Special Issue "Influencing Factors of Traveler Loyalty for Destination, Company, and Brand"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (7 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Heesup Han
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diverse factors affect travelers’ loyalty and their post-purchase behaviors. Increasing traveler loyalty is a fundamental aspect of the success of a destination/company/brand. The aim of this Special Issue is to build upon the knowledge of the extant literature regarding traveler loyalty for a particular tourism destination/product/brand. It will also attempt to provide insights into the relationships between loyalty and its triggers. The scope of this Special Issue will cover diverse loyalty issues and travelers’ post-consumption behaviors within any context of the tourism and hospitality industry. Articles dealing with loyalty generation process, rewards, pseudo loyalty, outcomes/barriers of loyalty, theory/model development, and sustainable loyalty programs/behaviors are particularly welcome. The Guest Editor encourages studies based on various quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches, comprising but not limited to surveys, experimental designs, case studies, interviews, reviews, and big data analysis.

Prof. Dr. Heesup Han
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • destination loyalty
  • loyalty for hospitality and tourism company/brand (e.g., hotel, restaurant, airline, cruise, travel agency, convention, resort)
  • barriers of loyalty
  • triggers of loyalty
  • outcomes of loyalty behaviors
  • traveler decision-making process and post-purchase behaviors
  • green loyalty
  • loyalty/rewards programs
  • theory/model development
  • loyalty enhancement strategy
  • behavioral and attitudinal aspects of loyalty
  • destination/country image and attachment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Examining Structural Relationships among Night Tourism Experience, Lovemarks, Brand Satisfaction, and Brand Loyalty on “Cultural Heritage Night” in South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6723; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12176723 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
The night-time economy is an important part of the urban economy and contributes significantly to modern cities’ GDP. The development of night tourism is one of the crucial means to enrich and prosper the night-time economy. Recently, as a popular topic of sustainable [...] Read more.
The night-time economy is an important part of the urban economy and contributes significantly to modern cities’ GDP. The development of night tourism is one of the crucial means to enrich and prosper the night-time economy. Recently, as a popular topic of sustainable development, night tourism has received extensive attention. However, little attention has been paid to night tourism, especially from the emotional perspective of tourists. Furthermore, discussions on how and why tourists become interested in night tourism are still lacking. To fill the research gap, based on the theory of experience economy, we used the concept of lovemarks to explore the influence of tourists’ tourism experience and lovemarks on their brand satisfaction and brand loyalty. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 487 tourists of “Cultural Heritage Night”, a night tourism brand in South Korea. The results indicate that tourists’ entertainment and educational experience significantly influence their lovemarks (both of brand love and respect), and esthetic experience only significantly influences brand respect. Furthermore, the influence of tourists’ lovemarks on brand satisfaction and loyalty is also validated. To retain the sustainable development of night-time economy and night tourism, local authorities and destination managers are recommended to provide night tourism brands (products) with optimal experience effects and entirely emotional and functional attributes. Full article
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Article
Cruise Travelers’ Service Perceptions: A Critical Content Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6702; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12176702 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
This paper examines the main elements of online reviews left by popular cruise ships’ travelers. The eight most popular cruise ships were selected. We aimed to pinpoint the service quality experiential perceptions of cruise travelers regarding their higher or lower value for money [...] Read more.
This paper examines the main elements of online reviews left by popular cruise ships’ travelers. The eight most popular cruise ships were selected. We aimed to pinpoint the service quality experiential perceptions of cruise travelers regarding their higher or lower value for money ratings. Leximancer 4.5 software was used to derive the linkage and co-occurrence between service concepts in the online narratives of 2000 guests from Cruisecritic.com. The evaluation showed 10 areas addressed by the descriptions of the cruise’s perceived quality. These are “ship,” “staff,” “food,” “entertainment,” “room,” “area,” “embarkation,” “excursion” “disembarkation,” and “port.” Furthermore, the results highlight themes like “ship,” “staff,” “food,” “entertainment,” “room,” and “area” as belonging to the high-satisfaction group (excellent/very good), while “embarkation,” “disembarkation,” “excursion,” and “port” belong to the low-satisfaction group (poor/terrible). The study offers useful insights into cruise travelers’ general perceived experience according to user-generated content, and enables the identification of the main themes associated with different satisfaction groups. Full article
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Article
The Roles of Perceived Innovativeness in Creating Visitors’ Citizenship Behaviors at an International Game Exhibition
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4950; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124950 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 661
Abstract
This study examines the extent of game exhibition visitors’ perceptions of innovativeness through service quality and investigates the relationships between innovativeness and visitors’ citizenship behavior, which are the more active behaviors compared with loyalty in game exhibitions. Data were collected from game exhibition [...] Read more.
This study examines the extent of game exhibition visitors’ perceptions of innovativeness through service quality and investigates the relationships between innovativeness and visitors’ citizenship behavior, which are the more active behaviors compared with loyalty in game exhibitions. Data were collected from game exhibition visitors participating in Game Show & Trading, All-Round (G-STAR), one of the largest international exhibitions supporting the game industry in South Korea. The results reveal that all three service quality dimensions were important antecedents of innovativeness. The results also verify that innovativeness has positive effects on citizenship behavior toward other visitors and G-STAR, and membership positively moderates the relationship between innovativeness and citizenship behavior toward other visitors. These results suggest that a conceptual model for understanding the dynamic effects of the relationships between service quality, innovativeness, and visitors’ citizenship behavior can be constructed and can contribute to managing sustainable exhibitions in the game industry. Full article
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Article
Direct and Indirect Tourism Online Channels. Do They Have a Different Potential for Customer Loyalty?
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4761; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114761 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 896
Abstract
To manage their competitive goals, e-tourism service companies, in direct and in indirect channels respectively, need to know the antecedents of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty, generated by satisfaction in its various forms, is the cornerstone of the company’s assets and financial sustainability. Current [...] Read more.
To manage their competitive goals, e-tourism service companies, in direct and in indirect channels respectively, need to know the antecedents of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty, generated by satisfaction in its various forms, is the cornerstone of the company’s assets and financial sustainability. Current literature does not provide a comparative analysis on this issue. To fill this gap, this research presents a model that includes customer satisfaction and participation as the main drivers of customer loyalty. The empirical research relies on one survey conducted by a market research company addressed to Internet users in Spain with experience in online purchases of tourism products. The estimation method is 3SLS (Three-Stage Least Squares), a simultaneous equations model applied to the database obtained. The results reveal a different potential of the two types of e-channels in producing higher levels of loyalty through customer participation. Increasing the participation of customers in indirect e-tourism channels results in higher returns on loyalty while the impact is lower in the direct channels. These findings are especially interesting for tourism service providers. Full article
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Article
Brand Behavioral Intentions of a Theme Park in China: An Application of Brand Experience
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4500; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114500 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Despite theme parks being a research hotspot, there is a paucity of research to understand the forming process of brand behavioral intentions (i.e., the intention of revisiting a theme park and the visit intentions of other theme parks under the same brand). For [...] Read more.
Despite theme parks being a research hotspot, there is a paucity of research to understand the forming process of brand behavioral intentions (i.e., the intention of revisiting a theme park and the visit intentions of other theme parks under the same brand). For identifying the developing process of brand behavioral intentions from the perspective of experience, the current study developed a theoretical framework in which brand experience and memory affect visitors’ satisfaction and behavioral intentions to revisit a particular theme park as well as to visit other theme parks of the same brand. The empirical results of current study showed that visitors’ theme park experiences were good enough antecedents of their memories and satisfaction. It was also found that, when visitors’ memory and satisfaction are high, they are likely to have stronger impact on intentions to revisit the theme park and to visit theme parks of the same brand than did memory. Full article
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Article
The Relative Importance of Volunteer Tourism (Sustainable/Pro-Social Form of Tourism) Motivation Factors for Young Tourists: A Descriptive Analysis by Continents, Gender, and Frequency
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4002; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12104002 - 13 May 2020
Viewed by 1130
Abstract
Volunteer tourism is a vital formation of altruistic and sustainable tourism. This research is aimed to empirically find the relative importance of the motivation factors and the motivation realization factors for young tourists participating in the global volunteer tourism programs. The differences in [...] Read more.
Volunteer tourism is a vital formation of altruistic and sustainable tourism. This research is aimed to empirically find the relative importance of the motivation factors and the motivation realization factors for young tourists participating in the global volunteer tourism programs. The differences in the study variables across continents, gender, and frequency of participation were also scrutinized. A quantitative research approach that utilized the survey method was employed. The outcomes showed that personal development was the most vital motivator for global volunteer tourism. On the other hand, the young tourists felt that they most realized the factor of a new experience through their recent international volunteer tourism experience. The motivation factors and the motivation realization factors were consistent across the continents. Furthermore, the mean differences in the motivations, the motivations’ realization, satisfaction, and the behavioral intentions were revealed to be non-significant for the genders and the frequency of volunteer participation. By grasping the young volunteer tourists’ motivations and the experience evaluations, the volunteer programs can be advanced in consonance with their necessities and demands, which enhance the volunteer tourism experience. Full article
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Article
Relationships among Country Image, Tour Motivations, Tour Quality, Tour Satisfaction, and Attitudinal Loyalty: The Case of Chinese Travelers to Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12083182 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
This study examined the antecedents and the consequences of tour motivations. More specifically, this study proposed how two sub-dimensions of a country’s image, such as the cognitive and the affective destination images, affect tour motivations. In addition, it was proposed that tour motivation [...] Read more.
This study examined the antecedents and the consequences of tour motivations. More specifically, this study proposed how two sub-dimensions of a country’s image, such as the cognitive and the affective destination images, affect tour motivations. In addition, it was proposed that tour motivation helps to enhance tour quality and tour satisfaction. Lastly, this study examined the effect of tour quality the tour satisfaction on word-of-mouth. A total of 623 samples were employed in order to test the seven hypotheses. This study employed the AMOS program to conduct confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The results of the data analysis showed that the cognitive and the affective destination images play an important role in the formation of the tour motivation. This study also found that tour motivation has a positive influence on tour quality. Additionally, the current study confirmed the effect of tour quality on tour satisfaction. Lastly, the influences of tour quality on tour satisfaction and word-of-mouth were identified. Full article
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Article
A Study on the Value of Preserving a Parasitic Volcanic Sieve as a Tourism Good for Sustainable Management: Using the Contingent Valuation Method
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2825; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12072825 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic value of Geomun Oreum (GO), a parasitic volcanic sieve, for sustainable management by using the dichotomous choice contingent valuation method. To address the exaggeration tendency of willingness to pay (WTP), the contingent valuation [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic value of Geomun Oreum (GO), a parasitic volcanic sieve, for sustainable management by using the dichotomous choice contingent valuation method. To address the exaggeration tendency of willingness to pay (WTP), the contingent valuation method’s (CVM’s) traditional threshold, respondents’ WTP answers were reconfirmed to screen only true responses for our analysis. In addition to estimating the economic value, the causal relationship between the tour guide’s quality of explanation and the respondents’ payment intention is examined in the study. The results reveal that the estimated preservation value of GO is 35,881 KRW (33.28 USD), and the quality of the tour guide’s narrative is statistically related to the respondents’ payment intention. Full article
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Article
Sensory/Health-Related and Convenience/Process Quality of Airline Meals and Traveler Loyalty
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 857; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12030857 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 947
Abstract
Little evidence is available on how airline meals and their dimensions affect customers’ loyalty generation procedure and behaviors towards airline products. This research is designed to elucidate airline customer loyalty generation procedure by uncovering the specific role of airline meals and their dimensions, [...] Read more.
Little evidence is available on how airline meals and their dimensions affect customers’ loyalty generation procedure and behaviors towards airline products. This research is designed to elucidate airline customer loyalty generation procedure by uncovering the specific role of airline meals and their dimensions, attitude, satisfaction, and love. Using a quantitative method, empirical findings from the structural analysis successfully offer a good understanding of airline food quality and its role, identify the vital triggers of customer loyalty, and uncover the silent mediating role of airline love in affecting loyalty. Taking one step further beyond the theorizations in the existing studies of airline customers’ post-purchase behaviors, the present study builds a strong conceptual framework relating airline food quality, attitude, satisfaction, airline love, and customer loyalty. Full article
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Article
Older Travelers’ E-Loyalty: The Roles of Service Convenience and Social Presence in Travel Websites
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12010410 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
The research aims to examine what service convenience factors drive customer satisfaction in travel websites from the perspective of older travelers, and if older travelers’ satisfaction enhances e-loyalty. Additionally, drawing on socioemotional selectivity theory, this study argues that the social presence in travel [...] Read more.
The research aims to examine what service convenience factors drive customer satisfaction in travel websites from the perspective of older travelers, and if older travelers’ satisfaction enhances e-loyalty. Additionally, drawing on socioemotional selectivity theory, this study argues that the social presence in travel websites plays a significant moderating role in increasing older travelers’ satisfaction. To empirically verify the conceptual model, an online survey was conducted targeting older travelers aged over 50 in the USA who have purchased products via travel websites. The data from 308 older travelers were analyzed, and the results revealed four dimensions of service convenience positively influence satisfaction. Unexpectedly, access convenience and transaction convenience do not influence older travelers’ satisfaction. The older travelers’ satisfaction with travel websites has a positive impact on e-loyalty. Additionally, social presence amplifies the effect of post-purchase convenience on satisfaction. The current research makes a significant contribution to understanding older travelers’ perceptions and behaviors for using e-commerce service in the field of tourism and provides practitioners with effective ways to attract older travelers for sustainable management of travel websites. Full article
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Article
The Relationships among Perceived Value, Intention to Use Hashtags, eWOM, and Brand Loyalty of Air Travelers
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6523; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su11226523 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1497
Abstract
This study analyzed the relationships between utilitarian value, hedonic value, intention to use an airline’s social networking service (SNS) hashtag, electronic word of mouth (eWOM), and brand loyalty. A research survey consisting of 220 samples was conducted with respondents who had experience using [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the relationships between utilitarian value, hedonic value, intention to use an airline’s social networking service (SNS) hashtag, electronic word of mouth (eWOM), and brand loyalty. A research survey consisting of 220 samples was conducted with respondents who had experience using airline SNS hashtags. Finally, 204 answers were analyzed after excluding 16 unreliable answers. The results show that utilitarian value significantly influenced the intention to use hashtags, while hedonic value, intention to use, and eWOM had no significant effect on brand loyalty. Moreover, the correlation between utilitarian value and intention to use indicated that hashtags had a meaningful impact. However, hedonic value, intention to use, and eWOM were relatively inconsequential. This research ascertained behavioral intention based on previous studies of the theory of perceived value (utilitarian value and hedonic value) and the relationships between each variable. In addition, by analyzing the behavioral intention of customers from an airline perspective, it contributes to a more effective marketing strategy based on social curation. Thus, this research facilitates practical applications by finding a method to improve airline customers’ SNS activity and involving the brand loyalty of its customers. Full article
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Review

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Review
Hotel Brand Loyalty—A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4810; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124810 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1438
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze hotel brand loyalty (HBL) based on a systematic literature review conducted according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statements. Following these statements, we searched two databases (Scopus and Web of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze hotel brand loyalty (HBL) based on a systematic literature review conducted according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statements. Following these statements, we searched two databases (Scopus and Web of Science) for studies containing the term ‘hotel brand loyalty’. Additionally, the backward and forward snowballing methods were applied. Only empirical studies concerning loyalty towards brand hotels were included, resulting in 26 studies in the final review. The quality of the various studies was evaluated according to the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist. The studies included in the systematic review were analyzed in three areas: general details and study design (authorship, year of publication, type of study, research country or location, characteristic of the sample population, the purpose of stay or travel, type of hotels, hotel brands), research specifications (factors/variables, hypotheses, measurement items, data analysis), and general findings (findings related to HBL and managerial recommendations). To summarize the results, word cloud visualization was applied. For studies included in the systematic review, HBL was analyzed on two levels: in the context of factors determining the guest/tourist loyalty to the hotel brands (such as frequently mentioned brand awareness, brand image, and perceived quality) as well as those pertaining to models of brand equity. This highlighted the need for managers to perform activities in terms of brand experience and shape long-term relationships in order to strengthen loyalty to hotel brands. Full article
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