Value Co-Creation on Guests’ Loyalty in Classified Vacation Hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya
Ndungu, David Mwangi
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Value co-creation is a business strategy that can enhance the performance of modern hospitality firms. However, its adoption and applicability in the hotel industry more so in Kenya has not been given much attention. The aim of this research was to establish how value co-creation influences guests‟ loyalty in classified vacation hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to: find out how dialogue influences guests‟ loyalty in classified vacation hotels, determine how risk taking return influences guests‟ loyalty, examine how access to hotels through ICT influences guests‟ loyalty, find out how transparency influences guests‟ loyalty and finally, to find out the mediating role of guest satisfaction in the relationship between value co-creation and guests‟ loyalty in classified vacation hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya. The study was guided by the Dialogue, Access, Risk Taking return and Transparency (DART) model of value co-creation and the confirmation-disconfirmation theory. The researcher adopted the embedded mixed method research design involving both quantitative and qualitative surveys. The researcher also adopted pragmatism paradigms and philosophical assumptions which allowed the researcher to use what is deemed as value to them in bringing about positive consequences to the study. The target population included the general managers and guests in classified vacation hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya. The sampling frame consisted of classified vacation hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya. General Managers (n=7) participated in interviews and were selected using purposive sampling from the other managers whereas the guests (n=100) were selected using simple random sampling with 14 guests being targeted from each hotel. However, two hotels were used for pre-testing. The relationship between value co-creation and guests‟ loyalty was measured using Spearman‟s Rank-Order Correlation coefficient, while the mediating role of guest satisfaction in the relationship between value co-creation and guests‟ loyalty was analysed using multiple regression analysis. Data was presented using tables, graphs and charts. The study established that dialogue, risk taking return, access to hotels through ICT and transparency had a significant and positive relationship with guests‟ loyalty in classified vacation hotels. The study further found that guest satisfaction played a mediating role between value co-creation and guests‟ loyalty. This means that value co-creation increases guest satisfaction, and in turn guest satisfaction increases guests‟ loyalty. From these findings, the study recommended that hotel managers and staff should have interactive dialogue with the guests either online or face to face. This will give room for discussion between the two parties hence allowing guests to specify their desires, and needs in the hotels; among other recommendations.