By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
At HSMAI’s ROC 2019 event in June, six college and university faculty members from hotel schools across the U.S. and Canada presented research in areas related to revenue management in the hospitality industry. During one of the presentations, Katerina Berezina, assistant professor of nutrition and hospitality management at the University of Mississippi discussed her original research on “Comparing Customer Perceptions of Hotel and Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Advantages and Disadvantages,” which compares customer perceptions of traditional hotel accommodation advantages and disadvantages with peer-to-peer accommodations such as Airbnb, and examines their influences on customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions.
As part of the project, Berezina and her colleagues Hasan Birinci and Cihan Cobanoglu looked at the results of 391 online surveys — 173 from customers who stayed in Airbnb accommodations and 218 from customers who stayed in hotels. The researchers examined how perceived advantages, including authenticity, and disadvantages, such as time/convenience risk, product performance risk, and safety/security risk, contributed to overall customer satisfaction, which in turn lead to repurchasing. Here are three of their findings:
1, Authenticity is important to guests: The research found that perceived authenticity lead to the greatest customer satisfaction and higher repurchase intentions for both accommodation types. Berezina suggested hoteliers and Airbnb hosts should look for new ways to better highlight the authenticity of local experiences to guests and improve engagement within the local community, including showcasing employees’ skills or hobbies. She also suggested showcasing these experiences on hotel websites.
2. Satisfaction leads to greater repurchase intent: There was a strong positive relationship shown between satisfaction and repurchase intention. While perceived authenticity correlated directly toward high satisfaction levels, it was the satisfaction levels themselves that correlated to the repurchase intentions.
3. Other factors were insignificant predictors of satisfaction: In terms of disadvantages, time/convenience and product performance risks were shown to be statistically insignificant predictors for both Airbnb and hotel guests, while safety and security risk was statistically significant only in the Airbnb sample — meaning these factors did not correlate with levels of satisfaction or repurchase intent.
Due to the limitations of the sample — selection bias due to high concentration of young travelers and samples being recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk — the researchers recommended a larger and more diverse sample to further expand on the results of the study, which was published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.