Developing a customer loyalty model for guest houses in China: a congruity-based perspective

Sha Wang, Kam Hung, Minglong Li, Hailian Qiu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although the number of guest houses in China is increasing rapidly, many of them are not performing well in developing customer loyalty. Self-congruity and functional congruity represent two cost-effective but inadequately researched ways for guest houses to maintain customers. In view of the lack of empirical research explaining the post-purchase behavior of guest house customers, the purpose of this study is to develop a congruity-based customer loyalty model for this specialized type of accommodation. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a review of relevant literature, a robust conceptual framework of customer loyalty comprising satisfaction, self-congruity, functional congruity, perceived value and attractiveness of alternates was constructed. By means of an online panel survey, 828 valid questionnaires were obtained from customers who had stayed in a Chinese guest house within the previous year. Structural equation modeling was conducted to test the conceptual model and the hypothesized relationships among the constructs. Findings: Significant relationships were found between the two congruity constructs in guest houses, which both led to positive customer post-purchase behaviors. The authors found that self-congruity, functional congruity and the attractiveness of alternates did not affect customer loyalty directly; rather, they influenced loyalty indirectly through customer satisfaction. Originality/value: This study developed a unique, congruity-based model of customer loyalty in the context of guest houses. It enhances the body of knowledge regarding congruity in the field of tourism and hospitality, and it discusses relevant implications of the findings for tourism marketing researchers and for owner-managers of guest houses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021


  • Attractiveness of alternates
  • Congruity
  • Guest house
  • Loyalty
  • Perceived value
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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