South Africa is increasingly becoming a destination for leisure tourists. Many are interested in cultural tourism. There is a need for empirical research into this field of hospitality and tourism, which this study aims to address. Lesedi Cultural Village (Lesedi) is an establishment where tourists can experience five of the ethnic cultures of South Africa. As part of the experience, a meal is served which is advertised as “The greatest African feast”. The actual food served is not necessarily culturally authentic in nature. Consequently expectations of the meal experience might be created which cannot be satisfied. This investigation commences with a literature study to establish the components of a meal experience, namely food, service and atmosphere. Thereafter factors are established through the literature survey that are required for satisfaction of a meal experience. These concepts are set out in an adaptation of an existing model of Kivela, Inbakaran and Reece (1999). The adapted model is used as the basis for a field survey of the opinions of leisure tourists visiting Lesedi. The survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire. The results were analysed statistically. Prior to the survey, objectives for the study were set to compare the findings of the literature study with the respondents’ views about the meal experience at Lesedi. The objectives were to determine whether: Objective 1: leisure tourists’ expectations regarding the meal experience and its components were met, and whether they were satisfied with the current meal experience Objective 2: leisure tourists would be willing to return or refer others to Lesedi Objective 3: it is necessary to have a cultural-specific menu to satisfy the leisure tourists’ expectations Objective 4: certain components of the meal experience impressed the leisure tourists the most Objective 5: there is a significant relationship between food, service and atmosphere regarding the meal experience Objective 6: other aspects have significant relationships with the components of the meal experience (food, service and atmosphere) The tourists’ expectations and satisfaction with the meal experience were met to a high degree. The majority of respondents indicated they would return or refer others to Lesedi. While it is not necessary to have a cultural-specific menu to satisfy tourists’ expectations, the current menu could be enhanced by the inclusion of some cultural-specific items. Aspects of the components of the meal experience, which were considered by the respondents to have impressed them the most were also determined. A significant relationship exists between food and service but only a tendency to a relationship exists between food and atmosphere as well as between service and atmosphere. Service appears to play a slightly more important role in satisfying the meal experience than does food. Atmosphere supports the other two components (food and service). Suggestions were made, for consideration by the management of Lesedi, regarding possible improvements to the components of the meal experience. Copyright
Dissertation (M (Consumer Science))--University of Pretoria, 2005.