Hotel Choice Determinants in the North Rift Region of Kenya
Hotels form an important component and are critical to tourists’ destination choice and satisfaction. It is therefore imperative to understand the determinants of tourists’ choice of hotels especially for relatively ‘new’ destinations such as the North Rift region in Kenya. Literature suggests that tourists’ choices are complex and are driven by needs and judgments on the merits of the options available. This paper aims at establishing determinants considered important by tourists in their choice of hotels. The study was undertaken in six hotels located in three purposively selected counties namely, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo in the North Rift region of Kenya. The study adopted descriptive research design wherein the sample comprised 240 tourists both domestic and international. However, only 191 (79.6%) managed to fill the questionnaires. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires administered to tourists. Cronbachs’ Alpha was used to test the reliability of the research instrument. Descriptive statistics specifically mean and standard deviation were used to analyze data. Factor analysis was used to reduce the indicators to measurable variables. Descriptive results reveal that product range, value for money, location and staff related issues were crucial in determining hotel choice by tourists. On the other hand, factor analysis results grouped the 27 indicators into seven components that include facility elements, staff attributes, perceived value, quality aspects, accessibility, services offered and physical features as important indicators of hotel choice determinants. Based on the findings, the study concludes that tourists decisions are driven by attributes that require careful consideration that are crucial in creating visibility of an establishment. Thus the study recommends special attention towards ensuring that these factors are carefully observed in order to strategically place hotels within North Rift Region as a destination of choice for tourists. The findings can be used by the ministry of tourism when marketing North rift as a destination.
Al Khattab, S.A. and Aldehayyat, J.S. (2011), “Perceptions of service quality in Jordanian hotels”, International Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 6 No. 7, pp. 226-233.
Alpert, M.I. (1971). Identification of determinant attributes: a comparison o models. Journal of Marketing Research 8: 184–191.
Al-Sabbahy, H., Ekinci, Y. and Riley, M. (2004), “An investigation of perceived value dimensions: implications for hospitality research”, Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 226-34.
Ananth, M., DeMicco, F.J., Moreo, P.J., & Howey, R.M. (1992). Marketplace lodging needs of mature travelers. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 33 (4): 12–24.
Aqueveque, C. (2008). The effect of extrinsic cues on imported wine evaluations: An experimental approach. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 14(3): 33-47.
Atkinson, A. (1988). Answering the eternal question: what does the customer want? The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 29 (2): 12–14.
Awino, Z. Imaita, I. K‟ Obonyo, P. and Wandera, R. (2010, August). Challenges Facing the Implementation of Differentiation Strategy at the
Barsky, J.D., & Labagh, R. (1992). A strategy for customer satisfaction. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. 33(5): 32-40.
Blackwell, R. D.; Miniard, P. W.; Engel, J. F. (2005). Comportamento do consumidor. São Paulo: Pioneira Thomson Learning.
Brady, M., Bourdeau, B., & Heskel, J. (2005). The importance of brand cues in intangible service industries: An application to investment services. The Journal of Services Marketing. 19(6/1): 401-410.
Cadotte, E., & Turgeon, N. (1988). Key factors in guest satisfaction. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. 28(4): 45-51.
Callan, R., & Bowman, L. (2000). Selecting a hotel and determining salient quality attributes: A preliminary study of mature British travelers. International Journal of Tourism Research, 2, 97-118.
Chang, C.P. (2006), “A multilevel exploration of factors influencing the front-line employees’ service quality
Chang, E., & Wong, S. (2005). Identifying and Exploiting Potentially Lucrative Niche Markets: the Case of Planned
Chen, C. and Schwartz, Z. (2008), “Room rate patterns and customers‟ propensity to book a hotel room”, Journal of
Choi, T & Chu, R.K.S. (2001). Determinants of hotel guests’ satisfaction and repeat patronage in the Hong Kong hotel industry. Hospitality Management. 20: 277-297.
Clow, K. E., Garretson, J.A. & Kurtz, D.L. (1994). An exploratory study into the purchase decision process used by leisure travellers in hotel selection. Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing, 2(4): 53-72.
Cobanoglu, C, Corbaci, K., Moreo, P., & Ekinci, Y. (2003). A comparative study of the importance of hotel selection components by Turkish business travelers. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 4(\), 1-22.
Crane, F. G., & Clarke, T. K. (1988). The identification of evaluative criteria and cues used in selecting services. Journal of services marketing, 2(2), 53-59.
Cravens, D. W., Holland, C. W., Lamb, C. W., & Moncrief, W. C. (1988). Marketing's role in product and service quality. Industrial Marketing Management, 17(4), 285-304.
Dolnicar, S. (2002). Business travelers’ hotel expectations and disappointments: A different perspective to hotel attribute importance investigation. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research. 7(1): 29-35.
Dolnicar, S., & Otter, T. (2003). Which hotel attributes matter? A review of previous and a framework for further research, in Griffin, T. and Harris, R. (Eds.), Asia Pacific Tourism Association 91 Annual Conference, Sydney, 176-188.
Enz, C. A. & Siguaw, J. A. (2000). Best Practices in Human Resources. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. February edition, 48-61.
Ferreira, C.N.M., & Salazar, P.E.L. (2012). An exploratory study of the selection of a hotel, a multi-attribute approach. ISBN: 978-960-287-139-3.
Gallarza, M.G. and Saura, I.G. (2006), “Value dimensions, perceived value, satisfaction and loyalty: an investigation
Garvin, D.A. (1991). How the Baldrige award really works. Harvard Business Review, 69 (6), 80–95.
Griffin, R.K., Shea, L., & Weaver, P. (1996). How business travellers discriminate between mid-priced and luxury hotels: An analysis using a longitudinal sample. Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing, 4: 63-75.
Hospitality & Leisure Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 29-44
Hospitality & Tourism Research, Vol. 287, p. 306
Hotel chains in Thailand”, Brand Management, Vol. 16 No. 8, pp. 532-544
Hotel”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 840-853.
Hu, C, & Hiemstra, S. (1996). Hybrid conjoint analysis as a research technique to measure meeting planners' preferences in hotel selection. Journal of Travel Research.35: 62-69.
Impulse Travelers. Hong Kong Tourism SMEs, Service Quality and Destination Competitiveness, 295-311.
in international tourist hotels”, The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 285-293.
India: an exploratory study”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 160-173
Ineson, E.M., Rhoden, S., Nita, V. and Alexieva, I. (2011), “Seeking excellent recruits for hotel management International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 17, 317-328.
Journal of Marketing & Communication, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 14-26.
Kaiser, H. F. (1974). An index of factorial simplicity. Psychometrika,39,31–36
Kimpakorn, N. and Tocquer, G. (2007), “Employees’ commitment to brands in the service sector: luxury
Kiprutto, N., Sitati, N., Ngoriarita, J., Akama, J.S. & Munyao, C.M. (2012). Impediments to tourism development in Kenya’s North Rift Region. International Journal of Business and Commerce. 2(4): 39-50.
Knutson, B.J. (1988). Frequent travelers: Making them happy and bringing them back. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Quarterly, 29(1): 83-87.
Leblanc, G., & Nguyen, N. (1996). An examination of the factors that signal hotel image to travellers. Journal of vacation Marketing, 3(1): 32-42.
Lee, M., & Lou, Y. (1995). Consumer reliance on intrinsic and extrinsic cues in product evaluations: A conjoint approach. . Journal of Applied Business Research. 72(1): 21-28.
Lewis, R.C. (1984). Getting the most from marketing research. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 24(3): 54-69.
Lewis, R.C., & Chambers, R.E. (1989). Marketing leadership in hospitality. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Lockyer, T. (2002). Business guests’ accommodation selection: The view from both sides. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 14: 294-300.
Lockyer, T. (2005). Understanding the dynamics of the hotel accommodation purchase decision. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 17(6): 481-492.
Magical Kenya (2016). Sustainable tourism Report 2016. www.magicalkenya.com
Marshal, A. (1993). Safety top guest’s priority list; sell security as No.1 amnesty. Hotel and Motel Management, 208: 21.
Mattila, A.S. and O‟Neill, J.W. (2003), “Relationships between hotel room pricing, occupancy, and guest
McCleary, K.W., Weaver, P.A., & Hutchinson, J.C. (1993). Hotel selection factors as they relate to business travel situations. Journal of Travel Research, 32(2): 42-48.
Millar, M. (2009). A choice model approach to business and leisure travellers’ preferences for green hotel attributes. PhD Thesis. University of Nevada: Las Vegas.
Mohsin, A. and Lockyer, T. (2010), “Customer perceptions of service quality in luxury hotels in New Delhi,
Mowen, J. C. & Minor, M. S. (2003). Comportamento do consumidor. São Paulo: Prentice Hall.
Mumias Sugar Company Limited. A paper Submitted at AIBUMA Conference. Kenyatta International Convention Center. Nairobi
of university students‟ travel behaviour”, Tourism Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 437-52.
Olson, J. (1977). Price as an information cue: Effects in product evaluations. In A. G. Woodside, J. N. Sheth & P. D. Bennet (Eds.). Consumer and industrial buying behavior (pp. 267-286). North Holland: New York.
Olson, J., & Jacoby, J. (1972). Cue utilization in the quality perception process. In M. Venkatesan (Ed.). Advances in consumer research (pp. 167-179). Iowa City, Iowa: Association for Consumer Research.
Parasuraman, A, Zeithaml, V. A. & Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. The Journal of Marketing, 49 (4): 41-50.
Parasuraman, A., Berry, L., & Zeithaml, V. (1988). SERVQUAL: A multi-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1): 12-37.
Ramanathan, U. (2010). Guests’ perceptions on factors influencing customer loyalty: An analysis for UK hotels.
Renaghan, L., & Kay, M. (1987). What meeting planners want: The conjoint-analysis approach. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 28(1): 66-76.
Rivers, M.J., Toh, R.S., & Alaoui, M. (1991). Frequent stayer programs: The demographic, behavioural, and attitudinal characteristics of hotel steady keepers. Journal of Travel Research, 30(2): 41-45.
satisfaction: a longitudinal case of a midscale hotel in the United States”, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 328-41.
Shanka, T., & Taylor, R. (2003). An investigation into the perceived importance of service and facility attributes to hotel satisfaction. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 4(3/4): 119-134.
Sindiga, Isaac. (1996). International tourism in Kenya and the marginalization of the Waswahili. Tourism Management. 17. 425-432. 10.1016/0261-5177(96)00051-9
Szybillo, G., & Jacoby, J. (1974). Intrinsic versus extrinsic cues as determinants of perceived product quality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59(1), 74-78.
Taplin, R. H. (2012). The value of self-stated attribute importance to overall satisfaction. Tourism Management, 33(2), 295-304.
training: an intercultural comparative study”, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 5-13.
Verma, R., & Thompson, G. M. (1997). Research: Discrete Choice Analysis in hospitality management research. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 21(1), 28-47.
Vijayadurai, J. (2008), “Service quality, customer satisfaction and behavioural intention in hotel industry”,
Wilkins, H., Merrilees, B. and Heringtoon, C. (2007), “Toward an understanding of total service quality in
Yavas, U. and Babakus, E. (2005), “Competing for guests: an application of extended quadrant analysis”, Journal of
Yavas, U., & Babakus, E. (2003). What do guests look for in a hotel? A multi-attribute approach. Services Marketing Quarterly, 25(2): 1-9.
Zeithaml, V. A. (1988). Consumer perceptions of price, quality, and value: a means-end model and synthesis of evidence. The Journal of marketing, 52 (2), 2-22.