Factors that influence tourists’ preferences for crafts: A case study of East African Craft Village, Buganda Road
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The problem this study examined was that, although tourists have been buying crafts from East African Craft Village, little is known about the tourist’s preferences for crafts. This is due to limited research focus on the craft and souvenirs industry. Thus this research therefore is to discern tourists’ preferences for crafts, and reasons for preference of specific arts and crafts. It was carried out in Kampala at East African Craft Village, Buganda Road. The objectives that guided the study were; to determine tourists’ preferences for crafts, to characterize the crafts sold to tourists and to assess the challenges faced by craft sellers and buyers. A sample size of 140 respondents was obtained and included crafts and arts buyers and sellers and making use of both simple random sampling techniques. The data was collected using questionnaires and was analyzed quantitatively using SPSS and qualitatively using thematic analysis. The study revealed that tourists knew about East African Craft Village through different social media platforms which included Instagram, Face-book (FB) and Twitter and other knew about the craft village via websites, friends and family and perceived crafts and arts sold as good. The Study found that material, origin and price respectively, were most important factors considered by buyers before buying of arts and crafts. The study further revealed that there are different arts and crafts sold to tourists such as art and craft made of horns, wood, beads, bracelets, necklaces, art moldings, maps, art and craft made of cloth, small sized art and crafts art and craft featuring nature and art and craft featuring animals. Finally the researcher found out that there various challenges facing art craft buyers and sellers which were identified as seasonality in sales, high rent, lack of innovation, lack of government support to craft sellers and buyers, high prices of products and raw materials, lack of parking space for their clients who may come in big numbers and competition from other craft centres and it was from these results that the study Recommends; that more campaigns need to be undertaken especially domestic campaigns to mobilize Ugandans to buy crafts at East African Craft Village, further there is need to charge favorable rent fees, create more parking space for buyers and finally there is need to improve on the quality of arts and crafts, the researcher suggests that the quality assurance committee of UTB should take necessary actions and measures to push for an improvement in quality of arts and crafts.
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