Title: The mediating role of place attachment on the relationship between service quality and loyalty in the context of skiing

Authors: Nicholas D. Theodorakis, Nikolaos Tsigilis, Kostas Alexandris

Addresses: Department of Physical Education and Sport Science at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Agios Ioannis, 62110, Serres, Greece. ' Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly, 42100 Karies, Trikala, Greece. ' Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract: The present study examined the relationship between service quality, place attachment, and customer loyalty in the context of recreational skiing. Specifically, it was hypothesised that place attachment would mediate the relationship between service quality and skiers| loyalty. Service quality was measured with an adjusted version of Brady and Cronin|s (2001) three-dimensional model (interaction, physical environment, and outcome quality), while place attachment was measured with Kyle et al.|s (2004a, b) two-dimensional model (place identify and place dependence). A sample of 288 skiers participated in the study. Men were 57.6% of the sample. The mean age of the sample was 32.4 years, ranging from 14 to 56 years old. The data were collected from two skiing resorts in North Greece. Using structural equation modelling, the results provided support of the proposed model. Place attachment had a mediation effect on the relationship between service quality and customer loyalty. These results improve our theoretical understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of skiers| loyalty with skiing resorts. Marketing implications, in terms of developing strategies to increase consumer loyalty, are discussed.

Keywords: service quality; place attachment; customer loyalty; recreational skiing; sport marketing; Greece; structural equation modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.029089

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.6 No.3, pp.277 - 291

Published online: 03 Nov 2009 *

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