عنوان مقاله [English]
Considering the importance of the tourism industry and its competitiveness, it seems that tourism purposes, like other consumer products, seem to require the brand as a unique identity to create a distinction between itself and other competitors. The city of Khalkhal has become popular destination for tourists in recent years due to its many tourist attractions. This research seeks to study the components of brand equity from the point of view of domestic tourists visiting Khalkhal. This research is an applied research and a questionnaire was used for this purpose, which is based on the Konink research. To normalize the data, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used, assuming the normalization of the data for the brand image was 0.174, the perceived quality with 0.186, the brand awareness with 0.210 and the brand loyalty to 0.154. The research hypotheses show that three hypotheses from four authors' hypotheses were confirmed (brand awareness with T 5.22, brand image with 8.47 and brand loyalty with 12.54), and one of the hypotheses (perceived quality with a statistic of 0.594) Became One of the reasons why tourists did not appreciate the quality of the tourism destination of Khalkhal is that there is no proper infrastructure in the area of tourism in this city. On the other hand, the image of tourists is good from the destination of Khalkhal city, due to its good weather, beautiful landscapes, calm environment, hospitality people.... Therefore, it should be protected from the natural landscape.
The tourism industry is one of the most important phenomena of the present century in the world (Dristiks, 2004: 28). With the growing demand for travel and the tourism industry becoming one of the largest industries in the world, each country needs to strive for socio-economic development and infrastructure growth in order to attract potential tourists (Arasli & Baradarani, 2014: 1417). Tourism marketers are trying to differentiate their tourism destinations from other destinations using marketing strategies. The competitiveness of a destination, along with sound management, can lead to the sustainable development of the tourism industry (Zarrouki & Oliasnab, 1396: 78). to reach this goal, Tourism marketers offer tourism destinations in the form of a brand. Companies, organizations, and goals need to identify the needs of their customers, Know their convinced customers, Adjust their marketing strategies, Maintain valuable customers and maximize customer loyalty. In general, there are four dimensions of customer-based brand that all of them are widely accepted by researchers: brand awareness, perceived brand quality, brand image, and brand loyalty (Chow et al, 2017: 72). The brand gives information to the tourist before traveling to identify the destination and differentiate it from its competitors and shape tourist expectations of its future journey. For this reason, brand determination for tourism destinations is one of the key aspects of brand management for tourism (Ghaffari et al., 2014: 846). Khalkhal city has many different attractions, including many natural, historical, cultural and social attractions that attract many tourists every year. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to measure the brand equity of tourism by using the Konkunik model which is derived from the Acer model from the perspective of tourists who have traveled to Khalkhal city.
The method of this research is descriptive-analytical and the data is collected by survey and library and it is also a type of applied research in terms of purpose. The questionnaire addresses the dimensions of brand equity, which include brand awareness (including 3 items), brand image (including 13 items), brand loyalty (including 8 items), and perceived quality (including 10 items). The sampling method in this paper is based on Cochran formula. Descriptive statistics included adjusting for frequency tables, percentages for the demographic information of the questionnaire. The inferential statistics section also uses Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, correlation test, and structural equation model to test the research hypotheses. All the above steps were performed using SPSS and Smart PLS software. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to investigate the normality of the data distribution. The results indicate that the normality assumption is accepted for the research variables because their significance level is greater than 0.05. Cronbach's alpha test was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire in Smart PLS software, the findings indicated that the questionnaire had good reliability and all factors were confirmed by reliability and were above 0.7. structural equations based on partial least squares (reflective measurement model) were used to investigate the research hypotheses.
Results and discussion:
The results show that the reliability coefficient of all variables is between 0.550 and 0.920 and all variables in this study have good reliability. In order to evaluate divergent validity, the extracted variance was used in this study. Since the AVE root of each factor is higher than the correlation between the factors underlined and the other factors, the divergent validity is confirmed. Structural equation modeling uses model fit indices to evaluate the structural part. The coefficient of determination is the criterion that indicates the extent of change in each of the model's dependent variables, which is explained by the independent variables. by standard, determination coefficient higher than 0.25 is poor, above 0.5 is moderate and above 0.75 is strong and because the coefficient of determination is close to 0.7, we consider it medium-strong. finally, Smart PLS structural equation software was used to test the research hypotheses.
Three hypotheses out of the four hypotheses considered (brand awareness with T statistic 5.22, brand image with 8.47 and brand loyalty with 12.54) were confirmed and one of the hypotheses (perceived quality with 0.594) was rejected. tourists considered loyalty to Khalkhal tourism brand important and very important which indicates their satisfaction with the journey to this city. Brand awareness is also one of the important dimensions of brand equity so that the purpose of marketing the tourism destination is to increase the awareness of the tourism destination by creating a unique brand. Also, one of the reasons that tourists did not rate well the perceived quality of Khalkhal city tourist destination was their dissatisfaction with inappropriate communication infrastructure, poor living conditions, poor service quality, etc., that all of which resulted from the lack of a plan to exploit this tourism asset.