The Importance of Sustainability in the Loyalty to a Tourist Destination through the Management of Expectations and Experiences
Sustainability has become one of the key factors for the development of tourism both nowadays and in the future. The need to integrate environmental, socio-cultural and economic factors is a consequence of the evolution of society itself, the introduction of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and a new way of understanding tourism and the world in general. Tourists increasingly seek a unique quality in their travels and are better informed before deciding on a tourist
... ion to spend their holidays or leisure time. They want to have unique, memorable experiences, and because of that, they are willing to look for those destinations that can offer them something different. The generation of expectations is no longer the sole responsibility of companies and public and private organizations in destinations, since information may be in the hands of the individuals themselves who can share it in social networks, blogs, or on platforms such as Booking or TripAdvisor, among others. This forces companies and public and private organizations to rethink the way in which and when they relate to tourists in general. With all these considerations, one of the objectives of this study was to analyse the way in which sustainability interrelates with the generation of expectations, experiences and perceptions and the effect on the possibilities of returning to a tourist destination and even recommending it in social networks to friends and acquaintances. For this reason, the destination of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, was chosen, a mature destination of sun and beach that, in recent years, has been immersed in a process of change where one of the axes is sustainability. This study used a convenience survey with 310 valid questionnaires with tourists who stayed more than three days in Acapulco during the months of December 2016 to February 2017. The questionnaires were completed at different points of the destination and by participants over 18 years of age. We used SEM (Structural Equations Modeling) and EQS (Structural Equation Modeling Software) for statistical analysis. The results of the study showed how expectations influenced experiences and the intention to return to the destination and recommend it (WOM), thus, we proposed a series of recommendations for public and private agents that manage this tourist destination.