The role of emotional commitment in relationship marketing: an empirical investigation of a loyalty model for casinos
Sui, J. J.
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
SAGE Publications Inc.
470 - 489
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This study examines the antecedents and consequences of commitment to hotel casinos targeting local customers. To accomplish this goal, a model of loyalty was developed and tested to understand the behavioral outcomes (benefits) of building relationships with lo- cal customers and what elements contribute to these behavioral outcomes. The results of path analysis showed that emotional attachment is a key mediating variable between attitudinal antecedents (trust and switching costs) and behavioral variables (proportion of visit, word of mouth, cooperation, time spent in casinos, and other product usage). The most influential variables on behavioral outcomes of loyalty were found to be trust and emotional attachment. The study contributes to services and casino marketing by validating empirical linkages in gaming context and providing empirical support for conceptualized differential effects of trust and switching cost on emotional attachment and behavioral outcomes of loyalty in services marketing literature. Theoretical and practical implications and future research issues are discussed. © 2003 International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.