EFFECTS OF SERVICE RELIABILITY ON GUESTS’ SATISFACTION WITH HOMESTAY FACILITIES IN NYERI AND LAIKIPIA COUNTIES, KENYA

Florah Luvandwa Kakiya, Damiannah Kieti, Boniface Odiara Kihima

Abstract


To enhance more integration with the local culture and cuisines, tourists increasingly prefer to stay in accommodation facilities owned by local people. Consequently, the national and the county governments, as well as, other stakeholders in the tourism industry have continued to emphasize the importance of homestays in tourism development. In its Vision 2030, the Kenyan government targets to certify 1000 homestay sites to promote cultural tourism among other forms of tourism. However, the reliability of services offered in the homestays and their effect on guest satisfaction is not well documented. Therefore, this study used the case of Nyeri and Laikipia Counties to establish the effects of service reliability on guests’ satisfaction with homestay facilities. The study was guided by expectancy-disconfirmation theory and adopted both descriptive cross-sectional survey and explanatory designs. The study targeted 56 homestay hosts and 171 guests. Probability Proportion to Size (PPS) sampling was used to sample 85 and 54 guests from Nyeri and Laikipia Counties respectively. Census was used to select 56 homestay hosts. Primary data from guests and hosts was collected using questionnaires while document analysis provided secondary information. Pre-test of research instruments was done on fourteen guests and six hosts in Murang’a County to ascertain the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the guest questionnaire was 0.8 while that of the host questionnaire was 0.9. Linear regression analysis was used to establish the effects of service reliability on guests’ satisfaction. The research findings showed that service reliability (β= 0.216, p= 0.013) positively affects guests satisfaction in homestay facilities. The study findings indicated reliability is an important factor that accounts for part of guests’ satisfaction in homestays. The research recommends the homestay hosts should have the ability to perform the promised service dependently and accurately. Tourism Regulatory Authority should also implement policy that guards the guests from manipulation of services by homestays in order to attain reliability.


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