DOI 10.14707/ajbr.220123

Service-driven Advocacy: From Tourists’ Felicity to Preeminent Destination Loyalty

Boon-Liat Cheng1; Nor Khalidah Abu2; Ching Seng Yap3; Shaheen Mansori4 and Tat-Huei Cham5*
1 Sunway University Business School, Sunway University, Malaysia.
2 Bank Rakyat School of Business, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (BRSBITE), Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia.
3 Faculty of Business, Curtin University, Malaysia
4 Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST), Malaysia.
5 UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Malaysia.
*Corresponding author: jaysoncham@gmail.comAbstract


Innovative endeavours targeting the tourism industry has prevailed as crucial attempts in cultivating tourist satisfaction and restoring destination image, while overcoming severe backlash of the Covid-19 pandemic in recent years through reconstructing destination loyalty. Founded above the established groundwork of Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) Theory, this study aims to examine the influence of service innovation on destination loyalty in the Malaysian tourism industry. A self-administered survey was conducted among 400 international tourists who visited Malaysia. Usable data was collected from 322 international tourists and analysed using the structural equation modelling technique. Obtained findings indicate the significance of interrelationships between service innovation, tourist satisfaction, destination image, and destination loyalty, with destination image being a mediating factor on tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty. Given intense competition of the tourism industry within the Asia Pacific region, current results are useful for tourism practitioners to formulate and implement effective and innovative marketing strategies towards sustainable competitive advantage. Generated knowledge enables tourism practitioners to benchmark service innovation practices in creating positive destination image, tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty.

Keywords: Service innovation, Destination image, Destination loyalty, Tourism behaviour, Tourism marketing

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