Oman’s Position in U.S. Tourists’ Mind: The Use of Importance-Performance Analysis on Destination Attributes
Tourism is making its presence felt across the Sultanate of Oman. The story is one of the most recognized phenomena as a sustainable solid growth and is considered a remarkable outcome for any destination. The competitive situation and challenges within the tourism industry worldwide entail a better understanding of the destination position and its image to achieve Oman’s aspiration to retain its international reputation as one of the most desirable destinations in the Middle East. To access general perceptions of Oman’s attributes, their importance and their influences among U.S. tourists, an online survey was conducted with 522 American travelers who have traveled internationally, including non-visitors, virtual-visitors and visitors to Oman. This research involved a total of 36 attributes in the survey. Participants were asked to rate their agreement on how each attribute represented Oman and how important each attribute was for selecting destinations on 5- point Likert Scale. They also indicated if each attribute has a positive, neutral or negative influence on their destination selection. Descriptive statistics and importance performance analysis (IPA) were conducted. IPA illustrated U.S. tourists’ perceptions of Oman’s destination attributes and their importance in destination selection on a matrix with four quadrants, divided by actual mean value in each grid for importance (M=3.51) and performance (M=3.57). Oman tourism organizations and destination managers may use these research findings for future marketing and management efforts toward the U.S. travel market.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1124921Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1192
 World Tourism Organization. (2015). World tourism barometer. Retrieved from http://mkt.unwto.org/en/barometer. Retrieved on 11/12/2015.
 Ministry of Information, (2013). Oman 2013-2014. Muscat.
 Martilla, J. & James, J. (1977). Importance-performance analysis. Journal of Marketing, 41 (1), pp. 77-79.
 Henkel, R., Henkel, P., Agrusa, W., Agrusa, J., & Tanner, J. (2006). Thailand as a tourist destination: Perceptions of international visitors and Thai residents. Journal of Tourism Research, 11, pp. 269-287. doi:10.1080/10941660600753299. Retrieved on 09/12/2015.
 Lertputtarak, S. (2012). The relationship between destination image and revisiting Pattaya, Thailand. International Journal of Business and Management, 7, pp. 111-122.
 Rittichainuwat, B., Qu, H., & Brown, T. (2001). Thailand's international travel image: Mostly favorable. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 42, pp. 82-95. doi:10.1016/S0010-8804(01) 80020-3. Retrieved on 14/12/2015.
 Tapachai, N., & Waryszak, R. (2000). An examination of the role of beneficial image in the tourist destination selection. Journal of Travel Research, 39, pp. 37-44. doi:10.1177/004728750003900105. Retrieved on 06/01/2016.
 Enright, M. J., & Newton, J. (2005). Determinants of tourism destination competitiveness in Asia Pacific: Comprehensiveness and universality. Journal of Travel Research, 43(4), pp. 339-350.
 Chu, R. K., & Choi, T. (2000). An importance-performance analysis of hotel selection factors in the Hong Kong hotel industry: A comparison of business and leisure travellers. Tourism management, 21(4), pp. 363-377.
 Deng, W. (2007). Using a revised importance–performance analysis approach: The case of Taiwanese hot springs tourism. Tourism Management, 28 (5), pp.1274-1284.
 Go, F., & Zhang, W. (1997). Applying the importance-performance analysis to Beijing as an international meeting destination. Journal of Travel Research, 35 (4), pp. 42-49.
 Hudson, S., & Shephard, G. W. (1998). Measuring service quality at tourist destinations: An application study of importance-performance analysis to an alpine ski resort. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 7 (3), pp. 61-77.
 Matzler, K., Bailom, F., Hinterhuber, H. H., Renzl, B., & Pichler, J. (2004). The asymmetric relationship between attribute-level performance and overall customer satisfaction: A reconsideration of the importance–performance analysis. Industrial Marketing Management, 33 (4), pp. 271-277.
 Oh, H. (2001). Revisiting importance–performance analysis. Tourism Management, 22(6), pp. 617-627.
 Weber, K. (2000). Meeting planners' perceptions of hotel-chain practices and benefits: An importance-performance analysis. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 41 (4), pp. 32-38.
 Taplin, R. H. (2012). Competitive importance-performance analysis of an Australian wildlife park. Tourism Management, 33(1), pp. 29-37.
 Baloglu, S. (2001). Image variations of Turkey by familiarity index: Informational and experiential dimensions. Tourism Management, 22, pp.127-133. doi:10.1016/S0261-5177(00) 00049-2. Retrieved on 07/01/2016.
 Yilmaz, Y., İçigen, E., Ekin, Y., & Utku, B. (2009). Destination image: A comparative study on pre and post trip image variations. Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, 18, pp. 461-479. doi:10.1080/19368620902950022. Retrieved on 28/12/2015.
 Zhang, Y., Luo, Y., Xu, J., & Zhou, D. Q. (2009). IPA on tourism destination image of ancient town in Southern China: A case study of Xitang in Zhejiang. East China Economic Management, 3. pp.112 -124.
 Baloglu, S., & McCleary, K. W. (1999). A model of destination image formation. Annals of Tourism Research, 26, pp. 868-897. doi:10.1016/S0160-7383(99) 00030-4. Retrieved on 16/01/2016.
 Echtner, C. M., & Ritchie, J. B. (2003). The meaning and measurement of destination image. Journal of Tourism Studies, 14 (1), pp. 37- 48.
 Gunn, C. A. (1988). Vacationscape: Designing tourist regions (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
 MacKay, K. J., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2000). An exploration of cross-cultural destination image assessment. Journal of Travel Research, 38, pp. 417-423. Doi: 10.1177/004728750003800411. Retrieved on 28/12/2015.
 Milman, A., & Pizam, A. (1995). The role of awareness and familiarity with a destination: The central Florida case. Journal of Travel Research, 33 (3), pp. 21-27. Doi: 10.1177/004728759503300304. Retrieved on 07/01/2016.
 Ahmed, Z. U. (1991). Marketing your community: Correcting a negative image. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 31 (4), pp. 24-27.
 Chon, K. S. (1990). The role of destination image in tourism: A review and discussion. Tourism Review, 45 (2), pp. 2-9. doi:10.1108/eb058040. Retrieved on 09/12/2015.
 Dann, G. M. (1996). The language of tourism: A sociolinguistic perspective. Oxford, England: Cab International.
 Stepchenkova, S., & Morrison, A. M. (2008). Russia's destination image among American pleasure travelers: Revisiting Echtner and Ritchie. Tourism Management, 29, pp. 548-560. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2007.06.003. Retrieved on 11/12/2015.
 Zhenfang, H., Xiang, L., & Yuxuan, G. (2002). Measurement and analysis on tourism destination image: Taking Nanjing as a study case. Nankai, Business Review, 3. pp. 49-63.
 Azzopardi, E., & Nash, R. (2012). A critical evaluation of importance-performance analysis. Tourism Management, 35, pp. 222-233. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2012.07.007. Retrieved on 06/01/2016.
 Matzler, K., Sauerwein, E., & Heischmidt, K. (2003). Importance-performance analysis revisited: The roleof the factor structure of customer satisfaction. The Service Industries Journal, 23, pp. 112-129. doi:10.1080/02642060412331300912. Retrieved on 08/01/2016.
 Joppe, M., Martin, D. W., & Waalen, J. (2001). Toronto’s image as a destination: A comparative importance-satisfaction analysis by origin of visitor. Journal of Travel Research, 39, pp. 252-260. doi:10.1177/004728750103900302. Retrieved on 05/01/2016.
 Slack, N. (1994). The importance-performance matrix as a determinant of improvement priority. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 14 (5), pp. 59-75. doi:10.1108/01443579410056803. Retrieved on 10/01/2016.
 O’Neill, M. A., & Palmer, A. (2004). Importance-performance analysis: A useful tool for directing continuous quality improvement in higher education. Quality Assurance in Education, 12 (1), pp. 39-52. doi:10.1108/09684880410517423. Retrieved on 19/01/2016.
 Murdy, S., & Pike, S. (2012). Perceptions of visitors’ relationship marketing opportunities by destination marketers: An importance-performance analysis. Tourism Management, 33, pp. 1281- 1285. Doi: 10.1016/j. tourman.2011.11.024. Retrieved on 09/01/2016.
 Chon, K. S. (1987). An assessment of images of Korea as a tourist destination by American tourists. Hotel and Tourism Management Review, 3 (1), pp. 155-170.
 Hollenhorst, S. J., Olson, D., & Fortney, R. (1992). Use of importance-performance analysis to evaluate state park cabins: The case of the West Virginia park system. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 10 (1), pp. 1-11.
 Song, Z. B., An, Y. M., & Zheng, P. (2006). IPA analysis of tourism destination image: A case study of Xi'an residents' perception on the tourism destination image of Hainan, China. Tourism Tribune, 21 (10), pp. 26-32.
 Sörensson, A., & Friedrichs, Y. V. (2013). An importance–performance analysis of sustainable tourism: A comparison of international and national tourists. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. doi:10.1016/j.jdmm.2012.11.002. Retrieved on 11/01/2016.
 Pike, S., & Ryan, C. (2004). Destination positioning analysis through a comparison of cognitive, affective, and conative perceptions. Journal of Travel Research, 42, pp. 333-342. doi:10.1177/0047287504263029. Retrieved on 27/12/2016.
 Enright, M. J., & Newton, J. (2004). Tourism destination competitiveness: A quantitative approach. Tourism Management, 25, pp. 777-788. Doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2004.06.008. Retrieved on 11/01/2016.
 O’Leary, S., & Deegan, J. (2005). Ireland’s image as a tourism destination in France: Attribute importance and performance. Journal of Travel Research, 43, pp. 247-256. Doi: 10.1177/0047287504272025. Retrieved on 28/12/2015.
 http://www.e-rewards.com/global_home.do (last accessed on 26/02/2016).