Spas have become increasingly popular with consumers and have emerged as important profit centers for hotels. However, the uniqueness of this market has been largely overlooked in hospitality literature. The purpose of this paper is to fill the research gap by identifying different market segments among spa goers, based on a set of benefit variables.
A survey was administered to customers visiting hotel spas in Texas. Factor analysis was performed on 214 completed surveys to identify the dimensions underlying the benefits sought by spa goers. Cluster analysis was then applied to classify spa goers into different groups based on the benefit variables. Finally, importance‐performance analysis (IPA) was performed according to the groups to determine significant patterns.
Three distinct customer segments are identified based on the benefits sought by spa goers: escapists, neutralists, and hedonists. IPA results showed what each segment perceives as important and how well the hotel spas perform to meet expectations. The results of this paper support the effectiveness of the use of IPA with benefit segmentation.
The results of this paper should be interpreted cautiously and considered tentatively until they are replicated by a larger spa population. Currently, there are very few benchmark studies on spas to aid in the understanding of this promising market segment. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate much‐needed spa research in hospitality literature.
Future researchers and industry practitioners can gain insight into the motives and benefits sought by spa goers through the use of IPA in conjunction with benefit segmentation.
Koh, S., Jung‐Eun Yoo, J. and Boger, C.A. (2010), "Importance‐performance analysis with benefit segmentation of spa goers", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 718-735. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111011053828Download as .RIS
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