Theresearch will be divided into five chapters. The first chapter will providegeneral information the case study, what question it rises, and how it isdelimited in time and space. The second chapter will include the discussion ofthe literature review discussing the relevant themes, typologies, and theoryrelating to the research question. Followed by the methodology chapter, whichwill explain the study methods the researcher has used. The findings of bothinterviews and questionnaires will be presented in chapter four alongside thediscussion of the results. Finally, chapter five will be the concluding chaptergiving recommendations to both academics and the Vietnamese tourism industry.
Thekey theoretical concepts will be used in this research are cultural tourism,cultural motivator, and cultural tourist typologies. Firstly, cultural tourismis a key concept of the research to distinguish cultural tourists with othertypes of tourists. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines culturaltourism as “movements of persons essentially for cultural motivations such asstudy tours, performing arts and cultural tours, travel to festivals, and otherevents, visit to sites and monuments, travel to study nature, folklore or art,and pilgrimages” (WTO 1985: 6). Secondly, the understanding of the culturalmotivator concept allows the researcher effectively conduct relevant thequestionnaires, analyze and compare the results of what the motivations ofEuropean cultural tourists traveling to Vietnam are, and what motivations canbe added to the existing concept. According to Ivanovic (2008) the mainmotivation behind cultural tourism is the need to escape from typical routinewith something that is unique and unusual from everyday life. Sidonia andCristina, (2013) suggested that decisions to travel for culture can also beaffected by family, however, motivations such as desire to improve their ownknowledge or to discover and immerse themselves into different cultures alsoholds an important role to cultural tourists. The third important concept willbe used to conduct the research is cultural tourist typologies.
Determiningdifferent types of cultural tourists will aid the researcher in findingspecific motivations of European cultural tourists to travel to Vietnam. Mckercherand du Cros (2003) defined five types of cultural tourists ranging frompurposeful cultural tourist to incidental tourist (See figure). Definitions of these types oftourists are needed to examine the researcher’s respondents. The figure isbased on deep or shallow experience and low to high in motivation to visit acultural tourist attraction. Mckercher and du Cros (2003: 46) also mentionedthat cultural tourism is not defined by one motive, “different people willengage with cultural tourism at different levels, depending on level ofknowledge, number and type of travel partners, own interests, etc.” Figure- Cultural tourist typology – Source: Mckercher and du Cros (2003)Despitechallenges posed in these theories, typologies are important in first findingwhat type of European cultural travelers will be.
These tourist typologies canalso give an insight into what motivates European tourists to travel tounfamiliar country like Vietnam.Toanswer to the research question, I will analyze the official materials and datafrom the various kinds of source, conduct questionnaires and interviews toEuropean cultural tourists at cultural heritage sites in Vietnam, focusing onpopular sites such as Hue Complex of Monuments, Hoi An Ancient Town, and ThangLong Imperial Citadel. Primary research and secondary research will be used.
Primary research involves data that is collected first hand and therefore isthe collection of original data. In secondary research, however, there is nonew data but draws on data obtained from other existing sources (Naoum, 2013;Clark et al., 1998). The researcher uses both primary research and secondaryresearch because primary research is easy to obtain by the researcher due topersonal contacts and the researcher has full control over the questions askedto participants, making it much more specific and in-depth than secondary data(Hox and Boeije, 2005). In case of answering the questions related to themotivations, experiences, expectations and recommendations like in this research,the primary research method even plays a more important role.
While theimplementation of questionnaire method belongs to quantitative research, theinterview method belongs to qualitative research. Firstly, quantitativeresearch is described as a means for testing objective theories by examiningthe relationship among variables. This method is mainly used to investigate alarge number of people and gain statistical data with descriptive results(Labaree, 2009; Muijs, 2011). Therefore, quantitative methods will be used andanalyzed in this study to provide a better understanding of a larger group ofparticipants with mutual experiences or motivations to then formulate themethods for qualitative methods. Questionnaires will be chosen as a primary researchmethod to provide a simple basis of statistical analysis on motivations ofEuropean tourists travel to Vietnam for culture. Secondly, the qualitativemethod will be used. From these questionnaires, the qualitative research willbe prepared in the form of in depth semi-structured interviews.
Qualitativeresearch is a valuable method in understanding what people think, believe andunderstand about a certain subject and enables the researcher to probe oncertain questions to consider why, not just what (Mark, 1996). The best optionfor the researcher is to use semi-structured interviews since they areclassified as specified questions that will allow more probing to seekclarification, elaboration, provide more latitude than structured interview andcombine the flexibility of an unstructured interview but can relate to keyconcepts (Finn, Elliott-White, and Walton, 2000).