The Impact of Sustainability on Customer Satisfaction in Hospitality
The hospitality industry is among the oldest undertakings, based on the Biblical innkeepers and taverns. At the same time, tourism is the latest invention in Europe, with historical reports identifying Switzerland as among the first nations to develop reasonable accommodation and travel services. In the late 1800s, the idea of leisure and accommodation spread throughout Europe and brought rich people into Switzerland (Aznar Sayeras, Galiana, & Rocafort, 2016). Initially, it began by visiting the Swiss Alpine guided tours, train rides, and welfare tourism in the cultural and natural areas. Hotels, spas, and ski resorts in the Palace have become icons of Swiss luxury tourism (Webster, 2019). This current generation of wealthy guests expects a higher level of comfort, convenience, and good catering. The phenomenon of leisure travel resulted in the establishment of schools to manage accommodation, as EHL was founded in 1893 in Lausanne as the first school for hotel management (Jones, Hillier, & Comfort, 2016). While numerous business niches comprise just a few companies, the hotel industry applies to almost every company concerned with client satisfaction and focuses on satisfying leisure rather than basic needs.
Some constitutive aspects are crucial to understanding the aptness of this industry. The hospitality sector is a broad category for hosting, event planning, parks, transport, cruise lines, and other sectors within the tourism sector. Units such as maintenance and facility operations, such as an eatery, a hotel, or an entertainment park, exist. Every year, the hospitality sector continues to grow (Jones et al., 2016). The industry’s statistics show that every 2,5 seconds, an indication that new work placement is created, making it a vital part of the global economy (Gallan et al., 2021). More than half a million hospitality jobs exist today alone – a number which is expected to increase substantially in the coming years.
The implementation of sustainable development (SD) exercises in the hospitality sector is designed to minimize and enhance the impact of the activities of that industry on social and natural environments. Environmental managers have taken several initiatives in this respect in the travel industry, and others have taken up SD practices (Merli, Preziosi, Acampora, & Ali, 2019). Sustainable destinations attract different kinds of commuters as their revenues increase. It is essential to take note of the global population, especially for a particular group of affluent travelers who benefit from the advancing hospitality sector. Sustainable visitors are less sensitive to prices and spend about 50% more on financial resources during their stay, on average (Wikhamn, 2019). Instead of just a few days, these individuals spend one to two weeks traveling to various locations. This assemblage also travels with friends more often, generating more visitors. This group prefers to buy products from the local community and support them. The group members should be the same as local foods, but they also enjoy visiting vegetables, animals, etc.
The clients are looking for a dynamic and memorable experience. Customers in business premises are known to be the most important person, always correct. According to Wikhamn (2019), customer service is critical in all companies. For example, it is the first contact point between the customer and the company representative or employee. This meeting is the first advantage for an institution to surprise and significantly impact society (Wikhamn, 2019). The department must deliver what has been promised if it must exceed the expectations of the target population. Each company needs to keep clients and customers content, but it is essential in the hospitality sector to engage guests to grow and thrive.
Customer service is among the best ways to improve any company. Still, it is vital for the hotel industry, where guests seek personnel to help make their stay as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. The issue is about how the quality of service is managed and is very important for the satisfaction of customers and their perceived hotel performance (Abokhamis Mousavi, Hoşkara, & Woosnam, 2017). They need to find new ways to manage their customers to grow and survive. Service persuades customers that it is about. Selling them something; is about developing a long-term relationship. Offering client service to hotels is more beneficial than simply advertising. The improvement of “first contact” resolution is a critical concept in customer satisfaction (Merli et a., 2019). Good listening and questioning skills can shorten the time for customer interaction with the hotel’s employees.
The industry has responded quickly to market changes and gradually gone “green.” Policies and practices for recycling, reuse of grey water, waste prevention, energy consumption, and reducing the environmental impact have been established. The reporting initiatives underway to mitigate the adverse effect on the environment are regularly released by all key players in the hospitality industry (Merli et a., 2019). Sustainability is an integral part of the experience for many. However, sustainability is much more than environmental protection and economic and social development (Gallan et al., 2021). The sustainable development agenda covers social concerns, including inclusiveness, promoting a balance between work and life, fostering the health and well-being of employees, procurement of supplies locally, and entrepreneurship. Sustainability is synonymous with sound business judgment as well as profitability.
Many customers are prepared to pay for their products and services from companies that are perceived as sustainable. For instance, Milovantseva (2016) emphasizes that Americans are willing to pay extra for environmentally-friendly services and products. To encourage this cause, many governments and global agencies offer tax incentives and other monetary incentives (Gallan et al., 2021). It is also shown that employees are more proud of their work and, therefore, more committed and productive. It is clear that hospitality is based on consumer experience, but it is necessary to build the experience into sustainable thinking. However, the industry continues recording losses despite its effort to go green and bolster customer satisfaction.
Hotels appease their visitors with a high resource consumption linked to a good quality of service. This notion is slowly changing, however, because of the environmental movement. Many hotels have practices that are environmentally friendly and operate sensitively (Aznar et al., 2016). They are widely accepted to be responsible for conserving natural resources through their proper use and not dirtying them. As a product, service quality is precious in the hotel industry, with customer satisfaction being preceded by service quality (Gallan et al., 2021). Controversially, the firm’s emphasis on the environment has left some customers displeased, with most companies within the sector overshadowing the distinct interests of their customers. Earlier studies have shown that maintaining a client is less expensive than attracting a new client (Merli et a., 2019). With the environmental problems facing the hotel industry being made clear, they are searching for environmentally friendly hotels. The framework for a terrific marketing plan could be to become a green hotel. Nonetheless, limited research exists to explain the significance of environmental sustainability for customers within the hospitality industry. Thus, scholars fail to find the link between environmental sustainability and customer satisfaction.
The research aims to analyze customer satisfaction at hotels that integrate and promote environmental sustainability projects. For the success of this business, customer satisfaction with a product is vital (Mbasera, Du Plessis, Saayman, & Kruger, 2016). However, a section of the society members is unaware of the significance of shifting toward “green” technology on customer satisfaction (Aznar et al., 2016). As a result, this short discourse will focus on understanding the relationship between customer satisfaction and the hotels’ commitments to environmental conservation. Industrial firms need to promote customer satisfaction while upholding the much-needed corporate social responsibility (CRS) principles. Thus, although existing research studies provide limited facts about hospitality and sustainable customer satisfaction, this short discourse focus on guaranteeing that shifting to green technology promotes much-needed customer satisfaction.
- Customers are willing to pay extra for sustainability, provided their interests are upheld.
- Many customers disregard the environmental sustainability programs within the hotels.
- How do hotel sustainable environmental practices contribute to the satisfaction of customers?
- How vital for hotel customers is environmental sustainability?
Definition of Terms
Hospitality: The host has some goodwill on his sides, such as welcoming and informing guests, visitors, and foreigners. Hospitality is a correlation between the guest and the host (Aznar et al., 2016). An extensive hospitality and tourism sector includes all commercial transactions that explicitly or implicitly to, or rely on, the tourist industry and travel.
Sustainability: Sustainability entails fulfilling one’s needs without threatening the future generations’ potential to satisfy their needs. Humans also need economic and social resources, as well as natural resources (Jones et al., 2016). There are three pillars to the concept of sustainability: Economic, social, and environmental, known colloquially as profit, the biosphere, or people.
Although the study aimed to determine the significance of sustainability in the hospitality industry globally, the researchers had nine weeks to collect data from the selected study participants and analyze them significantly. Additionally, this short discourse focused on assessing the benefits associated with hospitality’s commitment to environmental sustainability despite the sector being complex with several other factors influencing its success. Specifically, through spending and waste reduction, sustainability saves money. It also brings the benefit of public affairs over competitive operations that are not concerned with “environmentally friendly” efforts. However, there is another crucial factor in the sustainable development of hotels and the hospitality industry. Thus, the limited time and budget will restrict the scope of the study, with the study assistants and analysts generalizing the outcomes.
A series of weaknesses exist in this study; the results should therefore be carefully considered. For convenience, a relatively limited small sample amount is selected. The sample would therefore be too small for a comprehensive analysis of various sections of the client base. In addition, because this research was not centered on a particular hotel chain, the outcomes would not be accurate. Differences could be acquired if the research was conducted across significant customers of the hotel chain or even smaller guests of motels. Although the study was not focused on a particular country, the main targets were Mongolia and Australia. Therefore, the outcomes should be carefully addressed, resulting in the loss of diverse views. All these factors show a need for a more comprehensive study covering different types of customers. Thus, a larger sample would provide better knowledge and results.
The research study makes the following assumptions:
- The selected respondents will provide honest and truthful feedback throughout the study.
- All respondents took part in the study willingly and are aware of the study objectives and risks.
- The findings of the study give the state of the general population.
Importance of the Study
The study’s objective is to analyze consumer satisfaction in the hotel industry and to integrate and promote environmental sustainability reforms. Another aim is to find if the “green” aspects affect customer satisfaction. This investigation did not rely on a nation or organization, as it also aimed to collect diversified views from people worldwide. Thus, the study’s relevance depends on greater awareness and significance of sustainable development to help guests satisfy themselves.
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