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ASSESSMENT OF HOTEL SERVICE QUALITY BY USING IMPORTANCE-PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS (IPA) MODEL: THE CASE OF BULE HORA AND YABELLO TOWN HOTELS, ETHIOPIA

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ASSESSMENT OF HOTEL SERVICE QUALITY BY USING IMPORTANCE-PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS (IPA) MODEL: THE CASE OF BULE HORA AND YABELLO TOWN HOTELS, ETHIOPIA

 

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Studying customer’s service is both important and difficult task. Its difficulty arises because of the unique characteristics of the service quality including intangibility, inseparability, perishability, heterogeneity. It’s important is related with customers loyalty with necessary satisfaction, image building, increase business performance and etc (Chu and Choi, 2001). Among many scholars who define and describe service quality Gronroos (1978) suggests service quality has two components: technical quality and functional quality. Technical quality refers to what the service provider delivers during the service provision while functional quality is how the service employee provides the service. Parasuraman et al. (1988) define service quality as a difference between customer expectation of service and customers’ perceptions of the actual service. From this definition customers are the sole judges of service quality. If they perceive it to be good service, then it is. They assess the quality of service their expectation to the service with perception/ actual service. Even several studies are conducted throughout the world still there is a room to work on service quality of country and culture specific because service quality of one culture may not be applicable to the other even with tourism industry itself (Salazar, 2010). Due to these reasons, the service qualities measured and assessed by using different methods. In recent time service quality in the hospitality industry measured and evaluated through the use of Importance Performance Analysis (IPA) method. The IPA method introduced in the late 1970s in the marketing research and used as a useful tool in other disciplines too (Wu & Shieh, 2009). It is a use full tool in the management insight to identify the organization strengths and weaknesses for improving the performance. So many researchers use IPA to studying customer’s satisfaction to identify improvement opportunities and to guide strategic planning efforts (Wu &Shieh, 2009, 2010; Yavas & Shemwell, 2001). IPA has been used as a tool to evaluate service quality and applicable in educational organizations (O’Neill & Palmer, 2004), transportation[ 9] (Huang, Hsu, 1996), banks (Josepph et al., 2005), universities (Pike, 2004), hospitality (Janes, Wisnom, 2003) and tourism (Fuchs, Weiermair, 2003).  
IPA model is a technique that use to criteria that consumers use in making a choice. One criterion is the relative importance of attributes the other is consumer’s evaluations of the offering in terms of those attributes (Kitcharoen K., 2004). Because the underlying assumption of the IPA technique is that customers’ level of satisfaction with the attributes is mainly derived from their expectations and judgment of the product’s or service’s performance. Studying the importance performance of the hotels service considered as improving the quality of the services that delivered by the establishment (Chu and Choi, 2000)
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Service quality is an important topic in the service delivering industry including in the hotel and catering service (Davidson, 2003). As stated by Sit, Ooi, Lin, and Chong (2009), to get highly satisfied customers, organizations throughout the world are striving to produce products and services of superior quality. Thus, to achieve this any organizations in the world work towards service quality to meet customer’s expectation. The higher satisfactions and meeting customer’s expectation in the hospitality industry in turn generate numerous benefits to the institutions including positive image towards the institution, employee satisfaction, customer’s satisfaction (Hailu Fentaye Kasa and NigatuTesfaye Fentaw, 2015; Gunderson & et al, 1996).
As some researches find out, the service quality and the satisfaction of customers with the service delivery are low in Ethiopia (Rajasekhara&Awgichew, 2010 as cited in Mehariw Belay, 2012). Some studies worked in the assessment of service quality in the hotel industry. In Gondar city, Mahariw Belay (2012) study the quality of service by using Service quality model in the hotels and SewuntTesfaye (2013) study the service quality of the hotels by using IPA analysis. Using IPA model in the measurement of customer’s expectation and perception is advantageous (Saglik et al, 2014). 
Starting from last few years, the number of customers and tourists are increased in BuleHora and Yabello towns and the surrounding areas. In Yabello the presence of Borena National park, geographical proximity with Kenya and Konso world heritage site, Ethio- Kenya power connection system are the stimulants for the increasing trend of visitors (Tesfaye, 2016). In Bule Hora town the number of guests and visitors increased from time to time due to the presence of Bule Hora University, center of trade, area of cash crop, development of tourism in the southern part of Ethiopia, some infrastructural improvements, increment of capacity building programs etc (Zenash et al, 2016) and the current development of the town as Zonal capital, West Gujji Zone. We always complain about the service quality of the hotels in Bule Hora town in our personal experience. Thus, different visitors and customers expect delivery of quality service in hotels that can enhance their satisfaction. As a result, it is timely issue to discuss and assess the quality of services in these hotels by using the significant model of IPA in order to address the quality concern of the hotels and to increase the satisfaction level of the customers. Therefore, this study assessed service quality in Bulehora and Yabello town hotels by using Importance Performance Analysis model (IPA). 

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