To Explore The Key Determinants Of Consumer Satisfaction For Chinese Customers In Hotel Services

Abstract

It is important to have those customers which are satisfied from the offered services. The customer satisfaction in hospitality industry is quite crucial. This research is about exploring the determinants of satisfaction of Chinese travellers who visit the U.K. hotels. Basically, the main aim of the research is to explore the key determinants of consumer satisfaction for Chinese customers in hotel services. Firstly, this research finds the relevant theories and framework on consumer experience in hotel industries. Secondly, this research identifies the key determinants of Chinese consumer satisfactions on hotels through literature sources. Thirdly, this research reviews the services and service quality provided by the UK hotels with regard to tourists visiting the UK and it also identified identify the role of online reviews in developing the image of the hotel services through previous studies. After reviewing the previous studies, this research conducts a survey on Chinese tourists to identify the main factors which influence the customer satisfaction in the selected hotels in UK. At the end, it conducts a survey on Chinese tourists to find out the role of online reviews in developing the image of U.K. hotel services. This research uses the quantitative research methods where a survey is conducted on Chinese tourists who visit U.K. hotels. The sample size of 50 Chinese tourists is selected. The descriptive analysis technique is used.  From the research, it could be concluded that overall U.K. hotels are quite successful in providing the satisfactory level services to Chinese tourists. Moreover, it is also concluded that online reviews, website and social media pages of U.K. hotels are important for developing the image of U.K. hotels. At the end, future research recommendations are provided.

1.Chapter One - Introduction

1.1.Introduction

The current research is conducted to unveil the determinants of customer satisfaction that is lined with the hotel services for the Chinese consumers who tend to travel in the UK. This section is designed as a road map for the whole study. In this chapter background of the study, aims and objectives, queries about the research, the scope of the study and problem statement of the study would be discussed. All this has been given in this chapter so to provide the reader the clear insight of what this study is all about.   

There exists a lot of literature on the determinants of customer satisfaction in the hotel services. Customer satisfaction was first identified by Cardozo in 1965 as customer expectations, effort and satisfaction. According to Kotler (2000, p.36), the satisfaction of the customer is pleasure feeling or feeling of disappointment which results because of comparisons made between expectation and performance of the product or the service. A very widely accepted conceptualisation of the concept of customer satisfaction as explained by many authors is the expectancy disconfirmation theory concept (Barsky, 1992). The disconfirmation theory concept was introduced by Oliver (1980). According to Oliver (1980) satisfaction in customer takes place to the difference in the expected and perceived performance. Disconfirmation is positive when the performance of the product or the service exceeds expectations (McQuitty, Finn and Wiley, 2000). While negative disconfirmation (dissatisfaction) takes place when the product or the service does not meet the expected level of performance or when the performance is worse. There are many studies in past that have identified the direct as well as an indirect impact on the business performance (Anderson, Fornell& Lehmann, 1994; Yeung, Gingg&Ennew, 2002; Luo& Homburg, 2007). This shows that importance of customer satisfaction for any business (including hotels) is high, therefore, the present research focuses on the customer satisfaction pf UK hotels.

Definition of service and the quality of service is given by Parasuraman et al., (1985), Stewart et al., (1998) and Munusamy et al. (2010) in their studies in past on many occasions. The Definitions given by the researchers are different from one another, this is for the reason that the researchers are all scholars and they have the different lens to look at things. Li (2012) says that the consumers are always included in the production process when it comes to service quality, the service quality can be sedated through identifying the gap between the perceived service and the expectations of the customers. Later on, after the definition of the service quality there has been number of models which were developed so to measure the service quality, and one of the significant models is SERVQUAL which was developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1988). This model was restructured in the year 1991. This model stated that the perceived quality of the service can be measured by examining the gaps between the perceived actual performance and the expectations of the customers (Yilmaz 2009).  The hotel industry is a specific type of business and it is not easy to measure and maintain the quality. Therefore, this research focuses on the service quality of the hotel industry.

The literature in regard of examining the customer satisfaction regarding hotel services is particularly less in number. The Chinese travelers in the UK is one of the most evolving groups in the tourism market. While on the other hand their first preference to travel is the Chinese travel agents, hence the study conducted in this regard to examine the customer satisfaction factors of those travel agents would help them emanate new and exciting offers for the travelerstowards the hotel services. This shows that it has become of relatively high importance to examine the customer satisfaction and service quality in hotel industry of U.K. where most of the Chinese consumers are visiting.

In the contemporary times of competition, the most crucial element is the service quality. The quality of the services is crucial for gaining the competitive edge in the market. Therefore, many of the academic researchers and the service managers have directed their studies towards understanding the service quality, most of the times customers would perceive the service quality as the one which will be close to the quality they expect from the service providers. Mentioned authors have touched the different angles of the service quality (Gronroos, 1984; Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml 1985, Parasuraman, et al., (1988); Zeithaml, et al. , (1990), the only thing they agreed upon is that the focus always shall be on the customers and their demands. According to Parasuraman, et al., (1985; 1988), Parasuraman et al. (1988) the service quality can be sedated through identifying the gap between the perceived service and the expectations of the customers.In addition to this, another dimension which has been reviewed in the current research is online reviews which are very commonly observed by the consumers when making a purchase decision. In this manner, the research literature is observed and analysed and a whole set of factors are identified from the consumer perspective and the hotel services perspective. This tells that understanding service quality, customer satisfaction and role of online reviews will be of both practical and academic significance. Therefore, present research emphasis on these aspects in the hotels of U.K.

The hotels which are investigated in the current research are located in Birmingham. The names are Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal. These are the urban hotels and their location is near the attractions which are preferred by the Chinese consumers as identified in the research of Pen, Zhou and Raj (2013).

The rationale for conducting this research study of Chinese tourists is that there are more than 70 million the outbound Chinese travelers. This is a large number and in future it is going to grow more. According to the Guardian (2015), the number of Chinese spending their holidays in the UK was 200,000 in 2015 and this was the case in first 9 months in 2015. The expenditure on per head was estimated as £ 2700.According to one of the survey, the preferences of the Chinese travelers include a double sink with a separate vanity, hotel room amenities, buffet breakfast. It has been also revealed that clients prefer full – service urban hotels as there are attractions, shopping and activities nearby. The less popular are the resorts. The most common determinants of service which have been identified include internet services, hotel rooms, buffet – styles, package price etc (Peng, Zhou & Raj, 2013). This research is an insight of the factors that can help in enhancing customer satisfaction towards hotel services. The sector selected in the study is UK but main intention is to research out the Chinese traveller’s preferences towards hotel selection.

The problem statement of this research is that the concept of customer satisfaction and services is a bit scattered in the literature as there are researches which have discussed the importance of the service quality and has connected it with customer satisfaction. The main problem which is under investigation in the research is for the Chinese travellers. In this regard multiple options for their satisfaction to be developed before and after purchase is reviewed in the current research. Given below is the problem statement for the current study is “An investigation of key determinants of consumer satisfaction for Chinese customers in hotel services.”

1.2.Research Aim

The prime goal for the execution of this study is to analyse the factors of customer satisfaction of Chinese travelers. The main aim of the research is to explore the key determinants of consumer satisfaction for Chinese customers in hotel services.

1.3.Objectives of the Research

The aim which is mentioned above can be accomplished through certain objectives. Therefore, objectives are developed to meet the aim of this research. The objectives of the current study are mentioned below:

  • To unveil the relevant theories and framework on consumer experience in hotel industries
  • To identify the key determinants of Chinese consumer satisfactions on hotels through literature sources.
  • To conduct a survey on Chinese tourists to identify the main factors of service quality which influence the customer satisfaction in the selected hotels in UK.
  • To conduct a survey on Chinese tourists to find out the role of online reviews in developing the image of U.K. hotel services.

1.4.Rationale of the Research

This topic for the study is selected for the reason that there are a huge number of Chinese visiting UK, and it has been observed that they are contributing noticeably to the tourism industry of the UK. There are many Hotels which are operating in the UK and the preference of Chinese consumers among different hotels is very important to be known. Customer satisfaction is a variable which is under consideration in the research and this variable is going to help in unveiling the main factors through which the Chinese consumer satisfaction is reviewed on the ground of service quality.

It has been observed that there is very little work done on the customer satisfaction and consumer perceived service quality of the hotels internationally, but there are a number of studies which are executed to analyse the service quality of hotels domestically.  Hence, the research done with regard to the Chinese travellers is very limited.

The research is addition to the literature and it is also going to help the hotels operating in the UK to improve their services when it comes to Chinese consumers. Therefore, the research is practically and theoretically very crucial. Considering this importance, the present study is being conducted.

At the end, it can be concluded that in this chapter, the researcher has observed the basic literature on the selected topic and problem has been defined in detail. This chapter has designed few objectives and questions which are going to be utilised in the rest of the dissertation and it is going to lead the whole dissertation in planned manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.Chapter Two – Literature Review

2.1.Introduction

In the literature review the concepts involved in the on-going research are elaborated. The literature review has been designed in a manner that each and every aspect of customer satisfaction regarding hotel services is unveiled. The critical analysis of the literature is conducted so as to identify the positive and the negative perspective of the problem identified.

2.2.Customer Satisfaction

In the marketing discipline and academic research one of the most common topics that are studied is customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction was first identified by Cardozo in 1965 as customer expectations, effort and satisfaction. There are many efforts that has been made to define customer satisfaction to date, but still there lacks a consensus (Giese and Cote, 2000). The research work of Gundersen, Heide and Olsson (1996) pointed out that satisfaction of customer is customer satisfaction is delineated as a “post consumption evaluative decision” which is related to a product or a service. It is a combination of pre – purchase and post – purchase expectation related to the perceptions of consumers with the performance of a product or service as being identified by Oliver (1980).

As per the view of Kotler (2000, p.36), the satisfaction of customer is pleasure feeling or feeling of disappointment which results because of comparisons made between expectation well as the performance of the product and the service. Yi (1990) identified that satisfaction is result of three reactions namely; evaluation, psychology and perceptive reactions which are because of usage of the product or a service.

Table 1

Conceptualisation of Customer Satisfaction

Authors

Definitions

Oliver (1981, p. 27)

A final psychological state that results from the disconfirmed expectation in relation to the expectation consumer had initially. This involves three processes, namely emotional response, evaluation and final psychological state.

Swan, Trawick& Carroll (1982, p. 17)

Cognitive opinion or evaluative opinion through which the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the consumers is analysed. This involves emotional response and evaluative / cognitive opinion.

Churchill &Surprenant (1982, p. 491)

Customer satisfaction is result of the conceptual responsiveness of consumer towards the purchase as well as usage of the product / service that happens when the comparison between the cost and the rewards associated with the purchase qualified to expectations is processed. This involves result and attitude.

Larbarbera&Mazursky (1983, p. 394)

Customer satisfaction is defined as the evaluation and surprise which reults due to usage as well as purchase of the product and service. It is a combination of both evaluation and disclosure of using the product or service.

Cadotte, Woodruff & Jenkins (1987, p. 305)

Impression which is developed towards a product or service when it is used. Shortly known as impression resultant of evaluation.

Tse& Wilton (1988, p. 204)

Satisfaction is a response by a consumer when the evaluation and expectation is compared and this happens after the usage of the product.

Westbrook & Oliver (1991, p. 84)

Satisfaction is cognitive opinion which is developed after consumption when evaluation is conducted by the consumer.

Fornell (1992, p. 11)

A complete evaluation of the product after the usage is satisfaction.

Oliver (1992, p. 242)

The combination of simultaneous attributes with the sensations that happens after the consumption of product.

Halstead, Hartman & Schmidt (1994, p. 122)

Satisfaction is an Emotional response which is associated with the pre – purchase expectation linked with the product.

Oliver (1996, p. 13)

The attitude developed by the consumer when the product is consumed. It is related to evaluation linked to satisfaction level.

Source: Millana&Agueda, 2004

One of the most extensively used conceptualisation of the concept of customer satisfaction as explained by many authors is the expectancy disconfirmation theory concept (Barsky, 1992; Faullant, Mutzler& Fuller, 2008). Oliver (1980) developed the expectancy disconfirmation theory concept in which it was proposed that the satisfaction is resultant of difference among expected as well as perceived performance. Positive disconfirmation (satisfaction) takes place when the performance of the product or the service exceeds expectations. Whereas negative disconfirmation (dissatisfaction) takes place when the product or the service does not meet the expected level of performance or when the performance is worse (McQuitty et al. , 2000; Olorunniwo, Hsu &Udu, 2006).

There are many studies in the past that have identified the direct as well as an indirect impact on the business performance (Anderson, Fornell& Lehmann, 1994; Yeung, Gingg&Ennew, 2002; Luo& Homburg, 2007; Chi and Qu, 2008). The same researchstudies have identified that there is a positive effect of customer satisfaction on the profitability of the business. There are many studies which are inclined towards identification of the association with the customer behavior patterns (Kandampully and Suhartanto, 2000). According to the findings of these studies, it was indicated that through customer satisfaction an increase in customer loyalty has been reported; it is an influencer of repurchase intentions and through customer satisfaction positive word – of – mouth can be created (Dimitriades, 2006). These are the vital roles of the satisfaction of customers, but there are many determinants which have been investigated (Churchill &Surprenant, 1982; Zeithaml&Bitner, 2003).

Concluding the above – mentioned definitions, it is evident that there is no single aspect, which clearly and totally explains the concept of customer satisfaction. It is two way process. It can be from company end and customer end. So defining customer satisfaction is difficult task. In a nutshell, the definition which is taken out of the above – mentioned definitions are that it is the evaluation of a consumption experience with the product or service in this case. But, the level of satisfaction of customers can be different according to the attitude as well as perceived product or service performance.

2.2.1.Customer Satisfaction Determinants in the Hotel  Industry

In the hotel industry, there are specific determinants which are considered by the customers. Satisfaction can be measured as subjectively and objectively; subjectively through needs of customers and emotions; and objectively through the features of products as well as service. In the hospitality industry, there are many studies that have investigated the attributes which are considered important by the travellers and that lead to customer satisfaction. Considering very old studies, there is one research by Atkinson (1988) which has determined some attributes such as value for money, cleanliness and staff courtesy. These determinants have now become out dated because service satisfaction is now measured beyond money.

Other important determinants identified by Knutson (1988) as convenient location, comfort, service promptness, and cleanliness, safe and secure environment, and friendly behaviour of employees. According to Barsky and Labagh (1992) the most important determinants which included attitude of employees, location of hotels and rooms are the influencers for travellers of satisfaction. Hotel guest satisfaction can also be determined through timeliness, employee behaviour and cleanliness (Akan, 1955). These researchers identified that the main services are very important along with the special services or value added services provided by the hotels. The research study by Knutson (1988); Barksy and Labagh (1992) and Akan (1955), all have found out that staff behavior, friendliness or employee attitude are linked positively with the hotel services. Applying this to the current research, the first image of the hotel is created by the front desk people and this is evident from these researches. Same has been identified by a research of Choi and Chu (2001) identified that the quality of rooms, behaviour of staff and value as one of the significant determinants of traveler satisfaction in the hotel industry.

The provision of the services is the initial step to provide customer satisfaction in the Hotel industry. Hokanson (1995) identified many determinants which are shown in the following figure.

Figure 1

Factors influencing customer satisfaction

Source: Hokanson, 1995

One of the easiest methods to determine the customer satisfaction or knowing their preference is obtaining feedback. Guest comment cards (GCCs) is one of the commonly utilised method to determine the hotel guest satisfaction (Su, 2004). These are either distributed or placed in the hotel rooms in a visible place. But it has been identified in the past, there are many hotel chains that have utilised inadequate methods to evaluate the guest satisfaction and complex managerial decisions are involved in it (Barsky, 1992; Jones and Ioannou, 1993; Su, 2004). However, there are three main faults that are included in GCCs method such as the design of the GCCs, quality of the sample and collection as well as analysis (Gilbert &Horsnell, 1998). The validity of this method can be enhanced by using the validity method proposed by Barsky and Huxley (1992) which is related to the sampling procedure names as “quality sample”. This is a technique through which the non – response bias can be reduced when the customers are given some incentives to fill the questionnaires. The main components that are included in the questionnaire are expectancy-value theory and disconfirmation paradigm. Through this technique, the guest becomes able to interpret their likeness and dislikeness leading to the exceeding or suppressing the expectations. Therefore, GCC is a good method through which customer satisfaction can be obtained. There are some consequences in this method, but these can be rectified with the help of quality sample method as mentioned above. GCC is not a single method, other techniques together built up customer experience and these will be further identified.

One of the important concepts in marketing is customer satisfaction because it satisfies the needs as well as the desires of the customers. There are many scholars who have unveiled his concept (Kotler, 2003) but Oliver in 1980 provided the first conceptual definition which is widely accepted to date. It has been discussed previously that Customer satisfaction is result of the conceptual responsiveness of consumer towards the purchase as well as usage of the product / service that happens when the comparison between the cost and the rewards associated with the purchase qualified to expectations is processed and it is the concept applied by the market – oriented organisations (Kandampully&Suhartanto, 2000).

Applying this concept to Hotel industry, the concept provided by Oliver (1997) is similar. It is enumerated as the attitude which a consumer develops after the consumption of the intangible service. It is related to evaluation linked to satisfaction level (Oliver, 1997). It is Cognitive opinion or evaluative opinion through which the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the consumers is analysed. This involves emotional response. The customer experiencing a service compares it with the expectations and the post – purchasing point. This is customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction takes place when the services meet or exceed the expectations of the customers. Nevertheless, when the expectations are not satisfied, then the customer is unsatisfied or dissatisfied with the service provided. In short, customer satisfaction in hotel industry has no defined rules but the focus should always be on providing experience to the consumers as depicted from the above discussion.

2.3.Service and Service Quality from the perspective of Hotels

According to Lee, Lee and Yoo (2000) service quality is usually conceptualised in service marketing literature’s context; hence it is discussed along with the perceived service quality concept. As per the view point of Zeithaml and Bitner (2009) the level to which the firm successfully meets the expectations of the customers is said to be the perceived service quality and through this customer satisfaction takes place. It is the customers who decide the cognitive value of the service or the perceived service quality, and this determination of the customers depends on their experiences with the service. In case of hotel services, there are the guests who will perceive the quality of service and their overall experience will determine the customer satisfaction.

But Ghobadian, Speller and Jones (1994) have identified that the perceived service quality is impacted by the three factors which are:

  • Service outcome
  • Customers’ expectations
  • Service delivery process

These are the main factors but Yoo and Park (2007) was found out that employees of any firm are the essential and the crucial element of the service process. They can enhance the perceived service quality or can worse it. As per words of Edvardsson (2005) perceptions regarding the service quality are made during the process of:

  • Consumption
  • Delivery
  • production

It has been concluded that the perceived service quality is impacted by the negative and positive emotions along with the positive or negative experience of the customers regarding the quality of the service. According to O’Neill and Palmer (2003) customers’ perceptions regarding service quality will be impacted by the experience of a particular service.  Gundersen, Heide and Olsson, (1996); Atkinson, (1988); Barsky and Labagh (1992); Choi and Chu (2001) and Markovic (2004) added that perceived service quality is a behaviour which is correlated to the satisfaction but it is not exactly the same.

Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithmanl (1985, 1988, 1990) have developed a model named as SERVQUAL model, which is the most commonly used instrument for measuring the quality in hotel industry. This model is comprised of the twenty two elements for the examination of service quality expectations and perceptions of the customers. An item along with the scale of one to seven on the likert scale is given for the measurement of the quality of the product according to the customers. The gap between the expected and perceived service shows the level of the service quality. There are five dimensions of the service quality in the SERVQUAL model. Those five dimensions are named as:     

  • Responsiveness (providing prompt services to the customers and willingness to help the customers)
  • Equipment, personnel appearance and physical facilities
  • Empathy (dealing individually with the customers)
  • Reliability (performing accurately the promised service)
  • Assurance (knowing the employees at personal level and capability of having their trust)

Figure 2

Service quality measurement

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Parasuraman et al. 1985

According to Ladhari (2008) in the past few years there have been numerous studies which are conducted in regards of service quality. Ismail (2006) mentioned that the quality of service is measured in the audit and accounting firms as well. Andaleeb and Conway (2006) andNamkung and Jang (2008) stated that the service quality in the restaurants is gaining importance in the current times. Snoj and Mumel (2002); Markovi’c, Horvat and Raspor (2004) are of the view that the quality of services is examined for the health and spas. According to Pérez, Sanchez – Fernandez, Marin – Carrillo and Gazquez - Abad (2007) service quality of public transport is examined as well. Service quality of the higher education is measured now days.  Russel (2005); Markovi’c (2006), Juwaheer (2004); Wang, Wang and Zhaou (2007); Raspor (2009), along with the higher education measured the service quality.As per words of Parasuraman et al. (2005); Nusair and Kandampully (2008) the service quality of the web-sites is examined too and most importantly the service quality for the travel agencies business is measured as well in the contemporary times (Martinez and Martinez, 2008). Gržini? (2007) mentioned that though the service quality is measured and examined in various industries and sectors, its importance for hotel industry is also worth exploring. The successful hotel businesses depend on the service quality which is being offered to the guests. However, there exists few research studies which has examined it empirically for the customer satisfaction, therefore, present research minimizes the identified research gap and studies the service quality of selected hotels. The present research uses the elements identified in SERVQUAL model for analysing the service quality. This model is selected because it is one of the most popular models which are used by researchers for analysing service quality.The identified aspect of service quality will be studied for the selected hotels which are named Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal.

According to researcher Carman (1990); Babakus and Boller (1992) and Teas (1994) though the model of SERVQUAL is used in high ratio now days but still there has been criticism on the model.For any research, it is important to consider both positive and negative aspects; therefore, the criticism is also examined to enhance the value of this research. The base of criticism is mentioned below:

  • the operational level of the model
  • conceptual level
  • dimensional structure
  • operationalizing expectations
  • reliability
  • validity

Despite its criticism, according to Khan (2003), items of the SERVQUAL model are very reliable predictors of service quality. As a response of the criticisms raised on the model new service settings were structured. For instance a model has been developed by Knutson, Stevens, Wullaert and Patton (1991) for the hospitality and the tourism industry named as lodgserv, this model was used measure the service quality in the respected sectors. This model has twenty six components and it was based on the dimensions of SERVQUAL model. One more model was structured for the hotels and that was named as lodgqual, it was developed by Getty and Thompson (1994). This model was identical to the Wong, Dean and White (1999) holserv model. Three dimensions of the servqual model were taken by the lodgequal model; those three dimensions are mentioned below:

  • Reliability
  • Tangibles
  • Contact

While holserv model has total of twenty seven components and it takes all the five key dimensions of the SERVQUAL model. Moreover, there is this model which was structured by the Stevens et al.  (1995), this model was named as dineserv. This model was structured so to measure the service quality of the restaurants. This model was comprised of the twenty nine elements and it too takes in account all the five dimensions of the SERVQUAL model.

However, there is another model which is called as Diveperf model and it is different from the SERVQUAL model. Diveperf model was structured by O’Neill et al. (2000) so to examine the diving services quality, this model had twenty seven components in all and it has taken all the five dimensions too. Khan (2003) gave the ecoserv model; this model was comprised of the five dimensions and thirty elements, it was developed so to examine the service quality of the eco - tourism. All these models are the explanations of the modifications which were brought in the SERVQUAL model after the criticism rose on the instrument. These modifications were brought in so to enhance the old methodology of the model. According to Cronin and Taylor (1992) the best way of measuring any service is the performance. The best way to develop an instrument for measuring the service quality is not to include the expectations. As a result of this a performance based model is fabricated and is tested on the four industries, model was named as servperf. The reports of the tests indicated that this model showed more variations than the SERVQUAL. It used very few items to measure the service quality and this model fitted all the industries in a perfect manner.  The results highlighted the superiority of the servperf model in measuring the service quality. In contemporary times this more of performance analysis is used more often than the SERVQUAL, and it is preferred more than servqual, particularly for the tourism and the hotel industry. Three of the hotels were examined via performance based instrument namely Malaysian hotels, hotels of Mauritius and Hong Kong’s hotels (Choi and Chu, 2001).

Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1988) fabricated a model named as SERVQUAL the model was developed as a result of comparing the perceptions and expectations of the customers. This twenty two elements and five dimensioned instrument was structured so to study and examine the service quality in the different sectors. There are number of studies which are developed so to examine the service quality in the travel agencies, this has been like a base for the execution of this study. Empirical and the theoretical criticisms on the servqual model have been examined by the researcher named as Ladhari (2009) and stated the result of his report that even though there are criticisms on the model but still it is very handy instrument for the measurement of the service quality. SERVQUAL was a manual method but then an electronic method was developed. Santouridis, Trivellas and Tsimonis (2012) when analysed the electronic service quality examined how applicable the electronic service measurement is, an instrument is developed for it named as E-S-QUAL, and this model was used to measure the service quality of the e-commerce in Greece- the biggest tourist attraction. The analysis of the models shows that there is no specific model which can measure all the aspects of the services. Therefore, there is a need to work on a single model. SERVQUAL is the most appropriate model to identify the services out of all the analysed models.

According to Santouridis et al. (2012) the dimension which has the highest ranking and is positive and has a significant impact on the perceived service quality is efficiency. Sultan and Wong (2010) executed their study on the critical issues in the hotels regarding the service quality and a result of which indicated that there is still a potential of agenda in the hotels in regards of service quality. In order to examine the perceptions of the customers and their perceptions on travel agencies a study has been executed by Lam and Zhang (1999) in Hong Kong, study was conducted so to investigate the factors which affect the customer satisfaction. The results of the study suggest that the expectation of the customers were way too high than their perceptions of the service quality. The report suggested that the customer satisfaction is correlated to the five dimensions of the model which were fabricated by Parasuraman et al. (1988).

A scale has been developed by Millan and Esteban (2004) it was a multiple scale which was actually designed to measure the satisfaction of the Spain’s customers via services of hotel.  A factor model was fabricated by them the model dimensions are given below:

  • Service environment
  • Service encounters
  • Reliability
  • empathy
  • additional attributes
  • efficiency of advice

The quality of service by the hotel management has been examined by Johns et al. (2004), he used the SERVQUAL instrument for measuring the service quality delivered in North Cyprus. In this a survey was conducted by the researchers, survey included the sample of three hundred and thirty seven service takers of the hotels, the results indicated that the users concern was personalisation of the offered services and the efficiency. The results of the survey concluded that the main determinants of the for the customer satisfaction are efficiency, promptness, empathy, aesthetics of service-scale

Despite the tool is criticised a lot and it has problems with it but still the empirical studies mostly employ this tool of SERVQUAL for the purpose of service marketing. This tool has been used by the different sectors across the globe (Buttle 1996), the sectors which used it most commonly are tourism sector services, banking industry, accounting firms, higher education, dental services, hospitals, airport services and hotels which is the case of current research.

SERVQUAL model, Diveperf model, Servperf model and E-S-QUAL, all focus on service quality of hotels which is considered to be central for the hotels to increase customer satisfaction and repeat purchases but these models have focussed on one aspect and has neglected other aspect. There is a need to develop a unified model which can be applied to hotels in totality.

Buttle (1996) and Newman (2001) stated that the tool is mostly criticised for its implementation and interpretation. But the biggest problem with the instrument is relevant to its dimensional structure. Many of the researchers have explained the dimensions according to their own intellect, and this has damaged the universality of the tool and made it highly questionable (Buttle, 1996; Carman 1990; Cronin and Taylor, 1994). Nevertheless, there has been criticism on the tool but still it is used widely all across the globe for measuring the perceived quality in the services.

Hence, it is concluded that service quality of hotels has not specific gauge to measure. There are some factors that work for some people and there are other factors which work for other consumers. There is no specific rule of thumb, but in order to develop a good service, these factors must be taken into consideration because customers of 21st century are very particular about the services hotels are providing. Therefore, to measure the service quality which leads towards the customer satisfaction, the researcher will develop the instrument which will be based on all of the discussed service quality frameworks and models. Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsalare using a wide range of aspects for enhancing the service quality and customer satisfaction. Wilkins,Merrilees and Herington (2007) mentioned that for providing the best of the services to their customers’hotels of U.K. are focusing on tangibility, empathy, reliability, assurance and responsiveness and these factors help them to achieve the customer satisfaction objectives for their hotels. The application of SERVQUAL in hotel industry tells that there are various aspects which are specific to the hotel industry context. Under the dimension of tangibles, hotel industry is required to focus on appearance of personnel, physical facilities and equipment which are available in their hotels. For reliability, hotel industry has to ensure that it has the capability to deliver what it has promised in an accurate and dependable manner. Under the dimension of responsiveness, hotel managers are oblige to ensure that their employees are willingness to help the customers and provide them the prompt service. Under the assurance dimension, hotel industry has to make sure that employees have the desired level of knowledge and courtesy along with the ability that they could be trusted. For empathy, hotel industry has to ensure that service is provided in a caring manner such that customers could feel that they are being provided the individualized attention.

2.4.Role of Online Review and website information on Consumers

The image of a destination or about the hotel services can be developed through online comments as well as information as according to Li, Pan, Zhang and Smith (2009). There are many questions which are raised for the managers as well as researchers such as

  • How do online blogs or reviews (eWOM) left by past consumers influence future customers?
  • How does the e-context of what is written influence future customer intentions?

Consumers today are utilising information such as blog pages, review sites and forums to make their decision (Xiang &Gretzel, 2010). The online information is utilised both by consumers and companies and they are common in services. Social media is also another source which is playing role towards travelers (Xiang &Gretzel, 2010). The reputation of the online source is another important aspect which needs to be noted down by the travelers (Riegelsberger, Sasse&McCathy, 2005).

The posts are posted by the consumers on the online discussion site about their experience and mostly negative responses are posted (Gregoire, Tripp, &Legoux, 2009) or when they are disappointed with the destination or service encounter (Buzinde, Manuel - Navarrete, Kerstetter&Redclift, 2010). Hence, the online reviews can both be positive or negative for the consumers to make their future decision about the hotel services.

2.5.Chinese Consumers, Culture and Their motivations in selecting destination

The tourism activity of Chinese can be traced back in 1983, when the citizens of China were permitted to visit Macao and Hong Kong under the specific arrangements as according Zhang and Heung (2001). In the current era, the outbound tourism in China has increased due to many factors such as economic development, relaxation on traveling by Chinese government and rising individual health. The average growth of the market from 1997 to 2007 was at a rate of 21 percent (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2008). The number of trips of Chinese citizens despite of financial crises in 2008 was 47.66 million and this was out of the mainland (Qian, 2010). All of these statistics are depicting that the Chinese consumers are a very attractive market for the hotel industry.

It is very important to identify the motivations behind the selection of a tourist destination or hotel. There is a sequential process which is lying behind the selection of specific hotels and destination choice. It has been argued by Matzler and Siller (2003) that the decision making process and perception about the hotel are closely linked. If the hotel is meeting up the motivations of consumers, then, satisfaction will likely occur. For the Chinese consumers while selecting a hotel, they process push factors that relate to personal motivation, pull factors that relates to the destination attributes and constraints which are related to situational factors. The pull as well as push factors are used in the initial stage when making the decision. (Crompton, 1992). According to the findings of Jang and Cai (2002), the Chinese consumers are interested in

Table 2: Push and Pull Factors of Chinese consumers

3 Push Factors

3 Pull Factors

To travel to a country that I have not visited before

Safety and Security

To see something different that I don’t normally see - something new and exciting

Weather

To experience cultures that are different from mine

Cultural and historic places

Source: Jang and Cai, 2002

Considering the culture of China and the push and pull factors, it is identified that customer satisfaction in the hotel industry is based on how consumers view them and what is their perception.

In addition to this, Chinese culture has a high degree of long term orientation, which makes them facing the obstacles. This shows that the consumers can live in any type of situation and the Chinese travelers are not much pickier in hotels. In addition to this, there is no culture of individualism. The Chinese believe in collectivism. This is the reason, the Chinese are seen in groups or with families when traveling (Swarbrooke&Hornor, 2005). Chinese society is a male dominating society, so in travelling as well it is seen that usually male population decide for the destination and also choose out the hotel (DeMooji, 2004). In a nutshell, it can be said that there are many factors which together counts for the Chinese to make travelling decision.

2.6.Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of the research is developed with the help of literature. Since the research is quantitative research, therefore content has been analysed and factors have been identified. The conceptual framework of the research is mentioned in the following figure

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

 

 

Figure 3: Conceptual Framework (Self - Developed)

2.7.Theoretical Framework

The dependent variable in the research is customer satisfaction because this is the variable on to which the whole reputation of the hotel services is dependent. The independent variable in the research is hotel services. The theoretical model keeping in view the theories and theoretical background is drawn in the following figure.

 

Figure 4:

Theoretical Framework

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4: Theoretical Framework (Self – Developed)

In the above – mentioned theoretical framework, hotel services are identified on the basis of SERVQUAL model which includes reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness. Whereas customer satisfaction is going to be analysed by using the expectancy disconfirmation theory which constitutes of expectations, perceived performance and disconfirmation which can be positive or negative.

2.8.Literature review Matrix

Currently, the research works on the determinants or the factors which affect the customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. This denotes to different facets of employee behaviour, enterprise culture, physical facilities, quality of service and others. In the following table the literature has been gathered from different researches on the factors that influence the customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. The useful determinants are identified in the following literature review matrix

Authors

Context

Methodology

Key Factors

Ramanathan (2012)

UK hotels athwart star ranking

Multiple Regression Analysis

  • Value for Money
  • Physical – product management
  • Process management

Yang, Jou& Cheng (2011)

Resort and business hotels operating in Taiwan

Survey

  • Swimming pool facility
  • Staff service attitude
  • Room Rate
  • Internet access services
  • Breakfast
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Nam, Ekinci&Whyatt (2011)

Restaurants and hotels operating in the UK

A Survey utilising Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) Approach

  • Brand equity – physical quality
  • Ideal self – congruence
  • Quality Staff Behavior
  • Lifestyle congruence
  • Brand identification

Magnini, Crotts&Zehrer (2011)

Hotels operating in 60 countries

Travel blog analysis

  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Value
  • Size and décor of guestroom
  • Food
  • Location
  • Facility
  • Amenities

Han, Kim & Hyun (2011)

Upper – midscale hotels operating in the USA

A field Survey

  • Service encounter performances
  • Core service

Fu (2011)

Hotels operating in the UK

A Survey

  • Services
  • Physical products

Sanchez – Hermandez, Martinez – Tur, Peiro&Moliner (2010)

Hotels operating in Mexico

A Survey

  • Relational and Functional service quality

 

 

Mohsin&Lokyer (2010)

Luxury hotels operating in India

An interview as well as survey

  • Room Service
  • Responses related to front office
  • In – house café or restaurant

Kralj&Solnet (2010)

Casino hotels operating in Australia

An exploratory case study

  • Service climate

Chand (2010)

Hotels operating in India

A Survey utilising Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) Approach

  • The creation of customer value
  • Responsiveness to customer needs

Zhang & Li (2009)

Budget Hotels

SERVQUAL Model

  • Employee behavior

Wu & Liang (2009)

Luxury – hotels restaurants

A survey

  • Restaurant environment factors
  • Interactive relationships with the service staff
  • Interactions with other consumers

Deng (2008)

Restaurants and Hotels operating in the UK

Confirmatory as well as exploratory factor analysis, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) Approach

  • Physical quality
  • Desires congruence
  • Staff behaviour
  • Ideal self – congruence

 

Table no 3: Factors affecting customer satisfaction – literature review matrix (Source: Li, Ye & Lau, 2012)

2.9.Conclusion

In the second chapter of the research, the researcher has reviewed the associated literature and has analysed various studies which contribute to the current studies. There are three main aspects which have been reviewed, namely customer satisfaction, services and service quality and role of web information in developing the purchase decision. A conceptual framework is also proposed towards the end of the literature review. The customer satisfaction depends on positive and negative disconfirmation which is about differences in perceived and actual service level. It can be concluded that that are various models which analyse the service quality level, and all of them have their own benefits and limitations. The most widely used models are SERVQUAL and SERVPERF. In the hotel industry, there are further sub-dimensions of the five service quality dimensions presented by the service quality dimensions. There are various studies which have presented different elements for reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness of the hotel industry. In the literature review, the identified factors of service quality which determines the service quality are Value for Money, Physical – product management, Process management, Swimming pool facility, Staff service attitude, Room Rate, Internet access services, Breakfast, Toothpaste and Toothbrush, Physical quality, Desires congruence, Staff behaviour, Ideal self – congruence, Brand equity – physical quality, Ideal self – congruence, Quality Staff Behaviour, Lifestyle congruence, Brand identification, Cleanliness, Customer Service, Value, Size and décor of guestroom, Food, Location, Facility, Amenities, Service encounter performances, Core service, Services, Physical products, Relational and Functional service quality, Room Service, Responses related to front office, In – house café or restaurant, Service climate, he creation of customer value, Responsiveness to customer needs, Employee behaviour, Restaurant environment factors, Interactive relationships with the service staff, Interactions with other consumers.However, it is identified from the literature review that there is no complete set of determinants which speak about the consumer satisfaction in Hotel industry of Chinese sector. In the theoretical framework, all the specific determinants are highlighted and these will be researched out in the current study so that Chinese list of determinants can be developed and Hotels can take assistance in developing their services.

 

 

 

 

3.Chapter Three – Research Methodology

The methodology section in a research is of great importance because it provides methodological grounds to the whole research. The significance as well as the reason behind selecting one methodology and ignoring other method is also given in the same chapter.  In this section all the methods are discussed in brief.  This chapter is the skeleton of the research and its effective building helps in rigorous research findings. The successful accomplishment of the objectives can happen through effective designing of the research methods. This research is to scrutinise the customer satisfaction of the Chinese travellers in the UK; every possible effort has been made so to structure an effective methodology for this study.

3.1.Choice of Research Design

Quantitative research design is chosen for the current research and the philosophy used is positivism. The analysis of the research design is included in this heading. According to Bryman (2004) research methods are quantitative as well as qualitative research methods. Craswell (2009) elucidated the quantitative research methods as suitable for the research when the data is numeric in nature, whereas when the data is qualitative then the qualitative research methods are used. The rationale of using the quantitative data in the current research isthat according to the view of Young (2007) when the data is to be collect from the larger group of people than the method which is used is quantitative research method, it is also a form of scientific research method. Quantitative is going to help the research to make generalise outcomes of the study. This has also been confirmed by Patton and Cochran (2002) as they are of the view that generalisability factor is the biggest advantage of the quantitative research method. As compared to the qualitative research methods it has the greater generalizability. Therefore, the objective of having the generalized results is accomplished through using the quantitative research design.

In addition to this another rationale for using the quantitative methods is that as said by Young (2007) the findings and the outcomes of the study can be made more reliable and authentic when the statistical and mathematical tests are applied for the data which in this case is simple excel analysis because aggregated data is analysed. Lisa (2008) has also confirmed this fact by stating that event or phenomena is systematically examined by applying a number of conceptual tests, techniques, methods, statistical and mathematical, tests.Therefore, to have the more reliable and authentic findings, this research use the quantitative research design.

Hence, method of the research is quantitative method because the research is going to analyse customer satisfaction of the Chinese travellers in UK. The data is collected through the selected online consumers who have traveling experience. The rationale behind the usage of quantitative approach is mentioned before, but the main reason of its selection is that it not only offers generalizability but through this method the large amount of data is analysed. The data in this research is not large, but through the employment of this technique the trend of customer satisfaction will be identified in one look.

The next choice which is to be made in research design is of the selection of the philosophy. As per words of Smith (1975), research philosophies are huge in number since the researchers employed these by keeping in mind the nature of the research. There are many research philosophies, but the main philosophy employed in the current research is positivism.

Positivistic research philosophy is employed for the researches which have quantitative data. So the instrument which is used for the collection of data would be quantitative too. When the Positivistic research philosophy is employed the assumptions which must be considered by the researcher are mentioned below.

  • Topic of the study must be selected after the careful consideration.
  • By the end of the study sensible results must be drawn.
  • It must be ensured that the data is easily accessible on the selected topic.

This philosophy resembles very much with those philosophies which are of natural sciences Saunders et al. (2007, 2003). According to Bulmer (2010) employing this philosophy would mean that the researcher has to consider that he is a dummy who doesn’t hold any view point. Considering this would mean that the personal biasness of the researcher would not impact the research. Positivism is usually deployed by the researches which are comprehensive in nature (Saunders et al. 2007, 2003).The rationale for using the positivism research philosophy is that it relies on quantitative methods, hence, the findings which are based on this philosophy are difficult to be questioned and the findings could have higher level of accuracy and authenticity. Further to this, positivism philosophy also allows to have trustworthy research findings as they are based on systematic and scientific research processes. Therefore, this research philosophy is selected. This philosophy has also been selected because of convenience of data which can be gathered through it, time limitation and cost limitation. There are a number of research philosophies which are used by the researchers. But the selection of these philosophies is done by keeping in view the nature of the study. Positivism is going to help the researcher in finding the accurate results and this can add towards literature and can help in identifying suitable recommendations to improve Chinese Travellers experience.

The type and the nature of research is the deciding factor for the type of data and the type of data collection. There are two most common methods which are used by the researchers to collect the data, namely; primary and the secondary data collection methods. Secondary data collection method is a type of technique in which the data is not raw rather it is taken out from various sources and it is already available data for the researchers in the form of research papers, documents, television, reports, books, and many other sources. According to Saunders et al. (2007) it is the credible data which is the source of authenticity of the research so the data assembled from the secondary sources must be reliable, as it sets the base of the whole study. This has been utilised in the research and through this method the literature and problem has been further strengthened. In contrast to this, there is primary data which is collected for the research and which caters specific problem. It is raw data and it is collected solely for the research under investigation and then this data is analysed. This data has certain issues such as reliability, but there are methods to treat this data. In the research, the primary as well as secondary data sources have been used to collect the information about the research topic. The rationale for using the primary research methods is that it provides recent and updated data and it enhances the academic significance of the research study(Bryman 2004). There are few other reasons as well which has motivated for selecting the primary research methods for this research. Primary data allows targeting the research issue in a direct manner. Instead of finding the relevant data about the research aim and objectives, this method allows to target the issue in a direct way where exactly relevant data could be obtained (Sapsford, 2007). For secondary data, data interpretation is not so effective but primary data collection has the better interpretation. In case of primary data, the researcher does not have to rely on the interpretation of secondary researchers but he/she can interpret the fresh data (Collins, 2010). Moreover, there are no proprietary issues in case of primary data. Considering these aspects about the primary data, the researcher made the decision to use primary data collection methods for this research.
 

There are various research strategies. The names of strategies are case study strategy (Robson 2002), Ethnography strategy (Saunders et al. 2009), Anthropology, Experiment strategy (Johnson and Christensen, 2010), Ethnography strategy (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) and survey strategy.  According to Robson (2002) when a case is under study, then the strategy employed is called as case study. In the on - going study the case of customer satisfaction of the Chinese travellers in UK is considered. The other research strategy which is employed is the survey strategy; this is employed as it is convenient for the collection of data. Using both of these data collection method has helped in developing not only the framework of the research, but also has helped the researcher in obtaining useful information regarding the topic under investigation (Bryman, 2004). In the current research, strategy which is employed is the survey research strategy. Strauss and Corbin (1990) were of the view point that this type of strategy is used in the researches where there is a large sample size. When the survey strategy is employed, the data is first organised and then analysed with the help of tests and techniques. Through this strategy, data from larger sample size can be gathered easily. The rationale for selecting survey research strategy is that it is relatively easy to administer. It allows the researcher to collect the data in less time. It is known to be a cost effective research strategy which does not need more cost and time. It also has the ability to be administered in a remote manner like through kiosk, mail, and mobile devices or online. Using this strategy, several questions could be asked at one time from the participants hence a large amount of data could be collected. There are many ways to analyse the collected data and every method has its own benefits. Considering these benefits of the survey research strategy, the survey strategy is being selected. So, the strategy is surveywhere two urban hotels providing services in Birmingham are selected. The names of these hotels are Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal.

The next step in choosing the right methodology is approach selection. There are two most commonly used approaches of the study which are as: deductive approach and the inductive approach of the research. As the current research is about to examine the customer satisfaction of the Chinese travellers in UK, since the inductive approach is the suitable research approach here. This approach helps the examiner to understand the research in a clear manner. According to Collins (2010) this approach of the study takes the start from the specific case and then draws the general results. This case is employed when the specific case is studied in the light of research’s topic, and by the end the general results are deduced. In addition to this, Collins (2010) signified it as an approach through which a case is analysed and  is studied in the light of the study and then by the end the results are drawn. In this approach the researcher at first selects a case in accordance with the topic of the research.

In a nutshell, the main research design of research includes

  • Quantitative technique
  • Positivism
  • Induction
  • Survey strategy

The rationale of using these in one paradigm is that it complements the problem under investigation. The research studies conducted in past, have mostly utilised quantitative research design which is also mentioned in literature matrix. The rationale of using this paradigm is that it is going to unveil the results in detail and since the determinants are identified, their rating is going to tell how much one determinant is important than other.

3.2.Construction of the Chosen Method

Sapsford (2007) is of the view that as like research strategies and philosophies there are number of research instruments as well. Data can be collected by employing any of those such as:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires

The instrument is selected on basis of the nature as well as suitability of that instrument for the research.  In the on-going study the data is collected through questionnaires. The questionnaire is disseminated to the respondents. Questionnaires are used to collect data from respondents in the limited time frame. The Questionnaire is also going to unveil the consumer response on the web blogs.  Hence, this is the most appropriate tool employed in the research to gain information regarding research topic. For developing the questionnaire, themes from literature are being used. The questionnaire is closed ended and it is based on Likert Scale.

3.3.Sample

The technique of convenience sampling is used for the collection of data; this technique is used due to the fact that it gives equal chances to the entire sample to get selected. When this technique is used, it reduces the chances of biasness in the sample selection process. For the preceding study the sample of fifty Chinese travellers who have travelled to the UK and has utilised the services of hotels named Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsalare considered. The data is collected via distributing the questionnaire among the sample. In addition to this, convenience sampling allows the researcher to collect data which is of convenience to researcher. It saves time and the cost is also less on this type of sampling method.Since, the online consumers were chosen, so the sample was identified from the social networking website. The researcher identified the Chinese consumers who have had ravelling experience.

3.4.Procedure

The online questionnaire is developed and it is filled from the consumers of Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal to obtain their useful feedback about the service they have utilised and how it has affected their satisfaction. The online questionnaire is developed on SuvreyMonkey where it is provided to the respondents. The questionnaire is distributed to customers in the month of September. The data collection phase last for 2 months.

3.5.Data Analysis

The quantitative analysis technique is used to examine the collected information and data. Positivistic research philosophy is employed so as to examine the questions thoroughly. Each and every question is analysed separately and presented in the form of tables and graphs. Before moving to main analysis, reliability analysis is performed. For reliability analysis, Cronbach’s alpha statistics is used. To be specific about what is the meaning of Cronbach’s alpha, it could be said that it is a measure which is used for assessing the internal consistency. From this, it could be analysed that relation of all items as a group. For checking the scale reliability, this measure is used. This statistical test is also known as the coefficient of consistency or reliability. The value of cronbach’s alpha is calculated as a function of the number of test items and the average inter-correlation which exists among the items. The formula for calculating this statistics is shown below.

Image

In the above formula, N is representing the number of items while c-bar is representing the average inter-item covariance which exists between the items. The v bard value is equal to the average variance. So when the number of items is increased, the value of Cronbach’s alpha is also increased. Moreover, when inter-item correlation figure is low, the value of Cronbach’s alpha will also be lower. Likewise, when the average inter-item correlation value increases, the value of Cronbach’s alpha will also increase (given that number of items is constant).The rationale for using this statistics is that it provides a snapshot of total reliability of data. Through using these statistics, it could be observed that which item is problematic and which one should be deleted from the questionnaire. Therefore, this analysis is performed to examine whether or not any item should be deleted from the questionnaire.

To be specific about the details of statistics which are used in this research, this research mainly relies on the descriptive statistics analysis. In descriptive analysis, frequency and percentage tables are developed. The frequency of a particular observation is the number of times particular observations are occurring in a particular data type. The frequency distribution is the pattern of the frequencies for certain observations. These statistics can be depicted in form of frequency tables and bar graph or histogram. The frequency distribution can also be shown in the form of percentage of observations where it is also known as relative frequency distribution. Both categorical and numerical variables can be depicted through frequency distribution. The present research has used both frequencies and percentages for representing the collected survey.These frequency and percentage tables help to examine how many respondents agreed/disagreed/strongly agreed/strongly disagreed/certain for certain aspects of service quality of selected hotels named Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal. For graphical representation of data, bar graphs and pie graphs are developed. The rationale for developing these graphs is to have a quick view of the findings of the survey.A bar graph is a type of chart where bars are used to demonstrate comparison and contrast of categories of the collected data. Both vertical and horizontal forms of bars can be used, but the present research has used vertical bars. There are usually two axes of this graph. This bar graph is a good method to show the relative size of different categories of data in a quicker manner.Pie charts are used for representing the demographic variables and it is a circular statistical graphic where there are slices of chart which demonstrates the numerical proportion. The arc length is the proportion of the quantity which it is representing.

 

3.6.Ethical Considerations

Ethics is one of the significant issues which is of concern to the researchers in the current era. These must be formulated and then followed so as to execute a successful research. The ethical considerations have been designed for the current research as well. These are followed by the researcher and these are given in the following points.

  • The researcher must take consent from the respondents and the responses must be taken only after approval of the respondents.
  • The confidentiality of the respondents should be central to the researcher.
  • The data provided should be kept under researcher property.
  • The data can only be accessed either by the researcher or supervisor.
  • The personal viewpoints of the respondents should be taken into consideration by the researcher while taking responses.

3.7.Conclusion

This section is very vital for the whole study.  This section makes it easier for the reader to understand the research process and the research methods. In this section the approaches of the study, data collection techniques, ethical considerations, research philosophies and research strategies and limitations of the study.  In brief survey research strategy is used, where questionnaires are used for the collection of data. The survey is conducted in Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal. Each and every process which the researcher would use during research process is slightly discussed in this section of the study.    

 

 

4.Chapter Four: Findings, Analysis and Evaluation

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the survey findings. The survey was conducted on the customers of Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal. The findings are analysed using the descriptive analysis technique where frequency tables and graphs are used for representing the findings. Before moving to the main findings, the reliability analysis is conducted to check whether or not the developed instrument is collecting the consistent data. After this, demographic analysis is performed to know which type of Chinese tourists participated in this research survey. Then, the main findings of the survey are analysed where determinants of tourists’ satisfaction and role of online reviews in developing destination image is analysed.

4.1.Reliability analysis

The analysis of reliability helps to analyse that whether or not the scale is consistently reflecting the construct which it is measuring. The reliable scales usually have the Cronbach’s Alpha value of greater than 0.6. Therefore, to declare a scale reliable, it is important to have the reliability statistics of greater than 0.6. The below table is representing the reliability statistics for the scale which is developed for measuring the determinants of tourists’ satisfaction and role of online reviews in developing the destination image. As shown in below table, the value of Cronbach’s Alpha is 0.668 which means scale is reliable and there is 66.8% confidence on the scale that it is consistently collecting the data for the constructs of this research.

Table 3

Reliability Statistics

Cronbach's Alpha

N of Items

.668

35

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

The below table analyses the item-total reliability statistics. As per this table results, it is observable that there is no such question (item) in the questionnaire that is creating problem for the reliability of the overall scale. This shows that all items are making the questionnaire enable to collect the reliable data from the Chinese tourists regarding their satisfaction.

Table 4:

Item-Total Statistics

 

Scale Mean if Item Deleted

Scale Variance if Item Deleted

Corrected Item-Total Correlation

Cronbach's Alpha if Item Deleted

Age

72.3400

64.066

.170

.664

Gender

73.5200

65.234

.301

.658

Education

72.6200

63.138

.366

.650

Frequency

72.6200

63.016

.330

.651

1. U.K. hotels provides excellent services and it is justified to say that they provide the value for money.

73.1600

64.994

.227

.660

2. The physical aspects of UK hotels are always as per your expectations.

72.6400

61.827

.371

.647

3. U.K. hotels manage their products in an effective manner.

72.8200

62.028

.376

.647

4. U.K. hotels have excellent swimming pool facility.

73.1800

65.579

.180

.663

5. The attitude of staff is welcoming and warming.

72.7600

65.043

.188

.662

6. Staff of U.K. hotels is educated and well groomed.

72.8800

60.638

.480

.638

7. U.K. hotels has satisfactory level of internet access services.

72.9200

63.871

.276

.656

8. The breakfast service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

72.8600

62.286

.408

.646

9. U.K. hotels take appropriate measures for hygienic environment for its customers.

72.8000

60.735

.487

.638

10. The level of customer service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

72.8600

65.592

.104

.669

11. You visit U.K. hotels because they provide value for you.

72.6000

61.959

.301

.652

12. Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms have good size.

72.8400

63.892

.229

.659

13. Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms are decorated in a nice manner.

72.9800

66.265

.090

.668

14. U.K. hotels are attractive for your because of the food which is offered there.

73.1400

64.531

.262

.657

15. The location of U.K. hotels is satisfactory for you.

72.8800

65.169

.156

.664

16. U.K. hotels provide excellent facilities, therefore, your satisfaction with hotels is high.

72.9600

67.835

-.044

.679

17. U.K. hotels focus on amenities for the customers, therefore, you use their services.

73.0200

65.693

.122

.667

18. U.K. hotels understand the needs of their customers, this has improved your satisfaction level.

72.6800

60.304

.412

.641

19. Process management at U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

72.6200

63.791

.186

.663

20. Billing process of U.K. hotels is accurate.

72.7800

67.032

.009

.676

21. Room service of U.K. hotels is fast and better therefore you are satisfied with them.

72.9000

67.561

-.026

.678

22. Overall environment of U.K. hotels is attractive for you.

72.7000

66.255

.092

.668

23. Is it important for you to have a look over the website of the hotel before you take its services.

73.6600

66.107

.197

.663

24. How important it is for you to consider the website for taking decision about hotel services.

72.6200

62.281

.246

.657

25. Do you consider the online reviews, blogs and comments about the hotel services before you go there.

73.4800

68.296

-.074

.674

26. How important it is for you to consider the online reviews, blogs and comments for taking decision about hotel services.

72.8400

64.913

.171

.663

27. Do you check the Facebook page of the hotel before you take its services.

73.4800

70.010

-.278

.683

28. How important it is for you to consider the content of Facebook page for taking decision about the hotel services.

73.0200

64.591

.167

.664

29. Do you check the official Twitter page of the hotel before you take its services.

73.7000

67.316

.048

.669

30. How important it is for you to consider tweets related to the hotel services for taking decision about the hotel services.

72.5600

66.047

.059

.673

31. The online reviews related to hotels have an important role to play in developing the image of U.K. hotels.

72.6000

67.796

-.046

.681

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

4.2.Demographic analysis of Chinese Tourists visiting UK Hotels

This section does the analysis of demographics of those Chinese tourists which are part of the survey which is conducted for this research.

The below table analyses the age statistics of the Chinese tourists visiting U.K. hotels named Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal. It could be analysed that majority of the Chinese tourists were from age of 19-30 years. There were eight percent Chinese tourists who were of below 18 years. There were forty percent Chinese tourists who were from 19-30 years and thirty percent were having age of 31-40 years. Only sixteen percent Chinese tourists were having 41-50 years while six percent were above 50 years.

Table 5

Age of Chinese Tourists

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

below 18 years

4

8%

19-30 years

20

40%

31-40 years

15

30%

41-50 years

8

16%

above 50 years

3

6%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

 

Figure 5

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table does the analysis of gender of Chinese tourists who have participated in this research. The results are showing that this research has fifty four percent male participants while forty six percent were females.

 

 

Table 6

Gender of Chinese Tourists

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Female

23

46%

Male

27

54%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 6

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table does the analysis of education statistics of the Chinese tourists who have participated in the survey which is conducted for this research. The research results are depicting that there were forty six percent Chinese tourists having the education of post graduation (i.e. masters). In a similar manner, forty percent had the graduation degree while only ten percent were possessing the high school diploma or below this level education.  Only four percent stated that they have some other education level.

Table 7

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

High school diploma or below

5

10%

Graduation

20

40%

Post graduation

23

46%

Other

2

4%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 7

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The purpose of this question was to analyse the frequency of visits to U.K. hotels. The results are depicting that twelve percent were having once a month visit to the U.K. hotels. Likewise, it was told by twenty percent participants that they visit to the U.K. hotels twice a year and once a year. Only eight percent Chinese tourists stated that they visit the U.K. hotels once in a five years or more.

 

 

Table 8

Frequency

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

once a month

6

12%

twice a year

20

40%

once a year

20

40%

once in a five years or more

4

8%

Total

50

100%

Figure 8

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

4.3.Service Quality Factors leading towardsChinese Tourists Satisfactionfrom

This section does the analysis and evaluation of the determinants of tourists satisfaction. This section presents the Chinese tourists response for visiting the U.K. hotels.

The below table analyses whether or not U.K. hotels offer the value for money which is spent on getting their services. The result shows that fifty four percent Chinese tourists have a belief that they agree that U.K. hotels provide the value for money.  Twenty eight percent strong agreed while eighteen percent were neutral. Interestingly, none of the Chinese tourists disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement showing their satisfaction with the U.K. hotels.

Table 9

U.K. hotels provide excellent services and it is justified to say that they provide the value for money.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A.

14

28%

A

27

54%

N

9

18%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

Figure 9

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table analyses the satisfaction level of Chinese tourists from physical aspects of the U.K. hotels. There were fifty four percent Chinese travelers which agreed that physical aspects match their expectations. Twenty two percent were neutral for this aspect while twenty percent disagreed, ten percent strongly agreed and two percent strongly disagreed. A significant percentage of Chinese travelerswas neutral which highlights the problem. Hence, it could be evaluated form this that currently U.K. hotels must focus on the physical aspects for increasing the satisfaction level.

 

 

Table 10

The physical aspects of UK hotels are always as per your expectations.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

5

10%

A

27

54%

N

11

22%

D.A.

6

12%

S.D.A.

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 10

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Every hotel must manage the products which it is offering in an effective manner. the results depicted in the below table shows that forty two percent respondents were agreed with this statement that U.K. hotels are managing their products in an effective manner. however, like previous statement, a large percentage i.e. thirty four percent Chinese travelers were uncertain. From this, it could be evaluated that U.K. hotels should give more importance to their products.

Table 11

U.K. hotels manage their products in an effective manner.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

10

20%

A

21

42%

N

17

34%

D.A.

1

2%

S.D.A.

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 11

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Previous research shows that facilities like swimming pool are determinant of satisfaction of Chinese tourists. The results showed that sixty two percent agreed while twenty six percent strongly agreed with this statement. Hence, the evaluation shows that swimming pool facility is an important determinant of tourists’ satisfaction from U.K. hotels.

 

 

Table 12

U.K. hotels have excellent swimming pool facility.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

13

26%

A

31

62%

N

5

10%

D

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 12

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Staff has an important role to play in the hospitality industry. The results showed that attitude of staff is welcoming and warming, therefore, Chinese travellers are satisfied with the U.K. hotels. There were sixty two percent Chinese travellers that has agreed with this that attitude of staff is welcoming and warming.

Table 13

The attitude of staff is welcoming and warming.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

4

8%

A

31

62%

N

12

24%

D.A.

2

4%

S.D.A.

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 13

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The education level of staff helps in satisfying the visitors. The survey results depicted that fifty two percent Chinese travellers have responded that they agreed with this that staff of U.K. hotels is educated and well groomed. Though, there were also eighteen percenttravellers which were neutral, indicating that there is a room for improvement.

 

 

Table 14

Staff of U.K. hotels is educated and well groomed.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A.

10

20%

A

26

52%

N

9

18%

D

5

10%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 14

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

In this technology oriented era, everyone needs the fast and smooth internet access, hence, it is also considered as a determinant of the satisfaction of tourists visiting U.K. hotels. The results have depicted that U.K. hotels are providing the internet access in a satisfactorily manner. there were sixty two percent which agreed with this fact that U.K. hotels has satisfactory internet access services.

Table 15

U.K. hotels have satisfactory level of internet access services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Strongly Agree

8

16%

Agree

31

62%

Neutral

7

14%

Disagree

4

8%

Total

50

100%

 

 

Source: Created from data collected from Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 15

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The breakfast services must always be good for satisfying the tourists. The results showed that majority of Chinese travelers which has participated in the survey which is conducted for the present research believes that breakfast is satisfactory. Sixty percent has agreed showing that this is one of the important determinants of Chinese tourists’ satisfaction from U.K. hotels.

 

 

Table 16

The breakfast service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

7

14%

A

30

60%

N

9

18%

D

4

8%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 16

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

It is of utmost importance to ensure the cleanliness at the hotels for satisfying the visitors. There were fifty two percent Chinese travellers which told that U.K. hotels has appropriate cleanliness measures while twenty two percent were neutral and ten percent disagreed. The evaluation of findings is showing that there is room for improvement in the cleanliness and hygienic environment of U.K. hotels.

Table 17

U.K. hotels take appropriate measures for hygienic environment for its customers.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Strongly Agree

8

16%

Agree

26

52%

Neutral

11

22%

Disagree

5

10%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 17

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The customer service level must be excellent to satisfy the tourists. The results are showing that fifty two percent agreed while twenty percent strongly agreed that customer service level is satisfactory. But nevertheless, sixteen percent were neutral while twelve percent were disagreed. This shows that customer service level should be further improved.

 

 

Table 18

The level of customer service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

10

20%

A

26

52%

N

8

16%

D

6

12%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 18

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

This question analyses whether or not U.K. hotels are proving value to the Chinese travellers. Like previous responses related to value, it is found that fifty two percent agreed while twelve percent strongly agreed that they provide value to them. However, a significant number of customers were neutral showing there is some problem which needs to be rectified by the U.K. hotels.

Table 19

You visit U.K. hotels because they provide value for you.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

6

12%

A

26

52%

N

10

20%

D

5

10%

S.D

3

6%

Total

50

100%

 

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 19

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The size of room matters a lot for satisfying the customers. It should neither be too large nor too small. The purpose of this question was to analyse whether or not U.K. hotels are having the appropriate size of rooms for visitors. The results showed that forty two percent were agreed while twenty eight percent were neutral. In a similar manner, twenty percent were strongly agreed that size is good.

 

 

Table 20

Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms have good size.

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

S.A

11

22%

A

21

42%

N

14

28%

D

4

8%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 20

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

After size, the decoration should also be nice to satisfy the customers. As depicted below, it is obvious that majority of travelers believe that U.K. hotels are decorated in a nice manner.

Table 21

Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms are decorated in a nice manner.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

8

16%

A

34

68%

N

4

8%

D

4

8%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 21

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Whatever food is offered at hotels, must be attractive for the tourists. Therefore, this question examines the satisfaction level of travelers from the offered food. Majority of Chinese travelers i.e. sixty four percent has agreed that U.K. hotels offer satisfactory level of food.

Table 22

U.K. hotels are attractive for you because of the food which is offered there.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Strongly Agree

12

24%

Agree

32

64%

Neutral

4

8%

Disagree

2

4%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 22

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

For hotels, location matters a lot. Therefore, this question examines the satisfaction from location of hotels. The results has showed that fifty four percent were agreed that they are satisfied with location, while twenty percent were uncertain. Though, eighteen percent were also strongly agreed and eight percent were disagreed. However, a large proportion of uncertain response from customers showed that location is problematic, somehow, hence it should be considered important by hotel managers.

Table 23

The location of U.K. hotels is satisfactory for you.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Strongly Agree

9

18%

Agree

27

54%

Neutral

10

20%

Disagree

4

8%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 23

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Hotels must provide excellent facilities to satisfy tourists. The below response told that there were fifty two percent which were agreed while twenty two percent were strongly agreed and neutral. Majority is satisfied with the facilities.

 

 

Table 24

U.K. hotels provide excellent facilities, therefore, your satisfaction with hotels is high.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

11

22%

A

26

52%

N

11

22%

D.A.

1

2%

S.D.A.

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 24

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

Amenities for the customers are important for satisfying them. majority of Chinese travelers are agreed or strongly agreed that they are using the U.K. hotel services due to their focus on amenities for the customers.

Table 25

U.K. hotels focus on amenities for the customers; therefore, you use their services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

13

26%

A

24

48%

N

11

22%

D

2

4%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 25

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The level of customer responsiveness must be high. The present question examines the responsiveness level of U.K. hotels to customers need. Majority of travelers has agreed with this statement that U.K. hotels understand the needs of the customers which is determining their satisfaction.

Table 26

U.K. hotels understand the needs of their customers, this has improved your satisfaction level.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

6

12%

A

30

60%

N

6

12%

D.A.

5

10%

S.D.A.

3

6%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 26

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The purpose of this question is to analyse how accurately billing process is done at U.K. hotels. The results are showing that forty six percent agreed that billing process is accurate while eighteen percent strongly agreed.

Table 27

Billing process of U.K. hotels is accurate.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

S.A

9

18%

A

23

46%

N

13

26%

D.A

5

10%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 27

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table examines the level of satisfaction from room service of U.K. hotels. From the results, it has become clearer that majority of Chinese travellers are satisfied with the room service of U.K. hotels.

 

 

 

 

Table 28

Room service of U.K. hotels is fast and better therefore you are satisfied with them.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Strongly Agree

10

20%

Agree

26

52%

Neutral

11

22%

Disagree

2

4%

Strongly Disagree

1

2%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 28

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table examines the overall environment of U.K. hotels. The results are showing the overall environment of U.K. hotels is attractive for Chinese tourists. There were sixty two percent Chinese travellers who have agreed that the overall environment is attractive for them.

Table 29

Overall environment of U.K. hotels is attractive for you.

 

Frequency

Percentge

Valid

Strongly Agree

3

6%

Agree

31

62%

Neutral

11

22%

Disagree

5

10%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 29

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

4.4.Role of Online Reviews

This section analyses what role is played by the online reviews in attracting the tourists. It examines how the image of U.K. hotels is influenced with the online reviews. It sheds light on website, blogs and social media of the hotels.

The below table examines whether or not it is important to use the official website before taking the service from any U.K. hotel. The results are showing that thirty percent believed that yes it is important while twenty percent does not believe this is important to look over the website before taking the services.

Table 30

Is it important for you to have a look over the website of the hotel before you take its services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Yes

30

60%

No

20

40%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 30

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below question examines how important it is to use the website as a determinant of taking the decision about hotel selection. The results showed that majority of Chinese travelers has rated it as very important or important. Hence, it could be evaluated that it is important to maintain the website in an effective manner for attracting Chinese tourists.

 

 

Table 31

How important it is for you to consider the website for taking decision about hotel services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Very Important

10

20%

Important

21

42%

Neutral

8

16%

Not Important

9

18%

Not very important

2

4%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 31

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below table shows that twenty one percent Chinese travellers believe that it is important to consider online reviews blogs and comments while twenty nine percent does not consider them. 

Table 32

Do you consider the online reviews, blogs and comments about the hotel services before you go there.

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

Yes

21

42%

No

29

58%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 32

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

This question examines the importance online reviews, blogs and comments. The results showed that Chinese believe that they are important. Forty percent said that they are important while twenty percent said that they are very important. Though, they all are not using them but they do believe that these are important.

Table 33

How important it is for you to consider the online reviews, blogs and comments for taking decision about hotel services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Very Important

10

20%

Important

22

44%

Neutral

15

30%

Not Important

3

6%

Total

50

100%

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

 

Figure 33

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

This question examines how many Chinese travelers are referring to the Facebook page of U.K. hotels before taking their services. The results showed that there were twenty one percent who uses it while twenty nine percent does not check it.

 

 

Table 34

Do you check the Facebook page of the hotel before you take its services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Yes

21

42%

No

29

58%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 34

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

The present question examines the importance of Facebook page as per the views of Chinese travelers. The results showed that thirty two percent consider it very important while forty percent believe it is important. It can be evaluated that majority believes that Facebook page is important, hence, U.K. hotels must use it effectively for developing the image as per their desire.

Table 34

How important it is for you to consider the content of Facebook page for taking decision about the hotel services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Very Important

16

32%

Important

20

40%

Neutral

10

20%

Not Important

4

8%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

Figure 35

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Like Facebook page, Twitter is another important social media website. As depicted below, it could be examined that majority of Chinese travelers are using Twitter for accessing the content related to hotel services.

 

 

Table 36

Do you check the official Twitter page of the hotel before you take its services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Yes

32

64%

No

18

36%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 36

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

The below question examines the importance of tweets related to the hotel services in making decision about the hotel selection. The results showed that forty eight percent were agreed that tweets are important. However, thirty percent were neutral showing tweets are not that much important in selecting any hotel.

Table 37

How important it is for you to consider tweets related to the hotel services for taking decision about the hotel services.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Very Important

5

10%

Important

24

48%

Neutral

15

30%

Not Important

3

6%

Not very important

3

6%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

 

 

 

Figure 37

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

This question examines whether or not online reviews related to hotels are important for developing the image of U.K. hotels in the eyes of Chinese travelers. The results have showed that only fifty percent consider online reviews ‘important’.

 

 

Table 38

The online reviews related to hotels have an important role to play in developing the image of U.K. hotels.

 

Frequency

Percentage

Valid

Very Important

5

10%

Important

25

50%

Neutral

13

26%

Not Important

6

12%

Not very important

1

2%

Total

50

100%

 

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

Figure 38

Source: Created from Survey Data conducted on Chinese Tourists (2016)

4.5.Conclusion

It could be concluded that overall U.K. hotels are quite successful in providing the satisfactory level services to Chinese tourists. This section has analysed various determinants of their satisfaction. Though, all aspects are quite satisfactory in attracting tourists from China, but there is still room for improvement. The level of tourists’ satisfaction could be improved further by focusing on few more aspects. Further, it could be concluded that though online reviews, website and social media pages of U.K. hotels are important for developing the image of U.K. hotels. Therefore, hotel managers should give appropriate attention to this aspect. However, their role should neither be overestimated nor underestimated.

 

 

5.Chapter Five: Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1.Introduction

In this chapter, conclusion of this research is provided. The purpose of this chapter is to conclude this research by summarising the main findings. Moreover, it also provides the recommendations to the future researchers.

5.2.Conclusion

Reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness are the key determinants of consumer satisfaction.

After reviewing relevant theories and framework on consumer experience and the key determinants of Chinese consumer satisfaction from hotels, it is analysed that SERVQUAL model helps to analyse the satisfaction of the consumers from the services of hotel. There are various factors which are sub-dimensions of these factors presented in the SERVQUAL model. To be more specific, after reviewing theories and framework on consumer satisfaction, this research developed a framework where it is concluded that the value for money, physical – product management, swimming pool facility, staff service attitude, internet access services, breakfast, cleanliness, customer service, value, size and décor of guestroom, food, location, facility, amenities, responsiveness to customer needs, process management, environment, room service and process management are the factors which determine the customer satisfaction from hotels of UK.

In UK hotels (Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal),reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness are quite satisfactory in attracting tourists from China, but there is still room for improvement.

This research has conducted a survey on the U.K. hotels namedBirmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsalwhere Chinese consumers are visiting. The aim of this survey was to analyse the key determinants of consumer satisfaction from these hotels. In this research, the consumers are basically the Chinese visitors. The results proved that U.K. hotels have managed their service quality in an effective manner. The survey focused on value for money, physical – product management, swimming pool facility, staff service attitude, internet access services, breakfast, cleanliness, customer service, value, size and décor of guestroom, food, location, facility, amenities, responsiveness to customer needs, process management, environment, room service and process management. 54% agreed that Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal provide excellent services and it is justified to say that they provide the value for money. 54% said that at Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal, the physical aspects are always as per their expectations and the location of U.K. hotels is satisfactory for them. 42% said that U.K. hotels manage their products in an effective manner.62% said that these U.K. hotels have excellent swimming pool facility, have satisfactory level of internet access services and attitude of staff is warm and welcoming. 52% mentioned that staff of U.K. hotels is educated and well groomed, the level of customer service is satisfactory, room service of U.K. hotels is fast and better and they take appropriate measures for hygienic environment for its customers. 60% told that the breakfast service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory. There were 52% customers who visit these two U.K. hotels because they provide value for you. 42% told that their satisfaction level with these U.K. hotels is high because their rooms have good size. 68% told that their satisfaction level with these U.K. hotels is high because their rooms are decorated in a nice manner. Likewise, 64% said that U.K. hotels are attractive for them because of the food which is offered there. 42% agreed that U.K. hotels provide excellent facilities; therefore, their satisfaction with hotels is high. 48% Chinese customers said U.K. hotels focus on amenities for the customers; therefore, they use their services. 60% said U.K. hotels understand the needs of their customers; this has improved their satisfaction level. 46% said that billing process of U.K. hotels is accurate.

Online reviews, website and social media pages of U.K. hotels (i.e. Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsal)are important for developing the image of U.K. hotels.

In this research, it could be concluded that the role of online reviews, website and social media is quite critical for U.K. hotels. This is the era of online and digital world. Now, all companies are moving towards the digitalisation and this is because of the fact that consumers have become more conscious about the digitalisation. Therefore, this is the time where U.K. hotels should also utilise this trend as an opportunity. 60% said that it it important for them to have a look over the website of the Birmingham Dudley and Birmingham Walsalbefore they take their services. 42% said that it is for them to consider the website for taking decision about hotel services. 58% said that they do not consider the online reviews, blogs and comments about the hotel services before they go there. 44% said that it is important for them to consider the online reviews, blogs and comments for taking decision about hotel services. 58% said that they do not check the Facebook page of the hotel before they take its services but 40% said that it is important for them to consider the content of Facebook page for taking decision about the hotel services. 64% said that they check the official Twitter page of the hotel before they take its services and 48% said that it is important for them to consider tweets related to the hotel services for taking decision about the hotel services. 50% said that the online reviews related to hotels have an important role to play in developing the image of U.K. hotels.From the survey results, it is concluded that online reviews, website, social media are crucial for creating the brand image. Chinese tourists do refer to these online reviews, websites and social media before selecting any hotel. Even though, not all of the Chinese are currently using these online resources before taking their decision, but majority of them consider them as important. If they are consider it important, there are higher chances that in future they will be using these online sources.

5.3.Future research recommendations

In this research, there were few limitations which should not be ignored. These limitations should be accounted and future researchers. This research is completed considering the small sample size. It is conducted only on 50 Chinese tourists. This was the limitation as in the limited time period allowed for this dissertation, it was not possible to consider a large number of Chinese tourists. Therefore, it is recommended to future researchers that they should study the determinants of Chinese tourists considering the large sample size. The future researchers must try to access more Chinese tourists who visit the U.K. hotels. This research is completed considering the quantitative research methods and it has not considered the qualitative methods. Though, quantitative methods helped to achieve the objectives, the qualitative methods have had allowed to substantiate the results findings. Therefore, it is recommended to future researchers that they should use the mixed research methods, where the interview method should be complemented with the survey questionnaire method. This will improve the depth and breadth of the findings.

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Appendix

Questionnaire

This research aims to analyse the determinants of Chinese tourists’ satisfaction from U.K. hotels. As you have travelled to U.K. as a Chinese traveller, therefore, your participation is valuable for this research. Please take out 15 minutes are fill the below questionnaire.

Demographics of Chinese travellers

Age

  • Below 18 years
  • 19-30 years
  • 31-40 years
  • 41-50 years
  • Above 50 years

Gender

  • Female
  • Male

Education level

  • High School Diploma or below
  • Graduation
  • Post graduation
  • Other

How often you take the U.K. hotel services.

  • Once a month
  • Twice a year
  • Once a year
  • Once in five years or more

Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction

 

Strongly Agree 

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

  1. U.K. hotels provide excellent services and it is justified to say that they provide the value for money.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The physical aspects of UK hotels are always as per your expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels manage their products in an effective manner.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels have excellent swimming pool facility.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The attitude of staff is welcoming and warming.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Staff of U.K. hotels is educated and well groomed.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels have satisfactory level of internet access services.
  2. The breakfast service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels take appropriate measures for hygienic environment for its customers.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The level of customer service of U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. You visit U.K. hotels because they provide value for you.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms have good size.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Your satisfaction level with U.K. hotels is high because their rooms are decorated in a nice manner.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels are attractive for your because of the food which is offered there.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The location of U.K. hotels is satisfactory for you.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels provide excellent facilities, therefore, your satisfaction with hotels is high.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels focus on amenities for the customers, therefore, you use their services.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. U.K. hotels understand the needs of their customers, this has improved your satisfaction level.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Process management at U.K. hotels is satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Billing process of U.K. hotels is accurate.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Room service of U.K. hotels is fast and better therefore you are satisfied with them.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Overall environment of U.K. hotels is attractive for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Role of Online Reviews

  1. Is it important for you to have a look over the website of the hotel before you take its services.
  • Yes
  • No
  1. How important it is for you to consider the website for taking decision about hotel services.

Very important            Important        Neutral            Not important              Not very important

  1. Do you consider the online reviews, blogs and comments about the hotel services before you go there.
  • Yes
  • No
  1. How important it is for you to consider the online reviews, blogs and comments for taking decision about hotel services.

Very important            Important        Neutral            Not important              Not very important

  1. Do you check the Facebook page of the hotel before you take its services.
  • Yes
  • No
  1. How important it is for you to consider the content of Facebook page for taking decision about the hotel services.

Very important            Important        Neutral            Not important              Not very important

  1. Do you check the official Twitter page of the hotel before you take its services.
  • Yes
  • No
  1. How important it is for you to consider tweets related to the hotel services for taking decision about the hotel services.

Very important            Important        Neutral            Not important              Not very important

  1. The online reviews related to hotels has an important role to play in developing the image of U.K. hotels.

Strongly Agree            Agree              Neutral            Disagree          Strongly Disagree

 


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