The efficacy of customer relationship on guest loyalty in tourist accommodation facilities in Masai Mara national reserve, Narok County, Kenya
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Kenya’s hospitality sector operates in a very competitive environment leading to business instability. Thus there was need to assess whether customer relationship initiative would be a means of influencing loyalty in accommodation facilities in Masai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) as an issue of concern in research, policy and practice. In particular, the study sought to establish the trust level of guests on tourist accommodation facilities in MMNR, examine the intensity of commitment from the guests on tourist accommodation facilities, assess the level of communication in tourist accommodation facilities, evaluate guest’s satisfaction of tourist accommodation facilities, and examine the level of complaint handling. The study was carried out by use of cross-sectional descriptive survey research design. Accommodation facilities with over 20 rooms were considered as sampling units. Guests of lodges and tented camps formed the target population for this study. A total of 384 questionnaires were sent out to 32 accommodation facilities, 321 questionnaires were returned and filled successfully. Pre-testing of the research instruments was carried out in Fig-Tree Camp that was not included in the study sample. Cronbach’s coefficient Alpha was used to assess the reliability of the research instruments and alphas greater than 0.6 were considered adequate. Descriptive statistics was employed to summarize the demographic profile of respondents and analyze quantitative data in line with the research objectives. Structural Equation Modeling was used to reduce large numbers of measured variables of the selected five CR construct and reduced them to a smaller manageable CR constructs. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis. Hierarchical regression was used to test moderation effects of age, other factors, income and gender. Findings of the five objectives were positive and significant (trust, commitment, communication, satisfaction and complaint handling) predict guest loyalty at 95% confidence level. In addition, commitment predicted guest loyalty highest. It was concluded that CR is very critical in predicting guest loyalty and thus the managers and the stakeholders in the hospitality sector need to establish and maintain it to increase guest loyalty which in turn will enhance business stability in this competitive era.