The Hong Kong Tourism Industry’s

The Hong Kong tourism Industry’s performance was evaluated in this study which was The survey was conducted and data was analyzed with the help several statistical analysis to understand different service attributes and the different service provided as compared to the expectations of the tourist.. A total of 300 valid samples were obtained for Tourism Agency, A multi-stage sampling approach was used in the data collection), a frequency tests, paired sample t‐test, were performed. This study analyzed that the majority of the respondents in the tourist sector were from Airport (48.1%), whereas the region of the respondent was Mainland China (35.4%) among them (8.6%) were under US$50,001-60,000 household income. However the Paired sample t-test shown that the tourist satisfaction level is lower than the importance level, which inferred that customer satisfaction was not fully met. The Hong Tourist industry had good level of service as indicated by the statistical test, which shown the slight difference in the Importance and Performance. Obviously according to the research questionnaire design by applying the SERVQUAL model, more factors were identified from the intangible attributes, and therefore our Null Hypotheses is rejected and we conclude that the Service provided by the Hong Kong Tourism industry is not according to customer expectation and customers and not satisfied with the service.

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Introduction

“Customer satisfaction is the business term which measures how the products and services are delivered by a company to meet or surpass customer expectation in the tourism industry.” (Jin and Chiang, 2008, pg. 320)

The customer satisfaction is the key performer in the business. It is differentiator of the business in “a competitive environment and its business strategy has become a key element of it” (Oppewal, and Vriens, 2000, pg. 46).

This paper is intended to identify customer expectation of tourism and hospitality industries of Hong Kong tourism industry against their “perceptions, and customer satisfaction is investigated in it which is the major determinants of it” (Song and Chen, 2008, pg. 13). The customer satisfaction has the determinants which consists SERVQUAL dimensions, Parasuraman, et al., (1998) which has five principle dimensions by which customers judge the service quality by using it, i.e., Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy, and Tangibles.

This study investigates the similarities between perceived performance, satisfaction and behavioral intention, and the extent to which each is associated with actual performance, customers’ attributions for problems, experience and the level of performance which customers think is possible in tourism industry.

The customer satisfaction can be achieved through good performance of the industry. Halstead et al. (1994) “argued that customer satisfaction as an affective response that focuses on service performance compared with pre‐purchase expectation during or after consumption”. If they are satisfied they turn and re-purchase toursit packages. It is the fact that loyal customers purchase the same service again and again. Therefore, the Quality services are the essence of service industries which affects tourists’ satisfaction level and re‐purchase intention.

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As this research paper examines the impact of “expectations on service quality perceptions in the Hong Kong Tourism industry” (Jin and Chiang, 2008, pg. 321). Early service quality research has posited that service quality is the “gap” or difference between “perceptions and expectations” (Parasuraman et al., 1988). Recent research by Parasuraman et al. (1994) (PZB hereafter) has argued that “expectations measurement is necessary in the measurement of the service quality construct”. The researchers hypotheses in this study that in the uni-cultural context “expectations” measurement may not be necessary, however, in the in the cross-cultural context it is necessary. part evidence of this hypothesis is also supported by Luk et al. (1993) “in the study they studied the influences of cultural values on expectations. “They found that tourists from the Asia- Pacific region have significantly higher expectations of service quality compared to tourists from Europe and America”.

With regard to above Introduction, we create the Hypothesis to test it with several statistical analyses;

  • Ho: The Importance is not different from the Satisfaction in the Hong Kong Tourist Industry.
  • H1: The Importance is different from the Satisfaction in the Hong Kong Tourist Industry.

Literature Review

In 1988, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry designed SERVQUAL, a 22 facet measure that tapped service quality “…the consumer’s judgment about an entity’s overall excellence or superiority” (a definition taken from Zeithaml, 1988). They argued that service quality is “…similar in many ways to attitude,” that is a summary psychological state indicative of an enduring affect orientation while service satisfaction relates to a specific transaction. Using 7 point scales (from strongly agree to strongly disagree) the original version of the SERVQUAL asked subjects to indicate the service that should be offered by a firm denoted as expectations (E) and the perceptions (P) that a firm has the described facet. The authors subsequently define service quality (Q), as Q = P – E, which could be summed across facets for a measure of service quality. Their analysis indicated that SERVQUAL consisted of five stable dimensions: Tangibles; Reliability; Responsiveness; Assurance and Empathy (Parasuraman et al., 1988). These results led the authors to argue that SERVQUAL was a generic instrument with high reliability and a consistent factor structure usable in many organizations if the necessary wording changes were made.

In a subsequent article Carman (1990) raised a number of questions concerning SERVQUAL including the validity of analyzing differences between “expectations” and “perceptions”; the necessity of an expectations battery and the relationship between expectations and importance. His results in four settings (a dental school patient clinic, a business school placement center, a tyre store and an acute care hospital) led him to conclude that the SERVQUAL dimensions are not generic. He recommended that SERVQUAL be administered separately where customers can identify multiple service functions and that the scales “…be refined by factor analysis and reliability tests before commercial application” (Carman, 1990: p. 51). Other researchers echo Carman’s concerns with the use of difference scores and raise additional objections. Babakus and Boiler (1992), for example, in a study of a southern gas and electric utility reached the conclusion that the SERVQUAL instrument may be a one-dimensional construct that results are affected by the negatively worded facets and that difference scores added little, if anything, to their analysis.

Qu, Hailin , Ryan, Bill and Chu, Raymond(2000), Their study surveyed 402 international travelers to explore their satisfaction levels towards service and facility quality in three Hong Kong hotel market segments, High-Tariff A, High-Tariff B and Medium Tariff. Six perception dimensions were extracted from 33 hotel attributes by a factor analysis. All six dimensions had a significant impact on the overall satisfaction of travelers with service quality and facilities in the three Hong Kong hotel market segments. Quality of Staff Performance was the most influential factor followed by Quality of Room Facilities, Value for Money, Variety and Efficient Services, Business Related Services, and Safety and Security respectively. It was found that travelers had the lowest satisfaction level towards the Medium- Tariff hotel segment. By identifying the most influential hotel dimension in influencing travelers’ satisfaction levels, hoteliers will be in an advantageous position to formulate tactics to meet the changing needs and expectations of travelers. Implementing human resources training that emphasizes the fact that service quality is part of each employee’s job should have a significant impact on guest re-purchase intention. The importance of value segmentation cannot be overlooked by hoteliers. Travelers will continue to expect hotels to provide more value-for-money services and facilities and they are expected to shift their purchasing decision to an economic value basis. They suggested the seven attributes in the ‘‘Quality of Staff Performance’’ factor should receive as much attention as possible, since maintaining service quality is a key component of success for hotels in each market segment. Service quality is likely to have a significant effect on re-purchase intention.

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Chu and Choi (1997) compared traveler’s perceptions of High-Tariff A, High-Tariff B and Medium-Tariff hotels in Hong Kong and suggested that travelers who selected High-Tariff A and High-Tariff B hotels based their decision on the quality of room and staff service. Travelers who selected Medium-Tariff hotels considered sense of security important. Their results also indicated that when travelers paid more, they expected the hotel to provide more value-for-money services and facilities in return.

Methodology

Based on the service dimensions in SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al., 1988), The survey method is used in the study to collect information on visitor satisfaction levels in the Tourism agency of Hong Kong, which covers the quantitative analysis of the visitor satisfaction level for the tourism industry and the relevant sectors in Hong Kong were conducted during the period 3rd December 2004 to 6th January 2005.

In order to collect information on visitors’ expectations and their satisfaction with the service provided by the tourism, a questionnaire approach was used to collect the data to related sectors in Hong Kong. A total of 300 valid samples were obtained from the Tourism Agency. A multi-stage sampling approach was used in the data collection. “In the first stage, the researchers chose the locations (strata) for interviews. In line with Tourism Commission’s recommendation, the following locations were selected to conduct the survey”. “These locations are (i) Hong Kong International Airport, (ii) Macau Ferry Terminal, (iii) China Ferry Terminal, (iv) KCR Hung Hom Station, and (v) the Avenue of Stars”. “The second stage is to use the convenient sampling approach to interview visitors. A total sample of around 300 valid responses was obtained for each of the sectors. Frequency tests, and paired sample t‐test”.

Analysis and findings

Demographic and travelling Profiles

The respondents profile is according to their demographic and travelling referred in the Table 1. The majority of the respondents in the tourist sector were from the airport area (48.1%). Whereas in regard to the region the respondents were coming from, it was mainly from Mainland China (35.4%). The majority of the sample subjects were male (58.3%) and female were (41.7%). From them there were (35.9%) single and (48.9%) married with kids. Among them (40.3%) had completed college / university – diploma / degree. Also, (8.6%) had a yearly household income under US$50,001-60,000. There were a small percentage of them (4.7%) which had a yearly household income of less than US$5,000.

­­The Importance and Performance Analysis (IPA) of Service Attributes

In order to understand the customer satisfaction and prioritizing service quality improvements, importance and performance analysis has been a popular tool. By the help of this tool a simple graphic approach is provided to the managers to evaluate their business and the direction for further improvement as well as the indication of what customers’ desired. The Paired Sample t-test is used in this study for the importance and performance analysis to achieve the research objective. The study was conducted to determine whether or not the importance of a given factor significantly differed from its performance.

Paired Sample Test Results

Differences between the importance level of service attributes with its corresponding performance level

Whether the importance of Hong Kong tourist industries is significantly different from its parallel performance, The Paired sample tests (Table 2) were undertaken in this study. The results show that there is significant difference in the Importance and satisfaction in the tourist agency of Hong Kong. From overall results it can be indicated that the customers are not satisfied with the service provided as inferred from the mean differences, that the Importance has the high score for allover the service attributes.

Conclusion and Implication

Several statistical analyses were performed to assess service quality provided by the tourism industry in Hong Kong and their effects on satisfaction of the tourists. The demographic data, showed that tourist from Mainland China were in majority (35.4%), which is higher involvement percentage of tourists from the Mainland. The chinese visitors are the most important source market for the industry for current tourism industries in Hong Kong.

The Paired Sample t- test showed that, although Hong Kong is trying to provide good service level to tourists as there is little difference in means of the Importance and performance however, we conclude that the tourist were not provided the service level as they were expecting from the industry.

We can conclude that services standard and performance play an important role in the overall satisfaction for the Hong Kong tourism industries, especially the tangible and intangible dimensions from the SERVQUAL model. The five dimensions are, for examples, the tangible factors which include well maintained and clean coaches. For those intangible factors in reliability include efficient check‐in / check‐out procedure, punctual and timely pick‐up service. Responsiveness includes prompt service upon request. Assurance factor includes safety and security of the hotel, language and communication skills, proper attitude of tour guide. Empathy factor includes proper attitude of sales staff (polite, patient and attentive without being too intrusive and proper attitude of frontline staff. Obviously according to the research questionnaire design by applying the SERVQUAL model, more factors were identified from the intangible attributes, and therefore our null hypotheses is rejected and we conclude that the service provided by the Hong Kong tourism industry is not according to customer expectation and customers and not satisfied with the service.

Several statistical analyses were performed to assess service quality provided by the tourism industry in Hong Kong and their effects on satisfaction of the tourists. The demographic data, showed that tourist from Mainland China were in majority (35.4%), which is higher involvement percentage of tourists from the Mainland. The chinese visitors are the most important source market for the industry for current tourism industries in Hong Kong.

The Paired Sample t- test showed that, although Hong Kong is trying to provide good service level to tourists as there is little difference in means of the Importance and performance however, we conclude that the tourist were not provided the service level as they were expecting from the industry.

We can conclude that services standard and performance play an important role in the overall satisfaction for the Hong Kong tourism industries, especially the tangible and intangible dimensions from the SERVQUAL model. The five dimensions are, for examples, the tangible factors which include well maintained and clean coaches. For those intangible factors in reliability include efficient check‐in / check‐out procedure, punctual and timely pick‐up service. Responsiveness includes prompt service upon request. Assurance factor includes safety and security of the hotel, language and communication skills, proper attitude of tour guide. Empathy factor includes proper attitude of sales staff (polite, patient and attentive without being too intrusive and proper attitude of frontline staff. Obviously according to the research questionnaire design by applying the SERVQUAL model, more factors were identified from the intangible attributes, and therefore our null hypotheses is rejected and we conclude that the service provided by the Hong Kong tourism industry is not according to customer expectation and customers and not satisfied with the service.

References

Jin, Q. and Chiang, Q. (2008). “A cross section evaluation of the service quality of Tourism Industry of Hong Kong, Importance vs. performance”, Journal of China Tourism Research, vol. 4, page 319-335.

Oppewal, and Vriens (2000), “Measuring Perceived Service Quality Using IntegratedConjoint Experiments” International Journal of Bank Marketing, 18, 4, 154-169.

Parasuraman, A., Berry, L.L., Zeithaml, V.A. (1991b), “Understanding customer expectations of service”, Sloan Management Review, Vol. 39 pp.39-48.

Song, K. and Chen, L. (2008), “Tourist Satisfaction, Perceived value and Repurchase Intentions: The Call of Hong Kong Airline, Hotel and Restaurant services”. Journal of China Tourism Research, Pg. 336-364.

Zeithaml, V.A, and Berry, L. L. (1985). “A Conceptual Model of Service Quality And its Implications for Future Research”, Journal of Marketing, pg. 4-18.

Zeithalm, P. and Berry, L. (1990), Delivering Quality Services Marketing, (3rd edition), New York: McGraw-Hill.

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