Customer Satisfaction in the Hospitality Industry in Guadalajara, Mexico

By Sanchez-Gutierrez, Jose; Gonzalez-Uribe, Elsa Georgina et al. | Journal of Competitiveness Studies, July 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Customer Satisfaction in the Hospitality Industry in Guadalajara, Mexico


Sanchez-Gutierrez, Jose, Gonzalez-Uribe, Elsa Georgina, Coton, Silvio Genaro Hernandez, Journal of Competitiveness Studies


INTRODUCTION

This study focused on the evaluation of consumer's expectations and perceptions of service quality in hotels in Guadalajara, with the aim of generating appropriate strategies that promote quality service, thereby achieving high satisfaction and loyalty among consumers. Jalisco is a state with high tourism. Its capital, Guadalajara, is the second in economic importance in the Mexico and a center of activity in the country. Thanks to Guadalajara, certain of Mexico's cultural symbols like tequila, mariachi, and Charro dress are known throughout the world.

In tourism, Jalisco is ranked first place nationally for its number of lodging establishments and second place for the number of hotels room; the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara has a hotel capacity of over 16,000 rooms that vary from economic to five star and luxury class. The metropolitan area of Guadalajara has been the most visited in the state since the influx of the state. This area receives 45.48 percent, followed by the area of the Los Altos Zone with 22.12 percent, while Puerto Vallarta has 17.43 percent (Sectur, 2008).

LITERATURE REVIEW

In this competitive market environment, the success of hospitality services depends strongly on a thorough analysis of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important and most frequently examined concepts of modern marketing thought and practice because it plays an important role in the survival and future of tourism products and services (Gursoy, 2003, 2007). It also significantly influences the choice of destination, the consumption of products and services, and the decision to return (Kozak, 2000).

The concept of satisfaction has been studied over a long period of time, emphasizing different aspects. In the seventies, the interest in satisfaction studies increased to the point that Peterson and Wilson (1992) estimated that there were 15,000 studies done on consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. As suggested by numerous researchers, satisfaction is a function of consumer perceptions. While measuring the perception of individuals is difficult at best, this is most challenging in tourism due to the nature of the product. Many different businesses and organizations are linked to tourism - accommodation, food services, transportation, and travel distributors, to name a few. Accommodations are also obviously linked to tourism as hotels provide lodging and food for travelers. Managing these entities is complex as it involves providing numerous services and facilities. Service constitutes a major part of a hotel's product. In fact, it is recognized as the key factor in determining hotel reputation and repeat business. Therefore, a clear understanding of service quality is tantamount to the successful management of a hotel.

Consumer satisfaction is also a complex human process involving extensive cognitive, affective, and other psychological and physiological dynamics. There is an increasing need for more reliable ways to measure consumer's satisfaction in the hospitality industry, which has been documented in literature (Oh, 1997). Although the study of customer satisfaction has been approached from various perspectives, many authors have emphasized its connection with quality.

Quality

Service quality is not objectively measured according to some technical standards but is subjectively felt by customers and measured relative to customer-determined standards (Kwortnik, 2005). In the past decade, quality has been recognized as a strategic tool to strengthen a company's competitive position and improve its profitability (Reicheld, 1990). Also, studies have shown that unsatisfied customers also express a tendency to switch to competitors (Mittal, 1998).

Service's quality is the gap between perceived services delivered and expected services. Three models have been developed to explain the role of quality and other elements in the formation of satisfaction. …

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