2.0 – The Chosen SIT Business
Mystery Shopping over the years has evolved from observing tribes and understanding their norms to concealed participant observations in a public setting by using checklists and codes to measure specific information about the service being provided (Wilson 2001, p.725). “Unlike customer-satisfaction surveys, the mystery shopping approach is used to measure the process rather tan the outcomes of a service encounter” (Wilson 2001, p.725). According to Brigit Trauer (2006), Special Interest Tourism has become more popular because of how people want to experience something out of the ordinary. Skydive Airlie Beach was the SIT business chosen because location is everything when it comes to skydiving since most people only ever do it once. This company is located in Whitsunday Islands and is described as “one of the most scenic drop-zones in Australia” (www.skydiveairliebeach.com.au). Since vacationing in Airlie Beach during Easter break, it was essential to make a booking early in order to secure a time. A screenshot of the companies website can be found in the appendix.
3.0 – Reasons for Conducting Mystery Shopping
The reasons for using mystery shopping allows emphasis on the service experience as it is happening and focusing on the activity and procedures rather than gathering opinions about the service (Wilson 2001, p.725). Mystery shopping can also measure more complex encounters in the special interest tourism market where required standards of performance need to be set as a prerequisite (Wilson 2001, p. 725). As stated in How Special is Special Interest Tourism by Bob McKercher and Andrew Chan (2005) SI tourists are also thought to spend more, stay longer, travel more frequently and participate in more activities than other tourists. Tourists also participate in a wide variety of activities when they travel. Some are directly related to their trip purpose; but many are more ancillary or peripheral to the reason for travel (McKercher & Chan 2005, p. 23). Finally, the decision to participate in many activites is not made until after arrival at the destination (McKercher & Chan 2005, p.23). Skydive Airlie Beach fits into the adventure tourism sub-sector and relates to this special interest criteria because the reason for choosing this specific company was because of the destination and location.
4.0 – The Instrument
4.1 – What was measured
Since conducting the Mystery Shopping Instrument, measuring and observing the quality of service provided included safety precautions, the views while in flight before jumping out the aircraft and the adrenaline rush while in free fall. These three parts of service were observed through creating a survey. Questions like ‘did the company make sure every customer would have a good skydive experience by paying attention to the customers needs? Yes or No? Why?’ Most customers will look for how the companies maintain a safe environment to ensure no accidents happen and what is...