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Comparing the influence of substantive and communicative servicescape on healthcare traveler emotions: the moderating effect of accommodation type and interior design style

Seobgyu Song (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Courtney Suess (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, Cornell Institute of Healthy Futures, Cornell University and Center for Healthcare Systems and Design, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Makarand Amrish Mody (School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Tarik Dogru (Dedman School of Hospitality, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 27 November 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

1060

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between two dimensions of servicescape (i.e. substantive and communicative servicescape), health care travelers’ emotions, perceived value and word-of-mouth intentions. It also assesses the moderating effects of accommodation type (i.e. hotel and Airbnb) and interior design styles (i.e. traditional and modern) on the relationship between the two servicescape dimensions and travelers’ emotions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample from a survey of 692 health care travelers who stayed at either a peer-to-peer accommodation (i.e. Airbnb) or a hotel, a multi-step structural equation model analysis tested the relationships among variables. It examined the moderating effects of accommodation type and interior design style.

Findings

The relationships between servicescape, emotions, perceived value and word-of-mouth were significant. Also, the two moderators affected how servicescape influenced the emotions of health care travelers. For Airbnb guests, communicative servicescape had a more substantial effect on enhancing their positive emotions than hotel guests. For health care travelers who stayed at an accommodation with a traditional interior design style, in addition to enhancing positive emotions of health care travelers, substantive servicescape significantly reduced their negative emotions.

Practical implications

The findings suggest the need for the lodging industry to examine how health care travelers perceive and experience their accommodations with unique interior design characteristics. Also, stakeholders in the lodging industry should leverage the aspects of substantive servicescape in terms of relevant interior design styles, which, in turn, influence health care travelers’ positive word-of-mouth intentions. Given the increase in medical mobility and demand for accommodations by those traveling to receive health care services, understanding the lodging environment and how it affects travelers in this segment is essential.

Originality/value

This research develops a comprehensive servicescape model with a focus on the communicative dimension. Moreover, this study significantly contributes to the hospitality literature regarding how the core experience and various interior design styles influence a rapidly growing segment of health care travelers. Health care travelers’ emotions are essential to consider given the propensity to experience stress related to travel situational health factors.

Keywords

Citation

Song, S., Suess, C., Mody, M.A. and Dogru, T. (2021), "Comparing the influence of substantive and communicative servicescape on healthcare traveler emotions: the moderating effect of accommodation type and interior design style", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-12-2019-1022

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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