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Relationship Intention as a Mediator Between Relational Benefits and Customer Loyalty in the Tour Operator Industry

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abstract Relationship and customer loyalty management have been an important field of research in marketing for decades. However, the focus for many years was mainly on the benefits of relationship marketing for companies. This paper contributes to a deeper understanding of benefits of relationship marketing for customers in the travel industry. It investigates the effects between relational benefits, relationship intention and intentional loyalty at the example of the tour operator industry. Relationship intention will be introduced as a variable influencing intentional loyalty. The role of relationship intention in the customer benefit-intentional loyalty context will be analyzed by testing different path models. The measurement model is estimated, based on a confirmatory factor analysis using LISREL with a sample of 1,702 tour operator customers. The structural model as well as the estimate path coefficients were analyzed applying a partial least square approach (PLS) using SmartPLS. This paper not only contributes to the further development of models explaining intentional loyalty, but also to the development of practical insights about the influence of different measures and tools on intentional loyalty from a customer benefit perspective. It can be concluded that the intention of a customer to invest in a relationship is depending on the perceived level of relationship benefits. Further, the results show, that the buying behavior of customers is influenced by the perceived relational benefits. With the management of customer relation a provider can influence the behaviour of the customer to exploit the earning potential efficiently.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Relationship marketing, customer loyalty management, customer benefits, relational benefits for customers, relationship intention and intentional loyalty, tour operator marketing
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 23-2-2010
journal Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
publisher Routledge (London)
ISSN 1054-8408
ISSN (online) 1540-7306
DOI 10.1080/10548400903534899
volume of journal 27
number of issue 1
page(s) 51-62
review double-blind review
   
citation Bieger, T., Laesser, C., Conze, O., & Riklin, T. (2010). Relationship Intention as a Mediator Between Relational Benefits and Customer Loyalty in the Tour Operator Industry. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 27(1), 51-62, DOI:10.1080/10548400903534899.