MOTIVES OF VISITORS ATTENDING FESTIVAL EVENTS: THE CASE OF COMMEMORATING ERTUGRUL GHAZI AND SÖĞÜT FESTIVAL (BİLECİK-TURKEY)
Ayşe OKUYUCU – Taner KILIÇ
This paper investigates motives of festivals and events attendees. The study area, Söğüt, is a historical destination located in Marmara Region. Söğüt, the cradle of the Ottoman Empire, hosted the 736th Commemorating Ertugrul Ghazi and Sögüt” Festivities in 2017. Study data were collected through questionnaires applied to the festival visitors. The questionnaires were responded by 112 visitors on a voluntary basis after being selected with a convenience sampling technique during the festival, which lasted from 08 to 10 September 2017. Factor analysis was applied and revealed four main motivation sources attracting attendance in the festival. These include escape/desire for achievement, novelty/uniqueness seeking, historical and cultural exploration/learning, and institutional factors. Historical and cultural exploration/learning was found to be the most important factor to the visitors to the festivities ( =4,58). t-test and ANOVA test were used to find out differences in motives according to socio-demographic characteristics. The results showed statistically significant differences between variables such as gender, number of visits to the festivities, age and educational level and various motives. The “Commemorating Ertugrul Ghazi and Sögüt” Festivities is a festival that has been going on for centuries. Apparently, it will continue for long years to come due to its historical and cultural significance. Successful tourism development relies on transportation facilities as well as eating and drinking, and entertainment amenities. Therefore, it is important to increase the opportunities in said willow festival. In addition, the promotion of the festival should be increased.