Barriers to improving service delivery in Malaysian hotels: experts’ views on a proposed model
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Tourism is central to economic prosperity in a number of developing countries with many reliant on the industry as a major catalyst for growth and development. In Malaysia, for example, the tourism industry makes a significant contribution to GDP; however, the Malaysian tourism industry is developing rapidly within an era of increasing competition. While the industry comprises a number of well-appointed hotels, service delivery lags behind the physical hotel environment often struggling to meet the expectations of international guests. This study set out to develop a customised service improvement model to support the growing industry in Malaysia by extracting the most appropriate service improvement dimensions from existing, empirically tested models found within the literature. In line with recent services studies, the model developed placed strong focus on human resource management and development with an emphasis on employee satisfaction. Qualitative research was then used to establish whether key stakeholders in the Malaysian tourism sector could identify barriers to the implementation of the model and to the improvement of service delivery within Malaysian hotels. The results confirm that an appropriate service delivery improvement model for the Malaysian hotel sector needs to concentrate on dimensions that attract, train, motivate and retain employees. Among the most significant barriers to service improvement emerging out of the research was the issue of employee remuneration.
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