Analyzing The Motivational Factors Affecting Visitors To The local Community-Based Events, Golghaltan Festival As A Case Study



Today, event tourism is known as one of the fastest growing parts of tourism economy. Events are important in tourism since they attract more visitors to the destinations, motivate locals to participate in tourism activities, promote authentic arts of the local communities and increase their income (Watt, 2012). At the other hands, reinforcing community ties, events could strengthen valuable social cohesion (Gursoy, Kim & Uysal, 2004) by playing the role of an attraction, a catalyst, an animator, a place marketer or an image maker (Getz, 2008). Since the 1990s, the academic researcher pay special attention to the motivations of events attendees.Today, there are unique rituals in all cities and rural areas of Iran could plan to hold festival on their theme. These festivals would be attractive to tourists. As the local community involvement and agreement to do the event-based activities constantly are the main issues in sustainable tourism, increased positive socioeconomic impacts of events could encourage them to protect their customs and traditions through attending to different national and international festivals. In this way’ Iranian-Islamic ancient culture would be preserved and introduced internationally. For achieving this purpose, it is necessary to focus on systematic management and marketing. Parrinello (1993, p. 233) stated "the importance of the motivation in tourism is quite obvious, it acts as a trigger that sets off all the events involved in travel". Among few cultural events held in Iran with travel and tourism approach, the Golghaltan Festival in Amirie is chosen as a case study.

Data are collected based on desk and field research by taking advantage of questionnaire and interview. The questionnaire consist of three main parts including motives, travel behavior and demographic variables. At first, to assess the structure and content validity of the questionnaire nine experts who manage, market or have official responsibility in holding the Golghaltan festival were asked to review the proposed data gathering tool. After applying their comments in the research design, a pre-test was conducted on 76 visitors. All items have reliability coefficient above 0.6, so they were considered to be acceptable in this study.
Tourists who visit 8th Golghaltan Festival in 2015 have been considered as the statistical population. According to the official reports, 7000 visitor attend this event last year. Based on Cochran equation the sample size is calculated 357. Using convenience sampling method, 287 usable questionnaire were gathered.Thirty-seven motivational items were measured on a five-point Likert-type scale in which 1stands for not important at all, 2= not important, 3= neither unimportant nor important, 4= important, 5= very important, then factors were analyzed using the principal component method and varimax rotation procedure. Bartlett̕s test of sphericity was significant (p<0.05) and KMO measure of sampling adequacy (0.843) exceeded the recommended minimum value of 0.6. Four items were deleted because of factor loading and communality less than 0.4 and cross-loadings. All of the six main dimensions had an Eigenvalue more than 1.0. They explained 53.95% of the Total variance.

Results and discussion
More than 60% of respondents are young (in 18-34 age group), about 64% have academic degree and above two-thirds are married with different annual income levels. The six motivational factors for attending to Golghaltan Festival are termed "Golghaltan & family", "cultural exploration", "socialization", "support", "novelty" and "escape". Results show that attendees of a Cultural Community-Based Event such as this festival are motivated more by pull factors like cultural exploration rather than push factors such as escape. The equal ratio of participant’s gender most of whom, at young age, highly educated and married indicate that the studied festival should be considered as a culture-family based event. So this implies that, Iranians with a higher education are more likely to be interested in cultural tourism

Iran is a country enjoying high ethnic diversity. Each one of these ethnic groups have their own specific characteristics and cultural heritage. Cultural events arise a golden opportunity in light of which it is possible to not only strengthen ties between the ethnicities but also enhance national identity and national pride. The local communities’ sense of unity, pride and belonging to their own culture and traditions is critical to success of the events.
Understanding why visitors tend to attend to such events is necessary for developing those events more and more. Furthermore it is essential to be sensitive about enriching visitors’ experience. So a detailed marketing mix must be developed to plan the festival much better. As a result it is possible to offer a high quality experience to the visitors without eliminating or lowering the authenticity and cultural integrity of the ethnicities.
Taking these into account, the results show that visitors are more motivated to attend to Golghaltan Festival as a rural-community-based festival, by motivational pull factors (i.e., Golghaltan and cultural exploring as attraction and cultural heritage of the destination) than motivational push factors (i.e., pressures of living environment to leave the home in order to change the routine life style).


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