THE EFFECTS OF COMMUNICATION ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY TO THE LOCAL HOUSING SECTOR - A CASE STUDY
Palavras-chave:Tourism, Local accommodation, Relational marketing, Communication, Loyalty
Currently, the tourism sector is one of the most relevant phenomena from a political, economic, environmental and socio-cultural point of view. It ceased to be seen exclusively as a synonym for leisure and started to play a role as a social agent in the societies where it develops. Given this scenario, and keeping in mind the importance of customer retention, the objective of this article is to study the influence of the relational communication variable on customer loyalty to the accommodation unit. For this, based on the conceptual model, a study was carried out that included costumer companies (employees of companies that stayed at least one night) of the accommodation unit, based on questionnaire surveys. In the empirical phase, 55 costumer companies of Casa Maria Victória were surveyed, from a convenience sample. The results show that communication and relationships are highly valued by guests and are fundamental factors for their loyalty. This study examines the importance of communication in the relationship between accommodation units and customers; however, the evaluation of the variables under study is done only from the customer's perspective, excluding the perspective of the other stakeholders involved in the process. In the future, the research should be followed to deepen the study of some more relational variables pointed out in the literature, as well as their various links in customer loyalty in the accommodation sector. The present study offers a contribution to the accommodation units, by allowing to expand and enlarge the concepts learned, integrating and crossing them with other realities, namely, with regard to customer loyalty, and the positioning of the accommodation units.
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