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Title: Understanding the normative expectations of customers toward Buddhism-themed hotels : a revisit of service quality
Authors: Hung, K 
Wang, S
Tang, C
Keywords: Buddhism-themed hotels
Normative expectation
Religious tourism
Service quality
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Source: International journal of contemporary hospitality management, 2015, v. 27, no. 7, p. 1409-1441 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of contemporary hospitality management 
Abstract: Purpose – This study aims to understand the normative expectations of travelers on the services and experiences provided by Buddhism-themed hotels as well as how service providers perceive such expectations. The growth of religion-themed hotels in China follows a larger and more generalized global marketing trend in terms of providing tourists and consumers with “themed” experiences. Design/methodology/approach – Using the service quality model, this study investigates these expectations of Buddhism-themed hotels in China. The Delphi method was used with two expert panels, namely, travelers and tourism/hotel practitioners. Preliminary interviews revealed 98 normative expectations from Buddhism-themed hotels. Two sets of Delphi questionnaires were used to compare tourist expectations with practitioner perceptions. Findings – Results show a wide range of expectations of travelers staying in Buddhism-themed hotels. They also reveal how the expectations of the two groups aligned as well as differed. Research limitations/implications – This study extends the application of the service quality model to the context of religion-themed hotels. As this study adopted the Delphi technique through criterion sampling, future studies should use a larger random sample to verify the results of this study. Practical implications – The results help religion-themed hoteliers to understand their customer expectations better. Originality/value – Given the lack of studies on religion-themed hotels, especially on the gap between tourist expectations and service providers’ perceptions, this study is a timely contribution to improve the understanding on the needs and expectations of customers when visiting religion-themed hotels.
ISSN: 0959-6119
EISSN: 1757-1049
DOI: 10.1108/IJCHM-12-2012-0264
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