Visitor Satisfaction with Guided Package Tours in the Northern Tourist Circuit of Tanzania
The guided package tour is a special tourism product that is composed of many components that are organized and offered by a tour operator. The literature shows that many visitors prefer guided package tours because they are a convenient way of organising a holiday. Studies of visitor satisfaction with guided package tours are often conducted in developed economies, on coach tours in cities, and therefore less is known about guided package tours in developing economies where the principle attraction is wildlife and nature. This thesis investigates visitor satisfaction with guided package tours that feature safaris in the northern tourist circuit of Tanzania. The northern tourist circuit is the largest tourist destination in Tanzania that attracts more that 80% of international visitors in the country. Quantitative research method is used in this study together with importance-performance analysis. Importance-performance analysis provides a structure for data analysis and the interpretation of research findings. This thesis explores the relative importance of different components of guided package tours; visitor satisfaction with different components of the guided package tour; the relationship between importance and performance of different components of the guided package tour; and the relationship between visitor satisfaction with the tour guide and overall satisfaction with the tour experience. This research demonstrates that all components of the guided package tour are important to visitors, and visitors are very satisfied with the performance of the tour providers. Attractions, tour guides and transportation are considered very important and very satisfying components of the guided package tour in the northern tourist circuit. Visitor satisfaction with the tour guide makes the largest contribution to overall satisfaction with the tour experience. Similarly, visitor satisfaction with other components of the guided package tour contributes to overall satisfaction with the tour experience. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of visitor satisfaction with guided package tours that feature safaris, and the application of importance-performance analysis in the study of visitor satisfaction in a rural wildlife area. The study provides several practical suggestions for guided package tour providers in the northern tourist circuit.