An assessment of the relationship between hotel ratings and customer satisfaction with service delivery in hotels in Mombasa county, Kenya
Mburu, Cecilia, N.
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Kenya is among the famous tourist destinations in Africa. The government has initiated various campaigns to promote tourism. One of the major and significant components of tourism that should be considered is hotels. A high level of tourist satisfaction with hotels' service delivery is crucial in maintaining an image of a tourist destination. The most visible method used by the GOK to manage hotels' service standards and increase customer satisfaction is hotel classification. Hotel classification is ranking of hotels into classes according to the quality of hotels' facilities and services. There is need for consistency between hotel classifications and the extent to which they reflect customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the key for success of hotel businesses and tourist destinations: it affects business profitability, increases customer loyalty; influences repurchase intentions and leads to positive word-of-mouth. However, the Kenyan hotel sector still faces challenges associated with customer satisfaction: reduced numbers of customers and market share, tourists' expenditure per capital, repeat guests, and return on investment. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether the hotel ratings in Kenya match customer satisfaction. To achieve this, the study will use three specific objectives: to establish the perceptions of hotel GMs on features of a hotel rating system that may enhance customer satisfaction in hotels; to assess customer satisfaction levels in rated hotels in Mombasa County; and to determine the relationship between hotel ratings and customer satisfaction in Mombasa County of Kenya. The study will review literature on hotel ratings across different countries. The study will use conceptual, theoretical and operational models to link theory to practice. The theoretical theories guiding the study are SERVQUAL (Service Quality) theory and Expectancy Disconfirmation theory. The study will use survey research design to collect information from the classified hotels in Mombasa County of Kenya. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques will be used. Primary data will be collected using self-administered questionnaires and personal interviews. Data collected will be analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric tests. Analyzed data will be presented using various descriptive statistical techniques such as frequencies, percentages, graphs, tables and charts. Hypotheses will be tested using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and Chi square. Appropriate interpretation of the findings and recommendations will be done accordingly. The expected results of this study will be useful to GOK and MEAACT in improving hotels service standards through hotel rating to enhance customer satisfaction.