Drivers of guest loyalty in the hotel industry in New Zealand: The role of staff loyalty, service quality, guest satisfaction and commitment, and the influence of loyalty programmes
Elebiary, A. M. H. (2012). Drivers of guest loyalty in the hotel industry in New Zealand: The role of staff loyalty, service quality, guest satisfaction and commitment, and the influence of loyalty programmes (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6287
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6287
This study focused on investigating the drivers of guest loyalty in the hotel industry. Specifically, the study further explored the role of staff loyalty, service quality, guest satisfaction and commitment, and the influence of loyalty programmes. The research methodology used both qualitative and quantitative methods in a two-step process comprising focus groups and self-administered surveys. Data collected from the focus groups were analyzed using CATPAC. The survey was developed from the information collected from the focus groups and a review of the literature. Data collected from the survey were analyzed using both regression and structural equation modeling. A model of guest loyalty drivers (GLDM) was proposed and validated in the study. The study contributes to the present body of knowledge in hospitality management theory as it investigated the drivers of guest loyalty. Results from the survey showed that loyalty programmes have a significant impact on guest loyalty more than staff loyalty and staff interaction, but guest satisfaction and guest affective commitment had more significant impact on guest loyalty than loyalty programmes. This study suggests some implications for hotel managers to consider before introducing or developing a loyalty programme. For example, the research shows that there are some gender differences in relation to loyalty programmes. Male guests look for better service, special treatment and collecting points, while female guests look mainly for price incentives and experiencing a unique stay. These findings indicate that hotel managers need to consider the use of different loyalty schemes for different guests. The model proposed in the study (GLDM) provided a new insight for academics and practitioners. Although, it was evident from the study that staff loyalty, staff interaction (as a dimension of service quality), guest satisfaction and commitment, and loyalty programmes are directly linked to and are capable of predicting guest loyalty in the hotel industry as drivers for guest loyalty. The study also indicates that hotel managers should not overlook staff attitude in preference to loyalty programmes; in the sense that, hotels should focus on developing interpersonal relationships between staff and guests. This study demonstrates that hotels should allocate more resources to relational marketing at both the beginning and throughout the relational exchange. The new model is of considerable interest to both academics and practioners alike; as it gives a new dimension to the interelationship between service, staff, satisfaction and guest loyalty, and lends itself to further research which will help gain a greater understanding of this interrelationship.
University of Waikato
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