Exploring the factors that influence the satisfaction of surf travellers in Nemberala, Rote Island
The importance of measuring tourists’ motivation and satisfaction has been acknowledged in the tourism research field. In the past few years, the tourism industry on Rote Island, Indonesia has been showing a positive growth, especially in the village of Nemberala. Thus, in order to be successful in utilising and developing the local tourism resources, the local tourism providers need to fully understand the travel motivation and expectation of tourists regarding the destination. These factors then can be used to measure their destination satisfaction. However, up to now, far too little attention has been paid to this topic in Nemberala. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the factors that motivate surf travellers visiting Nemberala, Rote Island. Applying a qualitative interpretivist approach, the study focused on identifying travel motivational factors which may influence surf travellers’ satisfaction in Nemberala. This study was conducted through semi-structured interviews with 16 foreign surfers (11 male surfers and four female surfers) aged 18-65 years old. The data was analysed using a thematic analysis approach. From the study, surfing was not the only motivating factor for travel to Nemberala. Local culture and positive word-of-mouth are considered influential for the surf travellers in choosing Nemberala as their travel destination. The findings of this study also suggested that the satisfaction of the surf travellers in relation to the destination is roused by push and pull factors in their travel motivation and expectation. Satisfaction leads to the intention to revisit, as most of the participants were return visitors in Nemberala. As a small island with rich natural resources, Rote Island has the potential to be developed as a unique tourist destination. The island’s economic condition can be boosted by tourism, especially for the local community if the local people and all the related parties can figure out the demands of potential visitors and manage the strengths and the challenges of the local tourism industry well.