FACTORS AFFECTING DESTINATION LOYALTY: THE CASE OF AN ECOTOURISM FARM

Dennis B. Testado1,*, Samuel N. Agcaracar2

 1Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City, Philippines

2Divine Word Institute of Mission Studies, Tagaytay City, Philippines 



ABSTRACT

The study has explored the behavioral patterns of a large number of visitors to the trending ecotourism destination that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, the SVD Laudato Sì Farm. The study considered two constructs: "destination loyalty," which refers to visitors' intention to return and recommend the destination to others, and the "motivational factors" that drive destination loyalty, such as 'spiritual and religious,' 'fun and social contact,' 'nature,' and 'wellness and healing.' The focus of the study was on the question: how do the ‘motivational factors’ influence the ‘destination loyalty’ of the visitors of an ecotourism farm such as Laudato Sì Farm? The study used a quantitative survey design and analyzed data from 326 valid responses using descriptive and linear regression statistics. The results showed that all four motivational factors have positively and significantly predicted visitors' destination loyalty. The study recommended the practical implications of these motivational variables that ecotourism managers can consider in enhancing visitors' destination loyalty. The study further recommended that similar studies be conducted at different times of the year and then compare the results to identify similarities and differences. Also, to increase the generalizability of the results, it was recommended to replicate a similar study in other ecotourism destinations. Furthermore, future researchers should consider factors related to visitors' travel to the destination.


Keywords:

Destination loyalty, Tourists’ motivational factors, Ecotourism