EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 1-11
UDC 159.947.5:338
PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS AS DETERMINANTS OF
ENGAGEMENT IN SPORTS TOURISM
Georgia Yfantidou, Ourania Matsouka, George Costa and Maria Michalopoulos
Department of Physical Education and Sports Science
Democritus University of Thrace
Abstract
This paper examines the human needs that predict the preference of sports tourism in
Greece; explores the tourist typology and emphasise at sport tourist roles. The sample was 269
sports tourists who visited Greece in summer. The questionnaire is based on the ìTourist Roles
Preference Scaleî of Gibson and Yiannakis (2002), and was translated in Greek, German and
Russian. This survey suggests promoting sports tourism especially to women and also to create
and promote sports events for ages over 40, because there is a lack of participation in those
groups and a lack of events that match to these ages and gender. Furthermore, this exploratory
research has revealed that in the future tourist behaviour is suggested to be described by only 8
tourist roles.
Keywords: sports tourism, needs, motivation, behaviour
Introduction
Greece is a tourist destination, which is advertised as a place with lots of sun and
beautiful coastlines. Therefore tourists visit Greece mainly in summer and all sports activities are
developed for this season, although there are a lot of mountains, rivers and lakes that are suitable
for trekking, climbing, rafting, sailing, etc. The percentage of the sports tourists is quite low.
Therefore, a lot need to be done to increase sports tourism and Greece must face the challenge of
the global importance of sports (Yfantidou, Costa, & Michalopoulos, 2008). The motive for this
research is the need for development of sports tourism in Greece and the lack of knowledge of
who sport tourists are and why they do it. Research has shown that sports tourism is broadly
defined as ëëleisure-based travel that takes individuals temporarily outside their home
communities to participate in physical activities, to watch physical activities, or to venerate
attractions associated with physical activitiesíí (Gibson, 1998). Furthermore, according to Weed
& Bull (2004), there is a tendency to focus at one dimension of sports tourism that is vacation
which includes sport activities for tourists either as participants or as spectators. They point out
Corresponding author. Democritus University of Thrace, Depertment of Physical Education and Sports Science,
Campus, 69100 Komotini, Greece, e-mail: gifantid@phyed.duth.gr
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
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G. Yfantidou et al.
that there are two types of sports tourism: a) sports tourism that develops a tourist profile and b)
sports tourism which spontaneously arises as a result of a sport activity. But, why do sport
tourists behave like that and what are their motives? The answer derives from the core
(fundamental) human needs and is defined by the motives, which have their roots in deep core
psychological and social needs that support the whole behaviour.
Sport events represent the most fast developing sector of tourism market and the research
of Funk and Bruun (2007), underline the importance of social-psychological motives concerning
sport event and the cultural-educational motives concerning international travel. More
specifically in order to increase tourism we should study ways of handling with respect the
important experience of tourists, which is the behaviour that reflects the original motives (Foo,
Mcguiggan, & Yiannakis, 2004; Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002).
According to Kurtzman and Zauhar (2005), the motive for someone in order to travel or
to participate in tourism can be determined as a total of needs and attitudes that predispose an
individual to act with a concrete way. The motives that determine sports tourism are: a) the
immense tendency to escape from the everyday routine, b) the sentiments, c) the wish for
participation and d) the need for reward, the recognition and the prestige. Also, the decision to
travel or to participate or to watch an athletic activity can be also influenced by other, exterior
factors such as the family, friends, the socially similar group, as well as the television advertising
campaign of companies of athletic activity.
The needs are not static, they increase or decrease and that explains why the same person
adopts different kinds of behaviour at different time periods. If this idea is connected to the
preference of tourist role, then the needs which are related to roles will provide a better
knowledge of tourist behaviour and choices at sports tourism (Gibson, 2006). Gibson (2006),
also reports the opinions of Pearce and Caltabiano concerning motives for sports tourism.
According to them the satisfaction at vacation is related to satisfaction of core needs and this is
an unbreakable relation. Gibson and Yiannakis (2002), described in a research about tourist
behaviour that by 15 tourists roles the 3 concerned sports tourism: active sports tourist, explorer
and thrill seeker. The purpose of this study was to determine which of the human needs predict
the preference of sports tourism in Greece. The examination of needs that bring to attitudes and
lastly to behaviour that basically reflect motives of sports tourists is very important.
Method
The data was consisted of a stratified sample by age and gender of 269 sports tourists who
visited Greece in summer (June-July-August 2007). This method was used in order to have as
many men as women at each age group. The majority was 17-39 years old 69,14%. The gender
of the participants was 142 men and 118 women (missing values 9). Roughly half were married
(39,41%), while singles/never married were (49,44%). The majority were employed full time
(59,11%), while 23,05% were students. As far as education is concerned, the majority were
graduates of university or college (36,43%). Annual family income varied from 20.000-60.000Ä
for 35,69% of the participants.
The questionnaire is based on the ìTourist Roles Preference Scaleî of Gibson and
Yiannakis (2002), and was translated in Greek, German and Russian (control of cross-cultural
validity) by Yfantidou, Costa & Michalopoulos, (2007) as Geisinger (1994) and Sperber (2004)
proposed. Having the questionnaire in four languages covered the majority of tourists who
visited Greece. The questionnaire included
89 Likert Questions
(5-scale) or closed-ended
questions that recorded: (1) a description of touristís activities, (2) a description of vacation
destination, (3) an examination of major human needs, (4) demographical and personal data and,
(5) certain destination preference.
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Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
The questionnaires were distributed at the two main airports of Greece: ìEleftherios
Venizelosî in the city of Athens and ìMacedoniaî airport in the city of Thessaloniki. The
questionnaires were distributed to the foreign tourists after check in at the airport when departing
from Greece, and for Greek tourists in transit to their final destination in Greece after their
vacation. The delimitation of this research is that the sample was collected only during summer
as security regulations at the airports did not allow the continuation of the research during other
time periods and the sample was taken only from tourists who preferred air transport for their
travel.
The Statistical Methods
A principal component analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) were the
exploratory analysis that was used to verify the tourist roles and touristsí major human needs.
Logistic regression was used for the prediction of tourist role preference through gender, age and
psychological needs.
Results
Reliability and exploratory analysis
Cronbach · was used to examine the reliability of the questionnaire, in particular for the
part of tourist roles · =.81 and for the part of human needs ·=.85. A principal component
analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) were the exploratory analysis used to verify
the tourist behavioural roles. PCA and quartimax rotation was used to verify the validity of
TRPS questionnaire of the 34 variables of the tourist roles, for the specific sample. Quartimax
rotation was selected because behaviour differs and variables do not correlate significant. The
analysis identified 8 factors (Table 1), which explain the 57.69% of the total variance: 1) Active
Sports Tourist, 2) Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist, 3) Sun Lover, 4) Escapist, 5) High
Class Tourist,
6) Independent Mass Tourist,
7) Organized Mass Tourist and
8) Seeker.
Furthermore, to verify the validity of the TRPS, a multi-dimensional scaling model was
developed for the entire sample both for males and females, and it revealed that the touristsí
roles typology was according to the distances between them at three dimensional spaces. The
pair of variables that presented high loading at principal component analysis and logical
proximity (grouping together) at dimensional space, and also belonged at the same factor was
accepted for measuring the same tourist role. The variables which satisfied the above criteria
were sustained and the new 8 variables ñ tourist roles were created. This typology differs from
Gibson and Yiannakis (2002) results, but statistically it cannot be disregarded that the 15 tourist
roles could be considered as 8 tourist roles. From the 8 roles the 2 concerned sports tourist: 1)
Active Sports Tourist and 2) Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist.
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G. Yfantidou et al.
Table1
Factor analysis of tourist role preference scale
Factors
Questions
New
Tourist Roles
TRPS
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Tourist Role
(6)
0,837
Thrill Seeker
(23)
0,799
(7)
0,735
Outdoor Sport
and
Explorer
(24)
0,658
Knowledge
(34)
0,640
Tourist
Educational
(33)
0,428
Tourist
(16)
0,510
(9)
0,822
Seeker
(10)
0,791
(26)
0,661
(3)
0,421
Anthropologist
-
(20)
Seeker
0,426
Archaeologist
(21)
0,519
Tourist
(4)
0,402
High Class
(28)
0,851
Tourist
(12)
0,804
High Class
(25)
0,747
Tourist
Jetsetter
(8)
0,647
(17)
0,734
Sun Lover
(1)
0,732
(18)
0,464
Sun Lover
Escapist …
(14)
0,509
Independent
(11)
0,561
Mass Tourist …
-
(19)
Independent
0,517
Action Seeker
Mass Tourist
-
(2)
0,508
(29)
0,599
Drifter
(13)
0,438
Escapist ……
(30)
0,522
Independent
Escapist
(27)
0,511
Mass Tourist ……
(31)
0,680
Active Sport
Active Sport
(15)
0,621
Tourist
Tourist
(32)
0,548
Organized
Organized
(22)
0,822
Mass Tourist
Mass Tourist
(5)
0,696
Eigenvalue
3,60
3,02
2,85
2,20
2,18
2,07
2,04
1,67
% of Variance
10,58
8,87
8,39
6,46
6,42
6,08
5,99
4,91
Cumulative %
57,69
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Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
PCA and oblimin rotation was used for the 22 psychological needs of the questionnaire, for
the specific sample. Oblimin rotation was used because of high correlation of need variables.
The analysis identified 6 factors (Table 2), which explain the 57.74% of the total variance: 1)
Self Esteem, 2) Physiological, 3) Love and Belongingness, 4) Self Actualization, 5) Safety and
Security and 6) The External Environment. Maslow (1970) has provided the same hierarchy of
needs that influence behaviour.
Table 2
Factor analysis of touristsí major human needs
Psychological Needs
1
2
3
4
5
6
The need for creativity, self
.767
expression
The need to have control over events
.592
and circumstances in your life
The need to have clear goals, a
.523
direction in life
The need to feel good about yourself
.493
The need for growth, self discovery,
.490
self actualization
The need for esteem, prestige, status
.472
The need to feel connected with
.461
oneís history, roots, the past
The need to just get away from
-.686
everything
The need for freedom, autonomy,
-.653
independence
The need for health and well being
-.595
The need to play and have a good
-.592
time
Sexual needs
-.808
Companionship needs
-.706
The need for love and affection
-.651
The need for solitude, privacy
.703
The need to be occasionally taken
.627
care by someone else
Financial security needs
.760
Safety and personal security needs
.751
The need to feel competent,
.430
accomplished, successful
The need for home and/or family
.403
The need for variety, excitement,
-.747
stimulation
The need for exploration, novelty,
-.731
discovery, change
Eigenvalue
5,921
1,632
1,488
1,317
1,180
1,164
% of Variance
26,91
7,42
6,76
5,99
5,36
5,29
Cumulative %
57,74
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G. Yfantidou et al.
Binary logistic regression was used to predict sports tourist role preference by gender, age
and 6 psychological needs of Active Sports Tourist ìASTî (Table 3) and of Outdoor Sports and
Knowledge Tourist ìOSKTî (Table 4). As it is revealed in Greece there is a lack of men and
women over 60 at AST and also there is a small number of women 40-59 that select this role. As
far as OSKT there is also a small number of men over 60 and a lack of women of this age, but
there are few women 40-59 that select this role.
Table 3
Significant needs that motive men and women to select Active Sports Tourist. Values of B,
p<0,05
Active Sports Tourist
Needs
Men
Women
17-39
40-59
60+
17-39
40-59
60+
Self Esteem
1,384
-1,970
1,900
-
Physiological
-
-
-
-
Love and
-0,438
-
-0,550
-
Belongingness
No
No
Self
tourist
tourist
-
-
-
-
Actualization
at this
at this
age
age
Safety and
-
-
-
-
Security
The External
-0,543
1,548
-
-
Environment
Table 4
Significant needs that motive men and women to select Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist.
Values of B, p<0,05
Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist
Needs
Men
Women
17-39
40-59
60+
17-39
40-59
60+
Self Esteem
-
-
-
-
1,859
Physiological
-
-1,974
-
0,804
-
Love and
-
-
-
-0,576
-
Belongingness
No
tourist
Self
-
-
-
-0,827
-
at this
Actualization
age
Safety and
-
-1,511
-
0,820
-2,426
Security
The External
-
-
-
-
-
Environment
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Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
Discussion
Active Sports Tourist is the tourist whose primary emphasis while on vacation is to
remain active engaging in favorite sports. The need that determine this tourist role preference for
men 17 to 39 years of age is the factor Self Esteem. But the need of Love and Belongingness and
the need of External Environment deter men 17 to 39 years of age from selecting this role. For
men 40 to 59 years of age is the factor External Environment. But, the need of Self Esteem keeps
back men 40 to 59 years of age from this role. As far as men 60 years and over is concerned
there were not any tourists at this age at this role (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The needs that determine tourist role preference for AST (green) and needs that force
men back (red) from selecting AST.
The need that determine this tourist role preference for women 17 to 39 years of age is the
factor Self Esteem. Love and Belongingness push women 17 to 39 years of age off from selecting
this role. For women 40 to 59 years of age no need seemed to contribute in predicting significant
active sports tourist at this age. As far as women 60 years and over is concerned there were not
any tourists at this age at this role (Figure 2).
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G. Yfantidou et al.
Figure 2. The needs that determine tourist role preference for AST (green) and needs that force
women back (red) from selecting AST.
Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist is the tourist, who prefers adventure travel,
exploring out-of-the-way places and enjoys challenges involved in getting there, also is the one
who is interested in risky, exhilarating activities, which provide emotional highs and/or
participates in planned study programs or education oriented vacations, primarily for study
and/or acquiring new skills and knowledge. For men 17 to 39 years of age no need seemed to
contribute in predicting significant this role at this age. For men 40 to 59 years of age the needs
that keep back from this tourist role is the factors: a) Physiological and b) Safety and Security.
For men 60 years and over no need seemed to contribute in predicting significant Outdoor Sports
and Knowledge Tourist at this age (Figure 3).
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Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
Figure 3. The needs that determine tourist role preference for OSKT (green) and needs that force
men back (red) from selecting OSKT.
The needs that determine this tourist role preference for women 17 to 39 years of age are
the factors: a) Physiological and b) Safety and Security. But, the needs: a) Love and
Belongingness and b) Self Actualization keep women 17 to 39 years of age back from selecting
this role. For women 40 to 59 years of age the need that determine this tourist role preference is
Self Esteem. But, the need Safety and Security force women 40 to 59 years of age back from
selecting this role. As far as women 60 years and over is concerned there were not any tourists at
this age at this role (Figure 4).
9
G. Yfantidou et al.
Figure 4. The needs that determine tourist role preference for OSKT (green) and needs that force
women back (red) from selecting OSKT.
The examination of motives of sports tourists was also studied by Cassidy (2005), who
investigated motive theories and associated them to three specific types of tourists: those who
participate at a sports event, those who watch a sports event and also the simple tourists. Also,
Yoon and Uysal (2005) wanted to measure tourist motives and they created a questionnaire
based on previous researches and relative bibliography, suitably structured for the population of
northern Cyprus. In this questionnaire they used the variables: motive of attraction and motive of
impulse. The motive of attraction contained 28 questions and the motive of impulse contained 24
questions 4degree Likert scale. McGehee, Loker-Murphy, and Uysal (1996) adopted an approach
that is based on the difference of gender and they explored the effect of gender on motives for
tourism. They found out that it is more likely for women to be prompted by culture and
civilization, from family tying occasions and prestige, while men attach importance to sports and
adventure.
It is very important to promote sports tourism especially to women and also to create and
promote sports events for ages over 40, because there is a lack of participation in those groups
and a lack of events that match to these ages and gender. The target group of 17 to 39 years of
age is very important and it must be maintained but also, sports tourism could occupy a bigger
share of the total tourism industry.
However, insights that will possibly emerge from this research are to acquire a fuller
understanding of sports tourists, their behaviour that reflect their motivations and the needs that
determine their intentions to be sports tourists. This exploratory research has revealed that in the
future tourist behaviour is suggested to be described by only 8 tourist roles.
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Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
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Submitted September 12, 2010
Accepted October 15, 2010
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