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The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Profiling Customers in the Hospitality Sector: An Approach Towards Market Segmentation in Hotels and Restaurants in Assam
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In order to successfully run hotels and restaurants, there has to be a proper marketing strategy for the various segments of guests/customers. Therefore, this paper has attempted to identify different customer segments in these establishments. A survey was conducted involving 210 hotel guests and 218 restaurant customers in Assam (India). The study revealed 29 parameters that have a significant impact on guests’ overall service experience in hotels. The results indicated three possible clusters (guest segments) in relation to these 29 parameters in hotels. These segments are convenience seekers, accessibility seekers, and quality eatable seekers. The findings of this study also indicated 18 parameters that have a significant impact on customers’ overall service experience in restaurants. It was found that there are three possible clusters (customer segments) with respect to these 18 parameters. These segments are sensible eaters, aesthetic seeking eaters, and quality eatable seekers. Appropriate marketing strategy for each such customer segment may improve the probability of their satisfaction, retention and loyalty. This may guarantee uninterrupted profitability and survivability of hotels and restaurants in future.

 
 
 

The hospitality industry is an important component of the tourism industry (Roday et al., 2009). The main constituents of the hospitality industry are hotels and restaurants (Hsu and Powers, 2002; and Malhotra, 2002). Hotels are defined as buildings or establishments wherein food, accommodation, etc. are provided to travelers and others (Jha, 1998; Gill, 1999; Ingram, 1999; Hsu and Powers, 2002; Malhotra, 2002; and Ahmed, 2005). Restaurants are establishments where people are provided with refreshments and meals (Blum, 1997; Jha, 1998; Hsu and Powers, 2002; and Malhotra, 2002).

Many scholars have identified different parameters of services in hotels and restaurants (Choi and Chu, 2000; Heung, 2000; Tsang and Qu, 2000; Groenenboom and Jones, 2003; Poon and Low, 2005; and Mohsin and Lockyer, 2010). Some of these parameters that may have an impact on hotel guests’ and restaurant customers’ overall service experience are shown in Tables A1 and A2 (in the Appendix) respectively. These have already been identified and stated in earlier studies by Barman et al. (2015a and b) and Goswami et al. (2015).

 
 
 

Marketing Management, Proper marketing strategy ,Convenience seekers,Accessibility seekers, Quality eatable seekers, uninterrupted profitability and survivability of hotels.