Service Quality and Customer Loyalty in Malaysian Rural Tourism: A Mediating Effect of Trust

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Abstract
This study aims to examine the mediating effect understanding of trust on service quality and customer loyalty relationship in Malaysia rural tourism. The model was developed and later tested by adopting the Partial Least Square (PLS) procedure on data collected from a survey that yielded 295 usable questionnaires. The findings showed that customer satisfaction enhances trust in Malaysia rural tourism. It was also revealed that trust partially mediates the relationship between service quality and customer loyalty. In future more research needs to be carried out to explore the role of trust in Malaysia rural tourism industry. It is important to do the study utilizing experimental design by capturing longitudinal data in Malaysia rural tourism industry using robust measures. The findings imply that the relationship between trust and profitability may dwell in trust’s influence on customer loyalty, and that trust plays a crucial function within the Malaysia rural tourism industry. This research is one of the first known attempts to use PLS to test a mediation effect.

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