Tourists' perceptions of relational quality service attributes: A cross-cultural study

Kee Fu Tsang, John Ap

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the results of a study examining cultural differences between Asian and Western tourists' perceptions of relational quality service provided by guest-contact employees. It was hypothesized that Asian tourists (high power distance cultures) will give significantly lower ratings for relational quality when compared to their Western counterparts (low power distance cultures). Based on a study of international tourists visiting Hong Kong, it was found that Asian tourists gave significantly lower ratings for all the relational quality service attributes compared to their Western counterparts. In a logistic regression analysis using respondents' favorable or unfavorable service experiences as the dichotomous dependent variable, quality of interpersonal relationships was a key factor in determining the Asian customers' service-encounter evaluation, while Western customers placed emphasis on goal completion, efficiency, and time savings. The implications of the results on cultural training for tourism and hospitality industry employees are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Cross-cultural study
  • Logistic regression
  • Perceptions
  • Relational quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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