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Exploring the impact of hedonic activities on casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions and satisfaction.

1. Introduction

Tourism consumption is widely discussed with hedonic experience which refers to the positive emotional experience, intrinsic pleasure and enjoyment, as well as the feelings of happiness (Arnould & Price, 1993; Li, Lehto, & Wei, 2014; Pearce, 2009; Ram, Nawijn, & Peeters, 2013). Happiness is subjective and positive psychological well-being, and the pursuit of hedonic experience is the pursuit of happiness which is the ultimate goal of tourism consumption (Pearce, 2009; Voigt, Howat, & Brown, 2010). Happiness, namely positive psychological well-being in tourism consumption, consists of a high level of hedonic experience (Kashdan, Biswas-Diener, & King, 2008; Voigt et al., 2010). The quality of hedonic experience also determines tourists' satisfaction (Bosque & Martin, 2008; Hosany & Gilber, 2010; Rojas & Camarero, 2008). Therefore, the understanding of hedonic experience is important and essential for the management of tourist experience and satisfaction.

In leisure tourism, hedonic experience is a popular research topic. The discussion of positive psychology in relation to tourist behavior and satisfaction leads to the growing concern of hedonic value or emotional/spiritual benefits gained from tourism consumption (Driver, Brown, & Peterson, 1991; Iso-Ahola, 1980; Patterson & Pegg, 2009). Positive emotional experience is considered as the core component of hedonic experience (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Malone, McCabe, & Smith, 2014; Voigt et al., 2010). Positive emotional experience plays an important role in tourists' satisfaction and positive psychological wellbeing (Chang, 2008; Han & Back, 2007; Han & Patterson, 2011; Ladhari, 2007). Moreover, positive emotional experience leads to emotional/affective commitment and loyalty to the place (Kralj & Solnet, 2010; Sui & Baloglu, 2003). The evaluation of positive emotions could contribute to the insightful understanding of hedonic experience (McCabe & Johnson, 2013; Pearce, 2009). In fact, it was evidenced that the evaluation of customer emotions could effectively reflect the quality of consumption experience (Han, Back, & Barrett, 2010; Oliver, 1994; Richins, 1997).

Though considerable research on hedonic experience takes place in the field of leisure tourism, in the context of casino hotels, the understanding of customer hedonic experience is limited. Casino-hotel visitors' hedonic experience was often studied with the physical attributes and service quality (Lio & Rody, 2012; Wan, 2012b; Wong, 2013; Wong & Fong, 2010, 2012; Wong, Fong, & Liu, 2012). Though physical attributes and service quality of casino hotels were found as important factors for influencing visitors' positive emotional experience, visitors' emotional experience has never been studied with their preference of hedonic activities and satisfaction.

In Macao, casino hotels are growing to be contemporary integrated resorts which not only provide gaming facilities and luxurious accommodation, but also a number of non-gaming leisure activities and entertainments (e.g., live show, concert, shopping & dining, spa, golf, exhibition etc.) (Eadington & Doyle, 2009; Gu, 2004; MacDonlad & Eadington, 2008). Under the governmental tourism policy which aims to position Macao as a global center of tourism and leisure, casino hotels in Macao are trying to target more non-gaming oriented tourists apart from gamblers by diversifying their hedonic offerings from gaming to non-gaming hedonic services (Loi & Pearce, 2012; Macau Government Tourist Office, 2011; McCartney, 2008). In recent years, casino hotels in Macao have successfully attracted a number of non-gaming oriented tourists (Wong & Rosenbaum, 2010). To support the sustainable development of casino hotels, there is a need for a better understanding of casino-hotel visitors' hedonic experience with respect to their preference of hedonic activities, positive emotions, and satisfaction.

This study attempts to explore and measure casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions in relation to their preference of hedonic activities and satisfaction. The influence of different positive emotional experiences on satisfaction will be examined by testing the causal relationship between positive emotions and satisfaction levels. It is believed that different hedonic activities will cause different levels of influence on casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions, and in turn, different positive emotions will result in different levels of satisfaction according to previous research (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Stewart, Fujimoto, & Harada, 2013; Voigt et al., 2010).

2. Literature review

2.1. Emotional experiences in hedonic tourism

Happiness is always considered as the important emotional/ spiritual benefit of tourism consumption (Filep & Deery, 2010; Iso-Ahola, 1980; Kashdan et al., 2008). Pearce (2009) suggested that happiness as the core component of positive psychology in the context of tourism consisted of three domains: hedonic or pleasure-based happiness, engaged or eudemonic happiness, and the institutional drivers of happiness. Tourists' happiness is reflected in their positive emotions, such as joy, interest, contentment, and love (Filep & Deery, 2010). In recent years, tourist emotional experience becomes a popular research topic in different contexts of tourism and hospitality. For example, heritage tourism (Rojas & Camarero, 2008), film tourism (Kim, 2012), leisure tourism (Hosany & Gilber, 2010; Li, Lehto, et al., 2014), luxury hotels (Walls, Okumus, Wang, & Kwun, 2011), and a full-service restaurant (Han et al., 2010).

Positive emotional experience is considered as the core component of hedonic experience in the context of tourism. Previous studies which tried to examine tourists' hedonic experience found that the emotions that tourists have experienced shaped their hedonic experience (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Pearce, 2009; Voigt et al., 2010). Tourism is basically a leisure/happiness-seeking activity, and tourists' emotional experience is considered as very subjective, intense, and salient (Malone et al., 2014). Emotion can be stimulated by external environment or stimuli including the interaction with people, place, and events (Schachter, 1964; Su & Hsu, 2013). The understanding of tourists' emotional experience not only broadens the evaluation of tourist experience and satisfaction, but also contributes to the knowledge of tourist behavior related to their hedonic experience (Pearce, 2009).

Positive emotions, such as interest, joy, and love, were found beneficial for positive psychological well-being (Driver et al., 1991; Han & Patterson, 2011; Su & Hsu, 2013). It was found that by engaging in leisure and healthy activities, tourists will experience positive emotions, moderate stress, and improve their social and psychological well-being (Han & Patterson, 2011; Iwasaki, 2002; Sibson, Scherrer, Ryan, Henley, & Sheridan, 2011; Stewart et al., 2013). Some previous studies in leisure tourism often referred leisure activities to the physical activities with leisure and relaxation involvement, such as jogging, swimming, bicycling, and golfing (Chang & Gibson, 2011; Sibson et al., 2011; Stewart et al., 2013).

Leisure activities were studied with respect to tourists' emotional experiences in some previous studies. For example, Voigt et al. (2010) identified two dimensions of emotional experiences: hedonic experiences (refers to happiness in a hedonic view) and eudaimonic experiences (refers to personal growth and meanings to life). Voigt et al. (2010) found that some recreational activities, such as beauty spa, were perceived as the activity for purely hedonic experience, and the activities of spiritual retreat facilitated tourists' eudaimonic experience. In addition, emotions were found useful for segmenting tourists (Bigne & Andreu, 2004). The same authors used two dimensions of emotions: pleasure and arousal, as segmentation variables to segment tourist behavior, and found that those tourists who experienced a greater level of positive emotions showed an increased level of satisfaction and more favorable behavioral intention. It is believed that leisure activities could effectively stimulate tourists' positive emotions and in turn help to improve their satisfaction and positive behavior.

Entertainment is as important as leisure and recreational activities, because it could also result in positive emotional experience. It was claimed that "Entertainment has always been at the core of many recreational and leisure activities." (p.6, Dobni, 2006). According to Dobni (2006), the entertainment value should be taken into account for the development of leisure and recreational activities in order to enhance positive emotional experiences. For example, it was advocated that shopping malls should provide customers with shopping and entertainment experiences in one combined in order to stimulate their positive emotions such as fun, joy, excitement, and dream-like fantasies (Tsai, 2010). In casino hotels, apart from gaming, some non-gaming entertainments such as live shows and pop concerts also provide visitors with fascinating and intensive emotional experiences such as excitement, challenging etc. Non-gaming entertainment becomes more and more important for generating revenue rather than boosting the gaming volume (Suh, 2011; Suh & West, 2010). Entertainment, leisure, and recreational activities are sharing the same value of providing casino-hotel visitors with hedonic experience, thus hedonic activities at casino hotels comprise all these activities.

The influence of positive emotional experience on tourist behavior is extensive. It was found that positive emotional experience could positively affect tourists' psychological wellbeing, social wellbeing, and physical health (Han & Patterson, 2011). In addition, the positive outcome of positive emotional experience is also reflected in tourists' loyalty and emotional attachment, namely place attachment, to the destination. Place attachment includes many components such as place dependence, place affect, and place satisfaction (Kil, Holland, Stein, & Ko, 2012; Ramkissoon, Smith, & Weiler, 2013; Yuksel, Yuksel, & Bilim, 2010). The intensity of place attachment determines the level of loyalty, satisfaction, and commitment to the place (Hwang, Lee, & Chen, 2005; Kil et al., 2012; Ramkissoon et al., 2013; Sui & Baloglu, 2003). The review of previous studies suggests that positive emotional experience plays an important role in determining tourists' quality of hedonic experience and satisfaction.

2.2. Evaluation of emotional experience

The evaluation of emotions was usually grounded on the cognitive appraisal theory which suggested that tourists' emotions were the outcome of what they experienced and evaluated at the place (Su & Hsu, 2013). Similarly, emotion was defined as "a psychological state of preparation that arises from cognitive appraisals of events or thoughts" (p.26, Yang, Gu, & Cen, 2011). To evaluate emotions in tourism consumption, self-report is regarded as a popular and valid method for evaluating emotions in tourism consumption (Li, Scott, & Walters, 2014; Strauss & Allen, 2006).

Tourists' hedonic experience can be evaluated in the three main phases, namely, anticipatory, on site, and reflective phases of their tour (Filep & Deery, 2010). The on-site evaluation is likely to reveal the most intensive emotional experience because tourists' intensity of emotional experience will decline after visit (Strauss & Allen, 2006). Similarly, it was found that tourists tended to display the highest level of positive emotions during their leisure travel and a decreased level of positive emotions afterward (Mitas, Yarnal, & Chick, 2012). It is believed that the social aspects of leisure travel, such as intimate interaction with travel companions, were a strong stimulus for stimulating tourists' positive emotions, and the physical arousal associated with leisure activity was also a strong stimulus for all emotional experiences (Stewart et al., 2013). Therefore, the on-site evaluation of positive emotional experiences should effectively reflect tourists' positive emotions with respect to their preference of hedonic activities.

Some scales for measuring tourists' emotional experience can be found in existing literature. For example, three dimensions of emotional experiences generally adopted by environmental psychologists: pleasure (relaxed, happy, satisfied, content), arousal (surprised, aroused, excited, interested, rewarded), and dominance of control (controlled, dominant, feeling influential) (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974). Richins (1997) developed consumption emotional scale with 16 dimensions: anger, sadness, worry, shame, excitement, contentment, surprise, discontent, envy, optimism, sadness, loneliness, romantic, fear, love and peaceful. The two dimensions of pleasure and arousal often served as references for scale development for the emotion measurement in tourism consumption (Bigne & Andreu, 2004; Mitas, Yarnal, Adams, & Ram, 2012; Stewart et al., 2013).

Similar scales and items used for measuring emotional experiences are also found in some tourism studies (Filep & Deery, 2010; Hosany & Gilber, 2010; Kim, 2010; Vitters, Vorkinn, Vistad, & Vaagland, 2000; Voigt et al., 2010). These items for measuring emotional experiences are often interchangeably used in tourism consumption (Hosany & Gilber, 2010). For full-service restaurants, a scale was developed to measure the consumption emotions, covering four dimensions: excitement, comfort, annoyance, and romance (Han et al., 2010). Though negative items were used for measuring customers' emotional experience, tourists' emotional responses to their hedonic experiences were often measured by positive items because hedonic experience is reflected in positive emotions (Filep & Deery, 2010; Pearce, 2009; Voigt et al., 2010).

2.3. Emotional experience at casino hotels

Casino hotels are developing into integrated resorts which serve unique functions and purposes. An integrated resort is defined as a "multi-dimensional resort that includes a casino, convention/ exhibition centers, hotels and shopping and entertainment facilities. Casino floors should be the engine of the resort in order to support facilities like convention/exhibition centers, hotels and shopping and entertainment facilities" (MacDonlad & Eadington, 2008; P. 5-6). These contemporary casino hotels are trying to setting a new standard of luxury by introducing the "over the top" architecture design, the most deluxe accommodation and casinos in the world, Michelin-quality restaurants, and high-class venue for convention business (Eadington & Doyle, 2009).

Nowadays, the casino hotels in Macau are not only attracting gaming oriented tourists, but also non-gaming oriented tourists by providing a variety of non-gaming tourism services (Wong & Rosenbaum, 2010). The non-gaming tourism services encourage casino customers to seek a variety of novel leisure experience that can provide them with thrills and peaks (Wan, 2012a; Wong, 2013; Wong & Dioko, 2013). Previous research suggested that non-gaming attributes/attractions play an important role in casino-hotel visitors' positive emotional experience. For example, the environment and ambience of casino hotels could affect visitors' cognitive and emotional experiences (Finlay, Kanetkar, Londerville, & Marmurek, 2006; Walls et al., 2011). However, the studies regarding tourists' positive emotions with respect to their preference of hedonic activities at casino hotels are very limited. Grounded on previous research regarding hedonic experience and leisure activities, this present study attempts to explore tourists' positive emotional experiences with respect to various hedonic activities available at casino hotels. The results are expected to reveal a new insight into the relationship among hedonic activities, positive emotions, and satisfaction in the context of casino hotels.

3. Methodology

3.1. Survey conduction

A quantitative survey was conducted for visitors of four major casino hotels in Macao, including City of dream, The Venetian Macao, Galaxy resort, and MGM Macao. These four resorts are well-known for their non-gaming facilities in addition to their casinos. Four survey assistants conducted the survey under on-site supervision after receiving training and survey demonstration beforehand. At each survey venue, survey assistants started the survey from 10am-12pm, and 3pm-5pm on every Saturday and Sunday during June 2014. They approached the visitors of these four resorts on convenience sampling at the interior (in-door shopping and dining areas) and exterior (open-air plaza or square) districts of the resorts. Since the top three tourist sources of Macao are mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, occupying over 92% of total inbound tourists in Macao last year (Statistics and Census Bureau, 2015), our target respondents were the Chinese tourists from these three places. Survey assistants approached those Chinese tourists who were walking around either the indoor or outdoor areas of the casino hotel. After getting respondents' consent, survey helpers read the questions one by one and filled the questionnaire according to respondents' answers. All survey interviews were conducted in Chinese. Approximate 600 casino-hotel visitors were approached and the response rate was about 83%. A total of 500 completed survey questionnaires were collected.

3.2. The survey questionnaire

The survey questionnaire included three parts. Part one was devised to collect information about visitors' travel patterns and behavior during their visit to casino hotels. Part one covers some questions regarding respondents' experience of visiting Macao casino hotels, number of travel companies, length of time spent at the place, amount of money spent on gaming. Part two aimed to evaluate respondents' preference of gaming and non-gaming hedonic activities, emotional responses evoked during their stay in the casino hotel, and satisfaction.

In part two, the items for measuring casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions were generated from the previous studies related to hedonic experience with a tourist destination/site (Bigne & Andreu, 2004; Filep & Deery, 2010; Hosany & Gilber, 2010; Kim, 2010; Stewart et al., 2013; Vitters et al., 2000; Voigt et al., 2010). Unlike other leisure or historical tourist attractions, casino hotels are an entertainment-oriented attraction for tourists and aiming to bring tourists different hedonic experiences. According to Hosany and Gilber (2010, p.513), "consumer emotional experiences are very broad and context specific ... existing emotion scales are problematic as they fail to take into account tourists' and destinations' specific characteristics". To ensure accurate measurement of emotional experience in the context of casino hotels, a context specific measurement instrument is needed and developed in this present study.

Total 24 items, such as relaxed, having fun, free, and exciting, were generated for the instrument of emotion measurement. To examine whether these 24 items could describe casino-hotel visitors' emotional experiences accurately, a pilot test for 20 casino-hotel visitors was conducted. Approximate 80% respondents commented that some items were very similar to each other in meanings, for example, delight, joy, and pleasant. They also suggested that some items, such as tenderness, caring, and affection, were not well applicable to describing their emotions during their stay at casino hotels. Therefore, the original 24 items were reduced to 14 items by combing some items which have similar meanings and removing some items which do not well represent casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions. These 14 items were translated from English to Chinese by the author and proofread by an English-Chinese expert who had rich experience in professional English-Chinese translation.

All tourist activities at casino hotels were categorized into eight types including gaming, photographing, recreational services (e.g. spa and massage), entertainment (concert/exhibition/live shows), shopping, dining, exploring the exterior area, and exploring the interior area. For the measurement of respondents' emotions and preference of hedonic activities, a five-point Likert scale was used, ranging from "almost never (1)" to "very much (5)". Sample questions included "how much do you participate in the activity of shopping?"

Part three included the questions regarding respondents' demographic information, such as, age, occupation, and income. The whole survey questionnaire was refined by adjusting the number of items and rewording some questions based on the results of pilot test.

4. Findings and discussion

4.1. Results of data analysis

The profile of respondents is shown in Table 1. There are 213 non-gaming visitors and 287 gaming visitors, and two segments of visitors are sharing similar demographic background. Though there are more gaming visitors than non-gaming visitors, 20.8% of gaming visitors spent less than 1 h on gambling while only 9.6% of them spent more than 4 h on gambling. The results suggested that gambling is part of the hedonic experience for many gaming visitors, and overall more than half of casino-hotel visitors were not enthusiastic about gaming. Visitors' preference of hedonic activities, which is reflected in their level of participation in gaming and non-gaming activities, may become the key factor for determining their intensity of positive emotional experiences.

To identify casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions, the analysis of positive emotions was performed by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) followed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). To ensure the accuracy of EFA and CFA, 500 respondents were split into two sub-samples randomly. Sample 1 with 250 respondents was used for the exploratory factor analysis, and sample 2 was used for confirmatory factor analysis. As shown in Table 2, by using the principal component extraction with Varimax rotation, two factors were extracted from 14 items of emotions and the accumulated variance was 68.02%. The factor loadings of all 14 items are higher than .50 and the loadings of item-total correlation are higher than .70, suggesting that all items have well defined the two factors (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2010). The first factor, labeled as 'light pleasure' (a = .92, M = 3.85), included nine items (free, pleasant, energetic, comfortable, relax, fun, interesting, entertained, love) which were related to respondents' relaxing and pleasurable feelings. The second factor, labeled as 'intensive fun' (a = .92, M = 3.68), included five items (inspired, exciting, challenging, surprised, romantic) which were related to respondents' exciting and joyful feelings. The alphas values of both two factors are over the .70 recommended threshold (Hair, Bush, & Ortinau, 2003), suggesting that the two factors have very good internal consistency.

As shown in Table 3, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted with sample 2 to further examine the validity of two constructs defined in exploratory factor analysis. There are four items left for each construct. Total six items were removed from the two constructs due to their low factor loadings and poor fit to the model. Cronbach's alphas of two constructs are greater than .70, and the item-total correlation of each variable is greater than .50, exceeding recommended standard. The results suggested a good fit of the model to the data (Cmin/df = 1.88 (p < .05), CFI = .99, GFI = .97, AGFI = .94, RSEMA = .06) (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988; Hair et al., 2010). Moreover, the results of composite reliabilities (CR = .92) and average variance extracted (AVE = .59) have exceed the threshold and supported the convergent validity and reliabilities. Therefore, casino-hotel customers' positive emotions could be effectively represented by the two dimensions of positive emotions: "light pleasure" ([alpha] = .91) and "intensive fun" ([alpha] = .85).

Regarding respondents' preference of hedonic activities at casino hotels, total eight types of hedonic activities were identified as shown in Table 4 and Fig. 1. Respondents' preference of these eight types of hedonic activities was positive. As shown in Table 5, the mean values of participation in all types of hedonic activities are greater than 3.6 out of 5, suggesting respondents participated in these hedonic activities at the above-moderate level. Three top hedonic activities include photographing (M = 3.9), exploring the exterior (M = 4.0) and interior areas (M = 4.0). Two hedonic activities received the lowest mean values: gaming (M = 3.6) and recreational services (M = 3.6).

To analyze the relationship among hedonic activities, positive emotions, and satisfaction with hedonic experience, the intercorrelation among these variables was tested. The statistical results in Tables 3 and 4 suggest the nomological validities of the propose model in Fig. 1. To further test the interrelationship among hedonic activities, positive emotions, and satisfaction, structural equation modeling (SEM) was performed after the CFA test by following the two-step procedure suggested by Anderson and Gerbing (1988).

As shown in Fig. 1, the five indices, which were selected to measure the fit of the proposed model, indicated a goodness of fit of the model to the data: chi-square to the degrees of freedom ratio (cmin/df < 3), comparative fit index (CFI = .99), goodness-of-fit index (GFI = .97), adjusted goodness-of-fit index (.92), and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA = .05) (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988). Moreover, the causal relationship among hedonic activities, two emotional constructs, and satisfaction is shown in Table 5. The results in Table 5 revealed that hedonic activities had significant impacts on two dimensions of positive emotions. The two dimensions of positive emotions were also found having a significant impact on respondents' satisfaction with their experience at casino hotels. The 'light pleasure' emotions could significantly influence 'intensive fun' emotions. The squared multiples correlation ([R.sup.2]) appeared to be in good order, suggesting the validity of the model is supported (Hair et al., 2010).

4.2. Managerial implications

The findings of present study suggested that not all hedonic activities could significantly influence positive emotions. As shown in Table 5, it was revealed that 'light pleasure' emotions were significantly influenced by six out of eight types of hedonic activities: photographing, exploring the exterior area, dining, entertainment (e.g. live show), and recreational services (e.g. spa). Gaming ([beta] = -.12, p < .05) had a negative impact on 'light pleasure' emotions, suggesting that the less participated in gaming, the more respondents experienced the 'light pleasure' emotions. Therefore, non-gaming oriented visitors were expected to experience 'light pleasure' emotions more than gamblers. It was surprised to find that two leisure activities: shopping and exploring the interior area of casino hotels were not found any significant causal relationship with emotional experiences. Previous research suggested that different leisure activities could stimulate different emotional experiences in leisure tourism consumption (Chang & Gibson, 2011; Tsai, 2010; Voigt et al., 2010), but this present study revealed different findings in the context of casino hotels.

Respondents' positive emotional experience was not much affected by shopping and exploring the interior area at casino hotels, though luxurious shopping experience and aesthetic interior design were considered as the important attractiveness of casino hotels (Wan, 2012b; Wong & Rosenbaum, 2010; Zhang, Dewald, & Neirynck, 2009). If the entertainment or hedonic value in shopping and exploring the interior area of casino hotels is not strong enough, visitors' positive emotional experience may not be stimulated effectively, since the perceived hedonic value in a tourist attraction/activity was very influential on tourists' emotional experiences (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Malone et al., 2014; Tsai, 2010). The management of shopping facilities and physical attributes of interior area should take hedonic value, in addition to service quality, into account for stimulating visitors' positive emotions.

Though the positive impact of 'light pleasure' emotions on 'intensive fun' emotions suggested that stimulating visitors' 'light pleasure' emotions helps to stimulate their 'intensive fun' emotions, the impact of hedonic activities on 'intensive fun' emotions was very limited. The results shown in Table 5 revealed that only gaming had a significant impact on 'intensive fun' emotions. Other non-gaming hedonic activities were not effective in stimulating visitors' 'intensive fun' emotions. In this case, it could be risky for the management of casino hotels to totally rely on gaming for stimulating visitors' 'intensive fun' emotions, and there is an urgent need for diversifying the stimulus for 'intensive fun' emotions from gaming to other hedonic activities/attractions.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

In addition to the management of hedonic attractions/activities, encouraging visitors, particularly gamblers, to participate in more different hedonic activities may help to improve their positive emotional experiences and satisfaction. Gamblers and non-gaming visitors have different preferences of hedonic activities due to their gaming and non-gaming oriented visit purposes. The findings of this study suggested that the more different hedonic activities they tried, the more they tended to experience a higher level of positive emotions. Prior to encouraging visitors to participate in more different hedonic activities, the management of casino hotels should improve the hedonic values and influence of hedonic attractions/activities on the two dimensions of emotional experiences.

Regarding the relationship between emotional experiences and satisfaction, both two dimensions of positive emotions were found influencing satisfaction significantly and positively. The findings were consistent with previous studies that positive emotional experiences lead to satisfaction (Bosque & Martin, 2008; Han & Back, 2007; Ladhari, 2007; Velazquez, Blasco, Contri, & Saura, 2009). Furthermore, this study specifically revealed the different levels of impact of two dimensions of emotional experiences on satisfaction. The 'light pleasure' emotions ([beta] = .58, p < .001) were found more effective than 'intensive fun' emotions ([beta] = .24, p < .001) in influencing respondents' satisfaction. The management of casino hotels should pay more attention to the improvement of 'light pleasure' emotions in order to improve visitors' satisfaction more effectively.

4.3. Theoretical implications

Though previous studies suggested that different tourist activities could result in different emotional experiences, such as hedonic and eudaimonic experiences (Filep & Deery, 2010; Pearce, 2009; Voigt et al., 2010), it is unclear about the holistic influences of hedonic activities which comprise leisure and recreational activities and entertainments on tourists' emotional experience in the context of casino hotels. Previous research suggested that different service encounters could trigger unexpected emotional experiences (Hosany & Gilber, 2010). Casino hotels provide visitors with various hedonic activities which stimulated visitors' different positive emotions and in turn resulted in a holistic emotional response to their hedonic experience. The present study has revealed the hedonic experience of casino-hotel visitors by identifying two dimensions of positive emotions as the core components of hedonic experience. In line with previous research, the two dimensions of positive emotions revealed in the present study shared similar meanings with 'pleasure' and 'arousal' emotions, and specifically reflected casino-hotel visitors' two major types of positive emotional experiences (Bigne & Andreu, 2004; Mehrabian & Russell, 1974; Stewart et al., 2013).

The relationship among hedonic activities, positive emotional experiences, and satisfaction is examined by SEM. The model suggested that both 'light pleasure' and 'intensive fun' emotions had a significant influence on satisfaction. In particular, 'light pleasure' emotions tended to influence satisfaction more effectively than 'intensive fun' emotions. These findings empirically supported the significant impact of positive emotional experience on satisfaction in the context of casino hotels. Moreover, the 'light pleasure' emotions not only influenced satisfaction more effectively, but also significantly and positively influenced 'intensive fun' emotions. These findings extend existing literature on tourist emotional experiences and satisfaction by revealing the effects of pleasurable emotions (fun, interesting, relax, and pleasant) on satisfaction and arousal/'intensive fun' emotions (challenging, surprised, romantic, and entertained) in the context of casino hotels.

In addition to the influences of service experience equity, brand equity, and physical environment on casino-hotel visitors' emotional experiences in previous studies (Wan, 2012b; Wong, 2013), the present study explored the relationship between hedonic activities and emotional experiences in the context of casino hotels. In line with previous studies (e.g., Chang & Gibson, 2011; Iwasaki, 2002; Sibson et al., 2011; Stewart et al., 2013), the present study supports empirically the positive relationship between hedonic activities and positive emotional experiences. Furthermore, the present study also revealed the relationship specifically between each type of hedonic activities and emotional experiences. Though some hedonic activities were not found having a significant impact on casino-hotel visitors' emotional experiences, the findings suggested that non-gaming hedonic activities tended to significantly influence visitors' 'light pleasure' emotions while only gaming could significantly influence 'intensive fun' emotions. These findings bring a new insight into the effects of different hedonic activities on positive emotional experiences in the context of casino hotels.

5. Conclusions

The significance of present study is twofold. First, the study contributes to the existing knowledge of casino-hotel visitors' hedonic experiences by identifying two dimensions of positive emotions. Second, the study brings a new insight into the effects of gaming and non-gaming hedonic activities on visitors' positive emotional experiences and satisfaction by testing their relationship with SEM. Following the contention of context specific measurement for emotions (Hosany & Gilber, 2010), this study grounded on the literature of tourism consumption psychology and tourist emotional experiences, and took the characteristics of casino hotels and their visitors into the development of measurement instrument. The new instrument has successfully measured casino-hotel visitors' positive emotional experiences and identified two dimensions of positive emotions which represent the hedonic experiences of casino-hotel visitors according to previous research (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Malone et al., 2014).

The findings suggested that the two dimensions of positive emotions tended to influence visitors' satisfaction at different levels. In particular, 'light pleasure' emotions tended to influence visitors' satisfaction more effectively than 'intensive fun' emotions. These findings bring us an insightful understanding of positive emotional experience in relation to satisfaction in the context of casino hotels. Moreover, since it was found that 'light pleasure' emotions tended to make tourists happier and more satisfied than 'intensive fun' emotions did, the operators of casino hotels should pay more attention to stimulating visitors' relaxing and pleasurable feelings effectively. To further confirm the different effects between two dimensions of positive emotions on satisfaction, future research should take place for other casino hotels in other places.

To respond to the contention that different tourist activities induced different emotional experiences such as hedonic and eudaimonic experiences in previous studies (Filep & Deery, 2010; Voigt et al., 2010), the present study attempted to explore further about how hedonic activities might influence two dimensions of positive emotions and in turn influence satisfaction. The causal relationship among hedonic activities, positive emotions, and satisfaction was confirmed by SEM. The findings revealed that not all hedonic activities could significantly influence casino-hotel visitors' positive emotions. When several types of non-gaming hedonic activities could effectively influence visitors' 'light pleasure' emotions, only gaming could effectively stimulate visitors' 'intensive fun' emotions.

Previous research suggested that leisure activities were good for tourists' emotional experiences, but did not investigate much the specific influence of hedonic activities which comprise entertainment, leisure and recreational activities on emotional experiences, particularly in the context of casino hotels (Li, Lehto, et al., 2014; Lio & Rody, 2012; McCabe & Johnson, 2013; Stewart et al., 2013). This study fills this gap by investigating the specific influences of gaming and non-gaming hedonic activities on 'light pleasure' and 'intensive fun' emotions. It was found that non-gaming hedonic activities tended to influence 'light pleasure' emotions more effectively and which tended to influence visitors' satisfaction more effectively. These findings suggest the important role of non-gaming hedonic activities play in positive emotional experiences. In addition to gaming, it is worthwhile to explore what other non-gaming hedonic activities or attractions could effectively stimulate casino-hotel visitors' 'intensive fun' emotions in future research.

A few limitations are noted. First, the measurement instrument was developed based on the characteristics of casino hotels in Macao, thus its validity should be further tested in other hedonic attractions in other places. Second, the research sample only included Chinese visitors, so the findings about casino-hotel visitors' emotional experiences may not be generalized to other visitors with different nationalities and cultural background. Third, this study only investigated the impacts of hedonic activities on positive emotions. Other factors such as interaction with travel companions, service staff, and other visitors were not included in this study. It is recommended to take these factors together with hedonic activities for testing their joint influence on casino-hotel visitors' positive emotional experiences.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2015.07.004

ARTICLE INFO

Article history:

Received 31 March 2015

Received in revised form

20 May 2015

Accepted 11 July 2015

Available online 1 December 2015

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Man-U Io

Institute for Tourism Studies, Colina de Mong-Ha, Macao SAR, China

E-mail address: yan@ift.edu.mo.
Table 1
Profile of casino-hotel visitors.

                              Gamblers      Non-gamblers

                              Frequency                    Chi-square

Time spent on gaming                                       500 ***
No gaming                     0             213 (100%)
<1 h                          104 (20.8%)   0
1-2 h                         80 (16%)      0
2-3 h                         55 (11%)      0
4-5 h                         27 (5.4%)     0
>5 h                          21 (4.2%)     0

Gender                                                     0.06
Male                          141 (22.4%)   107 (24.2%)
Female                        146 (29.2%)   106 (21.2%)

Place of origin                                            14.97 ***
Mainland China                205 (41%)     161 (32.2%)
Hong Kong                     48 (9.6%)     28 (5.6%)
Taiwan                        33 (6.6%)     14 (2.8%)
Others                        1 (0.2%)      10 (2%)

Age                                                        24.14 ***
21-29                         112 (22.4%)   121 (24.2%)
30-39                         127 (25.4%)   54 (10.8%)
40-49                         40 (8%)       26 (5.2%)
50-64                         6 (1.2%)      11 (2.2%)
65 or above                   2 (0.4%)      1 (0.2%)

Education                                                  0.21
Primary school                2 (0.4%)      1 (0.2%)
Secondary school              35 (7%)       26 (5.2%)
Tertiary                      222 (44.4%)   167 (33.4%)
Postgraduate                  28 (5.6%)     19 (3.8%)

Occupation                                                 28.58 ***
Student                       36 (7.2%)     64 (12.8%)
Blue collar                   7 (1.4%)      7 (1.4%)
White collar                  96 (19.2%)    58 (11.6%)
Professional/executive        80 (16%)      47 (9.4%)
  manager
Self-employed/enterpriser     59 (11.8%)    29 (5.8%)
Retired                       2 (0.4%)      5 (1%)
Unemployed                    7 (1.4%)      3 (0.6%)

Annual income                                              44.52 ***
<HK$100,000                   83 (16.6%)    118 (23.6%)
HK$100,001-300,000            122 (24.4%)   72 (14.4%)
HK$300,001-500,000            47 (9.4%)     2 (0.4%)
HK$500,001-700,000            13 (2.6%)     2 (0.4%)
HK$700,001-900,000            12 (2.6%)     2 (0.4%)
>HK$900,001                   10 (2%)       1 (0.2%)

Note: *** p < 0.001.

Table 2
Exploratory factor analysis for emotional experience (n = 250).

                         Factor loading   Item-total correlation

Light pleasure (Cronback's Alpha = .92)

Fun                      .59              .76
Relax                    .84              .79
Pleasant                 .80              .79
Interesting              .79              .77
Free                     .67              .73
Comfortable              .66              .71
Energetic                .62              .77

Intensive fun (Cronback's Alpha = .92)

Challenging              .83              .72
Exciting                 .81              .76
Inspired                 .79              .80
Surprised                .75              .82
Romantic                 .70              .76
Entertained              .65              .70
Love                     .57              .75

Table 3
Confirmatory factor analysis for emotional experience (n = 250).

                         Factor    Item-total
                         loading   correlation   AVE   CR

Light pleasure (Cron Alpha = .91)                .75   .90
Fun                      .89       .83
Interesting              .82       .77
Relax                    .85       .80
Pleasant                 .85       .80

Intensive fun (Cron Alpha = .85)                 .59   .77
Challenging              .68       .63
Surprised                .87       .76
Romantic                 .79       .72
Entertained              .72       .63

Note: Cmin/df = 1.88 (p < .05), CFI = .99, GFI = .97, AGFI = .94,
RSEMA = .06.

Table 4
Emotion constructs and variables Inter-correlations.

                                     1      2      3      4      5

1. Light pleasure                    1
2. Intensive fun                     .74    1
3. Satisfaction                      .75    .66    1
4. Photographing                     .47    .38    .42    1
5. Exploring the interior area       .46    .43    .43    .61    1
6. Exploring the exterior area       .50    .47    .46    .58    .61
7. Shopping                          .44    .41    .42    .48    .59
8. Dining                            .43    .45    .38    .45    .49
9. Entertainment (i.e. live shows)   .42    .43    .38    .46    .43
10. Gaming                           .28    .38    .24    .35    .32
11. Recreational services            .34    .43    .31    .33    .38

                                     6      7      8      9      10

1. Light pleasure
2. Intensive fun
3. Satisfaction
4. Photographing
5. Exploring the interior area
6. Exploring the exterior area       1
7. Shopping                          .59    1
8. Dining                            .55    .54    1
9. Entertainment (i.e. live shows)   .48    .50    .50    1
10. Gaming                           .33    .39    .42    .48    1
11. Recreational services            .40    .38    .46    .49    .53

                                     11     M       SD

1. Light pleasure                           3.82    0.86
2. Intensive fun                            3.77    0.86
3. Satisfaction                             3.80    0.90
4. Photographing                            3.87    0.89
5. Exploring the interior area              3.92    0.88
6. Exploring the exterior area              3.93    0.89
7. Shopping                                 3.83    0.92
8. Dining                                   3.79    0.98
9. Entertainment (i.e. live shows)          3.75    1.05
10. Gaming                                  3.61    1.15
11. Recreational services            1      3.62    1.14

Table 5
Structural model: standardized regression weights.

                         Light      Intensive   Satisfaction
                         pleasure   fun

Hedonic activities
Photographing            0.22 ***   -0.07
Exploring the            0.17 *     0.01
  exterior area
Shopping                 0.06       0.04
Dining                   0.17 **    0.04
Entertainment            0.12 *     0.08
Gaming                   -0.12 *    0.16 **
Recreational services    0.13 *     0.10
Exploring the            0.12       0.08
  interior area
Positive emotions
Light pleasure                      0.54 ***    0.58 ***
Intensive fun                                   0.24 ***
[R.sup.2]                0.48       0.57        0.59

                         Mean   Std
                                deviation

Hedonic activities
Photographing            3.9    .92
Exploring the            4.0    .87
  exterior area
Shopping                 3.8    .90
Dining                   3.8    1.0
Entertainment            3.8    1.0
Gaming                   3.6    1.0
Recreational services    3.6    1.0
Exploring the            4.0    .87
  interior area
Positive emotions
Light pleasure           3.8    .80
Intensive fun            3.7    .88
[R.sup.2]

Note: * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001.
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Author:Io, Man-U
Publication:Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
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Date:Mar 1, 2016
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