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How do international tourists perceive hotel quality an exploratory study of service quality in antalya tourism region

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A research that investigates tourists’ perceptions of services provided by hotels in Antalya, Turkey.

A research that investigates tourists’ perceptions of services provided by hotels in Antalya, Turkey.

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  • 1. How do international tourists perceive hotel quality? An exploratory study of service quality in Antalya tourism region Ibrahim Taylan Dortyol Department of Marketing, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey Inci Varinli Department of Business Management, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey Olgun Kitapci Department of Marketing, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey Abstract Purpose – The aim of this paper is to identify tourists’ perceptions of services provided by hotels in Antalya/Turkey and to explore hotel service quality dimensions. Specifically, the objectives are as follows: to identify the dimensions of hotel service quality, and to determine the relative impact of those dimensions on customer satisfaction levels, on customer value and on customers’ intentions to recommend or revisit a hotel. Design/methodology/approach – The present study uses the framework which originally appeared in Juwaheer’s study investigating international tourists’ perceptions of hotels in Mauritius. In this framework ten hotel service quality dimensions were defined by factor analysis and then the most important dimensions for each component were determined using stepwise regression analysis. Findings – Of the ten hotel service quality dimensions, “tangibles” and “food quality and reliability” influence the customer satisfaction level the most. Customer value is explained by five dimensions which generate 37.8 percent of the variance. “Hotel employees and problem solving”, “transportation”, “food quality and reliability”, “climate and hygiene”, “level of price”, “tangibles”, “interaction with Turkish culture” and “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” are the main dimensions which affect whether a guest will recommend a hotel. “Tangibles”, “interaction with Turkish culture”, and “level of price” are seen as the most influential dimensions in terms of customers’ intentions to revisit a hotel. Research limitations/implications – The basic limitation of the study is the unexplained variance, which is the result of the regression analysis. Therefore, future research should aim to determine the factors explaining that variance. Practical implications – In light of these findings, hotel managers in Antalya can better understand their guests’ priorities and consequently, they can arrange their service encounter process accordingly to fulfill these priorities. Originality/value – This study presents potentially valuable information for hotel managers in Antalya with regards to understanding customer value and satisfaction, which are the key elements in terms of guests revisiting a hotel and recommending it to others. As providing an opportunity for a comparative study of service quality searches, this study contributes to the field. Keywords Turkey, Service marketing, Experience marketing, International guest services, International hotel management, Service quality perceptions Paper type Research paper The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0959-6119.htm IJCHM 26,3 470 Received 9 November 2012 Revised 15 February 2013 27 June 2013 14 October 2013 Accepted 2 November 2013 International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 26 No. 3, 2014 pp. 470-495 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0959-6119 DOI 10.1108/IJCHM-11-2012-0211
  • 2. Introduction With its history, sea, cultural assets and high quality tourism facilities, Antalya is known as the capital of Turkish tourism. With Belek, Kemer, Side-Manavgat, Alanya, Lara-Kunda, and Kas¸ tourism centers, Antalya hosts more than 10 million foreign quests every year. Along with a cultural heritage deeply rooted in history, Antalya’s coves and highlands of unique beauty, pristine beaches, comfortable hotels and marinas, colorful entertainment venues, and art-filled festivals all make it a tourist destination that offers endless possibilities to its guests. These include the pleasure of sunbathing from sunrise to sunset; the natural thrill of outdoor sports in the grip of mother nature; the excitement of discovering national parks with their rich flora and fauna, ancient cities, museums and Kaleic¸i; the mystery of the mountains and the peaceful Mediterranean coves drawing you away; the romance of watching an opera outdoors under the stars at night; sampling the unique delicacies of Turkish cuisine and enjoying the party scene. Meeting the hospitable people of Antalya is just another part of the pleasant holiday experience (GoTurkey, 2013). Being an eye-catching destination (Sarı et al., 2011) and as well as being the most globally connected, densely populated and the main tourist destination in Turkey (Erkus¸-O¨ ztu¨rk, 2009) brings many responsibilities for city-managers in general. Specifically, as a tourism capital, hotels in Antalya need to provide services of the highest quality to their guests. Objectives of the study The present paper builds on the framework of Juwaheer’s study which was published in 2004 and which investigated the perceptions of international tourists from countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Juwaheer employed a modified SERVQUAL approach on 410 international tourists staying in different categories of beach hotel in Mauritius. Using principal component factor analysis, nine hotel factors named reliability factors, assurance factors, extra room benefits sought, staff communication skills and additional benefits, room attractiveness and de´cor, empathy, staff outlook and accuracy factors, food and service related factors, and hotel surroundings and environmental factors were identified out of 39 hotel attributes. The results of regression analysis revealed that the overall level of service quality and likeliness to return to the same hotel are primarily derived from the reliability factor, while room attractiveness and de´cor was the primary dimension affecting perceptions of hotel guests’ satisfaction and recommendation decisions. With this in mind, the main purpose of the present study is to identify customer perceptions of services provided by hotels in Antalya and to determine the hotel service quality dimensions. Specifically, the objectives can be listed as follows: . to identify the hotel service quality dimensions; and . to determine the relative impact of those dimensions on customer satisfaction levels, customer value and on recommending and revisiting intentions. The paper first presents a review of the literature on service quality in the tourism sector and then it presents the methodology used in the current study. The article ends with a review of the main findings, discussion, implications and limitations of the study. Service quality in Antalya 471
  • 3. Literature review Service quality The various attempts to relate the concept of quality to different situations have prevented the emergence of a common global definition. The concept of quality is described as “zero error – do right first time” in common Japanese philosophy (Parasuraman et al., 1985) and has been highlighted as the most important single pioneering power on the economic development process of international companies (Reeves and Bednar, 1994). Accordingly, quality is used to describe different phenomena (Vinagre and Neves, 2008). On the one hand, some authors describe the concept as usage convenience, while others define it as conformity to specifications (Kara et al., 2005). However, the definition of quality standardized by “American National Standards Institute” and “American Society for Quality” is as follows: “The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that impact its ability to satisfy given needs” (Ma et al., 2005, p. 1068). Therefore, service quality correlates with its own characteristics, and it is described as an attitude form which includes a global judgment related to the superiority of service (Jun et al., 2004; Stewart et al., 1998). According to the definition that relates service quality to behavioral intentions; it is an attitudinal structure which leads behavioral intentions (Fullerton, 2005). As an output of the service encounter process, service quality is stated as meeting the consumers’ expectations (Duffy et al., 1997). Among consumer satisfaction theories, some authors including Parasuraman and his colleagues identify service quality as the gap between service perceptions and consumer expectations (Vinagre and Neves, 2008). Accordingly, perceived service quality, termed “true quality” by Kordupleski (Redman and Mathews, 1998), is the discrepancy level which emerges as the result of the comparison made between normative expectations related to what should happen and perceptions related to what actually happened (Kelley and Turley, 2001; Sureshchandar et al., 2001). In other words, service quality focuses on meeting needs and requirements and the degree to which the service provided meets customer expectations (Lewis et al., 1994). Measuring service quality The basic characteristics of service, namely variability, inseparability and perishability have caused some difficulties for academics and practitioners with regards to measuring service quality (Espinoza, 1999). In particular, decisively determining the criteria which will be used for the service quality evaluation process is not very easy because of the complicated structures (Poolthong and Mandhachitara, 2009). In spite of those difficulties, true quality cannot be developed unless it is measured, thus emphasizing the importance of service quality measurement. Only service providers who know how consumers evaluate the service will also know how to lead these evaluations in the desired direction (Sureshchandar et al., 2001). In addition, basing user experiences related to a service and distinguishing service differentiation criteria on this ground is another important reason to realize the measurement process (Vinagre and Neves, 2008). However, service marketers understand the need to define the perceptions of service quality correctly when using it for a competitive advantage (Malhotra et al., 2005). IJCHM 26,3 472
  • 4. Satisfaction Customer satisfaction is seen as the most valuable property for businesses in saturated markets (Gundersen et al., 1996). Achieving profits by satisfying consumer demands and needs reflects the central position of the customer satisfaction marketing concept (Woodside et al., 1989). Companies based on high satisfaction levels receive high economic gains (Gilbert and Veloutsou, 2006). Moreover, the satisfied consumer is less sensitive to price, less affected by competitors’ counter attacks and compared with the unsatisfied consumer, stays loyal to company for longer (Nam et al., 2011). The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), a scale which measures the customer satisfaction level of companies, shows that a one-point increase in customer satisfaction causes a boost in market value of on average 1 million $ and 3 percent (Fornell, 2001). Being one of the most commonly studied components in marketing literature (Philips et al., 2011), there have been various attempts to define the concept of customer satisfaction (Yang and Peterson, 2004), but a generally agreed definition has not yet been determined (Tsiotsou, 2006). In light of previous studies, the following definition of customer satisfaction can be given: “As a construct, customer satisfaction has been noted as a special form of consumer attitude; it is a post-purchase phenomenon reflecting how much the consumer likes or dislikes the service after experiencing it” (Woodside et al., 1989, p. 6). In some instances, the terms quality and satisfaction are used as synonyms and are seen as similar concepts (Iacobucci et al., 1995). Nevertheless, there are significant differences between these two notions. While the concept of service quality develops over years and correlates with customer expectations, satisfaction is a short-term and transaction-based measurement of personal and emotional reaction to a service (Hernon et al., 1999). Cronin and Taylor (1992) provide a popular explanation of the difference, namely that perceived service quality is a form of attitude; a long-run overall evaluation, whereas satisfaction is a transaction-specific measure. In addition, whereas quality is a conceptual reaction, customer satisfaction consists of both conceptual and affective reactions (Ha and Jang, 2010). Investigating the casual order of the satisfaction-service quality relationship, Lee et al. (2000) suggested that service quality is an antecedent of customer satisfaction which in turn has a greater influence on purchase intention. Briggs et al. (2007) handled the discrepancy in question as part of the hotel sector and propounded that customer satisfaction is associated with the thoughts of the customers about their experiences and with the interaction between them and hotel components like employees. In that study, it was also emphasized that service quality is shaped by location and value perception. Service quality in the tourism sector Recently, the dominant position of the manufacturing sector has been overtaken due to the rise of the service sector. Accordingly, with its international identity, the tourism and accommodation industry stands among the biggest industries in the world (Ingram and Daskalakis, 1999). Tourism, which has become a supplementary component of lifestyle, is one of the primary players in the economic development of many countries (Poon and Low, 2005) and it is seen as an indispensable source for foreign currency inflow (Atılgan et al., 2003). This situation is reflected in the studies in the service quality field. Referring to previous studies within the scope of service quality, the tourism field has emerged as the fifth most studied subject (Akıncı et al., Service quality in Antalya 473
  • 5. 2009). Given that it possesses hedonic, aesthetic and emotional components which cannot be seen in other services like finance (Johns, 1999), tourism services are accepted as a unique product due to the tangible and intangible elements it owns as part of the tourism experience (Poon and Low, 2005). As customers of hotels take part in an experience, the hotel industry is specific. Accordingly, hotel managers and employees must be able to turn all the interactions with its guests into a positive experience (Juwaheer and Ross, 2003). Purchasing and consuming all sorts of services generating holiday experience locates tourism consumers in a different place from other economic activities. In this manner, tourism consumers make their quality and satisfaction judgments via holiday experiences related to all components of a complicated tourism system (Weiermair, 2000). The success of any company depends on understanding the basic points influencing consumers’ demands and meeting these demands in such a way that guests will be satisfied during their first visit (Juwaheer and Ross, 2003). As an output of the process in question, customer-focused tourism companies should determine their target audience’s needs and develop the service encounter process accordingly (Eraqi, 2006). This study focuses on the quality perceptions of international tourists, as it might be considered as a right attempt for hotel managers to determine the primitive service quality dimensions in the high-quality service delivery process. The concept of quality has numerous dimensions changing over time. Here, the question is which dimensions are the most important ones. Finding the true answer will lead hotel managers to take relevant steps. With this conscious, an in-depth review of service quality and satisfaction has been drawn and a content analysis has been made in the scope of the previous studies on service quality in the tourism sector (Table I). Methodology The survey questionnaire consists of two parts. The first part is to measure hotel guests’ perceptions of service quality in the hotel where they were staying. A five-point Likert-type rating scale, in which (1) indicates “strongly disagree” and (5) indicates “strongly agree” was used. The second part of the questionnaire pertains to the measurement of the demographic characteristics of respondents. The adopted instrument was in line with previous studies by Tribe and Snaith (1998), Khan (2003), Juwaheer (2004), Laroche et al. (2005), Akbaba (2006), Albacete-Saez et al. (2007), Li et al. (2007), Narayan et al. (2008) and Salazar et al. (2010). A pilot test was conducted with 25 instructors at Cumhuriyet University. The results enabled us to gain valuable information about the wording of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed in English, German and Russian. The target population of this study was departing English, German and Russian tourists (n ¼ 307) who had stayed in hotels, motels and holiday-villages. The data gathering process was realized during July, 2012 at ICF Airport, Antalya. Incomplete surveys and the failure to obtain full responses means that after conducting 500 face-to-face surveys, just 307 questionnaires were found to be usable. The precise size of the target population was difficult to be ascertained accurately. However, according to published data, the total number of incoming tourists in 2011, was 4,168,396 (Turkish National Statistics, 2011). Probability sampling was implemented due to time and budget restrictions. Therefore, the sample size was calculated to be 500 with a 5 percent sampling error. In the data analysis process, factor analysis and multiple IJCHM 26,3 474
  • 6. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors Lewisetal.(1994)1,279hotelguests66Frequency2–Locationandprice Atkinson(1988)200guestsAsix-point Likert-type 59MeanInorderofpriorities; hygiene;safety;goodvalue forthemoney;andfriendly, courteousandhelpful employees Knutson(1988)1,853visitorsFrequency5–Clean,comfortable, well-maintainedrooms; convenientlocation; promptandcourteous service;safeandsecure environment;andfriendly andcourteousemployees Wilenskyand Buttle(1988) 130hotelguestsAfive-point Likert-type 40Factoranalysis7–Opportunitiesfor relaxation;valuefor money;standardof personalservice;physical attractiveness;appealing image;standardofservices; andsuitabilityforbusiness guests Riversetal.(1991)426hotelguestsAfive-point Likert-type Mean3–Location;general servicesandroom readiness Ananthetal. (1992) 222visitorsAfive-point Likert-type 57Mean9–Goodvalueformoney; in-roomtemperature controlmechanism; convenientlocationof hotel;priceof accommodation; soundproofrooms;special discountsavailable;loud firealarms;freeparking services;andfirmnessof mattress (continued) Table I. The service quality studies in tourism and accommodation sector Service quality in Antalya 475
  • 7. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors Barsky(1992)100guestsMeanInorderofpriorities; employeeattitude;location; androoms McClearyetal. (1993) 433businessguestsAfive-point Likert-type 56Factoranalysis7–Basicproduct;business services;banquet/meeting facilities;frequenttraveler programs;advertising/ publicrelations;convenient location;andno-smoking rooms Websterand Hung(1994) 40employees,58guestsAfive-point Likert-type 108–tangibles;reliability; communication; responsiveness;security; courtesy;understanding; andaccess Akan(1995)228hotelguestsAfour-point Likert-type 30Factoranalysis7–Courtesyand competenceofthe personnel;communication andtransaction;tangibles; knowingand understandingthe customer;accuracyand speedofservice;solutions toproblems;andaccuracy ofhotelreservations LeBlancand Nguyen(1996) 409travelers0.47-0,91fordimensionsAseven- pointLikert- type 27Factoranalysis5–Contactpersonnel; physicalenvironment; qualityofservices; corporateidentity;and accessibility Ekincietal.(1998)115Englishvacationists0,87fortangibles,0,92for Intangibles Aseven- pointLikert- type 18Confirmativefactor analysis 2–tangiblesand intangibles (continued) Table I. IJCHM 26,3 476
  • 8. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors TribeandSnaith (1998)(HOLSAT) 102hotelguestsAfive-point Likert-type 566–Thephysicalresortand facilities;ambiance; restaurants,bars,shops andnightlife;transfers; heritageandculture; accommodation Meietal.(1999) (HOLSERV) 155predominantly businesstravelers 0,88-0,93fordimension; 0,97fortotalscale 27Factoranalysis3–Employees;tangibles; andreliability HeungandCheng (2000) 220tourists0,78-0,88fordimensionsAseven- pointLikert- type 15Factoranalysis4–tangiblesquality;staff servicequality;product value;andproduct reliability Kozak(2001)1,872BritishandGerman tourists 0,56-0,87fordimensionsAseven- pointLikert- type 55Factoranalysis8–Accommodation services;localtransport services;hygiene, sanitationandcleanliness; hospitalityandcustomer care;facilitiesand activities;levelofprices; languagecommunication; anddestinationairport services ChoiandChu (2001) 420internationaltourists0,71-0,93fordimensions; 0,94fortotalscale Aseven- pointLikert- type 29Exploratoryfactoranalysis7–Staffservicequality; roomquality;general amenities;business services;value;security; andIDD(international directdial)facilities (continued) Table I. Service quality in Antalya 477
  • 9. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors Yu¨kseland Yu¨ksel(2001) 340tourists0,53-0,90fordimensions; 0,95fortotalscale Aseven- pointLikert- type 58Factoranalysis16–Foodquality;service quality;hygieneand accommodation; hospitality;tourist facilities;beachand environment;priceand value;entertainment; quietness;convenience; communication;security; watersports; transportation;airport services;andweather Ekincietal.(2003)120Britishtravelers0,88fortangibles,0,95for intangibles;0,96fortotal scale Aseven- pointLikert- type 16Exploratoryfactoranalysis2–tangiblesand intangibles GettyandGetty (2003)(LQI) 222travelersforthefirst dataset,229travelersfor theseconddataset 265–Tangibility;reliability; responsiveness;confidence; andcommunication Khan(2003) (ECOSERV) 324EcotourismSociety members 0,86-0,98fordimensions; 0,97fortotalscale Aseven- pointLikert- type 30Factoranalysis6–Ecotangibles; assurance;reliability; responsiveness;empathy; andtangibles Millanand Esteban(2004) 368students0,71-0,89fordimensions; 0,95fortotalscale Afive-point Likert-type 31Confirmativefactor analysis 6–Serviceencounters; empathy;reliability; serviceenvironment; efficiencyofadvice; additionalattributes (continued) Table I. IJCHM 26,3 478
  • 10. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors Juwaheer(2004)410internationaltourists0,60-0,75fordimensionsAseven- pointLikert- type 39Factoranalysis9–Reliability;assurance; extraroombenefitssought; staffcommunicationand additionalamenities sought;room attractivenessandde´cor; empathy;staffoutlookand accuracy;foodandservice; hotelsurroundingsand environment Nadiriand Hussain(2005) 285Europeanguests0,95fortangibles,0,81for intangibles;0,96fortotal scale Afive-point Likert-type 22Exploratoryfactoranalysis2–tangiblesand intangibles PoonandLow (2005) 200AsiantouristsAfive-point Likert-type 48Factoranalysis12–Hospitality; accommodation;foodand beverages;recreationand entertainment; supplementaryservices, securityandsafety; innovationandvalue- addedservices; transportation;location; appearance;pricing;and payment Akbaba(2006)234Businesstravelers0,70-0,85fordimensions; 0,93fortotalscale Afive-point Likert-type 29Factoranalysis5–tangibles;adequacyin servicesupply; understandingandcaring; assurance;andconvenience Albacete-Saez etal.(2007) 172tourists0,71-0,91fordimensions; 0,93fortotalscale Aseven- pointLikert- type 36Exploratoryfactoranalysis andconfirmativefactor analysis 7–Personnelresponse; complementoffer;tourist relations;basicdemands; tangibleelements;security; andempathy (continued) Table I. Service quality in Antalya 479
  • 11. AuthorsSamplesizeReliabilityScale No.of proposalsAnalysistechniqueDimensionsorfactors Wilkinsetal. (2007) 664hotelguests0,72-0,90fordimensions63Exploratoryfactoranalysis andconfirmativefactor analysis 3primary;6secondary– Physicalproduct(stylish effort;roomquality;and addedextras);service experience(qualitystaff; personalization;and speedyservice);andquality foodandbeverage Narayanetal. (2008) 323tourists0,67-0,90fordimensionsAseven- pointLikert- type 67Exploratoryfactoranalysis andconfirmativefactor analysis 14–Core-tourism experience;culture; informationcenters; personalinformation; hospitality;fairnessof price;hygiene;distractions; amenities;pubs;valuefor money;logistics;food;and security Mohsinand Lockyer(2010) 271participantsBetween0,993and1forall questions Aseven- pointLikert- type 23Exploratoryfactoranalysis5–Hotelambianceand staffcourtesy;foodand beverageproductand servicequality;staff presentationand knowledge;reservation services;andoverallvalue formoney Ramanathanand Ramanathan (2011) 664hotelguests–––Statisticalregression“Valueformoney”asa criticalattribute,while “customerservice”,“room quality”and“qualityof food”aredissatisfiers Table I. IJCHM 26,3 480
  • 12. regressions were used. Accordingly, 50 service quality variables were factor analyzed to reduce those variables into a smaller set of dimensions. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was conducted and only factors with an Eigenvalue equal to or greater than one were considered significant. Finally, regression analysis was applied to find out the hotel service quality dimensions which contribute to the customer satisfaction level and revisiting and recommending intentions. Accordingly, multiple regression analysis with a stepwise method was used. Findings Demographic profile of respondents Table II shows the demographics of the respondents. The sample included more women (57.0 percent), tourists aged between 35 and 44 (28.7 percent), white-collar workers (36.4 percent) and German tourists (61.2 percent). The majority of tourists had graduated from at least high school (86.3 percent). They stayed at 4 þ star hotels (91.6 percent) and their trips were for pleasure rather than for business (90.4 percent). Hotel service quality dimensions The results of descriptive statistics and Cronbach’s alpha are illustrated in Table III. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for the reliability of each factor. Cronbach’s alphas of individual factors were 90.5 for “friendly, courteous and helpful employees”, 85.1 for “Room amenities”, 87.9 for “food quality and reliability”, 86.1 for “Interaction with Turkish culture”, 78.2 for “Entertainment opportunities”, 75.5 for “tangibles”, 86.3 for “Level of prices”, 67.4 for “transportation” and 41.8 for “Climate and hygiene”. The mean values, standard deviations, number of items and reliability analysis are summarized in Table III. From the varimax-rotated factor matrix, ten factors representing 63.6 percent of the explained variance were extracted from 50 variables. Reliability analysis was the internal consistency of each factor. These ten dimensions, represented in Table IV, were identified as follows: Dimension 1 – friendly, courteous and helpful employees. This dimension, accounting for 30.3 percent of the variation in the data, consists of statements about courteous, friendly, knowledgeable and available service when the guests needed hotel employees. In addition, according to this dimension the hotel staff should know their duties. They should perform their duties well and not make mistakes. They should be able to solve complaints. In addition, they should appear neat and tidy and pay individualized attention to their guests to make them feel special. Furthermore, aspects such as flexibility, the hotel’s ability to solve guests’ problems, giving information about the facilities and compensating for any inconvenience that guests suffer also played their part in this dimension. Dimension 2 – room amenities. In this dimension which explains 6.5 percent of the variance, the room should be quiet and it should have a good view, fine furnishings and it should be very comfortable. In addition, room facilities should function properly and materials associated with the service should be adequate. Dimension 3 – food quality and reliability. This dimension, explaining 4.5 percent of the variance, includes statements related to hotel meals and reliability. According to this dimension, hotel meals should be high quality, hygienic and there should be a wide variety. Reliability means that all areas in the hotel should be well indicated with signs, Service quality in Antalya 481
  • 13. Frequency % Gender Female 172 57,0 Male 130 43,0 Total 302 100 Age 18-24 72 23,8 25-34 59 19,5 35-44 87 28,7 45-54 51 16,8 Above 55 34 11,2 Total 303 100 Education No school education 2 0,7 Elementary School 12 3,9 Junior High School 42 13,7 High School 96 31,3 Bachelor’s degree 72 23,5 Master’s degree 45 14,7 Doctorate degree 15 4,4 Total 284 100 Type of accommodation Motel 12 4,2 Holiday village 12 4,2 4 stars hotel 82 28,4 5 stars hotel 153 52,9 þ5 stars hotel 30 10,4 Total 289 100 Was it your first visit? Yes 129 43,4 No 168 56,6 Total 297 100 Job Executive/manager 54 18,2 Self-employed 35 11,8 White-collar 108 36,4 Blue-collar 16 5,4 Retired 11 3,7 Housewife 6 2,0 Student 37 12,5 Others 30 10,1 Total 297 100 Marital status Single 124 42,8 Married 136 46,9 Divorced/widowed 30 10,3 Total 290 100 (continued) Table II. Demographics of respondents IJCHM 26,3 482
  • 14. and the hotel should reflect a quality service image; it should provide the services as they are promised and it should perform the services right first time. Dimension 4 – interaction with Turkish culture. Explaining 4.2 percent of the variance, this dimension is about being able to meet and talk to Turkish people, to find out about everyday life in Turkey, to learn more about Turkish history, to visit museums and archaeological sites and to visit nearby Turkish towns and countryside. Dimension 5 – entertainment opportunities. This dimension, which explained 4.1 percent of the variation, consists of statements related to the variety of restaurants, bars, shops and nightlife and being a fashionable. Dimension 6 – tangibles. In this dimension, the visual quality of resort buildings, green spaces, the capacity of the hotel service unit and the crowdedness of the beach are taken into consideration and 3.5 percent of the variance is explained. Dimension 7 – level of prices. Explaining 3.0 percent of the variance, this dimension includes statements related to the cheapness of services in restaurants, bars and nightlife. Dimension 8 – transportation. Explaining 2.8 percent of the variance, the statements in this dimension are associated with the airport’s modernity, quality of in-flight service and access to the hotel’s loading/unloading areas, car parking areas, etc. Dimension 9 – climate and hygiene. The ninth dimension includes statements from two different sub-dimensions. Explaining 2.3 percent of the variance explained, this dimension therefore consists of statements which focus on the cleanliness of the resort and fine weather. Dimension 10 – security. This dimension explains 2.1 percent of the variance and includes just one statement that explains the safety and security of the resort. As the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) rate is 0.908, the data gathered from sample are considered to be appropriate for factor analysis (Table IV). Relative importance of hotel service quality dimensions on customer satisfaction, customer value, recommending intentions and revisiting intentions In Tables V-VIII the hotel service quality dimensions affecting customer satisfaction, customer value, recommending intentions and revisiting intentions are shown. Stepwise regression analysis was carried out using customer satisfaction, customer Frequency % Nationality German 188 61,2 Russian 71 23,1 English 48 15,6 Total 307 100 Purpose of visit Business 22 7,5 Fun/holiday 264 90,4 Health 5 1,7 For sport 1 0,3 Total 292 100 Table II. Service quality in Antalya 483
  • 15. Dimensions and variables a m s Friendly, courteous and helpful employees 0,905 4,26 0,881 Q19. The hotel staff would be friendly 4,46 0,852 Q20. The hotel staff would know their job, do it well and not make mistakes 4,32 0,815 Q18. The hotel staff would be courteous 4,49 0,842 Q22. The hotel staff would be always available when needed 4,40 0,804 Q24. The hotel staff would give guests individualized attention that makes them feel special 4,07 0,950 Q23. The hotel staff would appear neat and tidy 4,39 0,807 Q21. The hotel staff would be responsive to solve the complaints 4,19 0,979 Q25. The hotel staff would have knowledge to answer questions 4,24 0,876 Q40. The hotel would provide flexibility in service that would be adequate and sufficient 4,07 0,895 Q41. Getting information about the facilities and services of the hotel would be easy 4,19 0,864 Q42. The hotel would resolve guest complaints and would compensate for the inconvenience guests suffer 4,09 1,014 Room amenities 0,851 4,13 0,986 Q30. The room would have a high comfort 4,06 0,983 Q28. The room would have quality furnishings 4,08 0,965 Q29. The size of the room would be enough 4,16 0,953 Q27. The room would have a good view 4,03 1,003 Q32. Materials associated with the service would be adequate and sufficient 4,22 0,995 Q31. Facilities in room would function properly 4,33 0,926 Q26. The room would be quiet 4,06 1,080 Food quality and reliability 0,879 4,32 0,909 Q34. Hotel meals would be a high variety 4,30 0,963 Q33. Hotel meals would be a high quality 4,35 0,928 Q35 Hotel meals would be hygienic 4,54 0,809 Q36. All areas in the hotel would be well indicated with signs 4,19 0,941 Q38. The hotel would provide the services as they were promised 4,37 0,936 Q39. The hotel would perform the services right the first time 4,23 0,904 Q37. The hotel would project a quality service image 4,26 0,883 Interaction with Turkish culture 0,861 3,79 1,042 Q50. I would be able to visit museums and archaeological sights 3,84 1,078 Q49. I would be able to learn more about Turkish history 3,78 1,040 Q51. I would be able to visit nearby Turkish towns and countryside 3,77 1,083 Q48. I would be able to find out about everyday life in Turkey 3,77 1,039 Q47. I would be able to mix and talk with Turkish people 3,82 0,970 Entertainment opportunities 0,782 3,83 0,956 Q11. The resort would have a variety of bars 4,05 0,912 Q10. The resort would have a variety of restaurants 4,12 0,899 Q13. The resort would have a variety of nightlife 3,42 1,073 Q12. The resort would have a variety of shops 3,97 0,932 Q14. The resort would be fashionable 3,62 0,964 Tangibles 0,755 4,31 0,881 Q7. The hotel would ensure regular maintenance of hotel lawn and green space 4,26 0,902 Q6. The resort buildings and layout would be visually pleasing 4,21 0,857 Q8. The service units of the hotel have adequate capacity 4,46 0,840 Q9. The beach would be uncrowned 4,22 0,964 Q1. The beach and sea would be clean 4,42 0,842 (continued) Table III. Descriptive statistics of variables IJCHM 26,3 484
  • 16. value, recommending intentions and revisiting intentions as the dependent variables and hotel service quality dimensions as independent variables. From Tables V-VIII, it is understood that “tangibles” ðb ¼ 0:243Þ and “food quality and reliability” ðb ¼ 0:190Þ dimensions are the main influential factors of customer satisfaction and these dimensions explain 14.2 percent of the variance in the customers satisfaction level. It means that 85.8 percent of the variance can be explained by other factors. Furthermore, the tangibles dimension is the most influential dimension on customer satisfaction as it explains 11.6 percent of the variance. The F-statistic for the regression model was 17.228 with a p-value of 0.000. The customer value is explained by five dimensions generating 37.8 percent of the variance which are “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” ðb ¼ 0:132Þ; transportation ðb ¼ 0:259Þ; “food quality and reliability” ðb ¼ 0:215Þ; “Climate and hygiene” ðb ¼ 0:151Þ; and “Level of prices” ðb ¼ 0:101Þ: However, it should be noted that 62.2 percent of the variance can be explained by other factors. Indeed, the “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” dimension is the most influential dimension on customer value as it explains 25.3 percent of the variance. The F-statistic for the regression model was 36.567 with a p-value equal to 0.000. “tangibles” ðb ¼ 0:158Þ; “Interaction with Turkish culture” ðb ¼ 0:141Þ and “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” ðb ¼ 0:152Þ are the main dimensions that influence customers to recommend the hotel and 12.6 percent of variance is explained by these dimensions. The F-statistic for the regression model was 14.550 with a p-value equal to 0.000. Finally, “tangibles” ðb ¼ 0:225Þ; “Interaction with Turkish culture” ðb ¼ 0:133Þ and “Level of price” ðb ¼ 0; 121Þ are considered to be the most influential dimensions on customers’ revisiting intentions. 12.7 percent of the variance is explained by these dimensions and in order to explain all the variance, some other factors should be taken into account. The F-statistic for the regression model was 14.633 with a p-value equal to 0.000. Dimensions and variables a m s Level of prices 0,863 3,57 0,979 Q16. Bars would be cheap 3,57 1,006 Q15. Restaurants would be cheap 3,66 0,968 Q17. Nightlife would be cheap 3,48 0,964 Transportation 0,674 4,15 0,926 Q45. The arrival airport would be modern and efficient 4,20 0,907 Q46. In flight service would be of a high quality 3,97 1,004 Q43. It would be easy access to the hotel 4,29 0,868 Climate and hygiene 0,418 4,53 0,752 Q5. The climate would be mainly sunny 4,66 0,664 Q3. The resort would be clean 4,41 0,841 Security – 4,61 0,712 Q4 The resort would be safe and secure 4,61 0,712 Note: Standard Deviation: s; Cronbach’s alpha: a; Mean: m Table III. Service quality in Antalya 485
  • 17. Dimensions D1D2D3D4D5D6D7D8D9D10 Q19.0,791 Q20.0,752 Q18.0,715 Q22.0,644 Q24.0,591 Q23.0,586 Q21.0,585 Q25.0,501 Q40.0,487 Q41.0,478 Q42.0,457 Q30.0,821 Q28.0,731 Q29.0,700 Q27.0,538 Q32.0,511 Q31.0,495 Q26.0,405 Q34.0,798 Q33.0,762 Q35.0,708 Q36.0,542 Q38.0,535 Q39.0,486 Q37.0,471 Q50.0,843 Q49.0,814 Q51.0,805 Q48.0,757 (continued) Table IV. Factor loadings for hotel service quality dimensions IJCHM 26,3 486
  • 18. Dimensions D1D2D3D4D5D6D7D8D9D10 Q47.0,500 Q11.0,822 Q10.0,709 Q13.0,664 Q12.0,555 Q14.0,449 Q7.0,692 Q6.0,630 Q8.0,574 Q9.0,561 Q1.0,438 Q16.0,837 Q15.0,836 Q17.0,816 Q45.0,789 Q46.0,716 Q43.0,395 Q5.0,772 Q3.0,427 Q4.0,465 Eigenvalue14,8573,2022,2192,0762,0081,7311,5011,3951,1311,046 Percentageofvarianceexplained30,3216,5354,5284,2374,0983,5323,0632,8472,3072,134 Totalvarianceexplained63,602 Notes:Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin(KMO):0,908.D1=friendly,courteousandhelpfulemployees;D2=roomamenities;D3=foodqualityandreliability; D4=interactionwithTurkishculture;D5=entertainmentopportunities;D6=tangibles;D7=levelofprices;D8=transportation;D9=climateandhygiene; D10=security. Table IV. Service quality in Antalya 487
  • 19. Discussion The results of this study back up the importance of service quality perceptions in the context of particular dimensions as it shows such dimensions are related with customer satisfaction, customer value and behavioral intentions. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the study offers potentially valuable contributions to the hotel industry in Antalya as it provides some insights for hotel managers. Developing a framework R 2 Sig. Dimensions B b T Sig T Hotel guests 0,378 0,000 Friendly, courteous and helpful employees 0,189 0,132 1,851 0,065 Transportation 0,325 0,259 4,964 0,000 Food quality & reliability 0,281 0,215 3,176 0,002 Climate & hygiene 0,227 0,151 3,044 0,003 Level of prices 0,105 0,101 2,028 0,043 Notes: n=307. Total explained variance (R 2 )=0,378; dependent variable: customer value. Value items: The holiday would be good value for money Table VI. Hotel service quality dimensions affecting customer value R 2 Sig. Dimensions B b T Sig T Hotel guests 0,142 0,000 Tangibles 0,345 0,243 3,936 0,000 Food quality & reliability 0,243 0,190 3,064 0,002 Notes: n=307. Total explained variance (R 2 )=0,142; dependent variable: satisfaction. Satisfaction Items: My general vacation satisfaction level of high, my satisfaction level related with the resort is high Table V. Hotel service quality dimensions affecting customer satisfaction level R 2 Sig Dimensions B b T Sig T Hotel guests 0,127 0,000 Tangibles 0,391 0,225 3,854 0,000 Interaction with Turkish culture 0,174 0,133 2,279 0,023 Level of prices 0,152 0,121 2,145 0,033 Notes: n=307. Total explained variance (R 2 )=0,127; dependent variable: revisit intentions. Revisit intention items: I would like to revisit Antalya, I would like to stay again at the resort which I have stayed last Table VIII. Hotel service quality dimensions affecting revisit intentions R 2 Sig. Dimensions B b T Sig T Hotel guests 0,126 0,000 Tangibles 0,248 0,158 2,355 0,019 Interaction with Turkish culture 0,166 0,141 2,404 0,017 Friendly, courteous and helpful employees 0,237 0,152 2,277 0,023 Notes: n=307. Total explained variance (R 2 )=0,126; dependent variable: recommend intentions. Recommendation Items: I would recommend my friends and relatives to visit Antalya, I would recommend my friends and relatives to stay at the resort which I have stayed last Table VII. Hotel service quality dimensions affecting recommend intentions IJCHM 26,3 488
  • 20. for conceptualizing the effects of service quality dimensions on customer satisfaction and other behavioral intentions can be considered as the main theoretical implication of this study. The present study presents ten hotel service quality dimensions from a list compiled of 50 items. These dimensions can be listed as: (1) friendly, courteous and helpful employees; (2) room amenities; (3) food quality and reliability; (4) interaction with Turkish culture; (5) entertainment opportunities; (6) tangibles; (7) level of prices; (8) transportation; (9) climate and hygiene; and (10) security. In the second stage of the analysis, these dimensions were analyzed using a stepwise regression analysis technique to find out the dimensions which are used by tourists in Antalya. The aim here was to evaluate satisfaction and value levels of tourists and to explore the dimensions that have the main influences on their revisiting and recommending intentions. Accordingly, although there is a large unexplained variance, the “tangibles” and “food quality and reliability” dimensions are the main dimensions that should be considered by hotel managers in order to satisfy their guests’ needs. In these dimensions, the featured points are providing a pleasing visual appearance of resort buildings and their layout, ensuring regular maintenance of green spaces, having adequate capacity of dining rooms, meeting rooms, swimming pools, quietness of the beaches, meals that are high quality, rich in variety and hygienic, indicating all areas in the hotel with signs, representing a quality service image, providing the services as promised and performing the services right first time. By doing so, the physical environment may become more attractive. From the results, it is observed that five dimensions namely, “friendly, courteous and helpful employees”, “transportation”, “food quality and reliability”, “climate and hygiene” and “level of prices” are the dimensions that explain customer value perceptions as these dimensions generate 37.8 percent of the variance. As the “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” dimension is the best predictor of customer value perceptions, hotel managers should pay more attention to hotel staff in order to ensure that they are courteous, friendly, neat and tidy. They should know what to do, and they should do it well. They shouldn’t make mistakes. The hotel employee are the ones who are responsible for dealing with complaints; they should be available whenever needed, show individualized attention to guests and have enough knowledge to answer their questions. In recruitment process, the candidates possessing these attributes should be found and hired. Since hotel employees have first-hand knowledge about the characteristics of customers, Olorunniwo et al., 2006 state that the employees should be encouraged and rewarded in service quality design and implementation process. What is more, hotel managers should focus on the problem-solving process by providing flexible services, giving information to guests easily, resolving guests’ complaints and Service quality in Antalya 489
  • 21. compensating for any inconveniences that guests suffer. Regarding the other four dimensions, easy access to the hotel, a modern and efficient airport, high quality in-flight service, a clean resort, fine weather; and low-priced bars, restaurants and nightlife are the other matters to focus on. The statements of the “food quality and reliability” dimension are expressed in the previous paragraph, so they will not be mentioned again here. The “tangibles” and “interaction with Turkish culture” dimensions emerge as the two main influences on both recommending and revisiting intentions. Besides the statements related to the tangibles dimension presented above, hotel guests who are able to meet and talk to Turkish people, who are able to find out about everyday life in Turkey, who are able to learn more about Turkish history, who are able to visit museums and archeological sites and who can visit nearby Turkish towns and countryside are more likely to recommend and revisit the hotel where they stayed. The other dimensions influencing recommending and revisiting intentions are “friendly, courteous and helpful employees” and “level of prices”. The statements related to these last dimensions are not going to be pointed out again as they have been described above. The result of the study is on the other side of the discussion, compared with Alexandris et al. (2002) reported that tangible dimension is not among the most important predictor of WOM communications. Accordingly, the tangible dimension still stands as an antecedent of recommending and revisiting intention. Implications and limitations The increasing interest in addressing the service quality concept from the consumer’s point-of-view is accepted as one of the most important developments in the tourism industry (Nadiri and Hussain, 2005). Explicitly describing and understanding the hotel attributes in light of customer needs allows hotel management to recognize and fulfill customer wants and needs in advance instead of subsequently reacting to customer dissatisfaction (Choi and Chu, 2001). Moreover, giving a satisfactory experience to the customers, hotel managers should understand how the customers assess the service quality (Olorunniwo et al., 2006) that is too subjective to evaluate based on specific characteristics of service (Alexandris et al., 2002). Thus, this study is believed to provide useful information about these facts for hotel managers in Antalya. Besides its practical implications, the study has some theoretical values while it is providing insights for a comparative study of service quality perceptions. With the findings of the study, it is understood that international tourists evaluate their satisfaction and value perceptions and intend to revisit and recommend in accordance with the different hotel service quality dimensions. In light of these findings, hotel managers in Antalya can understand their guests’ priorities and can arrange their service or encounter process to fulfill these priorities. Recognizing the priorities will lead the hotels to reposition their quality propositions in order to exceed the expectations of their guests and shape their hotel experience. By doing so, hotels may offer their own service quality pledges. In addition to these implications, this study is also helpful for hotels in Antalya in terms of allocating their resources more effectively. The need to identify the key dimensions in gaining customer value, customer satisfaction and in leading the guests to revisit and recommend makes these findings more interesting and valuable. The importance of findings for managerial decision-making processes is evident. Hotel managers seeking to improve their IJCHM 26,3 490
  • 22. customers’ loyalty levels and making efforts to increase retention rates may benefit from information about the effect of dimensions of service quality on customer satisfaction and of the latter on behavioral loyalty. Presenting information for hotel management in Antalya with regards to gaining customer value and customer satisfaction and in leading the guests to revisit and recommend may be accepted as a reply to the question of how the study contributes to the literature. In this manner, the study may be used in international industry-specific and comparative research. Hotel managers that aim to offer high quality service should pay special attention to having staff that are able to solve problems and who are fully-qualified. It is essential for the staff to have the emotional and esthetic skills as they are always in touch with customers from different cultures and countries (Crick and Spencer, 2011). It would also be interesting to expand the model to include the economic consequences for companies and organizations of the relationships described in this paper. The Turkish hospitality industry, among others, will have much to benefit from studying such an extended model. The basic limitation of the study is perhaps the unexplained variance as the result of the regression analysis. To settle this matter, future research should aim to determine the points which explain that variance. With regards to other attempts to make the findings more valuable, examining the research in different sectors, in different cultures, in different service areas of hospitality could be advisable. It should be also mentioned that generalization of the findings to the entire tourism and hotel field is not possible due to the sampling procedure. Since it is a convenience sample, the applicability of this work to all hotels in the region and service quality field is quite suspicious. The other limitation of this study comes from the fact that the field research was conducted on tourists who visited Antalya. Owing to the research sample limitations, it would be useful to analyze data from a greater geographical sample that would include other tourist locations and compare the differences. References Akan, P. (1995), “Dimensions of service quality: a study in Istanbul”, Managing Service Quality, Vol. 5 No. 6, pp. 39-43. Akbaba, A. (2006), “Measuring service quality in the hotel industry: a study in a business hotel in Turkey”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 25, pp. 170-192. Akıncı, S., Atılgan I˙nan, E., Aksoy, S¸. and Bu¨yu¨kku¨pcu¨, A. (2009), “Pazarlama literatu¨ru¨nde hizmet kalitesi kavramının du¨nu¨ ve bugu¨nu¨”, H.U¨ . I˙ktisadi ve I˙dari Bilimler Faku¨ ltesi Dergisi, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 61-82. Albacete-Saez, C.A., Fuentes-Fuentes, M.M. and Llorens-Montes, F.J. (2007), “Service quality measurement in rural accommodation”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 45-65. Alexandris, K., Dimitriadis, N. and Markata, D. (2002), “Can perceptions of service quality predict behavioral intentions? An exploratory study in the hotel sector in Greece”, Managing Service Quality, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 224-231. Ananth, M., DeMicco, F.J., Moreo, P.J. and Howey, R.M. (1992), “Marketplace lodging needs of mature travelers”, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 12-24. Atılgan, E., Akıncı, S. and Aksoy, S¸. (2003), “Mapping service quality in the tourism industry”, Managing Service Quality, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 412-422. Service quality in Antalya 491
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