Exploring the Mediating and Moderating Role of Services Marketing Strategy and Safety and Security Measures in the Tourism Industry

Exploring the Mediating and Moderating Role of Services Marketing Strategy and Safety and Security Measures in the Tourism Industry

Rania B. Mostafa (Faculty of Commerce, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt) and Lamiaa I. Hefny (Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRMM.2016010101
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating and moderating role of innovative services marketing strategy and safety and security measures in the tourism industry. Data were collected from 104 managers of travel agencies operating in Egypt. Mediation and moderation analysis were carried out to test the research hypotheses using Hieratical Regression method. Findings reveal that a travel agency's ability to transform its customer orientation and/or innovation orientation into enhanced business performance depends on its ability to offer innovative service marketing strategy. Moreover, this study supported the importance of safety and security measures in improving the firm performance because they strengthen the positive effect of the tourism strategy, namely innovative services marketing strategy on the marketing performance. The research highlights the importance of innovative services marketing strategy and safety and security measures for academics, travel agency's managers and policy makers.
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Introduction

In an age of globalization, technological advancement and declining tourism demand, competition in the tourism industry has become increasingly severe (Grissemann, Plank, & Brunner-Sperdin, 2013). Travel agencies that track and react to meet customers’ needs and preferences perform at superior levels while achieving chronic success and sustaining a robust competitive position (Grissemann, Plank, & Brunner-Sperdin, 2013; Zhou, Brown, Dev, & Agarwal, 2007). Customer orientation and innovation orientation in this context allow travel agencies' managers to introduce new services that enhance quality, thereby both satisfying the changing requirements of prospective customers and boosting their market share, sales and profits (Chen, Tsou, & Huang, 2009). This is particularly vital for the Egyptian tourism industry, which consists predominantly of small- and medium size companies that are unable to attain a low-cost advantage (Mohamed & Abd El Warth, 2012). Travel agencies in emerging countries, such as Egypt, therefore can sustain their competitive position by pursuing differentiation strategies, offering innovative services, and providing quality standards that meet their customers' expectations (Pikkemaat, 2008; Weiermair & Fuchs, 1999). As a result, companies adopt customer orientation and innovation orientation to increase the likelihood of offering services and products that meet customers’ needs and wants (e.g., Atuahene-Gima, 1996; Campbell & Cooper, 1999; Grissemann, Plank, & Brunner-Sperdin, 2013; Jaworski & Kolhi, 1993).

Extant body of research have investigated how customer orientation and innovation orientation contribute to business performance (e.g., Jaworski & Kolhi, 1993; Narver & Slater, 1990; Ordanini & Parasuraman, 2011; Slater & Narver, 1994). While some studies assume a direct effect of customer orientation and innovation orientation on the firm performance (Avlontis, Papastathopoulou, & Gounaris, 2001; Lievens & Moenaert, 2000; Narver & Slater, 1990; Nijssen, Hillebrand, Vermeulen, & Kemp, 2006; Thakur & Hale, 2013), others assume the relationship is not direct but mediated by the strategies implemented by the firm (Agarwal, Erramilli, & Dev, 2003; Chen, Tsou, & Huang, 2009; Fraj, Matute, & Melero, 2015; Jaworski & Kolhi, 1993; Kirca, Jayachandran, & Bearden, 2005; Ordanini & Parasuraman, 2011; Sandvik & Sandvik, 2003; Sandvik, Duhan, & Sandvik, 2014). In the tourism industry context, limited studies have considered potential mediation effects in the customer orientation and innovation orientation–performance chain (Grissemann, Plank, & Brunner-Sperdin, 2013). One issue that warrants particular attention is the distinctive role of customer orientation and innovation orientation in developing a sound innovative services marketing strategy, as well as the impact of this strategy on the business performance. As a result, the current research explores the mediating role of innovative services marketing strategy to the customer orientation and innovation orientation–performance link.

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