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The Impact of Culture on Tourists’ Evaluation of Hotel Service Experiences

Authors: Eid Alotaibi


The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of tourists’ culture on perception and evaluation of hotel service experience and behavioral intentions. Drawing on Hofested’s cultural dimensions, this study seeks to further contribute towards understanding the effect of culture on perception and evaluation of hotels’ services, and whether there are differences between Saudi and European tourists’ perceptions of hotel services evaluation. A descriptive cross-sectional design was used in this study. Data were collected from tourists staying in five-star hotels in Saudi Arabia using the self-completion technique. The findings show that evaluations of hotel services differ from one culture to another. T-test results reveal that Saudis were more tolerant and reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction, were more likely to return and recommend the hotel, and perceived the price for the hotel stay as being good value for money as compared to their European counterparts. The sample was relatively small and specific to only five-star hotel evaluations. As a result, findings cannot be generalized to the wider tourist population. The results of this research have important implications for management within the Saudi hospitality industry. The study contributes to the tourist cultural theory by emphasizing the relative importance of cultural dimensions in-service evaluation. The author argues that no studies could be identified that compare Saudis and Europeans in their evaluations of their experiences staying at hotels. Therefore, the current study would enhance understanding of the effects of cultural factors on service evaluations and provide valuable input for international market segmentation and resource allocation in the Saudi hotel industry.

Keywords: Culture, tourist, service experience, hotel industry, Hofested’s cultural dimensions.

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