The Adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy in the Tourism Sector: How CSR Affects Consumer Loyalty in the Greek Hotel Industry

The Adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy in the Tourism Sector: How CSR Affects Consumer Loyalty in the Greek Hotel Industry

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6055-9.ch001
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is referred and analyzed as a phenomenon with an economic, cultural, and entrepreneurial dimension. Therefore, it is also considered as a social phenomenon which affects society in many different ways, as it attracts both organizations and governments around the world. The present study analyses the impact of CSR on customers' preference and loyalty in the hotel sector. The authors investigated the main concepts associated with CSR as well as the CSR's policies implemented in the tourism sector. At the same time, specific factors were studied such as customer's satisfaction and how CSR influences consumer's loyalty in a hotel. A semi-structured interview was conducted in 204 visitors in 30 Greek hotels. Findings showed that the average Greek citizen is not particularly familiar with the term of CSR and its activities, and that CSR does not impact on their intention to visit a hotel and then be loyal.
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Due to the frequent changes in the legislation on social, environmental, and economic issues, organizations are now investing in CSR as a means of raising awareness towards society. Today, there is a strong interaction between consumers and organizations and as a result, a business strategy such as CSR can certify long-term financial viability (Ng & Tavitiyaman, 2020; Dodds & Joppe, 2005. Sustainable development is one of the most important means of achieving economic and social development, as well as a way of preventive treatment of environmental protection. In addition, through many studies (for instance Mohammed & Rashid, 2018; Khan, Yasir & Khan, 2021; Aljarah, Emeagwali, Ibrahim & Ababneh, 2018; Liu, Liu, Mo, Zhao & Zhu, 2019; Glaveli,, 2020; Islam, Islam, Pitafi, Xiaobei, Rehmani, Irfan & Mubarak, 2021; Xanthopoulou & Kefis, 2016; Chatzopoulou & Xanthopoulou, 2021; Kavoura & Sahinidis, 2015; Sahinidis & Kavoura, 2014; Emmanuel & Priscilla, 2022) there was found a significant relationship between CSR and customer trust, which shows that CSR can attract more consumers and “tighten” the company-customer relationships (Schreck, 2011). After analyzing the international literature on “CSR and customer satisfaction,” it is concluded that CSR acts mostly positively on customer satisfaction resulting in the improvement of the corporate image, in the strengthening of trust, in the consolidation of loyalty, as well as in the tendency to repurchase and recommend the organization to third parties. However, it is significantly influenced by certain factors, such as pre-existing knowledge of CSR activities, the quality of services provided, the innovation of actions, the type of business and the demographic characteristics of customers. The growing importance of CSR for tourism businesses directs us to further investigate the implementation of CSR in the hotel sector and its impact on the potential tourist/customer. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate and analyze consumers’ views on how corporate social responsibility of hotels affects their loyalty and intention to visit a hotel. Furthermore, an effort was made to better understand which CSR attributes consumers consider valuable in the hotel sector. From these, the research objectives refer to:

  • The impact of CSR on consumers’ attraction.

  • The impact of CSR on enhancing customers' feelings of trust and security.

  • The ways that CSR is implemented in the hotel industry and which of them are more close to customers’ preferences

Finally the researchers concluded in the following research questions (RQ):

  • RQ1. What’s the meaning of CSR and how it is related with consumers’ behavior?

  • RQ2. Does CSR create loyalty to a hotel?

  • RQ3. Does CSR be a criterion for choosing a hotel for a first time or a criterion for customers’ previous visit to a hotel?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Corporate Responsibility: Corporate Responsibility refers to the ethical and social obligations that companies have towards society, stakeholders, and the environment. It involves adopting policies and practices that promote sustainability, accountability, transparency, and ethical behavior in all aspects of the company's operations.

Sustainability: Sustainability refers to the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In the context of business and tourism, sustainability involves adopting practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment, society, and economy, while maximizing positive contributions to these areas.

Customer Trust: Customer trust refers to the belief and confidence that customers have in a company or brand to deliver on its promises and commitments. It is a key component of building customer loyalty and can be influenced by factors such as product quality, customer service, and corporate reputation.

Hotel Management: Hotel management refers to the process of overseeing the operations of a hotel or hospitality establishment. It involves managing the staff, financial resources, marketing and sales, customer service, and overall guest experience.

Tourism Policy: Tourism policy refers to the set of guidelines, regulations, and measures adopted by governments and tourism organizations to promote and manage tourism activities. It includes policies related to tourism infrastructure, destination development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and community involvement.

Hotel Industry: The hotel industry is a sector of the hospitality industry that provides lodging, accommodation, and related services to travelers and tourists. It includes a variety of establishments such as hotels, motels, resorts, and guesthouses.

Customer Loyalty: Customer loyalty refers to the tendency of customers to repeatedly purchase products or services from a company or brand. It is influenced by factors such as customer satisfaction, trust, and perceived value, and can be fostered through effective marketing, customer service, and relationship-building efforts.

Consumer Behavior: Consumer behavior is the study of how individuals and organizations make decisions to purchase, use, and dispose of products and services. It involves analyzing factors that influence consumer decision-making such as cultural, social, psychological, and economic factors.

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