Guest expectations and experiences within selected hotels in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province of South Africa

  • Osward Mhlanga
  • Tembi M. Tichaawa
Keywords: Hotel guests, customers, expectations, experiences, HOLSERV, hoteliers


This study appraises the expectations and experiences of guests within hotels in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. The aims were to: (a) assess guests’ expectations and experiences, (b) establish the significance of difference between expectations and experiences of service quality, and (c) identify the number of dimensions for expectations and experiences scales of the HOLSERV model. The empirical research was conducted using primary data. The study followed a descriptive quantitative design. A sample size of 400 guests from ten hotels of different sizes and categories in terms of star grading formed the basis for the data collection exercise. Only guests that had stayed a minimum of two nights in the hotel were targeted. The empirical results show that on a 7 point Likert scale, guests’ expectations scores ranged between 6.95 and 6.52, whilst experiences scores ranged between 6.03 and 6.23. The lowest expectation item was “Visually appealing physical facilities” whilst the highest expectation score was for the item “Error-free service”. The lowest experience items were “Error-free service” and “Service without delays” whilst the highest experience were regarding the “Convenient opening hours”, “Clean and tidy hotel” and “Visually appealing physical facilities”. The HOLSERV gap was -0.52, which indicates that overall guests’ experiences fell below guests’ expectations. Hoteliers should therefore improve guests’ experiences to reduce the HOLSERV gap. The results of the study could help hoteliers identify areas of improvement and increase customer satisfaction.

Keywords: Hotel guests, customers, expectations, experiences, HOLSERV, hoteliers


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939