Cross-cultural Models of Customer Service: A Case of Country Park Recreation in Hong Kong

Authors

  • Chieh-Lu Li
  • Poh Chin Lai
  • Garry E. Chick
  • Harry C. Zinn
  • Alan R. Graefe

Keywords:

Cultural Values, Multi-Ethnic, Service Quality, Satisfaction, Structural Equation Modeling

Abstract

Hong Kong received more than 25 million visitors in 2006 with a forecasted 16 percent increase for 2007. Visitors from all over the world have brought more interactions between diverse visitors and local residents. Country parks (national parks) around the world increasingly serve as international visitor attractions and play an important role in the international tourism industry. Because of the demand for better responsiveness and high quality service from government agencies, the concern about how to serve a diverse international clientele has emerged as an important issue in parks and recreation management. Guided by previous research on cross-cultural differences, the purpose of this study was to examine the causal relationships between culture and marketing factors (i.e., service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions) or recreational factors (i.e., experience, crowding) within the context of country park recreation in Hong Kong. Surveys of visitors to the Pokfulam Country Park (PCP) near metropolitan Hong Kong were conducted in 2005-2006. Using a systematic random selection approach and purposive sampling at sites known to be heavily used by visitors with diverse cultural backgrounds, a sample of 253 Hong Kong residents, 153 Mainland Chinese Visitors, and 233 Westerners (including American, British, Australian, and European) was obtained. The data was formulated into a structural model using six constructs in the context of parks and recreation including culture, experience, crowding, service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions. The results showed acceptable validity and reliability of measures in the constructs across four models (i.e., the overall, Hong Kong residents, Mainland Chinese Visitors, and Westerners models). The structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis revealed the effects of culture on the marketing factors were much stronger than the effects of culture on the recreational factors. Further analysis of the three subgroup models showed patterns similar to those in the overall model, but culture had no significant effects on the other five constructs (i.e., there is no significant direct paths stemmed from culture to experience, crowding, service quality, satisfaction and behavioral intentions) in the Mainlander model. Discussion of the findings, management implications and future research are suggested.

Published

2007-07-18

Issue

Section

Regular Papers