|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management|
|Supervisor:||Prof. Rafaeli Anat|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The tourism and hospitality in the city of Eilat, Israel, and the hotel industry in particular, have been suffering from a severe and a long-lasting crisis in the past five years. As a result of numerous factors, the industry's executives were forced to divert their marketing strategies to less attractive and lucrative market segments. This study was conducted for the purpose of examining ways to attract more profitable and high-level tourism to the city of Eilat. The study tests the influence of three variables on customer loyalty towards premium hotels in Eilat: Quality service, Customer Satisfaction and Personal Preference towards premium products. Loyalty is expressed by the willingness and intention to repeat purchases. Based on those links, the research intended to discover whether there is a need for better branding of the city and to examine the feasibility of an up-scaled super-luxury Boutique-hotel.
The research method included distributing a questionnaire in four executive lounges of the most prestigious hotels in Eilat and in Tel-Aviv.
60 questionnaires were anonymously filled-in and after they were statistically processed, the following results were found:
The 1st hypothesis confirmed that the perception of quality service in a hotel is one of the major factors influencing customer loyalty. The 2nd hypothesis established that there is a correlation between customer satisfaction and loyalty. As seen by the high, positive correlation found. The 3rd hypothesis could not be confirmed as no evidence was found that customer preferences for an elitist vacation will predict his future loyalty. There was no confirmation for the 4th hypothesis which related to the presence of a correlation between the reason for current visit to Eilat and customer loyalty. As expected, the 5th hypothesis was mostly confirmed. The demographic characteristics of the respondents influenced customer loyalty.
Consequently, the research proved beyond a doubt, within its scope of limitations, that there is no economic justification and no need for different branding and higher market positioning for the city of Eilat. Furthermore, investments in building prestigious lucrative boutique-hotels in Eilat were found to be not feasible, rather investments should focus on improving the quality of service within existing luxury hotels in Eilat.