Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

How Does Perceived Value Affect Travelers' Satisfaction and Loyalty?

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

How Does Perceived Value Affect Travelers' Satisfaction and Loyalty?

Article excerpt

More and more destinations around the world are being exploited and opened to the public because of the role of tourism in the local economy (Milne & Ateljevic, 2001). Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) face an extremely competitive worldwide market. The only way to help enterprises survive in intense competition is to provide customer value. Customer perceived value is an important factor in the hospitality and tourism industry that makes visiting a place more attractive (Murphy, Pritchard, & Smith, 2000). In leisure and tourism research, repurchase intention and travelers' loyalty are often predicted by consumer satisfaction and service quality, but it is not enough to offer guidance for service managers if the measurement of consumer satisfaction does not take value and related factors into consideration (Tanford, Baloglu, & Erdem, 2012). Therefore, it is very important for DMOs to appreciate and manage tourist perceived value precisely (Murphy et al., 2000; Tanford et al., 2012). Based on this premise, a number of studies have been conducted on the influence of perceived value, mainly focusing on the dimension and the overall effects of perceived value on travelers' attitude and behavior. However, it has been argued that different types of perceived value reflect differing tourist anticipations in regard to destinations (Lo & Lee, 2011) that, in turn, have differing effects on travelers' satisfaction and loyalty (Gallarza & Gil Saura, 2006). Consequently, DMOs should not pay the same level of attention to each type of perceived value. Nevertheless, limited research exists on how each type of perceived value influences tourist attitude and behavior. It is necessary to differentiate the respective roles of each aspect of perceived value in formation of attitudes and behaviors in the tourism context.

The Mainland Chinese outbound (MCO) tourism market has been experiencing substantial growth in recent years. More than 140 countries have approved destination status from China, and still more destinations are being attracted into this potential market (Shankman & Ali, 2013). However, most western DMOs are unfamiliar with this burgeoning market.

We believe that it is necessary to point out that perceived value is a subjective and dynamic construct that varies across different customers and cultures (Eid & El-Gohary, 2014). For most DMOs in other countries of the world who have limited experience with Chinese travelers, it is important to acknowledge how MCO tourists perceive the value of their destinations, and how these values influence their satisfaction and loyalty.

In this study our aim was to extend the theoretical and empirical evidence of relationships between MCO tourists' overall perceived value, satisfaction, and loyalty by examining each individual type of perceived value, in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the MCO tourist market. This would help those who are interested in this market to design and implement effective marketing strategies.

Literature Review and Theoretical Model

Dimensions of Perceived Value

Perceived value has been measured as both customer utility, and as the ratio of perceived benefits relative to sacrifice, quality, worth and so forth. The definition of perceived value varies greatly depending on type of product and service. From a behavioral perspective, Zeithaml (1988, p. 14) defined perceived value as the consumer's "overall assessment of the utility of a product based on perceptions of what is received and what is given." According to the utilitarian perspective, perceived value is a function of acquisition utility and transaction utility (Petrick & Backman, 2002). To date, although many studies have been conducted on the dimensions and measurement of perceived value in the field of tourism and hospitality, the structure of perceived value varies in the existing literature.

In all of the studies conducted in the hospitality and tourism industry the researchers have adopted a multidimensional approach. …

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