International Tourism Satisfaction – Tourism Dissertations

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Chapter I

Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Tourism is frequently and justifiably described as a major phenomenon of modern times. Since 1950 the number of international tourist arrivals worldwide has increased spectacularly, from just 25 million to over 924 million in 2008. Representing an average annual growth of 7 % a year (Sharpley, R., 2004; and WTO – World Tourism Organisation, 2009). International tourism generated US$ 856 billion in 2007, representing 30% of the world’s exports of services for the related year. Under the influence of the recent global economic recession, tourism demand has significantly slowed down in the past few months. Notably in the second half of 2008 growth came to stagnation with the number of international arrivals declining slightly – a trend which is expected to continue in 2009 and probably beyond, if the economy does not show signal of reaction (WTO – World Tourism Organisation, 2009). Regardless of the current actual global recession, it is undeniable the importance of the tourism activity for the world economy, mutual understanding of nations, personal growth and development, just to mention a few benefits that tourism brings in. The hospitality industry, as a segment of the tourism industry, plays a major role in this economic activity (King, 1995). Being accommodation the biggest percentage in tourism expenditure, in average of 34% of the total expenditure per trip (Sharpley, R., 2004). The success of the hospitality industry, relies massively on the quality of the service delivered and customer satisfaction. The index of the measurement of both, quality service and customer satisfaction, will widely influence on occupancy rates, hence, on the profitability of the company (Holloway, JC, 1998; Solomon et al, 2006). Therefore, justifying the need for a reliable model of assessment of customer satisfaction and service quality that would better adapt to the hospitality field, which at present still have a lack of agreement.

1.2 Research Title

The measurement of service quality and customer satisfaction in the hospitality industry: a case study of the Plaza Crowne Hotel.

1.3 Research Background

For Cardozo (1965), cited by Williams and Uysal (2003), marketing researches in the consumer satisfaction field started in the early 60’s. The subject had a relevant increase in popularity by organisations and researchers only in the 80’s, when organisations, in an attempt to try to keep itselves in the marketplace, started paying substantial attention on customer’s expectations demands.

1.4 Research Aims

The aim of this project is to analyse customer satisfaction and service quality measurement, using the SERVQUAL model, within The Plaza Crowne Hotel – Kansas City (USA), based upon the hotel’s own data against the highlighted gaps within the model.

1.5 Research Objectives

In order to achieve the specified aim it will be necessary to: Conduct a review of service quality and customer satisfaction; Illustrate The Plaza Crowne Hotel’s current customer satisfaction and service quality measurement model to identify its positive and negative aspects;

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