Impacts of Service Quality on Tourists’ Selection of Lodging in 4–5 Star Hotels in Thailand
Tourism has been classified by World Trade Organization (WTO) as one leading revenue in a country’s service sector and widely recognized as one of the key factors in international business. As seen in Thailand as a key engine of economic growth, international tourists were recoded at 39.8 million with their total spending at 2.21 trillion baht (US$70 billion) in 2019. The lodging is certainly an essential resource in the tourism sector and the service quality is of prime importance in determining customers’ decision on the selected hotel. The researcher therefore investigated impacts of service quality on tourists’ selection of lodging of 4-5 star hotels in Thailand. This research was to find out about customers’ different attitudes toward service quality they experienced inside 4-5 star hotels in Thailand, and whether the customers’ expectation exceeds the levels of the perceived service. The researcher used a survey questionnaire to collect both quantitative data, followed by qualitative data provided by 478 respondents in the study. The results pointed to the significance of the gap between customer expectation and perceived service in five dimensions of service quality: (1) reliability, (2) assurance, (3) tangible, (4) empathy, and (5) responsiveness. It was expected that the obtained findings would shed light on the gap in the service quality determinants to identify restraints to remedy and strengthen the identified dimensions of service quality for consumers’ greater satisfaction.
Keywords: Service quality, service expectation, service perception, tourist lodgings, 4-5 star hotels, tourism in Thailand