Organization: James Cook University Singapore
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourist arrivals peaked at 1.4 billion travellers in 2018. The tourism industry is big in Asia and has been growing over the decades. For example, in 2017, the grouping of 10 nations of ASEAN was estimated to have received 125 million visitors. The Pacific Asia Travel Association forecasts about 900 million visitors to the Asia Pacific region by 2023 (Koumelis, 2019). The Asian region’s tourism industry has taken significant meaning particularly as an add on to generate economic growths generating 1,337 billion US dollars revenue receipts in 2017. The diversity of the markets and changing disruptive technologies poses new challenges which require constant adaptation and innovative approaches to product and service designs. In the past, businesses in tourism & hospitality have aimed at satisfying their customers. Studies have found, though, that for many businesses in this industry, this is no longer enough as even satisfied customers often switch to competitors. So it is suggested that businesses go beyond customer satisfaction and strive for “service excellence” in order to delight their customers. This includes delivering the promise, providing a personal touch, going the extra mile and resolving problems well (Johnston, 2004).
Studies in service excellence often address service quality, using the concept and measurement of SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1988) with references to service quality and standards (Dedeoglu & Demirer, 2015). Beyond SERVQUAL, more distinct studies have since emerged addressing the measurement of service performance SERVPERF (Cronin & Taylor, 1992), measurement of rural hospitalityRURALQUAL (Loureiro & Gonzalez, 2008) and hotel businesses HOLSERV (Mei et al., 1999), measurement of dining service DINESERVE (Stevens et al., 1995) to mention a few. However, there are more ways of studying how businesses in tourism &hospitality achieve customer delight, both tangible and intangible (Lee
& Shea, 2015). Since the era of the “QUAL” measurements, researchers have moved on to address efforts at achieving customer delight without facing service redundancy where costs of production and service can diminish the returns (Tsaur, 2019). There has also been a focus on frontline staff and organisational behaviour (Barnes et al., 2013; Lu et al., 2016; Engeset et al., 2016; Ogilvie et al., 2017). Apart from integration of customer service and organisational behaviour, another new trends in service excellence is a market segmentation approach where the design of product and service is specific and democratized (Huang & Chuang, 2013; Chen et al., 2017).
Porter (1996) highlights that operational effectiveness, i.e. being able to better perform business activities effectively and differently than the competitors, is key to one’s competitive advantage. As there are key characteristic differences between manufacturing and service operations (Peinado et al., 2018), in today’s competitive tourism and hospitality industry, it would be noteworthy to examine how service businesses are keeping up with the 21st century challenges of meeting the needs of culturally diverse international tourists. Achieving service excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry with customer centric values requires a high level of coordination, discerning communication and infrastructure facilitation to delight visitors. In all these activities, service excellence means a lot to visitors on their experience, and to the business it means repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Despite the importance of service excellence to the tourism and hospitality industry (Lee & Shea, 2015), the extant literature is scant and fragmented. Based on fresh empirical evidence from the field, this edited volume of 12 to 15 chapters aims to capture the different approaches and challenges to service excellence in the Asian tourism and hospitality industry.
In Asia, human values and technological advances have had an impact on the fast modernizing tourism economies. Hence, this edited book intends to illustrate various examples of service excellence from the Asian context focusing on hotels, attractions, transport, restaurants and pubs, tourist guiding, visitor information centres, immigration and customs, safety and security services, travel agents, and street hawkers. The case studies are meant to add to the body of knowledge that is increasingly underlined by global and local travel industry practices. The final work is meant as a reference or supplementary reading for tertiary students, researchers and industry practitioners.
Concept papers, research or case studies that examine service excellence in the context of operations and logistics will be given serious consideration. Papers should also contain both theory and practices observed. The contributions can adopt, but are not limited to one of the following themes:
1. How can service designs result in customer delight?
2. How can customer-oriented service operations lead to service excellence?
3. Strategies for enhancing service operations
4. Measuring and controlling service provision to achieve optimum outcomes
5. Strategic management of logistics
6. Current issues and trends
Abstracts of approximately 500 words can be submitted via this form:
Later, all papers submitted will be double-blind peer-reviewed and only recommended papers will be included in an edited book published with Springer. The expected date of publication is by mid-2020.