuals who visit cultural heritage sites. Evidence suggests many types of tourists who progress from general travelers to specialized tourists. This study investigates visitor behavior to cultural heritage sites in Melaka. Melaka as World Heritage City inscribed by UNESCO in July 2008 forms the scope and location of this study. Methodology utilized survey on 505 local and foreign tourists. The survey was aided by enumerators using Responsible Heritage Tourism Scale translated into four languages. Findings acknowledged that tourists displayed responsible tourism behavior and cultural significance towards heritage buildings and local culture. Visitors exhibited environmental concerns at the tourist surroundings. Memorable tourist and cultural heritage experiences were sought by these tourists. Heritage visitors were classified into memorable tourism experience seeker, cultural significant, responsible, willingness to pay and green tourist. Findings had practical implications for destination marketing of heritage sites.

© 2014TheAuthors. PublishedbyElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of INCOMaR 2013. Keywords: cultural heritage; visitor behavior; heritage city; responsible tourism; memorable; tourists

1. Introduction

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +60122238930; fax:+60355444693. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of INCOMaR 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.04.001

Tourism is one of the most thriving industries in many countries around the world and Malaysia is no exception. The tourism industry has become the second biggest contribution to Malaysia's economic growth. In the same vein, the tourism industry in Melaka holds huge potential for the state since Melaka is best known for its well preserved culture and heritage. Melaka was officially listed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of the World Heritage Sites (WHS) on 7 July 2008. Total tourist arrival to Melaka increased to 13.7 million in 2012 and the state government is highly optimistic of the tourist numbers and extrapolations indicate the number will reach 14 million by 2013 (Malacca Tourism Association, 2013).

Tourist behavior in terms of their attitude towards responsible tourism, tourist environment consciousness and tourist beliefs in local culture and its preservation of a World Heritage City (WHC) at Melaka were explored. Tourist behaviors measured include their interest and willingness to pay for responsible tourism, and holiday experiences to a heritage site. Since local and foreign tourists were surveyed on-site in this study, it dealt with an insight into not only just the tourist perceptions of cultural heritage but in-depth study into actual travel experience. Many studies have researched on tourist preferences and destination choice behavior but there is paucity in observing the tourist profile in terms of the categories of tourists' behavioral characteristics at heritage tourist destination choice. Previous research has shown that the greatest success in influencing visitors' actions comes from understanding what they think about a particular behavior especially with regards to encouraging pro-environmental behavior of visitors to act in ways that minimize environmental and experiential impacts of tourism (Brown et al, 2010).The main objective of this study is to investigate cultural heritage tourism at Melaka as a WHC. There is paucity in understanding visitor character and behavior of heritage tourists and their social and economic impact on their destinations. Specifically this study examines visitor behavior when visiting a cultural heritage site.

Today's travelers as consumers have reached a stage that goes beyond tourism in which their travel motivation is not about wanting to experience an idealized version of a foreign culture but rather to become exposed and immersed in the native country's language, art, cultural heritage and patterns of life (Hudson, 2009). As little is known about the characteristics of heritage tourists and what are the benefits sought and experiences that they expect from WHC like Melaka, this study fills the gap by examining some of the behaviors of heritage tourists to Melaka. As issues such as climate change and responsible tourism have started to influence consumer demand in recent years, there is a need to investigate the level of participation of responsible tourist behavior and travel. Hence responsible tourist and cultural significant tourist behaviors are examined.

The significance of the study of visitors' behavior especially to heritage sites allows researchers to draw some basic conclusions about the norms related to tourist consumption of heritage sites. Findings should contribute useful implications for the development and protection and marketing expansion at World Cultural Heritage Sites. It is useful to determine the differences that exist in the cultural tourism market in terms of behaviors of cultural tourists. Examining the differences that exist within this market serves as an attempt to segment the market according to the motivation and decision to visit a heritage destination and the depth of holiday experiences sought by the heritage tourists. This is of interest to destination marketing organizations and the cultural heritage managers.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Overview of Tourism Industry at Melaka

The unique city of Melaka has been imbued with a multicultural heritage and steep in long tradition of history with diverse cultures, harmonious living of different races, religion and creed over the centuries. The cultural heritage is not only a product for tourist market in Melaka but has also made Melaka an icon in the construction of contemporary Malaysian identity (Worden, 2003). The historical city of Melaka recorded an increase in tourist arrivals in 2012 (13.7 million) when compared to 2011 (12.35 million).70% of the tourist arrivals were domestic tourists while 21% were foreign tourists. Singaporean tourists topped the highest tourist arrival to Melaka. The average length of stay of tourists in Melaka was 2.13 days (Melaka Tourist Promotion Division, 2011).

2.2 Cultural Heritage

According to National Act 2005 of Malaysia, cultural heritage includes tangible or intangible forms of cultural property, structure or artifact. It may include a heritage matter, object, item, artifact, formation structure, performance, dance, song and music that is pertinent to the historical contemporary way of life of Malaysians, or in

land or underwater cultural heritage which is of tangible form but excluding natural heritage. Heritage tourism is described as an economic activity that involves the use of inherited and sociocultural assets in order to attract tourists (Fyall and Garrod, 1998).

Visitors who were satisfied with the cultural heritage destinations tended to expand their length of stay and revisit. Badaruddin (2002) showed that foreign tourists who had visited Malaysia were mostly attracted to its cultural and historical uniqueness. It was also clear that the value of cultural heritage sites deemed important to visitors are (i) the cultural experience at the site, (ii) the quality of the infrastructure, or (iii) the quality of the tourist services. Studies showed that conservation programs and initiatives that improve the cultural experience or the ease at which visitors can reach and spend time at heritage sites are valued by visitors and likely to encourage higher visitation rates (Alberini and Longo, 2006).

2.3 Willingness to Pay

A study by Kim, Cheng and O'Leary (2007) at Changdeok Palace, South Korea, a designated WHS, revealed tourist were willing to pay at least twice as much as the current admission price to visit this heritage site indicating the economic value of WHS. The authors highlighted the importance of the financial gain from the increased admission price which can be channelled to restore old buildings, undertake research, renovate facilities or services, interpret visitors, and promote this site. Charging higher user prices can also reinforce current or potential user's beliefs in the importance of cultural heritage assets. The same arguments were echoed by Mourato, Ozdemiroglu,Hett and Atkinson (2004) in entry pricing into heritage site could be used as a way of managing demand based on tourists' willingness to pay. Additionally, the revenues generated can be used to manage and preserve the cultural site achieving the twin objectives of maximizing profits from foreign visitors and maximizing the welfare of local community.

2.4 Responsible Tourism

For a visitor who associates his/her experiences in a tourism environment as environmentally sensitive experiences tend to possess self-identify as green or eco-tourist (Tixier, 2010). In another study by Andereck (2009), it was found that the behavior of visitors who were more strongly motivated by nature-oriented experiences tend to perceive environmentally responsible practices as more valuable than tourists less motivated by nature-oriented experiences. Hence these tourists had more positive views of environmentally responsible practices by tourism businesses than tourists not nature-oriented

Similarly for responsible tourism, it is about providing better holiday experiences for guests and good business opportunities to enjoy better quality of life through increased socio-economic benefits and improved resource management (Spenceley, Goodwin and Maynard, 2004). Basically, responsible tourism is about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Responsible tourism aims to make tourism sustainable in ensuring environmental integrity, social justice and economic development. It is not merely the responsibility of one entity or party but engages the responsibility of all stakeholders in tourism such as the tourists, tourism businesses, local communities, planning authorities, transport operators, non-governmental organizations and central and local government. The stakeholders are to take responsibility for their actions and the impacts of their actions. Thus, the drive for enhancing the practice of responsible tourism is becoming an important agenda among those involved in tourism. Yet, little is understood about responsible tourism. There is growing pressure for a more responsible tourism industry today.

2.5 Classification of Visitor Behavior

Visitor behaviors are influenced by multitude of factors that shape their motivation to travel and destination choice. Destination image and evaluative factors such as trip quality, perceived value and satisfaction influence visitor behaviors directly. Chen and Tsai (2006) found that destination image appears to have the most important effects on tourist behavioral intentions such as intention to revisit and willingness to recommend, both directly and indirectly. Kim and Lee (2000) show that differences in cultural characteristics of visitor play a role in creating distinctive differences in tourist motivation and tourist behavior. In terms of understanding of heritage tourists, Poria, Reichel and Biran, (2006) found the link between the individual and the space, namely tourist perceptions of a

site relative to their own heritage. Hence when examining heritage tourist behavior, it is vital to observe visitation patterns to places where historic artefacts are presented. Tourist perception is key to the understanding of visitation patterns, primarily more on the meaning they ascribe to historic artefacts rather that what the tourists see or observe.

Tourist behavior have been categorized into tourist typologies based on their travel experience and motivation for holiday-taking such as bubble travelers, idealized-experienced seekers, wide horizon travelers and total immersers (Hudson, 2009). Other studies have profiled cultural tourists into various typologies. McKercher (2002) classified cultural tourists into five groups namely serendipitous, purposeful, incidental, casual and sightseeing cultural tourist based on their experience sought and importance of cultural tourism in their decision to visit a destination. A recent study showed that cultural tourists were different in accordance of the unique nature of each cultural attraction sought by them. Cultural tourists with high education and high income tended to participate in cultural attractions such as local festival and fairs, festival and musical attractions, and knowledge/ aesthetic seeking attractions due to their high cultural capital. The low income cultural tourist groups preferred participation in commercial recreation parks where they had less interest and knowledge of the local culture (Kim et al., 2007). In a group of visitors labeled as active vacationers, they tended to seek for local culture and value more of the provision of amenities at the tourist site compared to inactives who were more likely to visit only the popular attractions (Johns and Gyimothy, 2002). Kerstetter, Confer and Graefe, (2001) found that tourists with an interest in visiting heritage or cultural sites tend to stay longer, spend more per trip, are more highly educated and have a higher average annual income than the general tourists.

Visitor experience has become a major aspect in cultural heritage marketing. More and more heritage tourists seek the total experience of not only in education but the culture, leisure and social interaction that leads to a memorable one that is MTE. There has been increasing interest in current tourism research to link tourism as a function of memorable experience. For example, the concept of memorable tourism experience by Kim, Ritchie and McCormick., (2010) measures a person's memory as it relates to tourism experiences encompassing the components of hedonism, novelty, involvement, local culture, feelings of refreshment, meaningfulness, and knowledge Past studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between destination attributes and overall satisfaction with the cultural heritage experience (Huh, Uysal and McCleary, 2006). It was also found that travelers who closely experience or interact with local culture are more likely to have a unique and memorable travel experience. Holiday makers tend to more easily recall positive travel experiences than negative ones indicating that destination marketing organization must provide a memorable travel experience by developing interesting programs that tourist can experience and discover new things (Kim et al., 2010). It was found that cultural tourists seek different levels of memorable experience. Purposeful cultural tourists seek deep memorable experience as the main motivation to travel to a heritage site while incidental cultural tourists favor shallow experience (McKercher, 2002).

3. Methodology

Methodology utilized survey as the primary methodology of this study. The population of the study comprises tourists who had visited Melaka. The target sample was 505 tourists local and foreign tourists who had experience heritage tourism at Melaka as a World Heritage City. The sampling procedure utilized quota sampling in which the tourists as the respondents was maintained with 291 local tourists and 214 as foreign tourists and almost equal in gender distribution. The quota sample ratio of 60 percent of local tourists to 40 percent tourists was based on past data on the distribution of tourist arrival to Melaka. Quota sampling based on the composition of gender, local and foreign tourists was used to ensure sample representativeness.

The fieldwork was conducted at various tourist hotspots at Melaka using survey questionnaires. Actual visitor behaviors and holiday experiences were measured. Responses from visitors who had experienced the leisurescape of a WHC were elicited. Questionnaires were self-administered among local visitors; however foreign visitors were aided by enumerators. The research instrument comprised the Responsible Heritage Tourism Scale (RHTS) adopted from Teo, Abdul Rahim, Khan, Chuah and Hassan (2011). To overcome the language barrier among foreign tourists, original questionnaires in the English Language were translated into the Malay language for local visitors and into Mandarin and Arabic mainly to cater to foreign visitors from Mainland China and the Middle East respectively. The fieldwork took eight weeks to complete.

Data analyses included descriptive statistics and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to generate the dimensions of visitor behaviors. In the analysis, RHTS were subjected to EFA using principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation. A cut-off point of 0.5 as recommended by Hair, Black, Babin and Anderson (1998, p.111) was

maintained as the acceptable value for factor loading. All factors with an eigenvalue greater than one were accepted. Items with low and cross loading were dropped from the analysis.

4. Findings and Analysis

4.1 Visitor Profile

Gender composition was almost equal in distribution with males (48.9%) and females (51.1%). The respondents were predominantly single, between 21 to 30 years old. Of the sample, 65.9% were single, 20.8% were married with children followed by 12.5% were couples. The majority of the foreign respondents were predominantly from Europe (43.8%), Asia-Pacific (22.9%) and the Middle Eastern (18.2%). The three most common countries of origin were Middle East (16%), China (14%), and United Kingdom (12%). For the local visitors, the three most common states of origin were Johor (14%), Negeri Sembilan (13%) and Selangor (7%). 38% of the respondents comprised students as the survey was carried out during the peak season of the school and summer holidays, professionals (19.6%) and management (14.9%). For the number of trips to Melaka, more than 50% of the respondents (55.9) had visited Melaka between 2-3 times while 27.5% had visited Melaka between 4-5 times. 26.5% of the respondents indicated they had visited Melaka in the last six months. Most of the respondents were either vacationing with friends (36.4%) or families (35.8%) on their visit to Melaka.

4.2 Descriptive Statistics and Factor Analysis of Visitor Behavior to Cultural Heritage Site

Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics and EFA results. Mean score indicated tourists to Melaka indicated high importance of saving the environment (M = 4.39, SD = 0.83) and the need to respect local customs and traditions (M = 4.24, SD = 0.88) and indigenous people (M = 4.16, SD = 0.86) in a heritage city. The tourist participants also believed in living in harmony with nature (M = 4.21, SD = 0.84) and support for urban ecotourism (M = 4.18, SD = 0.85). Relatively strong presence of behavior was also reported towards urbanization control (M = 4.15, SD = 0.83) and

Results of EFA generated behavioral dimensions with an five-factor structure with eigenvalues greater than unity. Total variance explained by the 5 factors accounted to more than 60%. According to Hair et al., (2006, p. 120), factor solution that accounts for 60% of the total variance (and in some cases even less) is regarded as satisfactory as information is often less precise in social science research.

Factor 1 with 6 items identified memorable tourist experience (MTE) that described tourist's holiday experiences to a Melaka's heritage sites. Visitors deemed heritage destination as experiential and engaging if heritage site is preserved and its authenticity and architecture maintained. MTE encompass learning not only the cultural heritage but respect for indigenous community, local customs and traditions. Variance explained was 6.3% with eigenvalue of 2.38. This factor is testimony that heritage tourists are focused or a specialized group of visitors that seek realistic and authentic holiday experiences. Findings were substantiated by Kerstetter et al., (2001) in which heritage tourists are likely to be satisfied with their overall experience, including exposure to authentic artifacts as they tend to have more knowledge and, as a result, seek more realistic expectations of what they will be encountering during their visit. This was also in line with the work of Poria, Butler and Airey, (2004) who showed that motivations for visiting heritage sites were driven by heritage experience and learning experience. This in line with MTE components such as novelty, local culture, refreshing, knowledge and involvement as developed by Kim et al., (2010).

Factor 2 with 6 items measured subjective responsible behavior of tourists when visiting a heritage site. The item "I respect the cultural heritage of Melaka" was dropped from the analysis due to low factor loading (0.43) below 0.5 cut-off point. Heritage tourists were motivated to support responsible tourism including sustainable ecotourism. They were equally environmentally responsible and showed respect for host culture. This indicates that both culture and environment are equally important dimensions of heritage tourism. This factor explained a total variance of 5.16%. However past research show that despite tourists declared positive attitudes towards responsible and sustainable tourism, only a few of them act accordingly by buying responsible tourism products, choosing environmentally friendly transportation or behaving responsibly towards destination communities (Budeanu, 2007). Hence understanding of attitudes of responsible tourist behavior is vital in ensuring little damage on heritage sites.

Findings show that responsible tourist behavior as an important aspect of heritage tourism. This was echoed by Stanford (2008) who iterated the importance of what it means to be a responsible tourist. However the study

supported the view that responsible tourist behavior is multi-faceted and complex, with several dimensions and degrees of dimensions. Hence it remains the responsibility of destination to guide and direct tourists appropriately. Visitor experience to heritage sites coupled with proper information and guidance by heritage destination management can inculcate tourism responsibility. Luo and Deng (2008) were similar in the view that a general tourist, through nature-based experience such as that of visiting a heritage city may become a responsible tourist who cares about and acts for the environment, the community and society.

Factor 3 with 6 items relate to visitor willingness to pay (WTP). WTP is determined not only by the economic value of the WHS but also by non-economic value such as practice of responsible tourism by tour operators, fund allocation to preserving cultural heritage and tourism revenue to support local economy. Total variance explained by this factor was 4.37% with eigenvalue of 1.39. Several studies found similar findings that visitor WTP entrance fees to natural attractions and heritage sites, depends on the money going towards sustainability practices, protecting and improving the sites (Reynisdottir, Song and Agrusa, 2008; Dodds, Graci and Holmes, 2010; Kim et al., 2007). The fact that visitor WTP for heritage sites indicates that the economic value of a world heritage site like Melaka exceeds its monetary value and that cultural heritage is important for tourists.

Table 1. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis results

Item Mean Standard Factor

Deviation Loading

Factor 1: Memorable Experience Seeking Tourist

Holiday experience is better if I'm doing something authentic 4.04 0.94 0.77

Holiday experience is better if the destination preserves its cultural heritage 4.09 0.91 0.73

Holiday experience is better if I learned as much as possible about my destination's 4.06 0.90 0.72

cultural heritage

Respect indigenous people 4.16 0.86 0.64

Respect local customs and traditions 4.24 0.88 0.60

Believe in maintain distinctive main street architecture 3.98 0.93 0.60

Eigenvalue = 2.38, % variance = 6.27, Cronbach's a = .85

Factor 2: Responsible Tourist

Saving the environment for future generation is good 4.39 0.83 0.76

Believe that one should live in harmony with nature 4.21 0.84 0.67

I support urban ecotourism 4.18 0.85 0.66

I describe myself as environmentally responsible 4.04 0.84 0.57

Eigenvalue = 1.96 , % variance = 5.16, Cronbach's a = .85

Factor 3: Willingness to Pay Tourist

I am willing to participate in responsible tourism holiday 3.91 0.91 0.76

I am willing to pay more for responsible tourism 3.68 1.02 0.74

In choosing holiday destination, it is important that the tour company practices 3.92 0.95 0.64

responsible tourism policies

I am willing to pay more for a holiday if it's guaranteed the money goes to preservation 3.90 0.92 0.63

of local environment

On my holidays, fll be concern how tourists support local economy 3.95 0.89 0.53

Prefer holiday trip that specifically designed to cause as little damage to environment 4.04 0.96 0.53

Eigenvalue = 1.66, % variance = 4.37, Cronbach's a = .79

Factor 4: Culturally Significant Tourist

Feel good about the way we care for our cultural heritage 3.87 0.88 0.74

Believe in being part of a community rich in culture and history 3.93 0.89 0.70

Share my cultural heritage with visitors 3.70 0.89 0.64

Believe in preserving one's cultural heritage 4.06 0.86 0.52

Eigenvalue = 1.39, % variance = 3.66, Cronbach's a = .72

Factor 5: Green Tourist

I help environment even if it costly and time consuming 3.89 0.86 0.75

Don't purchase products known to cause pollution 3.88 0.95 0.72

Want to participate to help environment 4.09 0.84 0.58

Eigenvalue = 1.16, % variance = 3.06, Cronbach's a = .75

Factor 4 generated tourist's beliefs and respect towards host culture. Visitors to a heritage site show greater concern in terms of respect and appreciation of host culture to preserve the distinct cultural atmosphere. This factor accounted for 3.67% of total variance. This group of heritage tourists was categorized as cultural significant tourists. A tourist's national culture has an influence on tourist actions and behavior in the host country. Kim and Lee (2000) stated that an individual's cultural characteristics play a role in creating distinctive differences in tourist motivation.

The behavior that tourists display during their holidays has important consequences on the well-being of the local community (Budeanu, 2007). Similar studies classified this type of cultural tourists as highly specialized individuals who tend to have more knowledge and appreciation for host culture when exposed to authentic articles (Kerstetter et al., 2001) and total immersers travelers who are totally immersed in the culture, heritage, patterns of life and language of the native country visited (Hudson, 2009). In the same vein, this type of cultural tourist has been profiled as the purposeful cultural tourist whose seeks a deep cultural experience and interest in learning about other's culture or heritage (McKercher, 2002).

Factor 5 generated green tourist behavior that explains visitors' environmental consciousness towards the tourist environment. Total variance explained was 3.06%. There is a need to mould green tourists, a group that is inclined to act on behalf of others. How individuals relate to the environment and the well-being of others determine their willingness to engage in environmentally and socially responsible activities (Wearing and Neil, 2001; Budeanu, 2007). Findings corroborated with Dolnicar and Long's (2009) research that indicate the growing emergence of a class of tourists who are only motivated to take care of the natural surroundings of the host destination, whether they are travelling in an ecotourism or general tourism context.

4.3 Comparison of Local and Foreign Visitor Behaviors

Using independent sample t-test, the 5 dimensions of visitor behaviours of the respondents were analyzed. Table 2 presents the results of the t-test.

Table 2: Comparison of local and foreign visitor behavior

Mean Score (M)

Behavior Local Visitors Foreign Visitors t p*

N= 291 N=214

Memorable Tourist Experience 15.84 15.88 -0.17 0.87

Responsible Tourist 16.80 16.85 -0.17 0.86

Willingness to Pay Tourist 23.10 23.49 -1.03 0.30

Culturally Significant Tourist 24.02 25.03 -2.71 0.01**

Green Tourist 11.83 11.90 -0.40 0.69

M = Mean Score is based on a 5-point Likert Scale where 1 = Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree. The higher the mean score, the greater the respondent's presence of the behavior exhibited ** Significance level at p< 0.05

Results reveal that local and foreign visitors were significantly different on several behaviors. Cultural significant behavior of both local and foreign visitors differed at t=-2.71, p<0.05. However visitor behaviors in terms of MTE, responsible tourism, green tourist were not significantly different among the two groups of heritage visitors. The difference could be accounted to the fact that tourists are motivated differently and their attitudes towards cultural heritage vary when deciding to visit heritage sites tourists are motivated differently and their attitudes towards cultural heritage vary when deciding to visit heritage sites and this is supported by previous studies by Kerstetter (2001); Goh (2010). Classifying cultural tourists into cultural and noncultural tourist groups could explain different levels of benefits and experience sought by local and foreign visitors. The knowledge, respect and understanding of local culture based on heritage, learning or recreational experience sought by foreign and local visitors could differ. Findings were similar to other research done by Poria et al., (2006); Kim et al., (2007) and Espelt and Benito (2006) at other heritage sites.

5. Discussion

Findings in this study found several profiles and characteristics of visitors to a heritage city. Against the backdrop of Melaka as the WHC, the unique cultural tradition, international cultural significance, authentic experience, and the ability of a heritage site management to preserve and conserve cultural heritage form part of the MTE by heritage tourists. Similar findings by Poria et al., (2004) found the link between a site's attributes to motivation to visit heritage places. Understanding of the role of holiday experience quality in terms MTE in the heritage tourism contexts serve as one of the management goal for heritage managers when designating their heritage sustainability strategies. Such relationships between experience quality, perceived value and satisfaction on behavioral intentions to visit heritage destinations have been found to be evident in heritage sites (Chen and Chen,

2010) as heritage organizations have increasingly involved the participation of the public in their policies and programs.

The MTE was cited as an important factor that visitors seek when visiting a heritage site. In the case of Melaka, MTE such as learning about the host culture, traditions, customs, and indigenous people together with the authentic ambience form part of their memorable experience components. According to Kim et al., (2010) MTE comprise hedonism, refreshment, local culture, meaningfulness, knowledge, involvement, and novelty. Similar views were echoed by Tung and Ritchie (2011) who showed that there is increasing interest to examine tourism as a function of memorable experiences in terms of the affect, expectations, and consequentiality as well as recollection of memory points. Similarly understanding tourist experience on heritage offerings would allow policymakers to devise tourism plans that promote the city's heritage assets more effectively. It is hoped that the MTE will encourage positive word-of-mouth about a heritage destination site to attract future potential tourists and assist tourist planners and destination marketing organizations to proactively attract repeat visitation.

Responsible tourists segment exhibited environmental responsible behavior towards saving and living in harmony with the environment, supporting ecotourism and showing respect for cultural heritage. A previous study by Kang and Moscardo (2006) also found cross-cultural differences on perceptions towards responsible tourist behavior. On the contrary, another study by Miller, Rathose, Scarles and Holmes, (2010) found tourist's lack of awareness of impact of tourism behaviour, feelings of disempowerment and unwillingness to make significant changes towards current responsible tourism behavior. Trends show the emergence in new types of tourism focused on sustainable tourists labeled as 'good tourist', 'responsible tourist' and 'green tourist' replacing the traditional mass tourism (Heitmann, 2011).

Cultural significant tourists are highly concerned about cultural heritage who care, believe in being part of and preserving and sharing cultural heritage. Findings support the view that the more tourists perceive the site as being part of their own heritage, the greater interest they show in learning, feeling emotional involvement and being connected to their heritage (Poria et al., 2006). However research evidence has shown that the cultural tourist segment is a highly diverse group with different attitudes, needs and expectations (Pulido-Fernández and Sánchez-Rivero, 2010). Chhabra (2010) also found notable differences between heritage and non-heritage tourists in terms of their perceptions on authenticity towards heritage sites.

Findings in this study on the willingness of tourists to pay (WTP) a higher price to visit heritage destinations are in line with past studies that revealed tourists do care about the environment and were willing to pay for sustainability practices although they were indifferent as to whom should be responsible for implementing sustainable measures (Dodds et al., 2009) and economic value of heritage sites far exceed monetary benefits (Kim et al., 2007).

Findings in this study identified environmental concern a significant behavior of heritage tourists. Similar evidence is documented in which ecotourists as the most environmentally concerned whereas the mass tourists are the least environmentally concerned (Mehmetoglu, 2010). In addition it was found that environmentally responsible tourists is an attractive market segment today characterized by their willingness to pay for environmental initiatives taken on by the tour operator they are travelling with (Dolnicar and Long, 2009).

6. Implication, Conclusion and Recommendation

The study provides an insight into the understanding of tourist behavior towards the appreciation of cultural heritage notably into the importance of how tourist should behave when interacting with local people, participating in cultural activities and respecting foreign culture. The need to understand tourists' cultural responsible behavior assists in tourist education towards codes of responsible conduct in destinations (Pennington-Gray, 2005). It provides suitable knowledge especially for tour operators who are in direct contact with tourists and serve as the cultural communicator in these codes. Tourism authorities can use information on culturally responsible behavior in the promotional brochures for tourists. Guidelines on unique cultural norms and appropriate tourism conduct while on site can be formulated based on the characteristics of tourists' attitudes and perceptions towards culture, heritage, environment and tourist activities.

Understanding responsible tourism from the local and foreign tourists have potential uses for tourist authorities in managing tourism impacts especially in protected sites and artifacts. One of the greatest challenges tourism authorities face in sustainable and responsible heritage tourism is to encourage visits to act in ways that minimize environmental and experiential impacts (Brown et al., 2010). Responsible tourism has emerged to be an integral part

of lifestyle and ethical marketing. Environmental issues are important to many travelers and holidaymakers when selecting and purchasing travel destinations (Goodwin and Francis, 2003). Tourist behavior and attitudes toward responsible tourism especially with regards to Melaka as a WHC enables proper allocation of funding and priority into environmental concerns in tourism authorities' planning and development in the long run for Melaka. Understanding visitor experiences is useful in destination marketing decisions. Visitors are willing to pay more for responsible heritage tourism hence strategies to use responsible heritage tourism as a strategic tool in destination marketing and focus on tourist activities as responsible consumption. Heritage tourists who seek more in the type of experience tend to stay longer than any other type of tourists (Nicholls et al., 2004). Hence findings in this study provide an insight into experiences sought by heritage tourists leading to increased opportunities to market heritage attractions.

Findings show that tourists are motivated differently and their attitudes towards cultural heritage vary when deciding to visit heritage sites as supported by previous studies by Kerstetter (2001) and Goh (2010). Hence destination marketers must acknowledge this and identify the different heritage tourist segment to enable customizing their heritage destination branding. In the case of Melaka, classification of heritage tourist behaviors provides an understanding into their type of participation or visitation patterns based on Melaka's tourist cultural attractions such as participation at Festival and Musical Attractions, Local Festivals and Fairs, Commercial Recreations Parks and Knowledge/Aesthetic Seeking Attractions (see examples in Kim, Cheng and O'Leary., 2007). Understanding visitor demand is imperative in which local authorities play a vital role and recommends the development of responsible tourism attractions, with a focus on culture and heritage and to create unique visitor experiences. Booyens (2010) laments that heritage tourism development does not necessarily mean a responsible development

Finally this paper contributes as a significant step towards understanding visitor behaviors to Melaka in the context of a WHS. More imperative is the understanding of heritage visitor behaviors toward responsible tourism which will greatly assist the tourism authorities to develop a comprehensive and inclusive system of voluntary responsible and sustainable tourism indicators at local, national and regional level. It can be concluded that classification and understanding of visitor behaviors demonstrate a clear segmentation of heritage tourists in Melaka. Visitor behavior is not just determined by their socioeconomic or demographic characteristics but rather by their attitudes, actions and motivations. In sum, findings of this study on Melaka's visitor behaviors allow drawing of some basic conclusions about the norms and practices related to tourist consumption of WHS.


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