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Tiago Savi Mondo: Monitor all indicators affecting visitor satisfaction in real time

Tiago Savi Mondo, Research Professor at the Federal Institute of Santa Catarina

For this issue, the Center has invited Dr. Tiago Savi Mondo for an exclusive interview. He is a research professor in the field of tourism at the Federal Institute of Santa Catarina, where his research focuses on tourism management and marketing management. He is the author of articles including "Rio 2016: Using TOURQUAL to Analyze Tourists' Perception of Quality" and "The Impact of Different booking choices on Hotel purchasing Decisions."

With the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing, what can be done to enhance security for tourists in the post-pandemic era? What measures should be taken to improve the satisfaction and comfort of tourists?

In response to these questions, the Centre interviewed Dr. Tiago Savi Mondo for his views.

Monitor all indicators affecting visitor satisfaction in real time

Based on your previous research and your learning of Beijing, what do you think are the challenges in tourist comfort in this winter Olympic Games? How could authorities take measures to improve the satisfaction of tourists?

The satisfaction of the tourist with the Winter Olympics will depend essentially on the perception of quality that it will have during the days of the event. In the Rio 2016 evaluation we used a quality diagnostic tool called Tourqual (Mondo & Fiates, 2017). The tool comprises a number of quality indicators and we check with tourists the evaluations in relation to these indicators.

The great challenge of any event, especially the Olympic Games, which usually have several venues and several days is to maintain excellence in the perception of the tourist. Thus, I consider it very important to check the quality perceived in real time, during all days of the event, to maintain the feeling of comfort and satisfaction high throughout the period, offering a memorable experience to the tourist.

In Rio 2016, for example, we found in the early days that many problems with queues were occurring in the main Olympic venues, especially in bars and toilets. The management of the event implemented improvement actions and what we saw in the evaluations of the following days was a significant improvement in the evaluation of the item (which in general was one of the worst evaluated).

In the research at Rio 2016 we identified what was most important in the construction of tourist satisfaction. In the first echelon, the offer of comfortable, beautiful and well decorated places; the variety of activities in Olympic venues, in addition to sports/competitions (e.g. music shows, technological interactivity, bars and restaurants, among others) and; transport to Olympic venues (facilitating mobility so that the tourist is as fast and with the best possible quality to olympic venues was very important in Rio 2016).

A second block with a strong influence on the final satisfaction of the tourist comprised the indicators of perception of security in the city (policing, cameras and technological security resources); the assistance of volunteers (who must be very well trained and be available with sympathy and pro activities); the ease of purchase of tickets for the games (usually made in advance and online, but that influences the final satisfaction); cleaning of Olympic sites; location, availability and cleaning of bathrooms (important item in the context of sanitary safety).

In the third block we identified as important, but to a lesser degree than the previous indicators of general infrastructure, signaling in olympic sites and technology. They were relevant indicators in Rio 2016, but they had little influence on overall satisfaction. And finally the indicators of queues and prices. Despite the occurrence of many queues and the perception of relatively expensive prices, these indicators have little affected the overall satisfaction of tourists.

Basically, we learn that it is important to manage all indicators in real time and, as the event management knows the perception of the tourist, has the possibility to act during the event, seeking to improve the perception of quality and, consequently, increasing the feeling of satisfaction and the memorability of the experience.

With the COVID-19 pandemic new indicators may have arisen, health safety issues will be at the top of the list. I therefore believe that the quality indicators we comment on here should be analyzed taking into account the cross-cutting protocols created for the combat and management of the pandemic.

Having a set of indicators, establishing requirements and managing them makes event management much more assertive and effective.

The big challenge, for the Olympic Games or for any other event, is this: listening to the tourist in real time and trying to offer the best possible experience. At Rio 2016 we got a great evaluation and I'm sure in Beijing 2022 it will be no different.

A great and memorable event for everyone.

Interviewer: Hou Yunxi

Interview date: November 8, 2021

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