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stated in the research proposal presented to the executive team of AccorHotels, the following four research questions would be examined:

  1. Is each of the six hotel attributes rated by Ibis or Mercure guests as important or very important?
  2. Is age significantly associated with how important each of the six hotel attributes is evaluated?
  3. Is there a significant difference in the importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes?
  4. Is there a significant difference in importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids?

Research Questions

The hotel industry has remained one of the most competitive sector particularly in the 21st century. Consequently, enhancing customer loyalty by increasing their satisfaction levels is one of the key facets of enhancing competitiveness in the industry over and above ensuring business continuity. Accor hotel group is one of the key players in the hospitality industry in Australia. The hospitality company has the advantage of running several group of hotels in Australia including Ibis and Mercure that enables worldwide marketing of the brand. Nonetheless, operating a group of hotels is not a guarantee that Accor hotels will remain prosperous forever. This is where the question of customer loyalty and satisfaction comes in (Ha & Park, 2013).  Customers’ satisfaction plays a critical role in enhancing competitiveness and the success of businesses. Satisfied and happy customers according to Evenson (2012), have a habit of repeating their purchases, staying loyal and engaging in positive word of mouth. Some of the gains that hospitality industries profit from, when they implement a good service quality strategy include high return on investments (ROI) and high profits, a competitive advantage over its competitors, positive customer’s voice in advertising, higher efficiency, along with increased  levels of employee motivation and a conducive work environment in a company (Korzynski, 2013). This project aimed to identify how the attributes Accor groups of hotels determines and can shape the satisfaction level of her guests in her different hotels to remain at par in the hospitality marketplace in Australia. This is amid  increased growth of hotel industry in Australia is with major international hotel brands more and more setting up operations in Australia. This is set to escalate competition in the hotel industry in Australia.

This study was guided by the following four research questions;

  1. Is each of the six hotel attributes rated by Ibis or Mercure guests as important or very important?
  2. Is age significantly associated with how important each of the six hotel attributes is evaluated?
  3. Is there a significant difference in the importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes?
  4. Is there a significant difference in importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids?

Research design has been described in various ways by different scholars. Kennedy-Clark (2015), describe a research design as an outline for piloting a study with maximum control over factors that may obstruct the validity of the findings. Fowler (2015) defines a research design as a blueprint that describes when, where and how data are to be gathered and analyzed.  Since this study focused on identifying various attributes that   determine the level of satisfaction of a customers, a descriptive survey research design was chosen to investigate the relationship between the service quality attributes in enhancing the competitiveness and success of businesses. As stated by Cohen, Manion, and Morrison (2018), descriptive research is designed to offer a picture of a phenomenon as it naturally occurs. It can be applied to justify existing practice to deduce a judgment and to develop theories. For the purpose of this research work, a descriptive research was employed to obtain a picture of guest’ sentiments regarding the service quality of Accor group of hotels with an aim of improving the level of satisfaction this group of people.

Research Design

The target population for this study ware the guests who stayed in Ibis or Mercure in the capital cities in Australia in the past 12 months. Creswell and Creswell (2018), describes population as the total number of items from which data can be obtained, for example persons, events, organizations or artifacts.

Mitchell and Jolley (2013) explain eligibility criteria as a list of features that are mandatory for the membership in the target population. The criteria for inclusion in this survey were:

  • Be a guest of either Accor group of hotels
  • A guests who stayed in Ibis or Mercure in the capital cities in Australia in the past 12 months.

Mitchell and Jolley (2013), describe a sample as a proportion of a population. The sample of this study was carefully from all the guests who had stayed in Ibis or Mercure in the capital cities in Australia in the past 12 months. A carefully selected sample according to Thompson (2013), is supposed to offer a data representative of the population from which it has been drawn.

Mitchell and Jolley (2013) define sampling as a process of choosing a group of people, behavior or events with which to run a study. Creswell and Creswell (2018), alludes that in sampling a quota that represents the entire population is chosen. Sampling is closely linked to generalizability of the findings. In this study, the sampling was non-probable and random. As said by Kumar (2018), in non-probability sampling investigators use their judgment to choose the subjects to be included in the survey based on their awareness of the phenomenon. Purposive sampling was applied in this study. In Biddle and In Emmett (2013), explain random sampling as a method of sampling in which each sample has an equal probability of being selected. According to Salkind (2018), random sampling is one of the simplest methods of collecting data from the total population. The rationale for picking this methodology was that the investigator was in quest of knowledge about the service quality of Accor hotel groups by virtue of their experience in the hotels in Ibis or Mercure in the capital cities in Australia in the past 12 months.
Sampling procedure

Sampling of the participants was done as follows:

  • The investigator sought the support from the management of the Accor hotel groups to identify potential participants.
  • Potential respondents were selected after the investigator pre-selected respondents consistent with the criteria under the inclusion and eligibility section.
  • The research project was clarified to the prospective respondents who were on the short- list and they were requested personally if they wanted to participate in the research before starting the survey which was administered online.

Research methodologies play a central role in gathering the apposite data and information. It aids to gather, analyze, publicize and utilize research findings for the purposes of enhancing the satisfaction of the customers of the case study hospitality company, Accor hotel groups (Panneerselvam, 2014).The research method that was used in this study was the administration of online to collect quantitative data of survey. This was done using a questionnaire as the main research instrument. As said by Morris and PBS for Kids (2017), a research instrument is a tool that is used to collect data.  Altogether, an invitation link was sent to 1,200 guests who were randomly drawn from all the guests who stayed in Ibis or Mercure in the capital cities in Australia in the past 12 months urging them to participate in the online survey. In overall, a total of 431 guests completed all the online survey questions. The data that was obtained from the questionnaires was analyzed through statistical analysis with the aid of SPSS using quantitative analysis methods. In addition to this, secondary data was also obtained from electronics books, library books, other theses and internet sites.

Sampling Procedure

These rules were essential for the smooth running of the study. The investigator put the respondents at ease by comprehensively introducing the subject of the survey at the onset of the questions. The researcher asked questions in the research instrument inductively, proceeding from general to specific using the online questionnaire. Ethical issues, particularly, confidentiality and anonymity of the participants were addressed. The researcher assured the respondents that their responses would be kept confidential and be used only for the sole purpose of the study. As said by Korzynski (2013), ethical obligations are important to guide the participants to interact effectively without coercing or directing the discussion of respondents in any survey. The investigator dealt with insensitive remarks and prejudice by emphasizing the ground rules and using good questioning language and skills in the online instrument.

To conduct this study, the following hypotheses were developed and tested.

Hypothesis 1

Null hypothesis (H0): Age is not significantly associated with how important each of the six hotel attributes.

Alternate hypothesis (HA): Age is significantly associated with how important each of the six hotel attributes is evaluated.

Hypothesis 2

Null hypothesis (H0): There is no significant difference between the importance that is attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes.

Alternate hypothesis (HA): There is a significant difference between the importance that is attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes.

Hypothesis 3

Null hypothesis (H0): There is no significant difference between importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids.

Alternate hypothesis (HA): There is a significant difference between importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids.

The aim of this study was to identify the attributes that distinguish its budget hotel group, including Ibis and Mercure, from Airbnb. In other words, the investigator wanted to establish how much variability existed between Accor hotel group, including Ibis and Mercure AND Airbnb in terms of service quality.  In regards to this, various statistical techniques including ANOVA and MANOVA were used.

Question 1

Simple mean were used to obtain the average mean in regards to different service quality attributes of Accor hotel group as identified by the respondents. According to Field and Field, (2018), simple means are ideal in quantifying the magnitude of the respondents’ feelings pertaining different attributes under study

Research Methodology

Question 2- Hypothesis 1

Pearson correlation was conducted to determine whether there was any significant association between age and how important each of the six hotel attributes is evaluated.  According to Morgan, Reichert, and Harrison (2015), Pearson correlation coefficient (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient) is a measure of the strength of a linear association between two variables and is denoted by r.

Hypothesis 2

This hypothesis was tested using of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). This analysis was conducted in SPSS by selecting Analysis – General Linear Models – Univariate. Usually, the purpose of conducting a MANOVA analysis is to determine whether a group constituted by two or more independent variables have statistically significant mean differences on multiple dependent variables (Morgan, Reichert, & Harrison, 2015). For this hypothesis, MANOVA was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference in the importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes.


Question4- Hypothesis 3

Like with hypothesis 2 above, the investigator conducted MANOVA analysis to determine whether there any significant difference in importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids. The same process as in question 3 above was followed.

This section present the empirical results of study as well as provides statistical and non-statistical interpretation of the results.

Question 1

This research question sought to find out how each of the six hotel attributes are rated by Ibis or Mercure guests. The outcome are as tabulated in Table 1.

Table 1: Ratings of the six attributes of Accor Group of hotels by her Guests

Not at all important

Not important

Neither important nor unimportant

Important

Very important

Row N %

Row N %

Row N %

Row N %

Row N %

Safety

0.0%

8.1%

20.9%

42.7%

28.3%

Easiness of online booking

0.0%

10.7%

16.2%

46.6%

26.5%

Price

0.0%

16.0%

27.1%

28.8%

28.1%

The facility is operated in a socially responsible manner

0.0%

0.0%

36.2%

49.9%

13.9%

Availability of parking

10.0%

8.8%

15.5%

27.6%

38.1%

Loyalty program

3.5%

9.7%

31.8%

35.7%

19.3%

Table 2: Average means of the sis attributes under study

Table 2 below gives the average of the means of the six hotel attributes that were being studied.

Descriptive Statistics

N

Minimum

Maximum

Mean

Std. Deviation

1.Safety

431

2

5

3.91

.900

2.Easiness of online  booking

431

2

5

3.89

.918

3. Price

431

2

5

3.69

1.048

4. The facility  being operated in a socially responsible manner

431

3

5

3.78

.673

5.Availability of parking

431

1

5

3.75

1.314

6.Loyalty program

431

1

5

3.58

1.018

Valid N (listwise)

431

Question 2- Hypothesis 1

This research question sought to find establish whether there is any significant relationship between the ages of the guest of Accor Group of Hotels either how important each of the six hotel attributes. The results are recorded as in Table 3.

Table 3: Correlation between age and the six attributes of Accor Group Hotels

Correlations

Age

performance

Age

Pearson Correlation

1

-.188**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

431

431

performance

Pearson Correlation

-.188**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

431

431

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Question 3-Hypothesis 2

This question was developed to test whether there was a significant difference between the importance that is attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes. The outcome are summarized in Table 4.

Hypotheses Development and Testing

Table 4: Testing whether there is a significant difference in the importance that is attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes

Multivariate Testsa

Effect

Value

F

Hypothesis df

Error df

Sig.

Intercept

Pillai's Trace

.991

7664.469b

6.000

424.000

.000

Wilks' Lambda

.009

7664.469b

6.000

424.000

.000

Hotelling's Trace

108.459

7664.469b

6.000

424.000

.000

Roy's Largest Root

108.459

7664.469b

6.000

424.000

.000

Purpose

Pillai's Trace

.479

64.853b

6.000

424.000

.000

Wilks' Lambda

.521

64.853b

6.000

424.000

.000

Hotelling's Trace

.918

64.853b

6.000

424.000

.000

Roy's Largest Root

.918

64.853b

6.000

424.000

.000

a. Design: Intercept + Purpose

b. Exact statistic

Question 4- Hypothesis 3

This research question was coined to establish whether there was a significant difference between importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids. The outcome are summarized in Table 4.

Table 5: Testing whether there is a significant difference in importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids

Multivariate Testsa

Effect

Value

F

Hypothesis df

Error df

Sig.

Intercept

Pillai's Trace

.996

19024.306b

6.000

424.000

.000

Wilks' Lambda

.004

19024.306b

6.000

424.000

.000

Hotelling's Trace

269.212

19024.306b

6.000

424.000

.000

Roy's Largest Root

269.212

19024.306b

6.000

424.000

.000

Travling_Kids

Pillai's Trace

.620

115.187b

6.000

424.000

.000

Wilks' Lambda

.380

115.187b

6.000

424.000

.000

Hotelling's Trace

1.630

115.187b

6.000

424.000

.000

Roy's Largest Root

1.630

115.187b

6.000

424.000

.000

a. Design: Intercept + Traveling Kids

b. Exact statistic

Statistical interpretation:

From Table 1 and 2, it is evident that the six hotel attributes are regarded by the Ibis or Mercure guests as important. In particular, each of the attribute under study received a meaning rating of not less than 3.58 i.e. about 72%.

Non-statistical interpretation:

The six attributes are very important to differentiate Accor Group of hotels from Airbnb and other competitors. Therefore, there is no need to design different customer-oriented strategies to improve on the level of service quality and in overall, the level of satisfaction of the customers.  

Statistical interpretation:

From Table 3, it is evident that p-calculated (0.00) is less than p-value (0.005) at 0.01% level of significance. Thus, we reject null hypothesis that there is age is not significantly associated with how important each of the six hotel attributes at 0.01% level of significance.

Non-statistical interpretation:

Age is positively associated with the six main attributes of a hotel attributes i.e. safety, easiness of online booking, price, a facility being operated in a socially responsible manner, availability of parking and having a loyalty program. Thus, there is a need to implement strategies that emphasize on the six attributes of the Accor Group Hotel.

Statistical interpretation:

From Table 4, it is evident that p-calculated (0.00) is less than p-value (0.005) at 0.01% level of significance. Thus, we reject null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the importance that is attributed to each of the six hotel attributes by customers travel for different purposes.

Non-statistical interpretation:

Different clients visit the Accor Group of Hotels for different services. Thus, the management of the Accor Group Hotel should diversify their products to fit different needs of all the clients.

Statistical interpretation:

From Table 5, it is evident that p-calculated (0.00) is less than p-value (0.005) at 0.01% level of significance. Thus, we reject null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between importance attributed to each of the six hotel attributes between guests who travel with kids and those who travel without kids.

Results and Analysis

Non-statistical interpretation:

The needs of guest with kids certainly cannot match the needs of guest without kids. Thus, the management of the Accor Group Hotel should incorporate the required aspects to ensure that it accommodate the two groups of people in the best way possible.

Question 1

From the obtained results in regards, it was established that the guests of Accor Group hotels value their safety in the hotel, the easiness of online booking, price, a facility being operated in a socially responsible manner, availability of parking and having a loyalty program (Evenson, 2012). Thus, the management of should invest heavily to guarantee the guest safety in the hotel premises, work to enhance that the process of online booking to ensure that it works seamlessly and efficiently and encourage her personnel to treat the guest in a socially responsible manner; this can be achieved making the internal customers satisfied and motivated as they give to the external customers what they get (Brown, 2013). In addition, the management of Accor Group hotels should increase the capacity of the hotels parking areas and improving on existing parking services (Willson, 2015). For instance, Accor hotels can choose to erect vehicle serving bays or develop car washing areas within the vicinity of the hotels to attract more guests. Altogether, Accor Group should charge fair prices on its product to avoid scenarios of her guest going to other hotels that they may deem affordable (Hill, 2013). Finally, Accor hotels should introduce a loyalty programme to reward the loyal customers and who do repeat purchases of her products. This can be through offering discounted food rates on repeat business, offering holiday packages for free, among other things.

Question 2

From the obtained results in regards to this question, it is deduced that age is positively associated with the six attributes that were being studied. In this regards, the management of Accor hotels should ensure that her products are customized to fit this group of people. For instance, safety has to be ensured to all people irrespective of ages. In other cases, onl;ine booking should be made easier enough to accommodate the elderly among other groups.

Question 3

The findings of the study in regards to this question reveals that different guests visits Accor hotels for different reasons. As such, the management of the Accor group hotels need to have different schedules and packages for different groups and in regards to different purposes as quoted by the guests in different times.

Question 4

In regards to this question, the results of the findings indicated that the expectation of guests with travelling kids in regards to the six study variables are way different compared to the expectations of guests travelling without kids. For instance, guest with kids need higher level of security for their kids as they are not always together; sometimes kids leave their parents behind to go and play with others. In such a case, it would be disappointing to a parent to learn that her kid(s) has or have been kidnapped while within the perimeter of the hotel. Briefly, the management has to invest in the six attributes to also improve the welfare of the kids and their parents in either of the Accor hotels.

Conclusion

This study was set out to establish the relationship between service qualities of Accor group of hotels in regards to the safety of guests in the hotel, the easiness of online booking, price, the facility being operated in a socially responsible manner, availability of parking and having a loyalty program factors influence and customer satisfaction. From results of this survey, it was observed that these six factors fairly influence the level of satisfaction of the guests of Accor Group of hotel. Of these factors, the safety of guests and easiness of online booking of the hotel services were quoted as the most important features of a hospitality company with a mean rating of 3.91 and 3.89 respectively. This implies that guests value their security concerns very much. They look for a secure place before considering other facets of a hotel and thus investing heavily on security is not an option to the management of Accor and thus should be given a first priority to other things. Besides, the process of booking for hotel services when it comes to visitors attraction. This depicts that guests do not like a scenario where they are struggling to book for hotel services. What this means is that Accor hotels need to streamline the online booking process to because as efficient as possible. Operating the hotels in a socially responsible way was also identified as a critical attribute of hotel enterprises with a mean rating of 3.69. This implies that guest will always look for hotels with customer-friendly. In essence, this means that Accor hotels has to motivate its staff in the best way possible to ensure that quality services are delivered to the guest in the most professional manner.

Meanwhile, availability of parking, the pricing of products and presence loyalty program with mean ratings of 3.75, 3.69 and 3.58 are also considered important aspects of hotels however they were given less weight to the first three attributes of Accor Group hotels. This implies that the management of Accor Group Hotels needs to invest quality parking services in terms of spacing and security, introduced friendly and fair products prices and reward loyal customers with good packages like free holiday tours, discounted meal rates among other things. In conclusion, this study established that Accor Group of Hotel can improve the level of customer satisfaction by committing more resources towards enhancing the six factors with the factors with the highest impact on customers’ satisfaction being given the first priority

This study recommends that if Accor wants to beat Airbnb and other rivals in the hotel industry, it should invest heavily to improve the six factors fairly influencing customer satisfaction. The hotels ought to also enhance the five six dimensions of service quality because of their positive impact on customer satisfaction. When allocating resources, security of the guest should be given the first priority and the highest allocation as it has the highest impact on customer satisfaction. Likewise, online booking for the hotel services should be given a key priority as it is also a main factor influencing customer satisfaction

References

Brown, E. L. (2013). Improving staff motivation and competence in the general hospital(7th ed.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education. KS.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. CA.

Evenson, R. (2012). Customer service management training 101: Quick and easy techniques that get great results (4th ed.). New York, LA: AMACOM.

Field, A. P., & Field, A. P. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (9th ed.). AR.

Fowler, F. J. (2015). Survey research methods. London: Sage Publication.

Ha, Y. W., & Park, M. C. (2013). Antecedents of Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty for Emerging Devices in the Initial Market of Korea: An Equity Framework. Psychology & Marketing, 30(8), 676-689. doi:10.1002/mar.20637

Hill, P. (2013). Pricing for Profit: How to Develop a Powerful Pricing Strategy for Your Business (4th ed.). KY: Kogan Page.

In Biddle, J., & In Emmett, R. B. (2013). Research in the history of economic thought and methodology: A research annual.

Kennedy-Clark, S. (2015). Reflection: Research by design: Design-based research and the higher degree research student. Journal of Learning Design, 8(3), 456-677. doi:10.5204/jld.v8i3.257

Korzynski, P. (2013). Employee motivation in new working environment. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(5), 184-188. doi:10.7813/2075-4124.2013/5-5/b.28

Kumar, R. A. (2018). Research Methodology: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners. S.L.: Sage Publications.

Mitchell, M. L., & Jolley, J. M. (2013). Research design explained. Australia: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Morgan, S. E., Reichert, T., & Harrison, T. R. (2015). From numbers to words: Reporting statistical results for the social sciences (6th ed.). LA.

Morris, B., & PBS for Kids. (2017). Cyberchase. Data collection and analysis (8th ed.).

Panneerselvam, R. (2014). Research methodology: Second edition.

Salkind, N. J. (2018). Exploring research.

Thompson, S. K. (2013). Sampling. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Willson, R. W. (2015). Parking management for smart growth (2nd ed.). ID.

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