Guest-based hotel equity: scale development and validation
El Adly, Mohammed
ElSamen, Amjad Abu
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This paper aims to measure customer-based brand equity in the context of hotels, and to develop and empirically validate a new scale, named guest-based hotel equity (GBHE), by incorporating the customer perceived value of hotels as a multidimensional construct in addition to its traditional dimensions (i.e. brand awareness and brand image). Design/methodology/approach A structured and self-administered survey was used, targeting 348 hotel guests who were surveyed about their experience with the last hotel they had stayed in during the previous year. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess the research constructs dimensions, unidimensionality, convergent and discriminant validity and composite reliability. Findings The empirical findings indicate that GBHE is a multidimensional construct with nine dimensions, namely, hotel awareness, hotel overall image and seven dimensions of customer perceived value (i.e. the values of price, quality, self-gratification, aesthetics, prestige, transaction and hedonism). The new scale is found to have excellent psychometric properties; it has demonstrated its predictive power on behavioral intentions. Research limitations/implications Although the authors believe that the sample size was reasonable and adequate for conducting CFA analysis, a bigger sample would be better and might increase the robustness of the proposed scale. In addition, to avoid the retrieval failure problem, hotel guests should be surveyed just after their stay in the hotel or not long afterwards. Further, the hotel classification or hotel star rating was not considered in developing and validating the GBHE scale. Practical implications The findings of this study provide hotel managers with a new tool to use in assessing the experiential value of the hotel brand equity, other than conventional hotel awareness and brand image. Further, using the multidimensional construct of perceived value provides hotel managers with more insights into what aspects of hotel brand equity they should focus on to influence the behavioral intentions of their guests. Originality/value The originality of this research is highlighted in several points. First, it develops and empirically validates a new scale to measure customer-based brand equity in the hotel context, that is, GBHE. Second, it incorporates the customer perceived value of hotels not as a unidimensional construct that is concerned only with cost, but as a multi-dimensional construct which includes in the GBHE scale dimensions that are both cognitive (i.e. of price and quality) and affective (i.e. of self-gratification, aesthetics, prestige, transaction and hedonism) in addition to its traditional dimensions (i.e. brand awareness and brand image). Third, it assesses the predictive power and relative importance of the GBHE dimensions for behavioral intentions (i.e. loyalty to hotels). Finally, no research has been done so far on the brand equity of hotels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), although it is considered a fertile soil for tourism in the Arabian region.