Choice Models and the Hospitality Business Environment
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[Excerpt] The purpose of this chapter was to introduce discrete choice analysis within the context of the hospitality industry. For a hospitality firm to be successful, it is necessary that sophisticated customer choice approaches, such as discrete choice modeling, become an essential component of the managerial decision-making framework. In this chapter, I have provided several examples of discrete choice studies conducted for a variety of hospitality and related applications. I have also discussed how the science of discrete choice modeling continues to evolve rapidly. I hope that researchers interested in hospitality and related services will find discrete choice modeling useful in their future research and applied projects. At the same time, I would like to note that similar to other modeling processes, choice modeling is subject to the "garbage in, garbage out" principle. It generates useful information only if the assumptions behind the selection of market drivers, the experimental design, and the data collection methods are sound. To summarize, I believe that choice modeling can yield valuable insights for strategy development by revealing customer needs, by measuring the market share impact, by assessing overall brand equity, and by identifying switching barriers. Moreover, choice modeling can reveal any salient differences between managers' beliefs about customers' needs and wants and their actual needs and choices. For managers eager for reliable feedback on how customers view their offerings, choice modeling provides a rigorous way to turn customer-driven feedback into profitable and sustainable strategies for retaining or capturing market share and profitability.
hospitality industry; discrete choice analysis; customer choice; management; decision-making
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