This study aims to analyze the impact of attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit in the perception of cultural tourism tourists and whether cultural tourism could be a remedy to revitalize rural economic development under the epidemic, using the Hakka settlement in Hukeng town as a case study. In this study, a mixed research method is applied to collect 670 questionnaires by snowball sampling and used SPSS 26.0 statistical software to conduct basic statistical validation and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (PPMCC) validation; the semi-structured is also used semi-structured interviews to collect the opinions of six experts and scholars, and the final results were examined by multivariate validation. The researchers found the following dimensions to be attractive for tourists to experience cultural tourism: rural scenery, heritage museums and cultural goods, low spending, use of media marketing, planning for proper tourism information, and public transportation construction effectiveness. However, there is also a need to improve the current situation of rural tourism transportation and transportation facilities, inject young development manpower, improve the knowledge and skills of the elderly to start their businesses, develop business opportunities, and stabilize prices, and improve the quality and satisfaction of tourists to promote the desire to travel. The higher the attractiveness, the higher the satisfaction, and the stronger the willingness to revisit.
With the development of technology and the improvement of quality of life, people’s desire for leisure and tourism is increasing . Although the tourism industry and development characteristics vary from country to country, and the supporting technologies and techniques are being improved, the ease of communication through the Internet has allowed countries to influence and learn from each other when making tourism decisions, resulting in less and less differences in tourism decisions and industrial development models across countries, and the disappearance of unique differences in tourism destinations, which also affects tourists’ willingness to travel . Therefore, it is important to explore the characteristics of tourism, develop new tourism resources, and establish different tourism models to provide tourists with new options.
Culture is a process of human cultivation , which can be described as a state or habit of people’s mind  and can be seen as a state of the intellectual development of life and art . Cultural tourism refers to the development of tourism activities characterized by local habits, language, and other humanities and arts-related resources and can be seen as a form of tourism on a spiritual level [5,6]. As the quality of life for people improves, their spiritual and cultural needs no longer remain at a purely intellectual level, and due to shorter travel times, more and more people wish to explore or travel to experience or understand the charm of different ethnic cultures [5,7]. Therefore, cultural-themed tourism activities that utilize the language, humanities, art, architecture, and other relevant cultural characteristics of local ethnic groups are gradually becoming the trend of future tourism development [6,7,8,9].
The Hakka people originated in China and are an important branch of the Han Chinese in the south. Initially, they migrated from the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River to Guangdong, Fujian, and Jiangxi in China to escape from wars and disasters to struggle for their new life. During their long-term survival and adaptation, a Hakka culture with different languages, cultures, arts, and customs was formed . The Hakka settlement in Hukeng, Yongding District, Longyan City, Fujian Province, is one of the Hakka settlements in China. In addition to the Hakka language, food, drama, music, dance, handicrafts, and folk festivals, there are 1,560 Fujian Tulous, which is currently listed as one of the World Heritage Sites . In addition to attracting 1,501,000 tourists and generating $1,154,400,000 in business opportunities in 2018 , Hakka culture has contributed to a 14% increase in demand for cultural tourism in China, generating an estimated $418,377,000,000 in profits . This indicates that Hakka cultural tourism activities have a strong potential for development. It is evident that, to improve the economic situation in rural areas and develop future tourism, promoting tourism activities with the theme of local cultural resources will be one of the development options for future tourism decisions.
However, although the promotion of rural tourism with local cultural resources is an emerging potential development option and business opportunity, the global tourism industry has been hit with the impact of the epidemic [14,15]. The development characteristics of the products and activities of tourism attractions do not vary much from country to country . The environmental risks of tourism are relatively high . In addition, tourism policy development and planning are full of ideals, but due to differences in people, events, and things, the effectiveness of policy development and promotion can be lacking, and these changes are usually found after a period of policy development and promotion , and various problems are detrimental to the development of the tourism market at this stage.
Tourism activity is a behavior and a phenomenon , while cultural tourism activity is a theme of activity with a predominantly spiritual dimension [3,4,5,6]. Although the phenomenon of tourism activity is very active, it is not easy to actually involve people in tourism activities. The factors that motivate people to go to tourism activities need to be stimulated by certain attractive factors of the tourist place, which create the desire to travel in people’s minds . Moreover, tourism is expected to be sustainable, and the most direct and effective way to build sustainable tourist places depends on the positive experience perceptions of tourists and their future consumption intentions . Therefore, by providing actual participants’ personal experiences of local tourism characteristics, decision effectiveness, and tourism desires, it can help understand and improve the current tourism development dilemma [18,21,22], enhance people’s desire to travel, and improve tourism markets.
Studies have confirmed that the higher the attractiveness of tourism [23,24], the higher the willingness to consume, the higher the positive satisfaction with tourism, then the higher the willingness to consume [25,26], the stronger the positive feelings about the overall planning of the tourist place, and the higher the approval of the decision to develop the tourist place [16,22–28]. Therefore, to understand the potential of using culture to develop tourism industries in rural areas, it is important to explore tourists’ perceptions of the attractiveness of tourist places, understand their feelings after the tourism experience, and seek their perceived willingness to revisit, which will help analyze the possibility of using Hakka or other established ethnic cultures to develop tourism activities and industries in rural areas.
The use of cultural features or activities for tourism development has gradually become one of the mainstays of the tourism market, and related cultural tourism studies have gradually begun to receive attention [16,22–31]. Many researchers have explored the attractiveness of cultural tourism [32,33] and tourist satisfaction [34,35], respectively, and many have studied tourism attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to travel [16,22–28]. Although there has been a gradual increase in the number of studies exploring tourism-related issues with the Hakka theme [4–40,56], no studies analyzing the attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit Hakka culture tourism in the field of rural tourism market development have been found. Therefore, the researchers believe that it would be a meaningful topic to explore the feasibility of using Hakka culture to promote rural tourism activities from the perspective of tourists in terms of tourism attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit.
Therefore, this article took Hukeng town as a case study of Hakka cultural tourism to understand the current situation of Hakka cultural tourism development by tourists’ perceptions of the attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit for local tourism development. The results of the case study are then used to infer and analyze whether Hakka cultural tourism can be a decision option for rural revitalization tourism development under the epidemic. The researchers hope that the results of this project and analysis can help local governments and villages make better decisions in the future, as well as raise the importance of Hakka culture or cultural tourism issues and fill the gaps in related literature and research fields. The results of this study can also serve as a reference for other countries or villages with the same or different ethnic cultural characteristics and ultimately develop emerging rural tourism markets and sustain human culture. These are the main objectives of this study.
2 Literature review
2.1 Hakka culture and tourism
The global economy and industries have been hit hard by the epidemic [14,15], the tourism market has shrunk , and the difference between the types of tourism and industrial products has gradually decreased , which is not conducive to the revitalization of the tourism market.
Culture is a community habit of life where people share the same spiritual and intellectual consensus, the same artistic and customary perceptions and values [3,4,5]. Cultural tourism is the development of tourism activities and industries as a tourism phenomenon and a long-term constructed way of life, using language, humanities, and other characteristic resources as attractions [5,6]. Cultural tourism, because of its economic, affordable, and diversified characteristics , would be a favorable option for tourism policy planning to re-enhance village development and revitalize the tourism market for a tourism industry that is currently under-priced due to a shrinking market, and for rural areas that are in urgent need of economic development and environmental improvement.
There are many different ethnic groups and different cultures. The Hakka, originally one of the Han Chinese, originated from the lower reaches of the Yellow River in China but have evolved into a unique linguistic and cultural group through war, natural disasters, and struggles over time, and their footprints have even spread around the world [10,41–44]. Hakka cultural tourism is the development of unique tourism activities based on the themes of Hakka culture and history, life and cuisine, art and architecture, and the construction of tourism activities or products as a tourism characteristic and behavior pattern [10–13,38–40]. Hakka tourism development and research has a history of 26 years, and its research issues have gradually moved from vague regional economics  to the analysis of local architecture and historical and cultural characteristics [45,46], as well as the current development status of village economic construction  and culture and education , and have gradually increased the importance of operational marketing , consumer experience , international marketing , ecological and environmental impacts , and cultural sustainability , among other important topics. It is evident that there is a wealth of experience and sound countermeasures for the development and research of Hakka cultural tourism.
Therefore, under the current epidemic, it is a feasible decision to carry out tourism promotion activities with Hakka culture as the theme to attract tourists’ consumption, promote industrial revitalization, restore the glory of the tourism industry, and improve the current situation of rural development.
2.2 Travel intentions
The intention is an individual’s prediction of whether to perform a future behavior . It is also a desire to anticipate or plan a future behavior and can determine the decision of the likelihood of the implementation of that plan . Conversely, travel intention is the frequency and type of potential purchase behavior of an individual to engage in tourism activities and the likelihood of a tourist to visit a destination .
Tourism destination choice is related to tourists’ attitudes, cognitive-behavioral control, and past behavior [56,57]. The main determinants of travel intentions lie in the subjective image of the destination by the tourist, which can also be considered a consumer behavior . Consumers usually set the important attributes of each destination based on their preferences and then select several attributes of their personal preferences as evaluation criteria for choosing a destination . The desire to travel to a destination can also be influenced by the image of the destination or the perceived effects of the actual experience . Often, travel intentions can be seen as a form of loyalty and can therefore be used to understand decisions, such as whether visitors want to travel again, simply share their experiences, or are willing to actively recruit others to spend time with them [56–59].
It can be seen that tourism intention theory can be used to analyze the effects of tourism development in a region [55–59], i.e., whether tourists are willing to visit, simply share their experiences, or actively invite others to spend money with them.
2.3 Tourism attractiveness and travel intentions
Tourism attractiveness is a motivation that induces tourists to leave their place of residence and motivates them to travel to their destination . Although tourism attractiveness has both push and pull effects, both are potentially influential factors in stimulating tourists’ planning behavior, as they may satisfy tourists internally or externally .
The factors that influence tourism attractiveness are quite diverse. Tourism attractiveness can be understood at the level of natural resources, human resources, tourism facilities, events, special events, and psychology ; it can also be analyzed in terms of the natural environment, geo-relations, culture, tourism environment, policy, and price ; and it is more explored in terms of components, such as environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, spatial capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and price . In addition, a more comprehensive study was conducted in terms of environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, spatial capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and price . In addition, more comprehensive and detailed answers can be obtained by exploring the landscape, climate, flora and fauna resources, general environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialties, festivals, accommodation, facilities, public toilets, parking lots, open spaces, and media marketing [62–64]. Studies have also confirmed that the higher the attractiveness of tourism, the stronger the desire of tourists to revisit [59,62–65].
It can be seen that by analyzing the environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, spatial capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and prices and then exploring the issues of landscape, climate, flora and fauna resources, overall environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialties, festivals, accommodation, facilities, public toilets, parking lots, rest spaces, and media marketing, tourists can analyze the local tourism image of the development effect. Then, through the analysis of tourism attractiveness and willingness to revisit, we can understand the key factors that influence tourists’ willingness to revisit local tourism.
2.4 Travel satisfaction and travel intentions
Tourist satisfaction refers to the role of product performance in the formation of customer satisfaction, the result of which is generated by the comparison between the consumer’s expectations and the tourist experience on the spot . It can be said that tourist satisfaction is the result of mutual evaluation of tourists’ motivation and actual experience.
Tourist satisfaction is the pleasure that results from the fulfillment of tourists’ needs . Usually, tourists judge whether they can be personally satisfied after experiencing the effectiveness of the development of the landscape, infrastructure, environment, and social services of the tourist destination . Tourist satisfaction is influenced by personal purpose, personal expectations, and external environment [22–28]; subjective factors affecting tourist satisfaction can also be considered in terms of personal attributes, tourism activities, tourism motivations, tourism preferences, and attitudes [56–59]. The effectiveness of tourism development can be better understood in terms of environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, spatial capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and prices [16,22–28,66–68]. Among them, a more comprehensive and detailed answer can be obtained by exploring the aspects of landscape, climate, flora and fauna resources, general environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialties, festivals, accommodation, facilities, public toilets, parking lots, open spaces, and media marketing. Studies have also confirmed that the higher the satisfaction of visitors, the stronger the desire to revisit [16,22–28].
According to tourist satisfaction theory [22–28,56–59,67,68], tourist satisfaction can be classified at the level of environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, spatial capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and price and then explored in terms of the landscape, climate, flora and fauna resources, overall environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialties, festivals, accommodations, facilities, public toilets, parking lots, open spaces, and media marketing to analyze visitors’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the development of local tourism decisions. Further analysis in terms of tourist satisfaction and willingness to revisit can be used to understand the key factors that influence the effectiveness of local tourism development on tourists’ willingness to travel.
3 Research methods
3.1 Research framework and hypotheses
The purpose of this article is to understand whether Hakka cultural tourism can be a possible decision-making planning option for rural revitalization tourism development under the epidemic by analyzing the tourists’ perceptions of local tourism development in terms of attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit, taking Hukeng town as a case study and Hakka cultural tourism as a theme. The current status of Hakka culture and Hakka cultural tourism research and development was firstly obtained through the literature [10–13,41–52], and then the theoretical basis and research framework were determined by referring to and compiling the relevant literature on tourism attractiveness [60–65], satisfaction [16,22–28,56–59,66–68], and willingness to travel [54–59], as shown in Figure 1.
Based on the theoretical derivation of the above literature, a research framework was developed and five research hypotheses were proposed.
H1: There is consistency in tourists’ perceptions of the attractiveness of cultural tourism.
H2: There is consistency in tourists’ perceptions of cultural tourist satisfaction.
H3: There is consistency in tourists’ perceptions of the desire to revisit cultural tourism.
H4: There is a positive and significant relationship between attractiveness and perceived desire to revisit.
H5: There is a positive and significant relationship between satisfaction and perception of desire to revisit.
3.2 Research process, tools, and analysis
The purpose of this study was to analyze tourists’ perceptions of local tourism development in terms of attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit. The questionnaire instrument was developed with reference to the relevant literature on tourism attractiveness [60–65], satisfaction [16,22–28,56–59,66–68], and willingness to travel [54–59]. The questionnaire was divided into four parts: the first part was background information, including gender (male, female), age (under 20, 21–30, 31–40, 41–50, 51–60, 61+), and education level (below middle school, high school vocational, college and university, graduate), and the next parts were attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit. The questions on tourism attractiveness were referenced from [60–65] and the questions on satisfaction were referenced from [16,22–28,56–59,66–68], with 30 questions each, including the sub-structures of natural environment and landscape, human/historical and cultural characteristics, tourism facilities, tourism service facilities, location and capacity, media perception, tourism information and environmental safety, and travel prices. Three questions on tourism intention were developed based on relevant literature [54–59] with a 5-point Likert scale (1 for very dissatisfied and 5 for very satisfied) used for the questionnaire design. The questions compiled for the questionnaire are shown in Table 1.
|Background information||Gender (male, female); age (under 20, 21–30, 31–40, 41–50, 51–60, over 61); education level (under junior high school, senior high school and vocational school, college or university, research institute)|
|Tourism attractiveness||Environmental quality; multi-climate; diversified animal and plant resources; comfortable environment; long historical relics; Hakka Cultural Museum; Hakka rural landscape; traditional specialties; characteristic cultural products; DIY experience activities; featured itinerary planning and festival activities; quality of food and accommodation; convenience of travel information; public places and artistic lighting facilities; public toilets; parking lot capacity; convenience of public transportation; accessibility to nearby attractions; spacious space for activities and leisure; media promotion; Internet media marketing; friend introduced; integrate school resources; complete medical equipment; direction signs, interpretive planning; service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers; attraction ticket price; admission to consumption measures; attractions without tickets; transportation rental price|
|Satisfaction||Environmental quality; multi-climate; diversified animal and plant resources; comfortable environment; long historical relics; Hakka Cultural Museum; Hakka rural landscape; traditional specialties; characteristic cultural products; DIY experience activities; featured itinerary planning and festival activities; quality of food and accommodation; convenience of travel information; public places and artistic lighting facilities; public toilets; parking lot capacity; convenience of public transportation; accessibility to nearby attractions; spacious space for activities and leisure; media promotion; Internet media marketing; friend introduced; integrate school resources; complete medical equipment; direction signs, interpretive planning; service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers; attraction ticket price; admission to consumption measures; attractions without tickets; transportation rental price|
|Willingness to revisit||Willing to come again to participate in activities; willing to share travel experience; willing to revisit the place|
Next, six experts with leisure or tourism backgrounds were invited to content validate the preliminary questionnaire to confirm the validity of the questions, as shown in Table 2.
|Identity||Gender||Residence time/years of work experience||Identity||Gender||Residence time/years of work experience|
|Impact of tourism development||1. Based on the results of the questionnaire analysis, what do you think is the most attractive option for tourists to local Hakka cultural tourism? What are the reasons for their choice?|
|2. Based on the results of the questionnaire analysis, what do you think is the best option for tourists to experience the effectiveness of the development of local Hakka cultural tourism? What are the reasons for their choice?|
|3. Regarding the results of the questionnaire analysis, in the analysis results, what are the reasons for the selection of the results of tourism attractiveness and the willingness of re-routing?|
|4. Regarding the results of the questionnaire analysis, in the analysis results, what are the reasons for the selection of the results of tourist satisfaction and re-routing willingness?|
|5. The answers to the above related questions, for local or other rural villages with distinctive culture, if the theme of culture is in the future, what kind of help will it bring to the development of village tourism?|
One hundred pretest questionnaires were first collected in May 2020, and the reliability of the questions was collected and analyzed using the SPSS for Windows 22.0 statistical package. The scale was suitable for confirmatory factor analysis when the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin value was higher than 0.06 and the p-value in Bartlett’s test was less than 0.01 (p < 0.01) . When the coefficient α is greater than 0.60, it indicates good reliability of the questionnaire  and can be used as a formal question for subsequent analysis and exploration. The results of the analysis showed that all questions had α values greater than 0.6, so all questions could be retained and could be used for subsequent analysis. The results of the relevant analyses are shown in Table 3.
|Secondary facets||Issue||M||SD||Cronbach’s α|
|Tourism attractiveness||Natural environment landscape||Environmental quality||3.90||0.799||0.657|
|Diversified animal and plant resources||3.79||0.800||0.788|
|Traditional Humanities and Industry||Long historical relics||4.23||0.675||0.830|
|Hakka Cultural Museum||4.17||0.706||0.812|
|Hakka rural landscape||4.12||0.732||0.854|
|Characteristic culture||Characteristic cultural products||3.54||0.917||0.745|
|DIY experience activities||3.81||0.817||0.746|
|Featured itinerary planning and festival activities||3.69||0.805||0.795|
|Tourist facilities||Quality of food and accommodation||3.79||0.696||0.776|
|Convenience of travel information||3.81||0.742||0.810|
|Public places and artistic lighting facilities||3.81||0.658||0.799|
|Location and capacity||Parking lot capacity||3.75||0.711||0.839|
|Convenience of public transportation||3.69||0.853||0.778|
|Accessibility to nearby attractions||3.73||0.843||0.826|
|Spacious space for activities and leisure||4.02||0.779||0.770|
|Media visibility||Media promotion||3.79||0.871||0.830|
|Internet media marketing||3.71||0.800||0.816|
|Integrate school resources||3.69||0.875||0.843|
|Travel information and environmental safety||Complete medical equipment||3.67||0.760||0.898|
|Direction signs, interpretive planning||3.98||0.727||0.883|
|Service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers||3.83||0.785||0.846|
|Tour price||Attraction ticket price||3.65||0.861||0.836|
|Admission to consumption measures||3.48||1.038||0.872|
|Attractions without tickets||3.58||0.997||0.825|
|Transportation rental price||3.63||0.793||0.886|
|Travel satisfaction||Natural environment landscape||Environmental quality||3.94||0.752||0.658|
|Diversified animal and plant resources||3.77||0.807||0.789|
|Traditional Humanities and Industry||Long historical relics||4.21||0.637||0.830|
|Hakka Cultural Museum||4.17||0.617||0.813|
|Hakka rural landscape||4.13||0.627||0.855|
|Characteristic culture||Characteristic cultural products||3.67||0.901||0.747|
|DIY experience activities||3.81||0.768||0.742|
|Featured itinerary planning and festival activities||3.77||0.703||0.796|
|Tourist facilities||Quality of food and accommodation||3.83||0.785||0.776|
|Convenience of travel information||3.94||0.752||0.812|
|Public places and artistic lighting facilities||3.79||0.723||0.799|
|Location and capacity||Parking lot capacity||3.85||0.849||0.840|
|Convenience of public transportation||3.88||0.808||0.778|
|Accessibility to nearby attractions||3.83||0.857||0.827|
|Spacious space for activities and leisure||4.02||0.754||0.774|
|Media visibility||Media promotion||3.92||0.763||0.835|
|Internet media marketing||3.81||0.841||0.812|
|Integrate school resources||3.69||0.875||0.845|
|Travel information and environmental safety||Complete medical equipment||3.58||0.871||0.899|
|Direction signs, interpretive planning||3.94||0.698||0.885|
|Service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers||3.67||0.834||0.847|
|Tour price||Attraction ticket price||3.65||0.947||0.837|
|Admission to consumption measures||3.50||0.980||0.874|
|Attractions without tickets||3.71||0.977||0.827|
|Transportation rental price||3.69||0.875||0.884|
|Willingness to revisit||Willing to come again to participate in activities||3.69||1.001||0.807|
|Willing to share travel experience||3.69||0.853||0.813|
|Willing to revisit the place||4.00||0.657||0.886|
3.3 Analysis methods and limitations
The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of cultural tourism attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit, using the Hakka settlement in Hukeng Township as a case study and whether cultural tourism can be a remedy to revitalize the economic development of rural areas under the epidemic. In this study, a mixed research approach was used, starting with a quantitative survey and using a convenience sampling method for the field survey. However, due to the risk of epidemic infection, a snowball sampling method was used to collect the questionnaire data using an online questionnaire platform. A total of 670 valid questionnaires were obtained, and basic statistical tests and PPMCC analysis were performed using SPSS 26.0 statistical software. Six scholars, tourists, and residents were interviewed through semi-structured interviews to provide their opinions on the results of the questionnaire analysis. After that, all data were organized in a rigorous, orderly, and logical manner, and then the valuable information was summarized through a synthesis, organization, and collation method . Finally, the data were examined in a multi-data and multi-perspective manner through a multivariate validation method [72,73].
Due to the impact of the epidemic and the limitations of time, funding, sample size, and sample background information, the present study may suffer from errors and shortcomings in the number of questionnaires, research methods, and analysis of results. Recommendations are provided at the end of this article for subsequent researchers to revise and explore.
3.4 Ethical considerations
This study was conducted in a Hakka settlement in Hukeng Town, Longyan Yongding District, with tourists as the target population. Data were collected using a mixed research method, combining the convenience sampling method and the snowball sampling method for questionnaire distribution and sampling. All respondents were participants in tourism activities in the Hakka settlement of Hukeng Town, Longyan Yongding District, or people who had practical experience and insight into Hakka cultural tourism. Therefore, all respondents were recorded and data were collected after they were informed of the current development of the study, agreed and understood the purpose of the study, and agreed to cooperate in providing relevant data under the condition of anonymity and knowledge. Therefore, the study design and data collection process were ethical [74,75].
3.5 Analysis and discussion
The researchers distributed a total of 800 questionnaires and finally obtained 670 formal questionnaires, with an effective recovery rate of 83.7%. The data were examined using SPSS software, basic statistical tests, and Pearson correlation analysis.
3.6 Basic information analysis
The 670 valid questionnaires were analyzed by statistical analysis. The gender of the visitors was mostly male (51.3%); the age group of 21–30 years old was the most common (32.1%); the education level of college or university was the most common (30.9%), as shown in Table 4.
|Education level||Under junior high school||27.7|
|Senior high school and vocational school||25.9|
|College or university||30.9|
3.7 Analysis of attractiveness, satisfaction, and travel intentions of cultural tourism
3.7.1 Analysis of tourism attractiveness
The dimensions of tourism attractiveness include environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, space capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and prices [59,62–65] and can be explored in terms of scenery, climate, plant and animal resources, overall environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialty products, festivals, accommodation, facilities, public toilets, parking, leisure space, media marketing, and other issues. According to the statistical analysis, the highest score in the environmental landscape issues was for beautiful scenery (3.73) and the lowest score was for environmental comfort (3.54); the highest score in the cultural characteristics issues was for traditional cuisine (3.62) and the lowest score was for rural scenery (3.55); the highest score in the cultural and creative products issues was for DIY experience activities (3.6) and the lowest score was for special itineraries and activities (3.48); and the highest score in the tourism facilities issues was for lighting equipment (3.62) and the planning of public toilets (3.54) was the lowest; in the spatial capacity issues, the accessibility of nearby scenic spots (3.61) were the highest and the parking lot capacity (3.55) was the lowest; in the marketing and promotion issues, Internet marketing (3.6) was the highest and the combination of school resources (3.5) was the lowest; in the tourism information issues, the tourist service center was the highest (3.59) and the emergency and medical equipment (3.55) was the lowest; in the price issues, the price was the lowest; and in the price issues, the price of renting transportation (3.56) was the highest and the number of attractions without tickets (3.47) was the lowest, as shown in Table 5.
|Secondary facets||Issue||Minimum value||Maximum value||M||SD||Rank|
|Natural environment landscape||Environmental quality||1||5||3.73||0.799||1|
|Diversified animal and plant resources||1||5||3.55||0.800||3|
|Traditional Humanities and Industry||Long historical relics||1||5||3.62||0.675||1|
|Hakka Cultural Museum||1||5||3.62||0.706||2|
|Hakka rural landscape||1||5||3.61||0.732||3|
|Characteristic culture||Characteristic cultural products||1||5||3.6||0.917||1|
|DIY experience activities||1||5||3.55||0.817||2|
|Featured itinerary planning and festival activities||1||5||3.48||0.805||3|
|Tourist facilities||Quality of food and accommodation||1||5||3.62||0.696||1|
|Convenience of travel information||1||5||3.6||0.742||2|
|Public places and artistic lighting facilities||1||5||3.6||0.658||3|
|Location and capacity||Parking lot capacity||1||5||3.61||0.711||1|
|Convenience of public transportation||1||5||3.61||0.853||2|
|Accessibility to nearby attractions||1||5||3.58||0.843||3|
|Spacious space for activities and leisure||1||5||3.55||0.779||4|
|Media visibility||Media promotion||1||5||3.6||0.871||1|
|Internet media marketing||1||5||3.54||0.800||2|
|Integrate school resources||1||5||3.5||0.875||4|
|Travel information and environmental safety||Complete medical equipment||1||5||3.59||0.760||1|
|Direction signs, interpretive planning||1||5||3.55||0.727||2|
|Service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers||1||5||3.55||0.785||3|
|Tour price||Attraction ticket price||1||5||3.56||0.861||1|
|Admission to consumption measures||1||5||3.55||1.038||2|
|Attractions without tickets||1||5||3.54||0.997||3|
|Transportation rental price||1||5||3.47||0.793||4|
It can be seen that tourists considered local cultural tourism to be more attractive in terms of traditional special cuisine, DIY experience activities, quality of lighting, accessibility to nearby scenic spots, Internet marketing, community associations and service center services, and price of rented transportation; while environmental comfort, rural landscape, special itineraries and activities, public toilet planning, parking capacity, combination of school resources, emergency and medical equipment, and the planning of no-ticket attractions were less attractive. The results are not consistent with Hypothesis 1.
3.7.2 Tourist satisfaction analysis
Tourist satisfaction includes dimensions, such as environmental landscape, cultural characteristics, cultural and creative products, tourism facilities, space capacity, marketing and promotion, tourism information, and prices [16,22–28,66–68], and can be explored in terms of scenery, climate, plant and animal resources, overall environment, history, museums, rural landscape, food, specialty products, festivals, accommodation, facilities, public toilets, parking and open space, and media marketing. Statistical analysis showed that scenery (3.63) was the highest and climate (3.55) was the lowest in the environmental landscape issues; heritage museums (3.6) were the highest and specialty food (3.56) was the lowest in the cultural characteristics issues; specialty products (3.56) were the highest and DIY experience (3.53) was the lowest in the cultural and creative products issues; tourism information (3.66) was the highest and lighting equipment (3.58) was the lowest in the tourism facilities issues; public transportation convenience (3.64) was the highest and parking lot capacity (3.58) was the lowest in the spatial capacity issue; mass media (3.59) was the highest and school resource combination (3.55) was the lowest in the marketing and promotion issue; signage and interpretive facilities (3.64) were the highest and community association service center services (3.56) were the lowest in the tourism information issues; and scenic spot prices (3.6) were the highest and the number of attractions without tickets (3.55) is the lowest in the price issues, as shown in Table 6.
|Secondary facets||Issue||Minimum value||Maximum value||M||Rank|
|Natural environment landscape||Environmental quality||1||5||3.63||1|
|Diversified animal and plant resources||1||5||3.57||3|
|Traditional Humanities and Industry||Long historical relics||1||5||3.6||1|
|Hakka Cultural Museum||1||5||3.59||2|
|Hakka rural landscape||1||5||3.57||3|
|Characteristic culture||Characteristic cultural products||1||5||3.56||1|
|DIY experience activities||1||5||3.54||2|
|Featured itinerary planning and festival activities||1||5||3.53||3|
|Tourist facilities||Quality of food and accommodation||1||5||3.66||1|
|Convenience of travel information||1||5||3.63||2|
|Public places and artistic lighting facilities||1||5||3.59||3|
|Location and capacity||Parking lot capacity||1||5||3.64||1|
|Convenience of public transportation||1||5||3.61||2|
|Accessibility to nearby attractions||1||5||3.59||3|
|Spacious space for activities and leisure||1||5||3.58||4|
|Media visibility||Media promotion||1||5||3.59||1|
|Internet media marketing||1||5||3.58||2|
|Integrate school resources||1||5||3.55||4|
|Travel information and environmental safety||Complete medical equipment||1||5||3.64||1|
|Direction signs, interpretive planning||1||5||3.58||2|
|Service quality of community organizations and tourist service centers||1||5||3.56||3|
|Tour price||Attraction ticket price||1||5||3.6||1|
|Admission to consumption measures||1||5||3.6||2|
|Attractions without tickets||1||5||3.57||3|
|Transportation rental price||1||5||3.55||4|
It can be seen that tourists felt good about the effectiveness of the current cultural tourism development planning in terms of scenery, heritage museums, special merchandise, tourism information, public transportation convenience, mass media, signage, interpretation facilities, and scenic spot price management; however, they felt poorly about climate, specialty food, DIY experience, lighting, parking lot capacity, school resource integration, community association service center services, and the planning of no-ticket attractions. The results are inconsistent with Hypothesis 2.
3.7.3 Analysis of revisit willingness
Intention to travel is a possible decision that can predict or plan whether to make a trip in the future [54,55], and the willingness to revisit may depend on loyalty to the attraction or tourist activity , usually resulting in the idea of revisiting, bringing a companion, or sharing information [56,57]. Statistical analysis showed that the willingness to participate in tourism activities again (3.65) was the highest and the willingness to visit again (3.59) was the lowest, as shown in Table 7.
|Facets||Issue||Minimum value||Maximum value||M||Rank|
|Willing to come again to participate in activities||1||5||3.65||1|
|Willing to share travel experience||1||5||3.6||2|
|Willing to revisit the place||1||5||3.59||3|
It can be seen that after actually experiencing the post-cultural tourism activities, the tourists thought that if cultural activities were held in the future, they would have a higher influence on their willingness to revisit, but if only a visit was arranged, their willingness to revisit was low.
3.8 Correlation analysis of attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to revisit for Hakka cultural tourism
3.8.1 Correlation analysis of tourism attractiveness and willingness to revisit
Tourism attractiveness can induce a motivation for tourists to leave their place of residence and travel , and the higher the generated attractiveness, the greater the desire of tourists to revisit [59,62–65]. The PPMCC analysis showed that attractiveness had a significant effect on the desire to revisit (p < 0.01), with the highest effect of environmental landscape on revisiting (0.708), participating in activities (0.724), and sharing experiences (0.655), as shown in Table 8. The results were consistent with Hypothesis 4.
|Natural environment landscape||Traditional humanities and Industry||Characteristic culture||Tourist facilities||Location and capacity||Media visibility||Travel information and environmental safety||Tour price||Total attractiveness dimensions|
|Willing to come again to participate in activities||0.708**||0.675**||0.682**||0.705**||0.706**||0.688**||0.691**||0.676**||0.751**|
|Willing to share travel experience||0.655**||0.625**||0.628**||0.628**||0.620**||0.661**||0.632**||0.612**||0.688**|
|Willing to revisit the place||0.724**||0.699**||0.640**||0.687**||0.682**||0.704**||0.654**||0.667**||0.744**|
|Total revisit willingness dimensions||0.822**||0.788**||0.768**||0.796**||0.791**||0.809**||0.778**||0.770**||0.860**|
Note: **p < 0.01.
It shows that there is a correlation between tourism attractiveness and willingness to revisit, and the environmental landscape has the greatest impact. This indicates that the higher the attractiveness of Hakka cultural tourism, the stronger the willingness of tourists to revisit and spend, especially the effectiveness of environmental landscape planning. The results are useful for rural areas to develop planning objectives for emerging rural industries.
3.8.2 Correlation analysis of satisfaction and willingness to revisit
Satisfaction is a consumer’s evaluation of the product experience , and the higher the satisfaction level, the stronger the desire to revisit [16,22–28]. The PPMCC analysis revealed that there was a significant effect between satisfaction and willingness to revisit (p < 0.01), with the highest effect of environmental landscape on revisiting (0.695), participating in activities (0.675), and sharing experiences (0.652), as shown in Table 9. The results are consistent with Hypothesis 5.
|Natural environment landscape||Traditional humanities and Industry||Characteristic culture||Tourist facilities||Location and capacity||Media visibility||Travel information and environmental safety||Tour price||Total satisfaction dimensions|
|Willing to come again to participate in activities||0.675**||0.673**||0.654**||0.674**||0.679**||0.671**||0.648**||0.659**||0.732**|
|Willing to share travel experience||0.652**||0.657**||0.635**||0.638**||0.641**||0.595**||0.631**||0.655**||0.702**|
|Willing to revisit the place||0.695**||0.720**||0.679**||0.688**||0.689**||0.691**||0.634**||0.685**||0.753**|
|Total revisit willingness dimensions||0.797**||0.808**||0.776**||0.788**||0.792**||0.785**||0.739**||0.788**||0.862**|
Note: ** p < 0.01.
It can be seen that there is a correlation between tourist satisfaction and willingness to revisit, and the influence of the environmental landscape is the highest. This means that the higher the level of tourist satisfaction with the cultural tourism experience, the stronger the willingness of tourists to revisit and spend, especially if the environmental landscape planning is effective. These results may contribute to the creation of conditions for sustainable economic development in rural areas.
4.1 The attractiveness of cultural tourism development in rural areas
Tourism attractiveness can motivate tourists to leave home and spend money outside [59,62–65], and understanding the attractiveness of scenic tourism features can reveal even more the main motivation that tends to make tourists go and spend money. However, our analysis found that tourists’ perceptions of the attractiveness of local Hakka cultural tourism features are different.
Travel is one of the ways to relax during the COVID-19 epidemic when people’s mobility is restricted, their mood is depressed, and their quality of life and physical and mental health deteriorate [17,20,22]. Culture is the exchange and consensus of people’s ideas and knowledge. Hakka culture originates from a Han branch of China with traditional Han culture, rituals, and customs, as well as unique human history, food, art, and architecture. In addition, the slow pace of rural life, fresh environment, spacious roads, low cost of living, and affable residents are good images that tourists expect. Therefore, tourists find the local Hakka cultural tourism attractive in terms of the planning of special traditional cuisines, DIY experience activities, quality of lighting equipment, accessibility to nearby scenic spots, online marketing, services of community associations and service centers, and prices of rented transportation.
However, the general impression in rural areas is a low level of tourism facilities and public infrastructure, few local medical institutions, and a low level of sophistication in tourism decision-making. In addition, the urgent need for rural residents to enrich their income to improve their economic situation has resulted in criticism of the difference in the quality and price of tourism activities compared to surrounding goods. As a result, the attractiveness of the environment, rural landscape, special itineraries and activities, public toilet planning, parking capacity, integration of school resources, emergency and medical facilities, and non-ticketed attractions are low.
4.2 Satisfaction of cultural tourism development in rural areas
Tourist satisfaction refers to the comparison and evaluation between the expected experience goals and the actual experience of tourists when they travel to the village [16,22–28]. The analysis revealed that tourists’ satisfaction with the effectiveness of local Hakka cultural tourism development was not equally perceived.
We believe that although the epidemic has had a huge impact on tourism, rural areas are characterized by a low level of development, a long history, and a rich culture and tourism development is one of the major development industries in each country. To promote the effectiveness of tourism decisions, efforts have been made to improve transportation, use the media for marketing, establish tourism visitor centers, strengthen tourism development research, establish tourism signs, improve safety, establish inspection agencies and regulations, control prices, and protect consumer rights. Therefore, tourists think that the current Hakka cultural tourism development plan is effective in scenic spots, heritage museums, special commodities, tourist information, public transportation convenience, mass media, signage, interpretation facilities, and scenic price planning.
Although rural areas are rich in nature, with a pleasant climate and vast land resources, the changeable weather has become a major obstacle to tourism activities. In addition, the aging population and limited expertise and skills in local settlements have affected the development of cultural and creative products. The remote areas are too extensive and the quality and quantity of lighting facilities are poor. In addition, the local economy needs to be upgraded and residents want a significant amount of income to improve their standard of living. This creates business opportunities and increases consumption chances but also leads to an overabundance of commercial platforms, making tourists feel more stressed and even uncomfortable when spending money on tourism. As a result, visitors feel poorly about the local climate, specialty foods, DIY experiences, lighting, parking capacity, integration of school resources, community association service center services, non-ticketed attractions, and other features and development effectiveness.
4.3 Visitors’ willingness to revisit for cultural tourism development in rural areas
Revisit willingness is a prediction of consumers’ desire to plan another trip to participate in potential consumption behaviors such as travel activities and spending after the experience [54–56]. The stronger the desire to revisit, the higher the chance of planning or engaging in future consumption behaviors [56,57]. However, our analysis revealed that tourists’ perceptions of their willingness to revisit after participating in the Hakka cultural tourism experience were not the same.
We believe that because the Hakka culture and history, life style, cuisine, art, and architecture are still quite different and attractive, tourists consider local cultural activities as an incentive to revisit after their cultural tourism experience.
However, due to the similarity between Hakka culture and Han culture, the status and quality of rural landscape planning still needs to be improved. Therefore, tourists will not be willing to come if the future planning is purely cultural tourism routes.
4.4 Cultural tourism attractiveness, tourist satisfaction, and revisit willingness
The attractiveness of tourism provides tourists with motivation to visit [16,22–28,56–59,66–68]. On the other hand, satisfaction enhances positive feelings after a trip [60–65]. The higher the attractiveness of the trip, the stronger the desire to revisit [59,62–65]. The higher the travel satisfaction, the stronger the desire to revisit [16,22–28]. In our analysis, we found that tourists’ perceptions of travel attractiveness, satisfaction, and desire to revisit were positively correlated after planned and actual participation in Hakka cultural tourism.
We conclude that although Hakka culture originated from the Han Chinese, it has formed a unique Hakka language and cultural group under the influence of long-term migration, adaptation, and changing times and has produced independent cultural characteristics, such as human history, life and food, and art and architecture, which are highly valued by people. For people who are physically and mentally exhausted by the epidemic, exposure to different cultures, such as history, life and food, art, and architecture, is important to relax, increase knowledge, and broaden their horizons. Therefore, the tourist attractiveness, satisfaction, and willingness to re-tourist home cultural tourism activities show a correlation effect. Among them, the environmental landscape has the greatest influence, the higher the tourist attractiveness, the higher the satisfaction after the actual experience, and the stronger the willingness to revisit.
Culture is an indelible or irreplaceable tourism asset because it characterizes communities and has the effect of cultivating the art of living, nurturing the mind, and relaxing the body and soul. As different ethnic groups may have established unique characteristics and images of human history, life and food, and art and architecture during long periods of migration, adaptation, and changing times, they become highlights that attract tourists to participate and experience different cultural tourism activities. However, the large area to be developed in the countryside and the changeable climate can easily affect the smooth flow of tourist itineraries and the quality of planning for the construction of tourist indicators. In addition, the rural population is seriously aging, with insufficient awareness of industrial innovation and different price mechanisms and quality of the tourism market. Therefore, if the planning of cultural tourism activities consists only of sightseeing, without special activities and comfortable experiences, it will not stimulate the desire of tourists to revisit. Furthermore, the current state of development of the rural environment and landscape will be the main influencing factor, the higher the attractiveness, the higher the satisfaction, and the stronger the desire to revisit.
For the local government in this case
First, local governments should dig deeper into Hakka cultural resources and promote them through large-scale ethnic festivals or humanistic biographical performances. It is necessary to develop humanistic entertainment programs and build or maintain characteristic buildings and landscapes to strengthen the image of cultural tourism. To fill the talent gap for rural development, young people should be attracted or brought in from neighboring schools to work in related industries.
Local enterprises should maintain the existing natural ecology and rural environment, make good use of media marketing, and actively develop cultural peripheral products. In addition, humanistic experiences should be used to develop short-term tourism experiences to strengthen tourists’ identification with and love for local culture.
It is recommended to first collect questionnaire information from residents to analyze differences in perceptions from the perspectives of different stakeholders. Physical and mental health or other questions could be used to enhance and track the impact of local development effectiveness. Relevant issues can also be applied to other ethnic groups, countries, and other regions to complete the research gap.
Author contributions: Conceptualization, HHL; methodology, HHL and JCL; validation, HHL, JCL, and IYC; formal analysis, HHL and JCL; investigation, IYC and SYL; funding acquisition, YHT and SYL; data curation HHL; writing – original draft preparation, HHL and IYC; writing – review and editing, HHL; visualization, HHL and IYC; supervision, HHL and YHT; project administration, TYL. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.
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