Service, quality evaluation and management practices of guest houses in Mombasa island, Kenya
Opondo, Josephine A.
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Guest houses offer an opportunity for entrepreneurs to offer accommodation services at more affordable rates. They have limited number of rooms and are therefore easier to operate and maintain. Additionally, Guest house operators are well positioned to experience guest complaints regarding the services that they provide. The purpose of this research was to assess the quality of services provided by guest houses in Mombasa Island as rated by guests and the supervisors and their management practices. The study had four objectives namely; To establish the dimensions of customers' satisfaction with services offered in guest houses in Mombasa Island, to determine the extent to which the customers are satisfied with services provided in the guest houses, to investigate room attendants' assessment of management practices in the guest houses and to determine the accommodation supervisors rating of the quality of services provided by the guest houses. A descriptive survey design was adopted. This research focused on the registered and unregistered guest houses in Mombasa Island. Out of the fifteen registered guest houses, three were used for pre-testing, of the remaining twelve, six were examined. The number of unregistered guest houses, was estimated to be thirty three; a third of the numbers were researched on. Simple random sampling was used to select the both registered and unregistered guest houses. Convenient sampling was used for the guests, while stratified method was used for service providers. Primary data were collected through observations, interviews and questionnaires. Data collected were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Techniques used included means and factor analysis. The findings show that clean linen, guest supplies, well lit rooms, convenient location of the guest house, comfortable bed, and friendliness and courtesy of staff, convenient location, security and safety of room are the most significant factors for the guests who visit the registered and unregistered guest houses in Mombasa Island. The results of factor analysis showed that there are two main dimensions of service quality:the physical characteristics of the guest houses and the competence and courtesy of the staff. The study further showed that the employees of the registered and unregistered guest houses in Mombasa Island are not satisfied with how the management of the guest houses handles their welfare particularly in relation to their pay, recognition of their contribution to the running of the guest houses and availing enough working materials; but feel that the guest houses are run efficiently and the staff are giving their best. Based on these findings, the study concluded that guests' expectations from the guest houses coincided with those of the guest house providers since the factors emphasized by the guests are the same accommodation supervisors rated as satisfying. However, there is need to expose staff to higher level training to improve on their professionalism and communication skills.