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What matters most : customers perceptions of A&O Hotels and Hostels during COVID-19 : a quantitative case study

Schürhoff, F. (2021) What matters most : customers perceptions of A&O Hotels and Hostels during COVID-19 : a quantitative case study.

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Abstract:Background: The current COVID-19 pandemic has become a global crisis and has far-reaching implications on individuals, society and economy. Scientific literature points out that crises imply consequences on the reputation of organizations. Above all industries, the hospitality industry has suffered from the coronavirus crisis through booking cancellations, travel restrictions and customers that are concerned about the consequences of staying in a hotel. Considering this, the question arises what hotels can do regarding their reputation management to not only protect their reputation during the coronavirus crisis but speed up the recovery from the crisis by retaining and attracting customers through a favorable reputation. Aim: This study aims to explore customers perceptions of a&o Hotels and Hostels in Cologne, Germany to eventually propose advice regarding their reputation management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: This paper suggests a reputation management approach that compares customers perceived strength versus customers perceived importance of seven drivers of reputation. The following predictors of RepTrak ® are included in this study: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance. A total of 131 guests of a&o Hotels and Hostels in Cologne were asked to fill-in an online questionnaire. In the first part, participants were asked to indicate to what extent the drivers are associated with the hotel from their point of view using a Likert scale ranging from 1-7. In the second part, participants were asked to indicate which drivers are most important during the COVID-19 pandemic from their point of view using a pair-wise comparison method. Results: The findings of this research show that the performance, governance, and leadership are reputational driver that are more associated with a&o Hotels and Hostels from the customers’ point of view compared to innovation, citizenship and workplace but are perceived as less important and vice versa. The product and service dimension was assessed as one that describes a&o Hotels and Hostels compared to the other drivers and was perceived as important during the COVID-19 pandemic as well. Conclusion: This study highlights the need of monitoring stakeholders’ sentiment in general and especially during crisis situations. The findings of this research suggest that a&o Hotels and Hostels in Cologne should focus on its workplace, innovation, and citizenship area to maintain a favorable reputation.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88351
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