Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 15, No 2 (2019)

An examination of the importance of hotel innovation on guest loyalty in Cape Town, South Africa

Nicholas Nhepera, Onojaefe Darlington


Guest patronage is important for hotel success but understanding of patronage motive is conflated by hotel innovation and loyalty decisions. Although other service components may be important determinants of guest patronage, the understanding of the importance of hotel innovation as a differentiation strategy towards guest loyalty is not clear. Thus, this paper presents evidence of hotel innovation as an important determinant for guest loyalty. Objective: Examines evidence on the importance of innovation and to understand innovation as a strategic option for achieving guest loyalty.  The research concludes that an integrated innovation strategy is important to drive guest patronage and loyalty with recommendation on the importance of extant factors. Prior Work: Previous studies provided limited evidence on relationship of innovation and loyalty decisions despite reports of innovation adoption in hotels. Reported exponential growth in global tourism and ever rising guest expectations suggest that guest loyalty decisions now depend mainly on strategic innovation. Approach: A quantitative research survey using a systematic random sampling to collect data from approximately 242 respondents. This approach utilised semi-structure questionnaire to collect data which were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: The logistic regression model established that innovations are important to guest loyalty decisions. Technological and human-oriented innovations having greater importance amongst mediating variables. Implications: The study recommends practitioners to develop integrated innovation strategy leveraging on modern technology and skills development to achieve guest loyalty. Value: Although the study was undertaken in South Africa, the findings provides better understanding of strategic importance of hotel innovation.


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