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					An Analysis of Current Issues which effect Korean Customer Buying Behaviour in Tourism

Jessica Au and Yena Jung Higher Diploma in International Hotel and Tourism Management

HTMi Switzerland

Introduction
This year, one of the biggest hospitality company Korean Air celebrates 40th years anniversary. Since 1969, when Korean Air spread their wings it has contributed to economic growth. Since 1960s, there have been big developments and changes for Korean consumer behaviour in tourism. In order to satisfy consumers’ needs and wants domestic hospitality companies have also grown according to the new trend in tourism. For instance, not only Korean Air but also hotel Shilla, which belongs to Samsung, has made outstanding service and five star luxurious standards to their guests. Besides these two organisations Hyundai is one of the biggest companies that are able to represent Korea. The company has contributed to car rental service so that a number of tourists have been increased for travelling by car within the country. Moreover, there have been supports for all or this industrial development in Korean hospitality from the government and local administrative organs. Especially the Korean government promoted tourism attractions in order to increase tourism demands. The tourism management of the government is about conservation of resources, construction of facilities, tourism marketing and mediation between locals and tourists. Additionally, due to the fact that Korean’s life style has been changed according to the new environment, their demands to travel have become diversity. The demands have been increased so that Korean tourism administration has tried to respond to diverse requirement from the tourism consumers.

Likewise, push factors like pressures in material civilization society and pull factors such as development of transportation, facilities, events, tourism attractions and marketing promotions influence consumer-buying behaviour in tourism of Korea.

Discussion
Tourism is bound up with today’s life style and it has become part of life for Korean as well. A number of Korean tourists demand various tourism services due to the fact that they want to visit abroad with many purposes. Tourism business is highly influenced by the domestic and international situations, security condition and the standard of living. This discussion will show tourism demands and current issues that affect consumer buying process.

Comparison of Tourism Demand in Korea with Global Patterns
Recently, the number of native who depart to other countries is about 11 million in Korea. The prospect for further year is increasing 8.6 percent. The native travellers have multiple motives to go to destinations depending on their motivation. The motivation is influenced by acknowledgements, education, attitude and personality of the person who is motivated to travel (Tour Go 2009). Tourism demand in Korea is intimately associated with two neighbor countries that are China and Japan. The number of tourism demand in EastNorth Asia where Korea-China-Japan was 774 million in 2003.

In 2004, the number of demand had increased again therefore it was 927 million which is 19.8 percentage raised from 2003. From 2004 to 2008, the number of tourists had been grown up to 1,310 million. According to the Korean out-bound market, the number of travellers who go to China was 189 million in 2004. In 2008, it became 327 million, moreover Japan market had also grown therefore it was 193 million people. (Korean Culture and Tourism Institute, 2008) Korean market in out-bound market of China was 76 million in 2008. It also had been increased for several years. Not only Korean tourists but also Chinese tourists in Japan have also grown up to 62 million in 2008. Korean travellers in out-bound market of Japan had risen to 253 million people from 2004 to 2008. Japanese tourists in China have grown for several years as well. Therefore, overall the number of travellers in East-north Asia had increased and it shows that tourism demand in this region is high. In addition, it proves that tourism demand among in these three countries is intimately linked one another.

Contemporary Issues such as Environmental, Political and Cultural that affect Customer Buying Behaviour in Korea
No less significant is the fact that issues such as scientific technology, development of transportation and betterment of economic condition influence on desire of consumers in tourism. Moreover, development of infrastructure such as high way had brought improvement of international and public transportation and advance of motorization.

Not only physical environment and psychological environment effects on consumer behaviour as well. Consumer as a person he or she would be influenced by social atmosphere and feedback of people around the person is also important when the person decides tourism destination. Due to the fact that people desire for vacations, relaxation from complex society and new experience, tourism has become one of the most important businesses. A number of hospitality companies concern their marketing strategies for the specific market segmentations to build their customer loyalties. It is needless to say that this pattern is going with global pattern that is about international tourism promotions from various countries, development of transportations and good relationship between different countries. Tourist behaviour had become more complex and diverse however, individually tourist decided their destination based on their recognition, motivation, personality and

psychological characteristic. The tourist will influence psychologically, because people around the person like family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and society in which the person belong to advice them to make their mind. Furthermore, psychological characteristic of a person is intimately affected by economical, cultural and social traditions or social idea. Accordingly, a consumer in tourism is subject in consumption through tour at the same time, the consumer as person has social activities in where they belong. So there is no doubt that behaviour of the consumer in tourism is highly influenced by environmental condition that indicates culture, social-class, families and statistic factors.

In other words, according to the society or the group that the consumers belong to, their buying decision would be different and the group is able to be resources for the consumers in order to collect information about products. For this reason, companies can apply this characteristic to their effective marketing strategy and it is reliable for their promotional activities. It is very important that Korean government has led tourism business in Korea. According to the In-Bound policy, administrative organs besides private companies promoted Korean tourism and hospitality in order to attract foreign tourists. Since early 80s, they have developed accommodation facilities, advertising, airport facilities, and conservation of nature and preservation of cultural assets. On the other hand, government has also considered out-bound policies, which, since late 80s travelling abroad had become our daily life. Not only business purpose but also the international tours contributed improvement of people’s life style. Korean government promoted a number of events such as EATA (East Asia Travel Association) conference (1994), Gwang-Ju biennale art exhibition (1995), Bu-san International Film Festival (1996), ASEM international conference (2000) and WTO (2001) since early 90s. After the world cup 2002, 2005 was a special year for both Korea and Japan to attract foreign tourists to visit Korea. Due to the fact that Korea wave have affected to many Asia country, it became an important factor in tourism business. The Korea wave appeared since Korean dramas and famous starts had become popular though multi-media. They are very much contributing to positive impact to Korea.

There have been a number of tourism products regarding these stars. Because, this fact is good for Korean public image to other countries and it also attract many tourists from other Asian countries surrounding Korea. Since the national income increased both in quality and in quantity, people started to spend money to enjoy cultural life that is called ‘a civilized life’ in Korea. This is linked to ‘Value and lifestyle’ of Korean. There have been various studies about ‘Consumers in tourism and postmodernism’. After the postmodernism era, Koreans consumption in daily life had big changes. Women as one of the most important market segmentation become very powerful to make decision to expend. It shows that many Korean are actually influenced by social changes besides social-classes, regions, genders and ages. The last but least, a five-day workweek brought development of tourism as well. A five-day workweek has not long history in Korea. It has not been decade, therefore since Korean business men started to work only five days a week, people demand more than before.

Consumer Buying Process
There are 5 attractions effecting on consumer behaviour in tourism such as culture-attractions, nature-attractions, event-attractions, recreation-attractions and entertainment-attractions. The culture-attractions include visiting

historical monuments and nature-attractions are about watching magnificent natural view, flora and fauna, going to the coast and having a vacation in an island. The event-attractions are about a big national event, festivals and religious events.

The recreation-attractions are sports such as golf, swimming, tennis and hiking. Lastly, entertainments attractions mean visiting theme park, casino, shopping and watching some performances. In general, attractions are related to motivators, besides tourist business must be working well in order to fulfil consumers’ needs. To recognize destinations and attractions, consumers collect information from brochures, travel magazines and articles. When a number of companies promote their tourism products they advertise through various channels such as multimedia. From commercials consumers can imagine and anticipate about their trip after then they start to plan based on their collected information. According to the plan, consumers travel to site and take part in multifarious events depending on destination. After they travel back to home, when the customer recollect the memories if the consequences are not same as what they expected at the beginning then feedback is very negative. The negative feedback means consumer’s complaints. This feedback also influence to consumer buying decision to seek next destination.

Conclusion
Now government plans to promote various events in order to attract more than 1,000 million foreigners from 2010 to 2012. As their goal is 130 billion dollars, it is showing that how much tourism industry important is in terms of economic impact.

Yet, Tourism industry in Korea still has long way to go. It is true that Korean government as leader have promoted will with various outstanding tourism product, however, customers who are using product ‘tourism’ will change their behaviour according to the situations and social system.

Recommendations
Korean hospitality companies and government need to recognize these possible problems in order to improve the tourism industry. Especially, the government has to administrate their system, which is able to effect the tourism business. Today’s Korean tourism business is very active since the annual income of the whole nation has grown and people have more vacation from the five-day workweek. Unlike the past, Korean tourism demand is high not only for domestic tours but also for international trips. In this process, there have occurred many problems between companies and consumers. There is a law to protect consumers in Korea however it is not enough to solve the all problems. Companies and government have to concern about solutions for future tourism consumer behavior based on the feedback of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Referencing
De Mooij, M. Consumer Behaviour and culture consequence for global marketing and advertising. 2004 USA: SAGE Publications

Korean Culture and Tourism Institute. 2009 [Online] Available at: <www.kcti.re.kr >. Last accessed: November 28th 2009

Korea

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[Online]

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<www.visitkorean.or.kr>. Last accessed: November 26th 2009

Kwang-Hoon R., Tae-Goo K., Jwa-Hyun K. and Joo Y. 2006 Korean Culture and Tourism Institute, A study on Summer Vacation in 2006 translated from Korean to English [Online] www.kcti.re.kr [Accessed 25th November 2009]

Lee, Y.H. and Kim, Y.J. Tourism geography Critical issues in tourism 2008 South Korea: Han wool Academy

Pizam, A. and Mansfeld, Y. Consumer Behaviour in Travel and Tourism. 1999 USA: The Haworth Hospitality Press

Swarbrooke, J. and Horner, S. Consumer behaviour in tourism 2nd ed. 2007 UK: Butterworth-Heinemann


				
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