This paper empirically analyses the effect of the environment on hotel customer satisfaction in Southeast Asian nations, as shown in reviews on booking websites. Estimations are extracted using the logistic regression method. The empirical results reveal that the environment significantly impacts customer satisfaction. This means that tourists will be more likely to choose destinations with a positive environment. Room prices, hotel locations, and service can increase customer satisfaction. The reviews of customers on the web can influence future tourists’ booking decisions, as they carefully consider what other reviewers have to say when deciding where to stay. By adopting renewable energies, hotel authorities in Southeast Asian nations can improve their service and increase booking interest. Hotel authorities should also consider customer feedback to improve their hotel services.
The following is a brief introduction to the topic:
The literature has extensively discussed various aspects of hotel guest satisfaction (Petroni, 2000; McColl et al., 2000; Sheng & Liu, 2010; Sparks & Browning, 2011; Thirumalai & Sinha, 2011). Pappas and colleagues, 2014 Bilgihan & Bujisic, 2015; Zhang and colleagues, 2015; Yi & Natarajan, 2018). The hotel industry is heavily influenced by customer satisfaction. Various tangible and intangible elements determine customer satisfaction, including service quality, location, hotel ratings, and physical surroundings. The literature on the impact of the environment on tourism satisfaction needs to be more extensive. This includes Stabler & Goodall (1997), FEMATOUR (2000); Despretz (2001), Bohdanowicz (2003); Robinot & Giannelloni (2009), and Xie et al. (2017). Southeast Asian economies continue to be popular tourist destinations due to the low cost of living and easy visa policies. They also have pleasant temperatures. Many tourists visit during the winter holidays. This study examines the impact of pollution on customer satisfaction in Southeast Asian tourism.
Understanding and identifying the different aspects of customer satisfaction are crucial for organizations that want to satisfy their customers’ needs (Yang et al., 2011). Oliver (1980) states that customer satisfaction is the sum of a customer’s expectations before purchase and the service received afterward. Oliver (1997) argues that customer satisfaction is a consumer’s emotional reaction to tangible and intangible benefits. Environmental quality is a significant factor in determining tourist satisfaction. A list of service attributes is expected to include many physical factors that could influence customers’ evaluations. (Berry 1985, Chang 2000). Environmental pollution is harmful to human health and can cause health problems. Customers are concerned about a healthy environment both inside and outside the hotel. This includes cleanliness in the rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens and outdoor pollution. Air quality has been shown to influence people’s decisions. Previous studies have also revealed that environmental factors like weather and air quality can affect people’s moods. Tangible goods are The main factor influencing online customer satisfaction and booking intention. A polluted environment outside can influence the booking decision of online customers.
Online customers choose destinations that have good air quality because a polluted environment could lead to health issues. The Air Quality Index (AQI), which provides daily reports on air quality, describes levels of air pollution and cleanliness and indicates health issues that may be caused by these levels ( Levy & Yagil, 2011), is a valuable tool. Robinot & Giannelloni (2010) state that the natural environment is a significant factor in determining which tourist destinations and booking intentions to make, particularly when it comes down to choosing accommodation. 73% of German tourists consider environmental information when making their booking decisions. Fairweather et al. According to (2005), 61% of tourists in New Zealand prefer hotels with an environmental label despite their higher prices. Although the environment influences online bookings, customers consider other factors when making decisions. ( Iacobucci and al., 1995).
Organizations need to identify and understand the different aspects of customer satisfaction to satisfy their customers’ wants and needs (Yang et al., 2011). Oliver (1980) states that customer satisfaction is the difference between customers’ expectations before purchase and their attitudes after use about performance. Oliver (1997) argues that customer satisfaction is a consumer’s emotional reaction to tangible and intangible services. On the demand side, the customer’s motivation to travel is the maximization of their satisfaction. On the supply side, tourists are a source of capital, which increases hotel business at both the micro and macro levels. Despite the rapid expansion of tourism in many countries, Southeast Asia has seen a significant increase in the number of tourists over the past two decades. It is essential to look at the satisfaction of tourists in these countries. In order to retain customers, the hospitality industry is focused on understanding customer satisfaction ( Dewitt & Brady, 2003; Snellman & Vihtkari, 2003). This strategy allows hotels to provide services that meet their customers’ needs, maximizing profits ( Wong & Ro, 2012). Internet bookings for hotels and review platforms could lead to a significant increase in customer satisfaction. Customers evaluate the information on the hotel website along with the user-generated content. Online reviews from past guests are incredibly influential. Online reviews are the most essential tools for online hotel customers (Lu et. 2010; Xie et al. 2011). Customers consider several factors when making booking decisions. These include the price, location, and quality of service at the hotel, as well as the surrounding environment. Internet booking provides a wealth of information to hotel authorities and guests, which can lead to improvements. Online reviews can help hotels improve their service standards. Several websites post reviews, including TripAdvisor and Expedia. They also include Agoda and Booking.com. These sites provide customers with a range of information they can use to make the best decision ( Aksoy & Ozbuk, 2017). Booking numbers will likely rise if customers give positive reviews about the hotel’s location, price, rating, and environmental quality.
Most previous studies, such as Ullah et al. (2019b) and Touni et al. El-Said (2010), Touni et al. The study (2022) examines customer satisfaction with online hotel bookings in relation to factors like price, location, and hotel ratings, as well as perceived value and brand reputation. The environmental factor still needs to be explored. This study examines the impact of the environment on customer satisfaction in Southeast Asian countries as it reflects on online booking websites. The paper contributes to the literature because it uses the environmental factor as a model and applies the case of Southeast Asian nations, which have been hot tourism destinations in the past two decades. Globalization has also had a significant impact on these countries’ environments. The impact of environmental pollution is crucial to customer satisfaction. Third, we used logistic regression, which provided a robust analysis with clear policy implications to improve customer satisfaction. The following section examines tourism and the environment in Southeast Asian nations. The third section outlines a research method, the fourth section provides an in-depth discussion of empirical findings, and the final section elaborates on the conclusions.
Review of Literature
When booking a hotel, many factors determine customer satisfaction. These include price, location, and rating. The price is essential to customer satisfaction ( Chiang & Jang, 2007). If a room costs more than the customer will pay, he will choose another hotel. Otherwise, he will book the hotel ( Rheem, 2010; Chiang & Jang, 2007). Rental prices are usually in line with what a hotel has to offer. A higher price may include access to various services such as dining, room service, breakfast, etc. Kimes (1989) argues that companies should sell to clients at the right time and price. Price is closely related to hotel customer satisfaction, good service, and a comfortable environment ( Lomanno, 2010). During the 2007 financial crisis, hotels offered low-priced bookings to encourage bookings (Tsaur & Lin, 2004; Nadiri & Hussain, 2005; Serrat, 2011). Most hotels offer price reductions to increase booking volume ( Kang et al., 2007). The price promotions encourage bookings even during the off-season.
Location is an essential factor that affects customer satisfaction. A good location can attract many tourists to a hotel. This is because a good place maximizes customer satisfaction by saving them time and money. A good location also helps customers overcome barriers by offering various shopping options and transportation options ( Ullah et al., 2019a). Hotels with poor locations can cause customer dissatisfaction. The location of a hotel is crucial for its market share and profitability ( Chou et al., 2008). The location of the hotels, which is strongly associated with customer satisfaction, has a significant impact on hotel revenues. The intense competition within hotel chains is why location, price, and environmental quality significantly impact customer satisfaction and revenue.
Electronic word-of-mouth (eWom), or electronic reviews, is a way for rational customers to make booking decisions. These room ratings are based on tangible and intangible services provided by hotels, such as “location,” “quality,” “cleanliness,” and “price.” The online customer evaluates the reviews against services on the hotel’s website. According to Zhao et al., long textual reviews are associated with lower customer satisfaction ratings. (2019), whereas greater diversity and divergence in reviews are often accompanied by higher customer satisfaction ratings. The assumption is that there would be significant discrepancies between the services advertised on the hotel’s website and those provided by past customers without customer reviews ( Assaf & Magnini, 2012). These online reviews can be helpful to tourists worldwide who visit different locations for different reasons.
Customers rely on online reviews to make decisions. Exposing past experiences can encourage or discourage future customers ( Casalo and al., 2015). The relationship between online hotel reviews and customer sentiments is that emotions expressed in the text can be either positive or negative. These emotions are reflected numerically. This consistency increases customer satisfaction ( Geetha and al., 2017). The hotel review and online rating system is a different one. It rates several factors, such as location and customer service. This reduces customers’ time to make a booking decision and increases the number of reservations. Research into the impact of reviews shows that negative reviews are more influential than positive ones. Positive reviews, particularly when accompanied by numerical ratings or those that emphasize the interpersonal aspect, lead to high customer trust and an increase in bookings. (Sparks & Browning, 2011). Booking websites provide information on hotel services and a place for customers to give feedback about their stay at a particular hotel. Former guests are the ones who give stars to well-known hotels. Customers use customer star ratings to make purchasing decisions. Most studies focus on attributes of the online booking system, such as price, service quality, usefulness, and location. It is essential to consider the hotel’s rating when booking, as it can help customers reduce the risk of intangible services or products the hotel offers ( Ullah et al., 2018b; Lin et al., 2019). A good rating is less likely to cause a hotel to decrease the comfort level of its customers ( CaleroSanz et al., 2022; OreaGiner et al., 2022). Although a rating does not guarantee the quality of an establishment, it can provide enough information for customers to make informed booking decisions. (Callan & Lefebve 1997). A hotel’s rating is based on various tangible and intangible factors. Rating methods can vary. A higher rating is a guarantee of high-quality services and customer satisfaction. Most previous studies on bookings have focused on factors such as rental rates, location, hotel ratings, perceived value, and brand reputation. Environmental factors should be given more attention. This study adds to the literature because it explores the impact of the environment on customer satisfaction.
Tourism and the Environment in Southeast Asian Countries
Tourists travel to different destinations throughout the year. Several tourist attractions draw foreigners to Southeast Asian nations. Tourist arrivals to Southeast Asian countries are increasing almost constantly. The economy can be affected by foreign tourists bringing capital into the country and boosting local businesses, including the hotel sector. The foreign exchange earned from tourism is used to buy productive capital goods, which leads to increased economic growth. ( Chulaphan & Barahona 2018). Tourism contributed 329.5 billion dollars to the GDP of Southeast Asian countries in 2017. This was 12.0% of GDP and will rise to 13.0% by 2028. (TTIE,2018). Tourism is a significant source of FDI that encourages new infrastructure investment and creates jobs. In 2017, tourism increased employment in Southeast Asian countries by 11.8%. This is expected to increase to 13.7% in 2028. Tourism can bring certain benefits to a country, but it can also force that country to pay for improvements to infrastructure and the community.
Figure 1. shows tourist arrivals in Southeast Asia for the past two decades. Thailand and Malaysia have seen a dramatic increase in international tourists, particularly since 2014. Thailand has surpassed Malaysia in terms number of arrivals. The number and frequency of international tourists are affected by many factors, such as a favorable environment, stable law, and order, visa policy in the host country, etc. The tourism industry has grown, particularly in East Asian nations. Over the past two decades, the same has seen a significant boost. This has led to an increase in competition between hotels in the country. Companies must understand their customers and how they make decisions. This will give them an advantage and a competitive edge ( Baruca & Civre, 2012). The hotel industry can be affected by several factors. Tourism investment in East Asian nations 2017 reached 48.8 billion US Dollars, or 6.4%, and is expected to increase by 5.4% annually over the next ten years (TTIE 2018).
Figure 1 shows the CO2 emission in Southeast Asian countries. This is taken as an indicator of pollution. Malaysia, a relatively more polluted country than other countries in the region, appears on the graph as the highest CO2-emitting country. Malaysia has the highest level of economic growth, which suggests that the high CO2 emission levels in Malaysia are due to higher economic activity. Thailand is ranked second in the area. Thailand is the first country in terms of tourist arrivals. However, its rapid development and tourism activities have led to a high level of CO2 emission. Myanmar has the lowest CO2 emission levels in the region due to its lower economic growth. Indonesia, Laos, and Vietnam all have CO2 emission levels that average.
Data and research methodology
The empirical assessment of this study is based on the logit model. The linear regression method is popular but cannot depict nonlinear variations in data. The OLS method requires consistency of data, which needs to be met when categorical data or dummy variables are used. We used the “logit” method to estimate our data.
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Data was collected by room, a group of tourists that visited Southeast Asian countries at different times, i.e., comments left on different websites in 2018, such as ctrip.com and Booking.com. World Bank Development Indicators were used to calculate the average CO2 emission in 2018. Reviewers’ comments contained information on hotel services, rental prices, and overall satisfaction. Rating data from these websites were not categorical. Reviewers’ comments are divided into two categories: positive and negative. We then assign weights to each category, which is mutually exclusive. We used 1 for positive comments and 0 for negative ones. This categorization was based on the dummy variables pattern. Logistic regression can be used to estimate this pattern because the dependent variable may not be valid when followed by a binary or dichotomous independent variable.