The boom of tourism industry in China has resulted in the emergence and rapid increase in number of guest houses in several destinations in the country. The success of a guest house business is customer-based. Thus, knowing the staying experiences of guests and identifying their evaluation system are significant. Such knowledge can strengthen our understanding of the survival and success of guest house businesses. This study explored the critical success factors for guest houses in China based on customer perceptions. Content analysis of online user-generated reviews, which included positive and negative comments, was carried out. Seven major critical success factors, namely, home atmosphere, room facilities, other facilities, service, cleanliness, location, and value for money, were identified. Several sub-issues under each major aspect were also determined. Then, a survey with Chinese customers was conducted. By using multiple-regression analysis, value for money was found to be the primary factor in influencing customer experience, followed by home atmosphere, and three other factors, including cleanliness, location and room facilities, all influence customer experience significantly. With the very limited number of studies on customer experience in guest houses, the results of the present study can serve as a starting point in understanding this topic. Implications of the factors that contribute to successful guest house operations, including balancing the level of facilities and pricing, promoting a home atmosphere, maintaining cleanliness, selecting the location, and monitoring and responding to user-generated comments are recommended based on the findings. These recommendations can benefit owner-managers in developing and managing their guest house business.
- Critical success factors
- Guest houses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Strategy and Management