|M.Sc Student||Ben-Dalia Sharon|
|Subject||Tel Aviv through Foreign Eyes: The City's Touristic|
Product and its Perception by Tourists
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Arza Churchman|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The aim of this study was to evaluate the tourist product components of the city of Tel-Aviv, and the tourists' satisfaction with them. The study was based mainly on the model of "The Tourist City" (Van Den Berg et al, 1995). The model defines five components a touristic city must have in order to meet the competition: 1.Primary products (natural, historical and cultural components). 2. Secondary products (accommodation, food services, leisure, shopping and tourist services). 3. External and Internal accessibility. 4. Image. 5. Tourist industry (management, marketing and planning).
Two techniques were used for this research: 1. Objective examination, based on the model. 2. Interviews with 199 tourists, 59% of whom were men and 41% were women. The most frequent age group was 31-40 and most of them came from U.S.A, France, Germany and Great Britain.
The objective examination showed that even though Tel-Aviv had all the components of the model, the quality of some of them was low. The findings of the interviews showed higher satisfaction with primary products of natural and historical characters rather than cultural characters. Lower satisfaction with secondary components related to accommodation and touristic services, but higher satisfaction with leisure, shopping and food services. The most agreed upon issue throughout the interviews was the unpleasant experiences with the public transportation. The tourists' images of Tel-Aviv relate to leisure, sea-sun and modernity. Spending time in the city created negative changes of images, rather than positive ones.
The findings contributed not only to the understanding of the tourist product (the city) but also to the understanding of the consumers (tourists). Out of the four types of tourists - vacation, visiting friends and relatives, tour (visiting cultural and historical sites) and business - the first two groups showed high levels of satisfaction, while the business and tour tourists showed lower levels of satisfaction.
The conclusions of the research emphasized the strengths of Tel-Aviv: residents, liberal atmosphere, beach and leisure. The weaknesses are related to the physical characteristics of the city: transportation, hygienic conditions, architecture and accommodation. Thus, if the tourist product is to be improved, the tourist industry must focus more on planning geared attracting also the business and tour groups.