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The cultural tourism is a part of cultural industry and it promotes cultural products of travelers as cultural practice (Craik, 1995; 87; Prentice, 2001). This tourism format is well thought-out as an organization which covers diverging activities.
Traditional building or sites are of attraction for the tourists and this is used as an incentive by the cultural tourism industry. These buildings had their own distinct past but nowadays it is presented in totally different manner for the means of tourism, so that more tourists are attracted. Therefore, these traditional spots are used as entertainment spots for those people who are out on vacations, thus giving a boost to the cultural tourism (Herbert, 1995: 1). But these traditional spots are taken differently by every cultural tourist. Like for instance, a historic monument might be a very interesting factor for a few tourists while others may regard it as a boring or unpleasant place (Herbert, 1995: 1-2).
Cultural tourism is found to be in demand because of many reasons, it may be because many tourists are willing to get knowledge about the differing cultures of the nations, and some are keen to see the monuments which are found in different locations (Prentice, 2001). Cultural tourism is extended to promote cultural appreciation, via experiences or through acquisition of schematic knowledge (Prentice, 2001). Experiences over here mean that the experimental tourism is done for authentic purposes. This authenticity is offered in a number of ways like through famous people or some special events, through direct experience, location, reality, national origin, place branding and celebrations. Schematic knowledge includes logical interest in the development of individual's familiarity about the cultural objects.
A question arises when individuals are aiming to seek schematic knowledge. The question inquires about the best marketing strategy for providing the schematic knowledge to the cultural tourists. It is when the marketers are aiming to do advertisement that the psychological differences among the individuals are considered as essential criteria (Ruiz and Sicilia, 2004).
The evaluation of advertisement schemes is done with the help of conversion studies model or through advertising tracking approach. A sequential flow is considered in the conversion study approach, which starts from advertisement done for the consciousness of the tourists, which is accompanied by tactics that aim to develop a positive image in the minds of the tourists. These activities are followed by inquiries, motivation and conversion of the tourists (Siegel and Ziff-Levine, 1990; McWilliams and Crompton, 1997: 127). On the other hand, advertising tracking model defines the fluctuation that takes place in the level of consciousness of the tourists and it also gains knowledge about the targeted market before and after the advertisement campaign has taken place (McWilliams and Crompton, 1997: 129). The tracking model assumes that a tourist can be inclined to avail the services related to tourism only when he has been made aware of it, while conversion model requires hunting the information which is apparent by an obvious reaction before the conversion took place (McWilliams and Crompton, 1997: 129). The results of these models refer to various types of message processing that take place when a visitor gets interested in a particular attraction. The drawback of these models is that, they fail to recognize the influence of advertisement on decisions of less interest, which include repeated visits or low importance visits (McWilliams & Crompton, 1997: 127). To overcome this drawback it would be advisable to analyze the message processing in detail.
There are a number of studies which have brought forward three major ways of treating a message. At the first step, elaboration of cultural features takes place. By elaboration of features, the depiction and meaning is that every place or monument has its own specialty or distinct feature; therefore these characteristics should be used in effective ways to persuade the visitors, so that he could come and experience the cultural lure. Second element talks about the comments of researchers of consumer communication and behavior, according to the researcher, the mindset of the message recipients is different and this difference leads to the development of different responses to the advertisement appeals (Moore et al., 1995; Ruiz and Sicilia, 2004). Therefore, it is assumed that individual customers have an inclination to information dealing which is distinctive to them. On the third stance comes the individual's appeal produced by the marketer, congregating in the message processing system. Under such a situation the message is executed.
The sphere of cultural background as an advertisement attraction
The components of tourism introduced by Witt and Moutinho (1994) include facilities, attraction, accessibility, prices and images of the destination. The attractions which act as primary motivators include; seascapes, climate, beaches, landscapes, cultural, social and purpose build attractions. There also some facilities like those of accommodation, cafes, bars and restaurants, along with these transportation facilities are also provided like taxis, car rentals etc. Accessibility means the ease with which a tourist could reach his destination. The ideas that people have about the products they buy become attached to all types of tourism products. Price includes the sum of expenses involved, like those of accommodation, travelling and participation in other selected activities.
There are nine dimensions which have been brought forward by Berli and Martin (2003) with attributes that determine the perceived destination image of tourists. These dimensions include; tourist and general infrastructure, natural resources, culture, art, history, natural and social environment, economic and political factors, and the atmosphere of a particular place. All these dimensions are even included in cultural attraction. The organic image of attraction is based upon non-commercial resources of information; like the outlook of friends and family members, or media news. While the induced image is subject to commercial sources, like advertising and details from tour operators and travel agents (Kantanen et al., 2006).
The image of a destination that a person creates in his mind is not entirely characterized by the available information that helps in creating an imaginary projection, but person's perception of this information also plays a significant role in creating an imaginary artifact of that environment. This interrelationship between the information and the way an individual perceives, gives birth to a compound image (Stern and Krakovcr, 1993; Berli and Martin, 2003).
Since it is the mindset of the individual concerned with collecting the information about a destination, that designs a perception, it is necessary that advertising campaigns critically recognize it and design strategies focusing on integrity of advertisements. According to Martin and Berli (2003), when the customer's expectations coincide with the compound image formed beforehand, a positive feedback is received. Moreover, this feedback will not only stimulate personal satisfaction but also play a role when this feedback will be communicated through speech by the tourists.
Personal sphere and identification:
The way tourists perceive an image decides their expectations from a destination. However, different mindsets differ in the extent of these expectations, for example their qualitative expectations of a trip or destination. It is based on mindset of a person when it comes to perceiving a piece of information (McKercher 2002). A recent research confirms two dimensions of cultural tourism, presented by McKercher which are: level of motivation behind the tour and intensity of experience. The theorists of consumer behavioral studies claim that motivation for a product or service depends on the personal benefit and level of involvement in that product. Involvement is characterized by personal expectation or appropriateness of a product or a service. This involvement longs for events that align with values, wishes or expectations of a customer (Peter and Olson, 1987). In a nut shell, involvement in a product or service will be high if personal integrity is recognized. Contrarily, intensity of experience is characterized by cultural interaction in a certain environment (McKersher, 2002).
Tourists are divided into five categories by McKercher with reference to culture. A purposeful cultural tourist would be certain of his goals, like understanding a non-native culture, familiarizing with a tradition etc. Basically, a purposeful tourist will be highly involved and will expect intense experiences in detail. Moreover, there may be a number of factors which may be the cause of attractiveness of a destination for a tourist. Furthermore, when emotional part of the brain is simulated by the level of involvement, the objective is accomplished. Similarly, a sightseeing visitor will have a lower level of experience. However, expectations will be high, whereas level of inclination towards cultural traits will not be high. Third category is the casual tourist, characterized by moderate interest in culture and mild experience. In such a case tourists do not have primary reasons of visits constrained to cultural interaction or involvement with a destination. Incidental tourists are categorized under those who are neither interested in a culture nor are highly involved with the destination. Lastly, serendipitous are those cultural tourists who do not have any plans to experience involvement or expect interests, however when they experience a new culture, they get emotionally attached and experience deep recognition for it. Therefore, tourist of categories…[continue]
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