This research examines the role of a therapist’s attributes, namely, expertise, sociability, likability and mind-set similarity, in building trust, satisfaction and commitment amongst visitors in Indian wellness resorts and hotels.
The text mining approach was adopted to collect a large corpus of 3,94,373 online reviews from TripAdvisor, Google Reviews and hotels.com. Reviews were taken from 1,677 resorts and hotels that deal in spa and wellness care across India. This study uses unsupervised Naïve Bayes classification and n-gram lexical TF-IDF vectorizer method to classify and find the sentiment of the reviews shared by the visitors of the wellness resorts. Additionally, multiple linear regression is performed to understand the impact of the therapist’s identified attributes on the visitor’s relationship quality.
The research found positive sentiment towards the therapist’s likability, and visitors seemed satisfied with the overall wellness service. The sentiment towards trust and commitment is low. The study also found significant links between likability and expertise in building the relationship quality between the therapist and the visitors. The expertise of the therapist enhances visitors’ trust and willingness to return. The therapist’s likability nature helps in increasing visitor satisfaction.
This study helps to understand the service personnel's level of relationship with the customer in hospitality services. Further, the study empirically verifies the important factors that build relationship quality in Indian wellness services.
The present study argues the need for greater clarity in understanding the customer perception of the services provided by wellness therapists in Indian wellness resorts and hotels. The study guides hotel managers to perform training of wellness therapists to improve customer satisfaction. Using the findings of the current study, managers can prioritize therapists’ attributes and realign their core strategies and provide satisfying wellness services to customers.
This study demonstrates the essential qualities a therapist should develop to enhance the relationship with the resort visitors and foster trust, commitment and satisfaction. The study goes a step further by using a vast database of online data for deep insights into the visitor’s view and the use of machine learning for amplifying results.
Mishra, D.N. and Panda, R.K. (2022), "Evaluating visitor–therapist relationship in Indian spa and wellness resorts", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-06-2022-0246
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