Entertainment as a tourism development tool in Macao

Loi, Kim Ieng (2009) Entertainment as a tourism development tool in Macao. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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The central aim of this thesis is to explore entertainment (its role and function) in the tourism development context. The sequence of discussion commences with a review of the existing literature regarding entertainment(be it in the context of tourism or not). It includes the definition of entertainment made by other scholars, the importance of entertainment as well as some examples of gaming destinations. Based on this literature review, an operational definition of entertainment in the context of tourism was synthesised and developed for the thesis research. This is then followed by a brief introduction concerning the research destination – Macao, a special administrative region of the People‘s Republic of China with distinctive characteristics. A conceptual model of the role of entertainment in tourists‘ destination experience was outlined. It is argued that entertainment is at the centre of the whole tourists‘ destination experience and that it interacts and is affected by competitors, users and suppliers. The thesis comprises 3 inter-related studies:

Firstly, there was a comparative Study of Macao with six other major international gaming destinations (through Internet archival analysis and questionnaires completed by academics). It was a positioning study and Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) was adopted. The key finds of this study were that while the assessment of the physical properties revealed a higher level of similarity among the destinations, especially for Macao which was considered to be highly competitive with the top gaming destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City in terms of physical data, the perceptual responses by the scholars provided multiple differences. Several comparable pairs of gaming destinations evolved as a result and were discussed in considerable detail.

A second study addressed the perception and evaluation of the existing entertainment activities / facilities by stakeholders in Macao and adopted a destination benchmarking approach. This study was approached using questionnaires completed by tourists (sample size = 200), industry employees (sample size = 48) and Macao residents (sample size = 200). Some of the principal results indicated that (1) Macao was not very favourably rated given the competition arising from the six selected gaming destinations and it was particularly weak in the non-gaming entertainment elements which were suitable for families and children; (2) gaming-related entertainment activities did not play a very important role in the destination choice process but did exert significant influence on tourists‘ on-site destination experience; (3) non-gaming entertainment elements played bigger role in the destination choice process; (4) satisfaction with the entertainment provision had a significantly positive effect on the overall destination experience but (5) the importance of a destination‘s entertainment provision did not powerfully enhance the tourists‘ destination experience.

The final study used Discourse Analysis to explore the prospects for entertainment development in Macao through key stakeholder interviews. The information obtained from these extended conversations revealed the importance of entertainment in the tourism development of Macao but there were constraints on this enthusiasm for the role of entertainment. Some of the concerns highlighted by the policy-makers and the stakeholders included potential conflicts between the public and the private sectors in the collaboration process; the over-reliance on gaming development; the changing of government in 2009; and the continuous determination of the government in fostering sustainable tourism by allowing more room for entertainment development.

One overall contribution of this thesis has been to explore closely the perspective on entertainment in a gambling linked tourism context. In particular, the three studies have also highlighted two key misalignments, one between the structural comparison and the perceptual comparison of destinations (discussed in Chapter 3) and another between the low importance of entertainment in destination choice process and the high influence of a positive experience in entertainment activities on the overall tourists‘ destination experience (discussed in Chapter 4). The thesis also outlined some prospect for further localised work on entertainment in Macao but also suggested the wide applicability of entertainment-based studies in many tourism destinations.

Item ID: 4907
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: tourism entertainment, Macao, gaming destinations, tourism industry, gambling industry, tourist attractions, decision making, tourist behaviour, tourist behavior, tourism
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2011 02:07
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 50%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 50%
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