Journal of Resources and Ecology, Volume. 11, Issue 6, 624(2020)

Supporting the Development of Homestay Tourism in the Yangtze River Delta: A Study based on Tourists’ Perceived Value

Fei LONG1 and He ZHU2、*
Author Affiliations
  • 1The National Academy of Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100028, China
  • 2Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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    Homestay tourism has begun to flourish throughout the country, becoming a model of tourism innovation and upgrading, and attracting increasing amounts of capital. Through the collection and analysis of tourist questionnaire data for key cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and based on the theory of tourists' perceived value,18 factors related to the perception of homestay tourism are examined. Through exploratory factor analysis, three main factors of facilities and environment perception, cultural experience perception and service value perception are extracted. Then, from the perspectives of each of these perceptions, this study determines the degree of support for homestay tourism development in the Yangtze River Delta, obtains the key factors that affect the development of homestay tourism, and constructs a structural equation model of tourist perception and the degree of homestay tourism support. By calculating the regression path of the structural equation, the standardized path coefficients of the facilities and environment perception, cultural experience perception and service value perception are found to be 0.724, 0.813 and 0.692, respectively. These three factors have a significant impact on the development of homestay tourism agglomeration. Positive facilities and environmental perception can effectively support the development of homestay tourism, while the cultural experience perception provides its basic condition, and the service value perception constitutes an important factor of homestay tourism development. To better guide the development of homestay tourism, attention must be paid to developing the tourism facilities and environment, to cultivating tourism cultural experiences, and to improving of tourism service value.

    Keywords

    1 Introduction

    Homestay tourism is booming, and it is becoming an important approach for tourism development. Homestay tourism is a product of the transformation of tourism from a focus on sightseeing to leisure vacations, and its forms of development are becoming increasingly diversified, deepened, and innovated, in order to adapt to tourists’ demands for leisure vacation consumption. Homestay is based on the strengthened support for tourism development, while tourism transformation and upgrading also need the assistance of emerging tourism formats such as homestay. The continuous integration of homestay and tourism makes the industries related to homestay tourism become continuously aggregated, and the chain of the homestay tourism industry becomes gradually extended, thus promoting the rapid development of a homestay tourism agglomeration area. The tourists’ initial understanding of the local sense of destination is based on dynamic contact with the local environmental form and the local experience gained by their own observations, analysis and personal experiences. Only after being interpreted and endowed with meaning by tourists, can homestay have tourism value. The appeal of homestay tourism is an important embodiment of the transformation of the tourism mode from traditional sightseeing to leisure vacations, and the perception of homestay tourism is of great significance to the study of tourism transformation and upgrading. In the process of domestic homestay development, the practice is always ahead of the theoretical research, while only a few studies have evaluated the support of homestay tourism agglomeration development. The research on the degree of support for residential development is of great significance to the shaping, construction, innovation, development and protection of tourism resources, tourism planning and other critical factors. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the degree of support for homestay tourism development from the perspective of tourists’ perceived value, in order to adapt to the new situation of homestay tourism development, and to promote quality development in tourist destinations, which is gaining more and more theoretical and practical significance.

    2 Study of tourists’ perceived value

    2.1 Tourist perception of value

    The perceived value is the customer’s overall feeling of a product (or service) on the basis of giving and rewarding (Zeithaml, 1988). As the consumer's subjective perception, perceived value is the relevant experience which is gained by the consumer during consumption, and it is influenced by individual cultural background differences, all of which make it a dynamic variable. It is generated during the different consumption stages, which include before, during and after consumption, and in each stage, it has different characteristics (Groth, 1995). The psychological process which shapes a tourist’s perception is the tourist perceiving the environmental conditions and service quality of a tourist destination under the influence of external stimuli, that is, the tourist's psychological process of obtaining information from the environmental conditions and service quality of the objects that are visited. It is a comprehensive reflection of the cognitive level of the tourism destination products and services (Wu and Du, 2011). Petrick et al. (2001) studied the relationship among tourism experience, perceived value, satisfaction and revisit intention, and found that all three of these factors have an impact on revisit intention. Bai et al. (2010) considered that the impacts on behavior of inbound tourists’ perceived values of tourism services, tourism facilities and tourism attractions at the micro level are greater than the influence of the perceived values of social environment and public services in tourist destinations. Zhou et al. (2013) believed that tourist perception could influence the management and development of themed cultural tourist destinations, and discussed the differential roles of tourist destination attributes on driving the tourist destination attachment. Xu et al. (2017) studied the positive effect of tourist perception of innovative hotel services on perceived value and brand attitude. From the perspective of tourists’ perceived value, Zhao et al. (2018) discussed the mechanism of formation of tourist loyalty in ecotourism scenic spots. Tourist perception can strengthen and actively affect tourist loyalty by improving tourist satisfaction. The methods of evaluating tourist perception are divided into data collection and data processing. Data collection includes literature analysis, questionnaires and interviews. Data processing includes structural equation models, cluster analysis, factor analysis and other measurements. Research on the perception of value by tourists at home and abroad has been carried out for a long time, and the results are also relatively rich, but there is much less research on perceived value of tourists in homestay tourism.

    2.2 Tourists’ perceived value of homestay

    Scarinci and Richins (2008) studied the key factors affecting the motivation of American homestay guests and the motivation of American lodging tourists, in addition to tourist satisfaction and tourists’ access to information sources. Buyeke et al. (2015) studied the impact of residential facilities and services on tourist satisfaction in Lake Victoria (Kenya) tourist routes. In studying the satisfaction of residential tourists, due to the lack of tangible service factors homestay accommodation should be provided with adequate service facilities (not necessarily high grade, but they should serve the intended function). Kontogeorgopoulos et al. (2015) studied homestay tourism and the commercialization of rural housing in Thailand. The importance of homestay tourism to Thailand’s domestic tourism market is increasing, and there are many studies on community participation in tourism, but homestay tourism is still a neglected topic. Homestay accommodation is a double-edged sword. The success of homestay development in many communities comes from its dependence on tourism and the uneven development of economy and society. For the community to meet the needs of rural tourism, tourists continue to develop the homestay industry. Wight (1997) studied supply and demand in the ecotourism accommodation series, and found that eco-tourists are interested in private and more risky accommodation, but it is difficult for destination hotel facilities to meet their needs. The more rustic, adventure-type accommodation facilities such as cabins, pastures, inns and homestay, are very popular.

    Qiu et al. (2017) studied the homestay location selection of Mount Siming, in which they considered the surrounding natural environment, tourist resources and market accessibility. Zhao and Li (2010) studied the rural homestay operators’ perception of risk management in Chongqing, and found that the types of tourist attractions and the distance from the main tourist areas all had an impact on rural homestay management. These authors proposed to improve the traffic and infrastructure of rural tourist attractions and enhance the confidence of rural homestay operators. Jiao et al. (2017) studied the tourists’ accommodation experience for commercial family enterprises. Different attributes of the commercial family enterprises will lead to diversified perspectives of tourists' perception, and that study mainly focused on the modern experience of reception facilities, local culture and authenticity of daily life. Hou and Ma (2017) studied the relationship between the traditional village homestay experience and tourist motivation by analyzing the motivation of tourists to choose homestay accommodation from the perspective of brand and perceived value. That study suggested that the homestay should enhance the sensory experience, emotional experience, thinking experience and action experience. Wang et al. (2017) studied homestay experience perception based on Airbnb network data, which revealed that the main factors influencing perception are complex. These factors included geographical location, natural environment, cultural environment and homestay characteristics such as homestay layout and brand image were affected by geographical location. Xie (2018) studied the brand experience of rural homestay in Zhejiang Province, and found the novelty of service, the new lifestyle, and the characteristic catering were the core factors for the competitiveness of rural homestay in Zhejiang Province. Guo (2017) studied the development of tourism homestay in Henan Province from the perspective of tourist perception, and analyzed the service quality value of homestay facilities, emotional value and social value. Fang (2018) studied the scene construction, external environment, internal environment and facilities, safety and other factors of the West Lake as they related to the relationships among homestay service scene, place attachment and customer’s willingness to consume again.

    Perceived value is the main driving factor of homestay purchase intention, and it is also an important factor to consider in the development of homestay, which has become the focus of scholars at home and abroad. To some extent, the development of homestay tourism has become an important symbol for measuring the level of tourism development in a region. In many places, encouraging and supporting the development of a homestay tourist cluster is an important goal and means of homestay development (Long et al., 2019). Many studies focus on the phenomenon of homestay activities and describe the current situation of homestay in a particular studied area, resulting in a lack of theoretical basis and larger perspective. The existing research mainly studies the significance to the operation and management of homestay enterprises through the perceived value of tourists, but it rarely studies the development of homestay tourism in an entire region. This paper studies the development of regional homestay tourism from tourists’ perceived value in order compensate for this lack of existing research.

    3 Research design

    There are many cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and the data for this study were obtained by way of field investigation and network investigation in key cities. This study was conducted in April and August 2018. The typical representative places of homestay accommodation in Zhejiang (such as the homestay tourism agglomeration area in West Lake, Mount Mogan, etc.) were the data collection points. This strategy relied on using the popularity of the homestay tourism agglomeration and the amount of tourist reception in the homestay tourism agglomeration area as the main indicators, to distribute and collect the questionnaire of homestay perception in the Yangtze River Delta. The research process is as follows: Firstly, this study summarizes the literature related to the perception of homestay tourism, and designs the questionnaire. Secondly, the authors used the Delphi method to improve the scientific nature of the questionnaire. Through in-depth interviews with academic experts, the staff of the China Tourism Association and the China Tourism Hotel Industry Association as well as the Zhejiang Tourism Association, homestay owners and media practitioners, the questionnaire was preliminarily revised. Eighty tourists were pre-investigated on the spot in April 2018 to ensure that the questionnaire questions were clear and the answers could accurately express the wishes of the investigators, and 30 measurement questions were selected to form the formal survey questionnaire. Thirdly, the formal research was conducted. A total of 400 questionnaires were issued, 380 questionnaires were collected, 21 invalid questionnaires were eliminated, and 359 valid questionnaires were finally used for analysis, for an effective rate of 94.47%.

    4 Sample analysis of tourist perception of homestay

    4.1 Demographic characteristics of homestay tourists

    This paper analyzes the demographic characteristics of the homestay tourists sampled by SPSS22.0. The table of demographic characteristics of homestay tourists shows that: 1) males and females are more evenly distributed, with females higher than males; 2) in terms of age distribution, homestay tourists are mainly young people from 26 to 35 years old and middle aged people from 36 to 45 years old, and young people tend to pursue personalized service while middle-aged people pursue accommodation quality, which coincides with the characteristics of homestay providing personalized services and high-quality accommodation; 3) homestay tourists with a bachelor’s degree or above account for 69.1% and homestay tourists with a higher education background are more receptive to the new quality accommodation facilities; and 4) family travel accounts for the majority of homestay tourists and household income is more than 15000 yuan per month, accounting for 37.8 %.

    4.2 Behavior characteristics of homestay tourists

    4.2.1 Travel frequency to the Yangtze River Delta

    In this survey, the proportion of people who travel to the Yangtze River Delta more than 4 times per year accounts for 38.2%, and those who travel only once account for 32%. People who travel frequently to the Yangtze River Delta will choose accommodations other than the hotels. Those who first traveled to the Yangtze River Delta and chose to stay might also be attracted by the Yangtze River Delta homestay brand effect.

    • Table 1.

      Homestay tourist frequency to the Yangtze River Delta

      Table 1.

      Homestay tourist frequency to the Yangtze River Delta

      Survey itemsResponse frequency of visitorsPercentage of visitors (%)
      1 time11532.0
      2 times6117.0
      3 times3610.0
      4 times102.7
      > 4 times13738.2

    4.2.2 Reason for choosing homestay

    Among the options for the reason for choosing homestay, relaxation had the highest observed value, at 71%. Staying in homestay not only meets the needs of accommodation, but also serves as a spiritual recuperation and source of relaxation. Cultural experience was at 54.8%, and it has always been one of the core attractions of homestay tourism. Sightseeing accounts for 34.4%, because homestay is generally located near the tourism-rich resource areas, surrounded by natural scenery, or rich in cultural heritage, where tourists can carry out common tourism activities. Tasting food accounts for 26.6%. Tasting local specialties has become an important part of tourism, and trying the host’s private food has become the purpose for many people to choose homestay.

    • Table 2.

      The purpose of choosing homestay for tourists

      Table 2.

      The purpose of choosing homestay for tourists

      Survey itemsPercentage of purposes (%)Percentage of observed value of purposes (%)
      Sightseeing15.334.4
      Cultural experience24.454.8
      Physical fitness3.98.9
      Relaxation31.671.0
      Purchase of local products2.76.2
      Tasting food11.826.6
      Team building activities3.47.7
      Festival activities1.02.3
      Commercial activity5.813.1

    4.2.3 Travelling companions and time of homestay tourism

    The observed value of travelling with family is 73.4%, so family travel is still the mainstream mode, followed by friends, classmates, colleagues, business partners and netizens. In terms of the timing of the homestay, the percentage indicating it was a minor vacation is the highest, followed by weekends, winter and summer vacation. In this survey, many people chose to stay at any time, which may be related to homestay satisfying the travel habits of a variety of individual guest groups.

    • Table 3.

      Travelling companions of homestay tourism

      Table 3.

      Travelling companions of homestay tourism

      Survey itemsPercentage of travelling companions (%)Percentage of observed value of travelling companions (%)
      Family36.7073.4
      Friends32.0064.1
      Classmates12.2024.3
      Colleagues12.4024.7
      Business partners6.2012.4
      Netizens0.601.2

    4.2.4 Access to homestay information

    Among the options for access to homestay information, online travel websites account for 47.9%, so it is the main channel for obtaining homestay information. At the same time, the proportion indicating recommendation by relatives and friends is 21.2%, and the repurchase behavior of homestay is mainly realized among relatives and friends, so the word-of-mouth effect is very obvious. Specific community recommendations also account for 13.9%, indicating that the guest groups choosing homestay have a certain convergence.

    • Table 4.

      Access to homestay information

      Table 4.

      Access to homestay information

      Survey itemsFrequency of accessPercentage of access (%)
      Encounter at arrival246.6
      Tour arrangement154.2
      Online travel website17247.9
      Relatives and friends recommendations7621.2
      Specific community recommendations5013.9
      Magazines30.8
      Others195.4

    4.2.5 Homestay rates acceptable to tourists

    Among the acceptable homestay price options, the 200-300 yuan price range accounts for 34%, the 300-400 yuan price range makes up 25.9% and the over 400 yuan price range comprises about 23.6%. In terms of homestay accommodation grade, it is classified in the mid-to-low end accommodation type. At present, the amounts of middle and low-grade homestay options account for a large proportion, although high-end homestay accommodation is developing rapidly in the Yangtze River Delta. In particular, the high-end homestay represented by the area surrounding Mount Mogan is increasingly welcomed by the market.

    • Table 5.

      Accommodation rates acceptable to tourists

      Table 5.

      Accommodation rates acceptable to tourists

      Survey itemsFrequency of acceptable ratesPercentage of acceptable rates (%)
      < 200 yuan4316.6
      200-300 yuan8834.0
      300-400 yuan6725.9
      >400 yuan6123.6

    4.3 Exploratory factor analysis

    Detmar (1989) suggested that the extended importance should be used instead of the self-described importance, and that the multiple regression coefficient between the individual satisfaction and the overall satisfaction should be used as the extended importance score in the actual research. In the quantitative analysis of satisfaction, the importance factor and the satisfaction factor evaluation index are independent of each other, and the satisfaction evaluation of each factor is linear and symmetrically related to the overall satisfaction evaluation (Matzler et al., 2004). However, it is difficult for all the above conditions to be satisfied at the same time, often the satisfaction and importance only have a simple correlation or causal relationship (Johann et al., 2006). Therefore, it is necessary to abstract the expression of tourists' perception.

    In order to evaluate the reliability, stability and consistency of the scale data, the reliability and validity should be analyzed. The greater the reliability, the smaller the standard errors in the sample. Generally, an alpha coefficient greater than or equal to 0.7 indicates high reliability; and an alpha coefficient between 0.35 and 0.7 indicates acceptable reliability. SPSS22.0 software was used to analyze the reliability of the questionnaire measurement index, and the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of the total scale was 0.946, which is greater than 0.7. Therefore, the questionnaire data obtained in this paper belongs to the high reliability range, and usually such data can only be considered as acceptable.

    Next, 18 factors of expressions of tourist perception are analyzed. KMO and Bartlett sphere tests were used to determine whether factor analysis was possible. These test results show that the KMO measure value is 0.931, which is greater than 0.7; and the Bartlett sphere test approximated chi-square value is 3502.808. Passing the Bartlett sphere test indicates that the correlation coefficient matrix has significant differences, indicating that it is suitable for factor analysis.

    • Table 6.

      KMO and Bartlett Inspection

      Table 6.

      KMO and Bartlett Inspection

      Bartlett sphere verification
      Chi-Square TestdfSignificance
      0.9313502.8082100.000

    The factor analysis with maximum variance orthogonal rotation is used in order to retain the option that the eigenvalue is greater than 1 and the factor load is greater than 0.5. According to the meaning of homestay tourism perception contained in each factor, the analysis results extracted three main factors, respectively named facilities and environmental perception, cultural experience perception and service value perception. The perception of homestay tourism is then expanded along these three dimensions, and the variance contribution rates of the three factors are 25.067%, 22.093%, 15.149%, yielding a cumulative contribution rate of 62.309%.

    • Table 7.

      Exploratory factor analysis

      Table 7.

      Exploratory factor analysis

      Exploratory factors of homestay tourism perceptionFacilities and environmental perception (25.067%)*Cultural experience perception (22.093%)*Service value perception (15.149%)*Mean valueStandard deviation
      Specialty catering0.8372.250.879
      Sanitary condition0.8132.430.976
      Comfortable facilities0.7942.380.954
      Local cultural characteristics0.6962.040.796
      Rich and distinctive tourist commodities0.6892.580.975
      Cost-effective homestay0.6702.290.922
      Distinctive architectural style0.6562.070.787
      Warm and friendly reception staff0.5981.980.723
      Experience as expected0.5792.360.839
      Experience of staying serving as a topic of conversation0.8422.030.772
      Willing to make friends0.7492.120.859
      Deeper understanding of local culture0.7452.060.773
      Choose homestay next time0.6882.210.764
      Experience local lifestyle0.6762.040.816
      Satisfied with homestay experience0.5822.120.706
      Easy access to the tourist destination0.8592.340.894
      Easy access to homestay information and reservations0.8192.210.837
      Supporting facilities around homestay0.6922.560.960
      Brand awareness0.5862.410.908

    4.4 Model building and validation

    4.4.1 Model testing

    Based on the results of the exploratory factor analysis, the research model was constructed, which included three potential variables and 21 observation variables. Three hypotheses are put forward according to the relevant research results:

    H1: there is a significant positive relationship between facilities and environmental perception and supporting development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area.

    H2: there is a significant positive relationship between cultural experience perception and supporting development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area.

    H3: there is a significant positive relationship between service value perception and supporting development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area.

    4.4.2 Reliability and validity tests

    Using SPSS to analyze the reliability and validity of the verified questionnaire, the results showed that 1) the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of 359 documents was 0.946, indicating a good consistency; 2) the combined reliability (CR) was greater than 0.7, indicating that the observed variables were different; and 3) the average variance extraction was higher than the standard value of 0.5, indicating that each observed variable could reasonably explain the corresponding potential variables.

    • Table 8.

      Model reliability and validity tests

      Table 8.

      Model reliability and validity tests

      Test potential variablesCronbach’s AlphaAverage variation extractionCombination reliability (CR)
      Facilities and environmental perception0.9170.50260.8996
      Cultural experience perception0.9020.52470.8843
      Service value perception0.8090.50450.8315
      Supporting development of homestay tourism0.8270.51200.8231

    AMOS 24.0 software is used to verify the data, and the factor load of each observed variable is greater than 0.5, so there is no need to delete any of the items. The following results are obtained by the AMOS software after processing this hypothesis model: χ2/df=3.543, GFI=0.91, IFI=0.92, CFI= 0.90, NFI =0.91, RMSEA=0.086, indicating that the model fitting index is better.

    The structure equation model of tourist perception and the degree of homestay tourism development support

    Figure 1.The structure equation model of tourist perception and the degree of homestay tourism development support

    • Table 9.

      Analysis of structural equations

      Table 9.

      Analysis of structural equations

      Regression equation pathStandardized path coefficientP valueResult
      Facilities and environmental perception→Supporting development of homestay tourism agglomeration0.7240.037*Support
      Cultural experience perception→Supporting development of homestay tourism agglomeration0.8130.0097**Support
      Service value perception→Supporting development of homestay tourism agglomeration0.6920.028*Support

    According to the model calculation, the standardized coefficient of the impact of facilities and environmental perception on the supporting development of homestay tourism is 0.724, and the P value is less than 0.05, indicating that the significance level of supporting development is acceptable. The standardized coefficient of the influence of cultural experience perception on the supporting development of homestay tourism is 0.813, and the P value is less than 0.01, indicating that the significance level of supporting development is better. The standardized coefficient of the influence of service value perception on the supporting development of homestay tourism is 0.692, and the P value is less than 0.05, indicating that the significance level of supporting development is acceptable.

    5 The influence and mechanism of tourist perception on the development of homestay tourism

    5.1 Homestay tourism development is substantially supported by facilities and environmental perception

    The important factors supporting homestay tourism development are facilities and environment. The internal and external environment and facilities are very important. The architectural style and location of homestay should reflect the natural environment and humanistic environment. Good external environment and facilities are the primary perceptual elements which drive tourists to choose homestay and the basis for the development of homestay tourism. The internal environment and facilities should fulfill the basic functions of accommodation, and provide tourists with a different experience from normal hotel accommodation. The path coefficient of characteristic catering is 0.67, the path coefficient of cleanliness is 0.82, and the path coefficient of comfortable facilities and equipment is 0.78. The internal and external environment of a single dwelling combined contributes to the perceived value of the overall internal and external environment of the homestay tourism agglomeration area, thus promoting the good development of homestay tourism.

    5.2 Cultural experience is the basic condition for the development of residential tourism

    Cultural experience is one of the main reasons for tourists to choose homestay. Staying in homestay accommodation allows tourists to gain a deeper understanding of the local culture with a path coefficient of 0.94, and homestay accommodation can allow tourists to check the local lifestyle with a path coefficient of 0.90. Tourists can experience the local culture more deeply by staying in homestay accommodations with local characteristics and customs, enjoy a good interaction between the host and guests, and see the daily life of the local people. The characteristic cultural experience of homestay can be a unique form of accommodation, such as a wooden house, villa, starry house, cave, pit courtyard and other homestay forms with local characteristics; it can include themed activities provided by homestay such as reading, tea tasting, tie-dyeing, yoga, meditation, local opera and other themed activities; it can also be just to experience the slow pace of rural life. Through the analysis of tourists’ perceived value, we found that the development of residential tourism agglomeration must be based on culture, which can provide tourists with a good cultural experience as the basic condition for the development of homestay agglomeration.

    5.3 Service value perception is an important factor influencing the development of homestay tourism

    Service quality is the main component of tourists’ perceptions. According to the results of the questionnaire, tourists are generally satisfied with the service. The quality of service directly affects the satisfaction of tourists and the overall image of the homestay tourism agglomeration area. The path coefficient is 0.84 for convenience and ease of obtaining information on homestay reservations, and 0.92 for brand awareness. The perception of homestay service extends from the motivation of choosing homestay accommodation to the whole process of staying in the homestay accommodation to finally leaving the homestay. A major difference between homestay and hotel service is the contrast between personalized service and standardized service. Homestay aims to provide more enthusiastic, warm, and personalized service. The quality of service is the guarantee that the homestay tourists will buy the homestay products again, and it is also the key factor influencing the brand image of the homestay tourism agglomeration.

    From the point of view of tourist value, facilities and environment perception is found to provide important support for the development of homestay tourism; cultural experience is the basic condition of homestay tourism development; and service value perception is the important factor influencing homestay tourism development. In the development process of the homestay tourism agglomeration area, attention must be paid to the development of facilities and environment, cultural experience and service value.

    The factors supporting the development of the homestay tourism agglomeration can be divided into endogenous and exogenous dynamic factors. Endogenous dynamic factors include professional division of labor, competition and collaboration, innovation and diffusion. Among the exogenous dynamic factors are government policy leading factors, new squire driving factors, tourism consumption upgrading driving factors, homestay investment capital driving factors and others. Future research will further explore the quantitative study of the factors influencing support for homestay tourism development, and build a more perfect support evaluation system. Suggestions for future improvements include developing the leading homestay industry and rationally planning the development of homestay tourism. Homestay accommodation is the leading industry in the homestay tourism agglomeration area and the key to the competitive advantage of the agglomeration area.

    6 Conclusions

    From the perspective of the tourists’ perception, this paper uses statistical methods to identify the key factors influencing homestay tourism agglomeration development through the collection of questionnaires in key cities in the Yangtze River Delta. The standardized path coefficient of facilities and environment perception is found to be 0.724, while the standardized path coefficient of cultural experience perception is 0.813, and the standardized path system of service value perception is 0.692, all of which have significant influences on the development of homestay tourism agglomeration. Then, a structural equation model of tourist perception and the degree of support for homestay tourism is constructed. Facilities and environmental perception have important supporting roles for the development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area, and the combined internal and external environment of individual homestay components contributes to the overall perceived value of the internal and external environment of the homestay tourism agglomeration area, thus promoting the development of homestay tourism agglomeration. Cultural experience is the basic condition for the development of homestay tourism agglomeration, so the development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area must be based on culture, and it must be capable of providing tourists with good cultural experiences. Service value perception is another important factor in the development of homestay tourism agglomeration. Service quality is the main component of tourist perception, the guarantee for homestay tourists to buy homestay products again, and also the key factor influencing brand image in the

    homestay tourism agglomeration area. Through the study of tourists’ homestay perceptions, we understand the path of the tourists’ cognition and emotion, and consider all the dimensions of regional homestay tourism development from the perspective of the tourism experience; the destination of homestay tourism can elucidate the key factors that affect tourists’ perception, give birth to tourism demand, stimulate tourism motivation and influence tourism decision-making; the destination of homestay tourism can create a good atmosphere of on-site experience for tourists, promote the level of interactive experience of tourists in homestay tourism destination, change their attitude and behavior in the destination, and support the development of homestay tourism.

    In the process of developing the homestay tourism agglomeration area in the Yangtze River Delta, we must choose the suitable development mode for the homestay tourism agglomeration area according to local conditions. In view of the location conditions, market conditions and tourism development of different regions, after accurately positioning homestay tourists, then the focus can shift to support, and constantly cultivating their own characteristics, to form regional advantages. The government must put forward clear development goals and precise policies and regulations for the development of homestay tourism, which will promote the development of the homestay tourism agglomeration area. In the process of developing homestay tourism, we should not only have the policy guidance of government departments and reasonable planning, but should also give full play to the role of the main body of the market and consider the demands of tourists, while not being either too eager to achieve immediate benefits or too self-contained, so that the role of the policy can be played to the best effect.

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    Fei LONG, He ZHU. Supporting the Development of Homestay Tourism in the Yangtze River Delta: A Study based on Tourists’ Perceived Value[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2020, 11(6): 624

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    Paper Information

    Received: May. 7, 2020

    Accepted: Jul. 2, 2020

    Published Online: Apr. 23, 2021

    The Author Email: ZHU He (zhuhe@igsnrr.ac.cn)

    DOI:10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.06.010

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