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Building brand relationship quality among hotel loyalty program members

Ada S. Lo (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Holly Hyunjung Im (College of Culture and Tourism, Jeonju University, Seoul, Korea)
Yong Chen (Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO), Lausanne, Switzerland)
Hailin Qu (School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 9 January 2017




This study aims to investigate the impact of the loyalty program members’ satisfaction toward the hotel loyalty program benefits and the customer management relationship initiatives of individual hotels on the brand relationship quality (BRQ), i.e. their relationship quality with the hotel brand, and its outcomes. The moderating impact of membership level on the hypothesized relationships was also investigated.


A usable sample of 920 active members of a hotel loyalty program was obtained. Structural equation modeling with partial least squares method was used to estimate the structural relationships and to investigate the moderating effect of membership level.


Employee’s customer orientation, membership communication and hotel stay-related benefits are determinants of the loyalty program members’ BRQ. BRQ is also confirmed as a higher-order construct of three latent variables which include trust, satisfaction and commitment. Moderating effects of the membership were partially supported in this study. The strongest effect of BRQ is on members’ word of mouth followed by shares of purchase. BRQ is found to have negative relationship with members’ willingness to serve as marketing resource, but the impact was small.

Research limitations/implications

This is a cross-sectional study with a population of active loyalty program members of only one luxury hotel group. The sample size of the top-tier members is also smaller in comparison to the other two groups.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the understanding of the antecedents and consequences of BRQ and the body of knowledge about loyalty program for hotel industry.


This is one of the few studies investigating the effectiveness of hotel loyalty programs from the active members’ perspective and the moderating effect of membership level on the relationships among BRQ, its antecedents and its outcomes.



This project is supported by a research grant of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (A-PE1A).


Lo, A.S., Im, H.H., Chen, Y. and Qu, H. (2017), "Building brand relationship quality among hotel loyalty program members", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 458-488.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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