FACTORS AFFECTING TOURISTS' PERCEPTION AND SATISFACTION IN NUWARA ELIYA, SRI LANKA
Jayasinghe M.K.D., Gnanapala W.K.A.C., & Sandaruwani J.A.R.C.
Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is recognized as a popular tourist hot-spot and has witnessed the tourist arrivals rising gradually in the post-war era. As a result of this, the Sri Lankan government is committed to establishing and positioning Sri Lanka as ‘Asian Tourism Icon’ with its strong nature, culture and adventure in order to reach the target of 2.5 million tourists in 2016. Nuwara Eliya a town located in the hill country of the Central Province of Sri Lanka is compacted with picturesque landscapes and favoured cool climate and is often referred, by the Sri Lankan tourist industry, as ‘Little England’ where thousands of tourists flock together to witness and experience the salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery. The town plays a major role to attract and promote the Sri Lankan tourism industry. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to identify and examine the factors that have contributed to create a positive perception about the destination and the relationship between the tourists’ perception and satisfaction related to the holiday stay in Nuwara Eliya. Questionnaire survey was mainly used to collect data from 362 respondents. The data was analysed using descriptive, correlation and regression analysis. The findings revealed that there is a positive relationship between the tourists’ perceptions on the observed variables and the tourists’ satisfaction. However, the accommodation and infrastructural facilities of the Nuwara Eliya area contributed minimally to tourists' satisfaction.
Key Words: Destination Loyalty, Nuwara Eliya, Perception, Satisfaction, Sri Lanka Tourists, Travel Motives