By Dripto Mukhopadhyay
Measuring Attractiveness of a Destination – An Important Tool for Stakeholders Destination attractiveness and related measurement are crucial concepts for all stakeholders of tourism activities. Measuring destination attractiveness involves the actual nature of existing destination resources and attractions, perceptions of tourists about the destination resources and attractions. An integration of these two would be important to measure the attractiveness of a destination. . We can define the concept of destination attractiveness as the perceived ability of the destination to fulfill tourists’ utility. Destination attributes can be grouped into two major categories. The first one includes innate endowments of the destination such as climate, natural resources, culture and historic attributes. The second one includes man-made developments introduced particularly for tourists, such as hotels, catering, transport, activities and entertainment and the similar ones. The prime purpose of tourists’ visits is to enjoy the local endowments and maximize their satisfaction. However, the second category of attributes is necessary to reinforce the attractiveness of the destination. The perception combining all these factors, which is latent in nature, determines tourist decision making to a large extent. Tourists’ choice of destination, expectations of from the destinations, revisits, spending amount, duration of stay and several others depend on this attractiveness. Since tourists’ intensions are always to maximize total utility, combining tangible and non-tangible, destinations with higher attractiveness should be able to larger number of tourists and in turn should receive larger spending in the destination. Therefore, for destination stakeholders it is important to measure or understand the attractiveness of the destination of which they are the stakeholder vis-à-vis, the competitor destinations. Though normally the stakeholders do have an idea about how a destination is rated by the tourists, an organized way of measuring and comparing attractiveness across destinations will enable them to identify and overcome the shortcoming as well as to enhance different attributes that determines attractiveness in the tourists mind.