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Hotel bookings: developing a new model for measuring relationships between leisure travellers and their online booking channel.

Burke, Celia M.E. (2020) Hotel bookings: developing a new model for measuring relationships between leisure travellers and their online booking channel. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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With the internet now the primary channel of hotel bookings for many consumers, this study sets out to analyse if a consumer forms a relationship with their online booking channel, as much of extant hospitality literature analyses post-purchase or post-stay relationship satisfaction. This is a breakthrough study for two reasons: measuring the multiple Organisation-Public Relationship (OPR) dimensions simultaneously, in the new contexts of one-off, online, discretionary hotel bookings, has determined that a relationship does exist. Secondly, it provides a relationship definition specific to this study: in the context of a reintermediated hotel industry, where the consumer is the dominant party, a relationship in a technology enabled booking process exists where both the requisite levels of attachment and benefits are provided to establish satisfaction with the process, as predicted by the three key indicators of trust, reliability and commitment, thereby prompting long term usage. To analyse this relationship, a mixed-methods approach was taken. The exploratory qualitative study determined that a relationship does exist between the customer and the booking channel. Taking the Hon and Grunig (1999) OPR model as the basis for investigation, the results revealed that the dimensions of trust, commitment, control mutuality and exchange relationship are present. To measure the strength of each dimension, an online quantitative study was distributed to over 500 respondents in the UK, inclusive of both hotel website and Online Travel Agent (OTA) website users. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to measure and validate the relationship dimensions present in the model. The findings were illuminating; firstly, the OPR dimensions were highly correlated in this context, prompting a redistribution of the measurement items. The resultant Hotel Booking channel Relationship model (HBR) was validated, providing the new insight that the dimensions of reliability, commitment and trust are the strongest predictors of a consumer’s satisfaction with their booking channel, which remained true for all of the moderators. This study has made the following original contributions. Methodologically it tested the OPR model in new contexts of marketing led, online hotel bookings that are a one-off discretionary spend and secondly, implemented the rigour and flexibility of the PLS-SEM analysis to generate the HBR model and moderator analysis. Theoretically the qualitative research identified the impact of the functional and emotional benefits, the quantitative developed and confirmed the new HBR and the analysis confirmed the emergence of reliability, trust, and commitment as the significant dimensions within this context. Managerially the HBR can be used by both hotels or OTAs to develop valued consumer relationships and for other tourism sectors such as destination marketing or cruise products.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Burke, Celia M.E.
Date : 30 June 2020
Funders : N/A
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00857120
Contributors :
Depositing User : Betty Burke
Date Deposited : 09 Jul 2020 09:52
Last Modified : 09 Jul 2020 09:52

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