Proceedings of the 19th International Academic Conference, Florence

WHAT HIKERS WANTS? THE PERSPECTIVE OF TRAVEL AGENTS

GÜNEY ÇETINKAYA, MUSTAFA YILDIZ, PELIN ÇETINKAYA

Abstract:

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and its total contribution to the global economy in 2014 was US$7.6 trillion, which equates to 9.8% of total economy GDP in 2014. Mountains are important regions for tourism industry and its second most popular tourist destinations after coastal regions. Hiking and trekking are most popular activity in mountains region and it is estimated that more than 50 million people visit mountains each year. So that hiking was come out to individual activity and it’s to be a massive event. Nowadays hiking is commercialized and mostly it’s become organized by travel agency and tour operators. Travel agency which is offering hiking activities to know the demands of the individuals involved in these activities and is required to submit to it for services. The aim of this study to determined hiking participant expectation from hiking by travel agency perspective. 34 travel agency officials participated in the study. Data were collected by questionnaire developed by the researchers. Results show that according to travel agency officials “visual quality” is the most important expectation factor for hikers. And other expectation factors are “safety”, “accessibility”, “existence of pristine local services”, “the difficulty of the trail”, “expert guidance service”, “the popularity of the trail/ well-known”, “the trail crowdedness”, “existence of infrastructure and superstructure (WC, water points etc.)”, “activity costs”, “presence of guidebook” and “appropriate climate conditions”.

Keywords: Alternative tourism, hikers, travel agency, expectation

DOI: 10.20472/IAC.2015.019.023

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