Advances in Hospitality and Leisure: Volume 8


Table of contents

(22 chapters)

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure (AHL), a peer-review journal, aims to promote seminal and innovative research outputs pertaining to hospitality, leisure, tourism, and lifestyle. Specifically, the journal will encourage researchers to investigate new research issues and problems that are critical but have been largely ignored while providing a forum that will disseminate singular thoughts advancing empirical undertakings both theoretically and methodologically.

Medical tourism has started to receive more attention from tourism marketers and researchers but wellness tourism remains relatively unfamiliar to most people. This concept of wellness tourism has bred a special niche of hotels – wellness hotels. Such hotels are specialized hotels which provide professional health know-how and health packages/services to their guests. This paper therefore seeks to conduct an exploratory study in wellness-hotel visitors by performing a market segmentation analysis. By identifying the different market segments existing in this industry, marketing strategies can be made more focused, further refined, and consequently, more effective. Based on the systematic random sample of size 184 and the 10 identified variables, the result of the cluster analysis reveals that there are three clusters, namely, independent, undemanding, and demanding guests. Managerial implications are also discussed.

This study focuses on the guide role, experience context, and the subsequent cocreation strategies regarding the tourist experience. The guide role and the guide–tourist interaction are explored by using a qualitative research design. To illustrate how guides perceive their role, the experience context, and the strategies adopted in order to cocreate experience value for tourists, two different experiences are discussed: a guided tour at a rock art site and a guided nature-based tour in a northern landscape. Interpretive data analysis reveals how the tourist context may encourage or restrain the guides’ uses of different cocreation strategies, in particular storytelling. In addition, the findings indicate that the guides have different perceptions regarding their role, which influence their view and use of the available cocreation resources.

Tourism research contains a large share of consumer behavior-orientated studies using multidimensional constructs (exogenous/endogenous). Accordingly, scholars have mainly made use of a two-step approach that can be referred to as PCA-MLR (principal component analysis and then ordinary least squares multiple linear regression analysis) to examine the relationships among exogenous and endogenous constructs in a statistical model. Although this two-step approach has contributed to the advancement of tourism research, it still suffers from a number of drawbacks which can readily be overcome by a so-called second-generation statistical tool, namely, partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The current chapter explains and illustrates (with an application to tourism data) the advantages (e.g., several layers of estimations, suiting small sample sizes, robustness to multicollinearity, model-based clustering, etc.) of PLS-SEM both from a statistical and practical point of view. Finally, an elucidation is also provided for suggesting PLS-SEM as an alternative to PCA-MLR instead of COV-SEM (covariance-based structural equation modeling). The chapter concludes by proposing that PLS-SEM is a reliable and flexible statistical approach that is of high value, in particular, for applied research.

Since tourism is viewed as being a fast-growing industry, researchers are keen to investigate the negative impacts brought by an increasing number of visitors. As one of the derived social impacts, crowding has been proven to have a negative effect on tourists’ visiting experience. Thus, this study aims to understand tourists’ perception of crowding and its subsequent effect on their loyalty. A theme park in China called China Dinosaur Land, located in Jiangsu Province, is selected as the research site and 296 valid questionnaires are collected from the visitors. The results illustrate that psychological states, such as perceived crowding, emotional response, and coping behavior are much more complex than the study initially proposes; therefore, the hypotheses of the study are amended according to the research results.

The role of firm attributes as a source of competitive advantage has been discussed previously in the tourism marketing strategy field. Benchmarking, a recognized learning model, is recommended as a tool to identify and improve the competitiveness of a firm. The present study employs the importance–performance analysis (IPA) to benchmark five nature- and culture-based attractions in Northern Norway. Altogether, 701 respondents participated in the on-site survey, i.e., during their vacation experiences. The present study reveals several interesting and useful managerial insights and implications for the tourist attraction industry in general as well as for the individual tourist attraction firm measured. Consequently, this study contributes to management by integrating theory and empirical data to investigate whether benchmarking, as a company learning tool, may lead to improved performance. Based on the study results, the present work suggests strategies and potential improvements for the respective tourist attractions.

Previous research has concluded that there is consumer desire for nutrition information to be provided on restaurant menu items and restaurant customers presented with this information will make healthier menu choices (Mills & Thomas, 2008). Limited research has been performed in a restaurant setting measuring real rather than intended behavior. The purpose of this research experiment is to measure consumer response, in a full-service restaurant setting, to nutrition information on menu items and subsequently determine if consumers will use this information in their menu item choice. An experiment was conducted with 264 restaurant customers at a full-service a la carte restaurant. Customers chose from menu items labeled with or without a Healthy Choice® label. A logistic regression model was used to predict whether people would choose Healthy Choice menu items. Fifty-four percent of restaurant customers chose the healthy choice menu item. The logistic regression confirms that those people who desire nutrition information also use this information in their menu choice. The study concludes with recommendations for the industry on directing consumer menu choice toward healthier items.

This chapter delineates the antecedents of tourists’ perceptions of the extent to which they perceive the prices they pay as being fair. The study also tests the relative importance of overall price fairness perception, which is measured as the relative gap between the expected price and the perceived price. A model and hypothesis was developed and tested, with reference to existing theories. Data was collected from nine nature- and activity-based firms in Northern Norway. A regression analysis was performed, in order to test the relative effects and strengths of the antecedents of tourist perception of price fairness. The results revealed that both information and monetary antecedents affect perceptions of price fairness. In particular, monetary-related antecedents such as household income, payment in advance, and value for money affected perception of whether prices were fair. Interestingly, information-related antecedents such as previous experience affected negative perceptions of price fairness. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the tourist industry.

The April 20, 2010, Gulf Coast Oil Spill was a tragic crisis. This study examined the effect of the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill on the restaurant industry in Louisiana. The study quantified key issues affecting state restaurants in the wake of this particular crisis. The study found that oysters were the seafood with the least availability following the crisis. Most of the restaurants, or 54.8%, did not take any menu items off of their menu; however, 24.2% eliminated one or two items and 21% removed three or more items from their menu due to the oil spill. Casual Restaurants at 38.3% and Family Dining Restaurants at 31.2% had the highest percentages of out-of-state purchases of seafood due to the oil spill. Casual Theme Restaurants laid off the most employees due to the oil spill with an average of eight employees. The highest reported costs from the spill were product costs and marketing/advertising.

This study postulates that the nostalgic emotion of cultural tourists affects their perceived experiential value and helps to evoke their destination image, which contributes to the formation of place attachment. The study deploys a survey research in which questionnaires are distributed in Mystical Yan Cheng, a theme park in China that is built on the historical remains of the Spring and Autumn Annals. The study collects 347 valid responses. The results reveal the multifaceted nature of a destination image. Furthermore, nostalgic emotion positively contributes to the place attachment of cultural tourists. However, the study also illustrates an inadequate understanding of the nature of nostalgic emotion and further study is recommended. The results of the study also indicate that a high level of satisfaction does not necessarily contribute to destination image and place attachment.

The present work assesses destination and service quality attributes, in terms of exploring the stronger and weaker points within these entities. In addition, it explores the relative effect of holistic experiences of destinations and the service-specific attributes on tourists’ overall satisfaction with destinations. Building on the perception, performance, and service quality literature a survey is carried out at 5 different tourist attractions among 701 tourists from over 15 countries worldwide visiting Northern Norway. The results divulge that many destination attributes are important; however, tourists find that the destination performs correspondingly with the perceived importance of destinations. The service quality attributes are also important, but reveal a perceptual gap between importance and performance. The study finds that Northern Norway as a tourist destination should concentrate on “uniqueness” and “novelty” to enhance tourist satisfaction. Service providers are advised to keep up the good work on “giving a good impression and a nice welcome” to enhance tourist satisfaction.

This chapter explores the evolution of Virgin Blue, a low-cost carrier that commenced operations in Australia in 2000, through a process that saw it emerge as a full-service airline by 2012. The path of evolution is analyzed with the aid of several strategic marketing concepts including strategic windows and repositioning. Given the contemporary nature of the area of study, the research employs historical narrative and case study methodology. From a tourism industry perspective, the discussion highlights the usefulness of the strategic management approach including the use of strategic windows and demonstrates that firms are able to successfully reinvent themselves to respond to new market opportunities. The results also highlight the need for destination marketing organizations to be alert to changes in airline operations that may fundamentally alter their value proposition in some of the target markets that they are operating in. In the case of Virgin, the airline evolved from a low-cost airline to a full-service airline and in the process lost some customers who were pursing low-cost holiday options but gained customers who were less price sensitive.

The Internet is redefining the way in which researchers and consumers can access information on hospitality products and experiences. For example, a growing number of online communities (e.g., offer consumers the opportunity to view and participate in various forums and reviews of hospitality experiences around the world. This has created a rich source of information which researchers can tap into, via Internet-based methodologies, to deepen current understanding of the modern hospitality consumer. Thus, the Internet has become a viable (virtual) fieldwork site for hospitality and other research. However, net-based methods have not been fully embraced in hospitality research. In particular, attention is drawn in this chapter to netnography (online ethnography), a novel, Internet-based research methodology, which has rarely been employed in hospitality research. Further, it is suggested, researchers can complement traditional research techniques with netnography to create more rigorous methodologies.

This chapter aims to compare two data collection methods to ascertain whether the method impacts the segments derived for events. A total of 1,180 onsite surveys were collected during a music festival and 522 online surveys were completed by attendees a fortnight after the event ended. Both sets of data were analyzed separately using TwoStep cluster analysis. Four valid segments were identified in both models. In each case 4 segmentation bases and 12 variables represented the final solutions with minimal but observable differences. Of note, a difference in the size of the clusters was identified. Furthermore, in a few instances a category that was ranked first for the onsite approach fell to second, or vice versa. Both online and onsite data collection methods are capable of providing data for segmentation purposes with a high degree of accuracy observed between data collection methods. Researchers must be aware that the choice of data collection will have a minor influence on the segments derived. Ideally researchers should seek to collect data using multiple data collection methods to gain a more holistic view of festival attendees.

The hospitality industry is starting to take responsibility for environmental sustainability. A strong focus on energy, waste, and water usage is directly linked with financial benefits in the operation of the hoteliers. Practices connected to the social aspect of sustainability are less developed. The dominant utilitarian paradigm in managers’ decisions is a strong causal factor in the lack of systematic social activities. The economic driver seems to be too strong! The suggested research agenda will enable us to better explain this phenomenon in which companies include sustainable development in their strategy – as long as the benefits are visible. In this agenda a broad definition of sustainability is needed and more attention should be paid to the different stakeholders. Next to this stakeholder perspective also additional approaches such as change management are necessary. In line with this multiple-perspective approach both qualitative and quantitative methods to research the practices in and the motives for a more sustainable hospitality industry, are needed. Finally to understand motives and actual behavior of employee and guest toward sustainable alternatives, more experiment research designs are needed.

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Advances in Hospitality and Leisure
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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