Hospitality industry consumers' behaviour towards textile products on offer by rural women entrepreneurs in the Vredefort Dome
Makhanya, Bukisile Percise
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There are numerous challenges facing rural women in South Africa. These challenges include illiteracy and unemployment, which are some of the factors that subsequently lead to poverty. Women empowerment appears to be one of the tools that can help curb poverty amongst rural households. The Consumer Sciences Department of the North-West University empowered a group of women with basic sewing skills in the Vredefort Dome. It was anticipated that these skills would be used to produce textile products that could be sold to generate an income that could benefit these rural women and their families. Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the internal influences of consumer behaviour, namely perceptions and opinions of consumers (Owners of hospitality businesses) in the Vredefort Dome towards textile products offered by rural women entrepreneurs. Specific objectives The specific objectives of the study were, therefore, to: • Identify the current and potential consumers of textile products in the Vredefort Dome. • Assess the consumer needs of textile products around the Vredefort Dome. • Establish the consumer perceptions and opinions regarding textile products on offer by the local rural women entrepreneurs. • Provide recommendations for new products that the local rural women entrepreneurs can produce based on consumers' needs and suggestions. Methodology. An in-depth literature survey was conducted to bring to light the living conditions of women in South Africa and more especially rural women, the challenges they face and the empowerment measures implemented to alleviate poverty. The literature on consumer behaviour and how it affects consumer decision making was also discussed. The convenience sampling technique was used to obtain a sample of consumers that are in the hospitality industry and use textile products in and around the Vredefort Dome. A list of 49 consumers was obtained from the tourism office in Venterskroon was used. This study was conducted by employing a combined quantitative and qualitative research design, making use of questionnaires and semi-structured face-to-face interviews respectively as data collection methods. The questionnaires were faxed to all consumers who were willing to participate in this study. Only 17 returned the questionnaires and interviews were then conducted with only 10 available consumers. Results and conclusion. The findings of this study revealed that the hospitality industry consumers make use of a number of textile products that they purchase from different shops and some they make themselves. They replace these textile products ranging from after one month to after five years. After assessing the textile products offered by rural women entrepreneurs, a majority of the consumers expressed that the textile products were of good quality and reasonably priced. They also indicated that they would consider purchasing textile products from the rural women entrepreneurs on condition that the products adhere to their specifications, that is if they are of good quality, reasonably priced and are also delivered at the agreed time. The consumers further suggested textile products that the rural women entrepreneurs can sew for their establishments. It was concluded, therefore, that the rural women entrepreneurs have a market for their products as long as they adhere to the consumers requirements.
- Health Sciences