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Expectation-Perception Evaluation of Theme Park Service Quality in Zhengzhou Fantawild, China

Chung-Shing Chan, Yumeng Liu, Ching Yeung Li

Abstract


Theme park tourism is among the fastest-growing trends in the Asia-Pacific region, and specifically in China. Apart from physical attractions, service quality plays a pivotal role in affecting the performance of and visitor satisfaction with theme parks. Theme park service quality, therefore, still requires theoretical knowledge from the field of service and tourism marketing. An investigation of service quality combining SERVQUAL investigation and the expectation disconfirmation theory is key in advancing understanding of theme park tourism in China. This paper aims to understand the level of service quality in Zhengzhou Fantawild, which is one of the most popular theme park brands in China, using a modified SERVQUAL model and its expectation-perception gap. Secondly, the study identified key service quality determinants of visitors' overall satisfaction, and lastly evaluated the service quality of the park. Through an empirical study of visitors (n=192) to Zhengzhou Fantawild, this research reveals that expectation-perception gap appear in all service dimensions. Results confirmed that the service quality of the park does not meet visitor'expectations, especially in terms of reliability. Although results may reflect a publicized high standard of service reliability, such exaggerated expectations might have partly caused the undesirable large experiential gap held by visitors. Tangible quality, reliability, and staff responsibility all play a part to determine visitors' satisfaction with service quality. Thirdly, an expectation-perception analysis mapping of service quality indicates that reliability, assurance, and responsiveness are of service strengths that contribute positively to visitors' experiences. The dimension of empathy is a weakness with low levels of both expectation and perception. Compared with other relevant studies in Hong Kong and in Europe, this study provides a representative case study of one of China's large-scale theme parks, and suggests a divergent configuration of theme park service quality across territories. The study suggests the need for understanding regional and global characterization of service attributes across markets of visitors for long-term theme park development, which indeed matches the hierarchical assessment of service quality in different industries of the tourism sector.

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Keywords


China; expectation-perception gap; service quality; SERVQUAL; theme park

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2019-9157

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