Marketing for Tourism, Hospitality & Events

SAGE Publishing would like to highlight one of the newer textbooks that provides a foundation of basic marketing principles applied to global tourism. The book, Marketing for Tourism, Hospitality & Events, is co-authored by Simon Hudson of the University of South Carolina and Louise Hudson who is an Independent Researcher.80886_9781473926646

The book is complimented by a companion website featuring a range of tools and resources for lecturers and students, including PowerPoint slides, an instructor manual, a test bank of multiple choice questions, and author-curated video links to make the examples in each chapter come to life. Below is a featured video supplement where David Edelman explains how companies can now shape the consumer decision journey:

Click here to preview the book, as well as view other content topics and resources.

Interested in other tourism topics? Click below to view SAGE’s journals that publish the latest research in the field:

Journal of Travel Research
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
Journal of Service Research
Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

How Couples Approach Making Travel Decisions

“Which hotel looks nicer for the better price? Where should we eat? What excursions did the concierge recommend?” These are all questions couples ask each other when planning a vacation, and when plans change during the trip. For some couples, the decision time on where to eat can take longer than others, and the even bigger decision is where to travel in the first place. So how are couples approaching the decision process, and is there a gender correlation between who makes what decision? I.e. when to travel, budget on the hotel, the bus tour to sign up for.

A recent study entitled “Exploring the Length and Complexity of Couples Travel Decision Making“, published  in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, observes the patterns of how couples decide on the much anticipated annual travel plans. This article is co-authored by Wayne W. Smith, Robert E. Pitts, Steve W. Litvin, and Deepti Agrawal, and is currently free to read for a limited time. The abstract for their article is below:

A quasi-experiment is used to examine the dynamics of the shared decision-making process by cqxb_58_2.cover.pngobserving couples in real time as they make decisions about an overnight stay at a luxury resort. Observations and video recordings of the decision processes of 24 couples were coded and analyzed. The time to final decision, number, and type of tactics used were found to vary with couples’ length of experience with one another. Observation indicated that couples with greater travel experience together relied on “predealing” based on their experience together to avoid conflict, while less-experienced couples’ decisions were more likely to yield winners and losers. These findings and those related to the use of persuasive tactics by members of the couple dyads provide the basis for specific recommendations for marketing travel products.

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A Theory of Lodging: Exploring Hotel Guest Behavior

Traveling is generally looked forward to by most, and when planning where to stay, we rely on reviews from past hotel guests. Does the hotel have consistently clean rooms? A lobby bar to meet up with my coworkers? A pool, spa, or gym? Regardless of our questions, they are approached through a mentality of short-term requirements; that is, we don’t have to reference our list of “deal breakers” like when purchasing a home.

Editor Chris Roberts of DePaul University recently published a study in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research presenting the habits and perspectives of traveler decisions entitled “A Theory of Lodging: Exploring Hotel Guest Behavior,” co-authored by Dr. Linda Shea. Below, Roberts explains the inspiration for this study:

What inspired you to be int4643862699_f8d70fef26_zerested in this topic? The field of hospitality is often classified as an applied field as it appears to lack theory of its own.  Instead, theories from other related fields are used in hospitality research.  However, the authors are asking the hospitality research academy to engage in a discussion about lodging.  Is there a theory that explains human behavior when staying in a hotel?  It appears that many humans behave differently when they are at home versus when staying overnight in a hotel.  The purpose of this paper is to stimulate thought among hospitality researchers to explore this idea.

Were there findings that were surprising to you? We are not declaring there is a distinctive theory of lodging; however, the difference in behavior is observable, suggesting there may be something to explore.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice? Interested researchers are encouraged to attend the ICHRIE Conference to be held July 23-25, 2017 in Baltimore, MD, USA.  An opportunity to explore this will be available.  Please join us as we wrestle with this idea of a theory of lodging.

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Hotel lobby photo attributed to fhotels (CC).

Communities as Nested Servicescapes

jsrrr.JPG[We’re pleased to welcome Xiaojing Sheng from the University of Texas at Rio Grande. Sheng co-authored a recently published article in the Journal of Service Research  entitled “Communities as Nested Servicescapes” with Penny Simpson and Judy Siguaw. From Sheng:]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

From groups of four to sixteen sipping margaritas in local restaurants to dancing at a beach or Mexican fiesta, retired winter migrants are a ubiquitous presence in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas each winter. These migrating consumers repeatedly come to the area in large numbers each winter to enjoy the warm tropical weather, to participate in the many available activities, and to enjoy each other in their highly social living environment of mobile homes and recreational vehicle communities. These senior citizens also become an inseparable part of the region by routinely going to restaurants, events, shows and stores where they seem to exude a comradery and enjoyment of life not seen by typical residents of any community. For these migrants, winter life in the Valley seems to be a fun-filled, months-long vacation. Through casual observation of the lifestyle of these hundreds of thousands of active retirees, we were driven to understand their experiences as they become immersed in the broader servicescape of the Valley and in the nested servicescapes of their mobile home/recreational vehicle communities in which they reside for extended periods of time.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The finding that servicescape engagement weakened the positive effect of perceived servicescape satisfaction on loyalty intention is unexpected and surprising. This is probably because high levels of activity engagement become all-consuming, making perceived servicescape satisfaction itself less important in loyalty intention. For example, consumers may be willing to overlook a rundown beach villa if the beach activities are exceptional. On the other hand, lower levels of engagement strengthened the impact of perceived servicescape satisfaction on loyalty intentions, conceivably because consumer attention is less distracted by activity involvement, and therefore, more focused on servicescape factors.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

An interesting finding from our study is that, when consumers interact with two servicescapes of which one is nested within another, their experiences are shaped by the effects of the individual servicescape, the compounding effects of both servicescapes, and by the transference effects between the two servicescapes. Consequently, marketers need to take a holistic approach to managing servicescapes at all levels to create an overall positive consumer experience. We hope that our research serves as a catalyst for future studies that examine effects of nested servicescapes. Moreover, we hope our work encourages other researchers to investigate less conventional servicescapes, such as regions, towns, and neighborhoods, because there is so much more to be learned about how the places in which we live, work, and play affect and transform our lives.

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A Matter of Formality: How Dress Code Can Impact Customer Behavior

Retro Fashion Image

How an individual dresses can be quite revealing about their personality and how they would like to be perceived, but there is more to be said on the effect of dress style beyond first impressions. Customer experience and behavior, for instance, can be significantly impacted by the dress style of other customers around them. In their article, “The Effects of Other Customers’ Dress Style on Customer’s Approach Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Sense of Power,” published in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Choongbeom Choi of University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Anna S. Mattila of Pennsylvania State University explore how a customer’s sense of power can change depending upon the dress style of others, particularly in formal situations. For some businesses, enforcing a dress code could have the positive effect of encouraging customers with low sense of power to engage in word-of-mouth behaviors.

The abstract:

Most hospitality services are delivered in the same location in which they are produced, and, thus, their delivery involves the presence of other customers. Yet, the role of other customers’ physical appearances in influencing service encounter evaluations has received scant attention. Moreover, previous research shows that consumers with a low sense of power are motivated to seek status by engaging in conspicuous consumption. The current study examines the joint impact of other customers’ dress styles and the observer’s sense of power in influencing customers’ approach CQ Covers.inddbehaviors (e.g., willingness to stay longer in a restaurant, interact with other customers). The results from our experiment show that customers’ approach behaviors among observers with a low sense of power were significantly higher when other customers’ dress styles were formal rather than informal. Conversely, the effect of other customers’ dress styles was minimal among observers with a high sense of power. Results from this study indicate that approach behaviors mediate the impact of other customers’ dress styles on word-of-mouth intentions among customers with a low sense of power. The findings of this study help hospitality operators use dress codes to their advantage.

You can read “The Effects of Other Customers’ Dress Style on Customer’s Approach Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Sense of Power” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Why Would You Choose to Revisit a Dissatisfying Restaurant?

02JSR13_Covers.inddWe’re pleased to welcome Dr. Gabriele Pizzi of the University of Bologna. Dr. Pizzi recently collaborated with Gian Luca Marzocchi, Chiara Orsingher and Alessandra Zammit on their paper published in the Journal of Service Research entitled “The Temporal Construal of Customer Satisfaction.”

A dirty plate at the restaurant where we were having a research meeting at lunch inspired the intuition behind the research idea portrayed in this work. Just upon the exit, we were so dissatisfied that we promised we would never come back to that restaurant. Interestingly, when choosing a restaurant some months later during another research meeting, one of us proposed THAT restaurant. After all, the atmosphere was pleasing and the room was quiet so that we could discuss about our research plans without being bothered. We started wondering why the evaluation of the restaurant had changed over time. Someone proposed that the details of the experience were forgotten: however, all of us perfectly remembered about the dirty plate. Presumably, over time the relevance of the dirty plate had decreased in our evaluations.

We explain this phenomenon through the lenses of Construal Level Theory, which posits that that individuals generate different mental representation of events that are placed at distinct points in the near rather than the distant future. For example, organizing a party for the next month is construed at a high level of abstraction, in terms of “having fun,” and “seeing friends.” A few days before the party, however, the same event is construed at a low level of abstraction, such as “buying food and drinks,” and “decorating the house.”

We show that construal mechanisms are activated also to reconstruct and evaluate past experiences. Basing on the results of two experiments and a field study, we find that the importance of the attributes driving satisfaction shifts over time, with concrete attributes of the experience ranking higher than abstract attributes in the evaluation of near-past experiences. The opposite happens for the evaluation of distant-past experiences. In addition, we show that overall satisfaction judgments shift over time as a function of the different performances of abstract and concrete attributes. Customers are more satisfied with a service experience featuring concrete positive and abstract negative attributes when they evaluate it in the near past. Conversely, they are more satisfied with a service experience featuring abstract positive and concrete negative attributes when they evaluate the experience in the distant past.

Our findings have several important implications for designing satisfaction surveys more effectively. We advise companies to design surveys that measure satisfaction repeatedly to obtain the whole spectrum of evaluations. Focusing on the so-called online evaluations (i.e., evaluation collected immediately after the service experience is over) may be misleading: Online satisfaction surveys might overemphasize (underemphasize) the impact of low-level negative (high-level positive) attributes on the overall satisfaction judgment. Additionally, the content and the wording of satisfaction surveys are relevant: if the content of the questionnaire and the construal level of the past experience are not correctly paired, it may be difficult to find an exhaustive explanation for the determinants of overall customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

In summary, our research shows that when consumers evaluate a service experience that has happened in the near-past (e.g., two days earlier) they rely on concrete service attributes, but they rely on abstract attributes when they evaluate the same experience in the distant-past (e.g., two months earlier). This is why a concrete attribute such as a dirty plate might have been discarded from our distant past satisfaction judgments about the restaurant. Eventually, we came back to that restaurant and we received an unexpected gift at the end of our lunch. But that’s another research project.

You can read “The Temporal Construal of Customer Satisfaction” from Journal of Service Research by clicking here. Want to have all the latest news and research from Journal of Service Research sent directly to your inbox? Click here to sign up for e-alerts.


pizziGabriele Pizzi is an Assistant Professor of marketing at the University of Bologna. His research interests include customer satisfaction measurement, intertemporal choices, and inventory management. His work has appeared in the Journal of Retailing, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and the Journal of Economic Psychology.

gianGian Luca Marzocchi is a Professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the University of Bologna. His research specialties include customer satisfaction modeling, waiting perception in service settings, intertemporal choice, and the interplay between brand loyalty and community identification in brand communities. His refereed works have appeared in Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Economic Psychology, Psychology and Marketing, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, among others.

chiaraChiara Orsingher is an Associate Professor of marketing at the University of Bologna. Her research interests include service recovery and complaint handling, meta-analysis, and referral reward programs. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Psychology & Marketing and the International Journal of Service Industry Management.

zammitAlessandra Zammit is an Assistant Professor of marketing at the University of Bologna. Her research interests include context effects, social influence, self-customization decisions and identity based consumption. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research and in the Service Industries Journal.

Gerald Zaltman on New Marketing Science for Hospitality Practitioners

cqx coverGerald Zaltman, Joseph C. Wilson Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School and creator of  the first patented market research tool in the United States titled the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique, recently collaborated with Jerry Olson and James Forr of Olson Zaltman Associates on their article “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

The abstract:

A New Marketing Science (NMS) is proposed that can dramatically improve a firm’s marketplace performance. The NMS challenges managers to dare to think and act differently. It generates deep insights into the thoughts and actions of both customers and managers and how the two mind-sets interact. As several examples illustrate, it departs from the “old” marketing science by its emphasis on imagination, knowing how and why a practice works, understanding the total customer experience, and focus on effectiveness over efficiency. The NMS is grounded in principles from the behavioral sciences and humanities such as the importance of the unconscious mind, the way mental frames serve as interpretative lenses, the centrality of emotions, the reconstructive nature of memory, and the importance of metaphor for learning about and influencing choices.

You can read “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to know when all the latest research like this is available from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!