The influence of green practices and green image on customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth in the hospitality industry

  • Federica Gasbarro
  • Michelle Bonera
Keywords: Hospitality industry; sustainable tourism; customer satisfaction; green practices; online reviews; eWOM

Abstract

Frame of the research: As sustainability aware consumers represent a substantial market segment, green practices and green positioning are becoming strategic to enhance competitive advantage.

Purpose of the paper: This study investigates whether the presence of green practices or a green image in the accommodation sector influences customer satisfaction and eWOM and whether this differs between different accommodation categories.

Methodology: The TripAdvisor reviews of 1701 Italian hospitality business were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Accommodation facilities with green practices present high scores in guest satisfaction and eWOM, particularly those with a green image. The differences in customer satisfaction between accommodation types is smaller for businesses with a green image. B&Bs, agritourism facilities, and other accommodation facilities, even those without a green image, can rely on green practices to increase customer satisfaction and eWOM.

Research limitations: We considered the use of green features in the name of the accommodation facility as a proxy for sustainability alignment. Customer satisfaction could be affected by other variables. The sub-sample of “green name” companies is limited. The size and age of the accommodation facility could impact the number of reviews.

Practical implications: Our results provide valuable insights into the determinants of customer satisfaction and intention to review a green practice and suggest the need to communicate a green orientation.

Originality of the study: Our study extends the investigation to different accommodation types; considers the green image of the accommodation facilities rather than green certification; compares customer satisfaction and eWOM with or without a green image by accommodation type.

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Published
2021-12-28