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The consumer's perception of the accreditation of adventure tour operators

By Suzanne Bergin

Abstract

The concept of accreditation is relatively new to the tourism industry yet industry leaders consider it a high priority in their attempts for continuous improvement and\ud delivery of quality products. In developing current accreditation programs the industry has consulted with key players and a number of businesses but has neglected\ud to gather feedback from the consumer. Although accreditation has become a prominent means of self-regulating the tourism industry there has been little research of consumers and their views of this process. In an attempt to address this gap this study was designed to explore the consumers' perception of the accreditation of\ud adventure tour operators.\ud The key findings of this study highlight the importance of accreditation to consumers particularly in relation to staff competence, safety practices and environmental protection. Consumers of adventure tourism products, who participated in the study, rated accreditation highly. They also indicated that they would choose an accredited adventure tour operator over a non-accredited operator but it was not necessarily the most important influence in the choice process. This study provided evidence to indicate that there is some agreement that accreditation should be mandatory for adventure tours and that is important to safety and professionalism. The consumer's rating of accreditation attributes may also provide the basis for future benchmarking in this area. Consumers rated training in technical skills, organisation and planning, and legal operation more highly that the other attributes listed

Topics: 1506 Tourism, School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing, Tourism, accreditation, Victoria, safaris, travelers, adventure tourism
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.vu.edu.au:15438

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