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Value Addition through Integrating Tourism with Hotel Loyalty Programs (Research Proposal Sample)


The primary focus of this study was to highlight the existing hotel loyalty programs and the general practices adopted by the tourism industry. The emphasis was on integrating both these aspects of business and explore various ways to add value through integrating hotel loyalty programs and tourism

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Value Addition through Integrating Tourism with Hotel Loyalty Programs
IntroductionIn the last few years relationship marketing has become a major concept in business world. Majority of companies are focusing on maintaining long-lasting and profitable relationships with their consumers and transform potential consumers into loyal consumers. This is generally achieved through evaluating consumer needs and expectations and providing products / services which not only meet their primary requirements but also provide additional benefits. Gounaris (2005) admits that with growing competition, maneuvering four P’s of marketing mix is not adequate for all industries. It is significant to earn customers’ trust and commitment through identifying their needs. It is also significant to retain existing consumers because in a survey by Kumarand Shah (2004); it has been proved that a firm is more profitable if it sells the same product to the same consumer multiple times than searching for new consumers every time. This clearly shows that there is immensely to understand factors which influence consumer buying behavior and consumer satisfaction to ensure that they remain with the company and become loyal consumers. This has placed more emphasis on relationship marketing.All businesses / industries have become consumer oriented and firms are exploring various ways to attract and retain consumers through numerous marketing activities and effective relationship marketing program. The tourism industry and especially hotel industry are also working in the same direction through introducing various ways of maintaining healthy consumer relationship and retaining consumers. Hotels have adopted more relationship driven approach through hotel loyalty programs. This concept has emerged strongly in the last 4 – 5 years and hotel industry is making noticeable attempts to improve this aspect of business and ensure that potential consumers can be transformed into loyal consumers and hotels can retain them in order to maintain longer and profitable relationship. This study will primarily focus on exploring various ways through which tourism and hotel industry can be effectively integrated and value can be added to the structure through enhancing hotel loyalty programs.Aim of the studyThe primary focus of this study will be to highlight the existing hotel loyalty programs and the general practices adopted by tourism industry. The emphasis will be on integrating both these aspects of business and explore various ways to add value through integrating hotel loyalty programs and tourism. This whole study will be divided into four research questions. Research QuestionsUnderstanding the significance of customer satisfaction in accordance with customer expectations in adding value / building brand in hotel industry. Exploring the possibilities of integrating it with Tourism industryIdentifying the areas of improvement in both tourism and hotel industry which dissatisfies potential consumers and how to overcome these aspects of both industries to improve customer relations. Identifying common factors from tourism and hotel industry which influence customer satisfaction levels. How can relationship marketing be constructively utilized?How can value be added to hotel loyalty programs in the integrated framework. Does it require a complete structural change in both tourism and hotel industry. How can value of hotel loyalty programs enhanced through successfully addressing customer satisfaction aspects / issues? Looking into the Research questions in DetailThe focus of the first question will be to study the significance of factors such as customer satisfaction in accordance with customer expectations in adding value / building brand in hotel industry and tourism which not only promotes business but also influence the performance of a hotel. The intent will be to create a common ground from where a co-relation between tourism and hotel industry can be established for further exploration within the context of this study.While answering the second question, the intent will be to identify the factors which negatively impact both tourism and hotel industry and cause dissatisfaction. The study will also explore various ways to avoid these factors and their impact on the business and if in case a certain factor is unavoidable to study will attempt to explore or develop an alternative that resolves / provides a long-lasting and feasible solution in this context.The parameters for the third research question would evaluate the existing framework that majority of hotels are using and the focus will be on understanding the existing structure and the points which can be developed for integrating tourism successfully with hotel loyalty programs. With increasing emphasis on relationship marketing, can there be an alternate way to integrate the tourism industry and hotel industry (especially hotel loyalty programs) to enhance customer satisfaction levels and established a long-lasting and profitable relationship.Answers to the last question would be the core of this study. This will largely use the information gathered in the previous three questions and attempt to improve the existing structure of tourism and industry. All associated factors and aspects will be explored and highlighted. All the alternatives which can improve the existing structure and add value to hotel loyalty programs will be discussed in detail. As the study will be carried out in the divided four questions, a detailed evaluation will be done to ensure that the study remains in the right direction and the exploration eliminate/minimize the limitations. Proposal Time Plan This study has been divided into four phases, each presenting a significant aspect in the context of the chosen subject. The phases and the time expected for completion of these phases is given in the table below; Task / Time (Months)2 M 2 – 8 M8-10 M10-12M12-14MInitial Study (Information gathering)Phase1: Basic study & creating theoretical frameworkPhase 2: Identifying and studying various factors influencing Tourism & Hotel industryTheoretical Data Collection (information) &EvaluationPhase 3: Study of traditional structure and creating a common ground for integrating Tourism with Hotel loyalty programsPhase 4: Exploring ways to add value to existing structure through integrating Tourism with Hotel loyalty programs. Highlighting all possible alternatives associated with the study. Findings of the study &SuggestionsLiterature ReviewWith growing competition, organizations have become further consumer oriented irrespective of industries. Kumar and Shah (2004) admit that it is more beneficial to retain existing consumers than to attract new consumers every time. This has lead to concepts such as customer relationship management which not only help organizations in retaining existing customers but also in understanding various aspects which enhance customer satisfaction. Therefore it is significant to examine the available literature with respect to identifying elements that would add value constituting successful customer relationships and also issues which organizations must consider for successful business and effective customer relationships.With respect to Customer Relationship Management, it is significant to focus on customer loyalty and concepts influencing customer loyalty such as behavioral loyalty, customer satisfaction, and attitudinal loyalty and switching costs. Chojnacki (2000) suggests that it is also important to study the fundamental definitions and principles of customer satisfaction and how can it be transformed into loyalty.According to Gounaris (2005); it has been observed that 4P’s (product, price, place and promotion) are not adequate to attract consumers due to growing competition. Consumers have become more aware of products and their features which have increased their expectations. Reinartz & Kumar (2002) reveal that customer relationship largely depends upon trust and commitment between the consumer and the organization. Management always tries to build a healthy relationship through meeting commitments and instilling trust in the relationship.New striking differences between relationship marketing and transaction marketing are listed below;RELATIONSHIP MARKETINGTRANSACTION MARKETINGFocuses mainly on customer retentionFocuses mainly on one-time salesManagement remains in contact with potential consumers continuouslyCustomer contact is discontinuousManagement focuses on providing value to consumerManagement focuses on adding features to products / servicesEmphasis on building long-term relations with potential consumerFocuses on gaining short-term benefitsHigh emphasis on customer service and customer satisfactionLow emphasis on customer service and customer serviceManagement is committed to meet customer expectationsLimited commitment to meet customer expectationsQuality is maintained by all departmentsQuality is primary concern only for production staff(Source: O’Malley & Prothero 2002)This clearly indicates that relationship marketing provides more benefits to both organizations and potential consumers. Tricia Carr (2012) admits that there are many factors which influence relationship between potential consumers and organizations. In majority of cases it has been found that his factors are industry specific. Most of these factors can be controlled and performance can be enhanced through adding value to consumer services. This transversely improves customer satisfaction levels. Hotels are considered to be an integral part of tourism industry. Tricia Carr (2012) admits that hotels fulfill the accommodation needs of tourists. This forms a major part of their travelling (tour) experience. The services provided by hotels can surely transform non...
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