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Title: Influence of consumer values and sustainable business practices on brand loyalty within luxury hotels
Author: Low, Tiffany Anne
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite the recent recession, the economic growth of recent decades has created a group of so-called ‘Global-Elites’ (CeMoRe, 2010). Small in number, but high in net worth and influence they are influential in the creation of, and desire for consumption, often portrayed as luxury, privilege, prestige, and 'class'. The tourism industry has also benefited from growth, with demand predicted to double by the year 2020, reaching an estimated $14.95 billion (World Tourism & Travel Council, 2010). Much of this growth has been at the top end, as Keissling et. al. (2009) note an unprecedented rise in demand for the luxury hotel sector over the past decade. The global elite’s leisure consumption practices require considerable research attention, and yet research into luxury services, such as hotels and associated hospitality services, is greatly undeveloped. Atwal and Williams (2008) note the ability of consumption as a means for consumers to make statements about themselves, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of the Global-Elite, who seemingly having no desire to curb current travel activities (Elliott & Urry, 2009). This may be due to the uncertainty that is felt about future travel opportunities, with environmental decline of natural and heritage attractions paralleled by numerous threats to travel such as peak oil and political instability. However, in recent years, there has been increased interest in the study of ethical consumption in the tourism arena (e.g. Novelli, 2005; Sharpley, 2006; Lansing & Vries, 2006; Yeoman et. al., 2006). Although there appears to be incompatibility between the concepts of luxury and concerns around ethical consumption and sustainability, this research posits that while current transitions (around travel and tourism) continue towards further unsustainability (Cohen, 2010), ethical consumption may provide an avenue for social distinction and status differentiation in the world of the Global-Elites. In order to adequately understand the behavioural intentions of the Global-Elites, the synergy between consumer values, luxury dimensions and ethical consumption needs to be explored. This research examines the influence of consumer values, as a more universal measure of intent, in relation to ethical consumption in luxury hotels. This research argues that by reducing the uncertainty related to the degree to which consumers (Global-Elites) value ethical consumption, deeper insights into these apparently incompatible spaces and places for ethical consumption will be obtained. Furthermore, luxury hotels will be able to assess the suitability of marketing and communicating such strategies to their customers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N221 Hotel and Catering ; consumer values ; sustainable business ; hotels ; luxury hotels ; brand loyalty ; Global-Elites