Over the past decades, various destinations have made considerable efforts to improve their tourism infrastructures in order to enhance their overall attractiveness as an international tourism destination. But how does the local tourism industry perform over time and relative to other destinations? Providing a general overview of the service performance of relevant tourism-related sectors may help answer this question. The overview is formed by continuously monitoring touristsí» satisfaction levels with the most important service sectors. This deduced by the increasing notion that touristsí» satisfaction is an important issue for many organizations that depend on inbound tourists. The logic here is that satisfied tourists are more likely to return and recommend the destination to others, which is an effective way of promotion.
Spearheaded by Professor Haiyan Song, Chair Professor of Tourism at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) developed the PolyU Tourist Satisfaction Index (TSI). The PolyU TSI evaluates the satisfaction levels of Hong Kong inbound tourists across six tourism-related sectors and integrates them into an overall index. The six tourism related sectors in Hong Kong evaluated by PolyU TSI are(1)attractions,(2)hotels,(3)immigration services,(4)restaurants,(5) retail shops,and(6)transportation. Since its launch in 2009, this innovative project has created a comprehensive system to provide authorities and industry personnel with much needed information for decision making and planning.
Mission of the PolyU TSI
To promote tourist satisfaction excellence in Hong Kong
Objectives of the PolyU TSI
- To regularly monitor and report tourist satisfaction indices for service sectors in Hong Kong.
- To promote and instil continuous tourist satisfaction improvement among service sectors in Hong Kong.
- To inform and advise on best practises for tourist satisfaction excellence among service providers and regulators in Hong Kong.
While satisfaction indices for various industries have been around for some time, developing and applying a tourist satisfaction index for a destination was firstly introduced by the PolyU TSI in Hong Kong. The tourist satisfaction indices can be estimated repeatedly over time in order to examine the tourist satisfaction levels, which may reflect the changes of a destinationí»s competitiveness. Although progress takes time, measures will gradually assure improvement of the economy, society and well-being for all stakeholders concerned. Monitoring the performance and outcomes is essential because tourists are an important source of receipts for any destination. By establishing a measure of tourist satisfaction with reliable and valid links to strategic goals, the system may help instill a long-term perspective in regulators, investors and other tourism stakeholders. Armed with this information, organizations that cater for tourists can identify areas for further improvement, and correspondingly, implement relevant procedures to enhance tourist satisfaction levels. Furthermore, showing increased transparency and accountability, the performance measures will enable the service providers to establish a platform by which they can clearly articulate their contribution to the destination and the local community.
With the PolyU TSI framework, destinations are able to determine their performance and competitiveness as an international tourism destination relative to others, allowing them to identify strategic areas for improvement. By adopting universal reporting techniques, destinations can establish targets to assess their performance over time as well as provide meaningful comparisons. A growing international network of destinations is developing tourist satisfaction indices. Besides Hong Kong, destinations that are now adopting similar tourist satisfaction indices include Macau, Singapore and Shenzhen.
Macau Tourist Satisfaction Index Institute for Tourism Studies
Singapore Tourist Satisfaction Index Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Shenzhen Tourist Satisfaction Index Shenzhen Tourism College of Jinan University
Although slight variations in sectors and source markets are present, overall results on comparable sectors provide valuable insights in the performance and competitiveness across international tourism destinations. The results demonstrate that the PolyU TSI framework can be used as reliable yardstick to assess touristí»s satisfaction over time and as an international benchmarking tool. The PolyU TSI is conducted annually and the reports are freely available to the public.