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Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension

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Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension

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This research focuses on the influence of social factors on the sustainability of hospitality industry in the context of Qatar. The significance of this research lies in its ability to empirically study the impact of social factors on the sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar. The hypotheses building has been through the process of finding evidence through the theoretical models available in the literature for the linkages between the various social factors and sustainability. While there are several social factors which influence sustainability of any business in general, the ones which are most relevant to the hospitality industry are: Education, Life Expectancy, Income, TV index, Newspaper index, and PC index. Structural Equation Modeling using Partial Least Square Method was used as the research methodology. This method was specifically chosen for its ability to undertake factor analysis and regression analysis simultaneously and address the issue of multi-collinearity. The sample size of 213 managers was chosen from various hotels. The results based on the hypothesis testing would lead to the implications and also suggestions for the benefit of the hotel managers, so that sustainability of hospitality industry could be ensured.
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Volume 7 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.134 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension
Girish K Nair
Stenden University of Applied Sciences - Qatar, Qatar | gknair75@gmail.com
Nidhi Choudhary
Banasthali University, India | nidhic10@gmail.com
Abstract
This research focuses on the influence of social factors on the sustainability of hospitality industry in the context of Qatar.
The significance of this research lies in its ability to empirically study the impact of social factors on the sustainability of
hospitality industry in Qatar. The hypotheses building has been through the process of finding evidence through the
theoretical models available in the literature for the linkages between the various social factors and sustainability. While
there are several social factors which influence sustainability of any business in general, the ones which are most relevant to
the hospitality industry are: Education, Life Expectancy, Income, TV index, Newspaper index, and PC index. Structural
Equation Modeling using Partial Least Square Method was used as the research methodology. This method was specifically
chosen for its ability to undertake factor analysis and regression analysis simultaneously and address the issue of multi-
collinearity. The sample size of 213 managers was chosen from various hotels. The results based on the hypothesis testing
would lead to the implications and also suggestions for the benefit of the hotel managers, so that sustainability of hospitality
industry could be ensured.
Keywords: Sustainability, Hospitality Industry, Social Factors, Structural Equation Modeling
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Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu |
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension
Page |34| Emerging Markets Journal
Sustainability in the Hospitality
Industry: A Social Factor
Dimension
Girish K Nair
Nidhi Choudhary
1. Introduction
Tourism is considered to be the fastest growing
service sector in the world and has a bearing on the
economic growth of the country (Osman & Sentosa,
2013). The tourism and hospitality industry has
outperformed the manufacturing, retail, financial services
and communications globally. The contribution of
tourism and hospitality industry to the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) in most of the countries is quite
significant. More than 10% of all new jobs created in the
past few years have been from the tourism industry (Abu
Alroub, Alsaleem, & Daoud, 2012). World Travel and
Tourism Council (WTTC) (2013) claims that, 9% of the
total GDP contribution in most countries is through
tourism and hospitality industry. So, tourism and
hospitality industry is right now a booming business
across the world.
In Qatar, one of the focal areas of the government is
tourism and hospitality, and the government has taken
very keen interest in developing it on a large scale. The
Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 is the
government initiative. The Strategy has been developed
with sustainability on the focus. Sustainable tourism
according to United Nation World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO) is "Tourism that takes full account of its
current and future economic, social and environmental
impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry,
the environment and host communities" (UNWTO,
2005).
The general observation is that in the Arab region
Qatar is ranked 2nd as a tourism destination and on the
global ranking it is in 41st place (Blanke & Chiesa,
2013). It has world rankings which are comparable to any
other tourist destination and it is the boost for the
hospitality industry. Qatar benefits from a safe and
secure environment (21st rank), good ICT and tourism
infrastructures (32nd and 37th rank, respectively), and
excellent air transport infrastructure (23rd rank) (Blanke
& Chiesa, 2013). The ease of hiring foreign labor (4th
rank), increasing enrollment rates, and the quality of its
education drive the ability of the country to find high-
quality human resources (7th rank) inside and outside the
country (Blanke & Chiesa, 2013). Qatar also has a high
degree of customer orientation (5th rank) (Blanke &
Chiesa, 2013). However, the sustainability of these
positions and the ability to improve it further will have
social, cultural, economic and environmental issues
associated with it.
Ensuring the sustainability during the promotion of
hospitality as well as tourism is important for the overall
development of Qatar. This is because the growth of the
hospitality industry may be detrimental to the
maintenance of the ecosystem and biodiversity in the
form of loss of wildlife and rare species, habitat loss,
environmental degradation which can disturb the social
wellbeing of the community (Rabbany et al., 2013).
According to Rabbany et al. (2013), there could also be
the disrupting of the coasts in the form of shoreline
erosion, pollution, and fish spawning grounds; water
overuse may lead to another set of problems;
urbanization may lead to pollution, traffic congestion and
disturb the social life of the residents; fossil fuel
consumption may also increase due to the maintenance of
the hotels and the supporting conveyance required; and
finally, additional consumption of energy and water may
tax the residents in their wellbeing in different ways.
While there are many different dimensions to
sustainability of hospitality industry especially in the
context of the Arab nations such as Qatar, it is surprising
to note that not many of the studies are focused on
specific dimensions of sustainability, particularly in the
form of empirical studies. There is a need to have a
detailed study about how the managers in hospitality
industry in Qatar respond to the expansion of hospitality
industry, which is important in the context of
sustainability. If sustainability of hospitality has to be
ensured as per the initiatives taken by the Qatar
government, the focus should be directed towards the
social dimension of sustainability in the hospitality
industry.
This research is an attempt to provide the empirical
evidence for the influence of exogenous variables of
social sustainability which include: education, life
expectancy, income, television (TV) index, newspaper
index, and personal computer (PC) index on sustainable
growth of hospitality industry in Qatar. The problem has
emerged based on the Qatar government initiative in
bringing sustainability to hospitality industry of Qatar.
The aim of the research is to establish the empirical
evidence for the influence of specific societal variables
on the sustainability of the hospitality industry. To
accomplish this aim, the following objectives are framed:
1. Examine the external factors that have
influence on social sustainability of hospitality
industry.
2. Investigate the indicators or the latent
variables: education, life expectancy, income,
television (TV) index, newspaper index, and
personal computer (PC) index.
3. Develop a model which links the above
constructs in the context of international
business and empirically test the model.
4. Draw implications to the managers of
hospitality industry and also to the government
officials to strengthen the critical factors which
have influence on social sustainability of
hospitality industry.
2. Literature Review
‘Sustainability is a generic term which refers to the
survival on a long term basis and it is often linked to the
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Girish K Nair, Nidhi Choudhary
Emerging Markets Journal | P a g e |35
word ‘sustainable development which according to
World Commission on Environment and Development,
(1987) is development which meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability has
three distinct dimensions: social, economic, and
environmental (Choy et al., 2015) and this research is
focused specifically on the social sustainability in the
context of hospitality industry.
According to Western Australia Council of Social
Services (WACOSS), "Social sustainability occurs when
the formal and informal processes; systems; structures;
and relationships actively support the capacity of current
and future generations to create healthy and liveable
communities. Socially sustainable communities are
equitable, diverse, connected and democratic and
provide a good quality of life ("WACOSS, 2003).
According to Woodcraft (2011), "Social
sustainability is a process for creating sustainable,
successful places that promote wellbeing, by
understanding what people need from the places they live
and work. Social sustainability combines design of the
physical realm with design of the social world
infrastructure to support social and cultural life, social
amenities, and systems for citizen engagement and space
for people and places to evolve.”
The focal area of this research is ‘social
sustainability and it comprises several aspects such as:
social equity, liveability, health equity, community
development, social capital, human rights, labour rights,
place making, social responsibility, social justice,
cultural competence, community resilience, and human
adaptation as referred to the hospitality industry (James
et al., 2015). The definition and the tasks to be
accomplished are given in Table 1.
Table 1: The Various Aspects of Social Sustainability,
Definitions and Tasks
Social
Sustainability
Aspect
Definition
Tasks
Social equity
This refers to the
equal
employment
opportunities to
the employees
and equity in the
sharing of the
duties and
responsibilities
based on the
employment
cadre.
Ensures law and
order, provides
secure feeling for
the residents,
ensures welfare,
and makes
available the
social services
Livability
It refers to the
providing of an
ambiance to the
public which is
congenial for
healthy living
with all the
modern luxuries
Livability ensures
health equity
which is to make
sure that the
health benefits
provided by the
government and
the private
and facilities and
the societal
members living in
harmony.
organizations are
equally available
to all the classes
of the society.
Community
development
This refers to the
progressive
growth of the
community.
This calls for the
demonstration of
the social
corporate
responsibility of
the hospitality
industry in some
form
Social capital
This refers to the
social values that
the community
builds over a
period of time and
passes it to the
future
generations.
There should be
clear indicators of
the social support
to the citizens of
the country.
Human rights
This refers to the
upliftment of the
human pride and
dignity so that the
citizens can live
with pride and
dignity.
There should be
an ambiance
created in the
society where
every individual
feels safe and
secure.
Labor rights
The employers of
the organization
should feel that
all their basic
rights are
protected.
The employment
contracts should
be in accordance
to the norms set
by the
government
Place making
Every individual
should be
provided an
environment
where he is free to
choose the
lifestyle
irrespective of
his/her social
class.
All the sections of
the society should
feel they have the
freedom to
choose.
Social
responsibility
The business
organizations
should
demonstrate
responsibility for
the development
of the society.
It is demonstrated
through the
establishment of
the places for the
functions of the
society including
the social get
together,
entertainment,
festivals,
carnivals,
religious
programs, parks,
stadiums etc.,
Social justice
cultural
It refers to the
building of a
society where
everyone can
develop a feeling
that he/she can
work towards the
fulfillment of
vision in life.
Equity should be
possible in terms
of the distribution
of wealth,
opportunities, and
privileges within
the society.
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension Page |36| Emerging Markets Journal
Cultural
competence
The culture of a
society should be
showcased so as
to gain visibility
internationally.
There should be
provision for
cultural
programs,
paintings in the
walls, interior
design in the
buildings,
providing of the
various services
in traditional
forms, display of
books etc.
Community
resilience
It refers to the
measure of the
sustained ability
of a community to
utilize available
resources to
respond to,
withstand, and
recover from
adverse situations.
The community
should
strategically plan
for adverse
situations and
have a clear plan
to manage crisis
under unforeseen
conditions.
Human
adaptation
It refers to the
cultural
transformations in
case it helps for
the progressive
growth of the
society.
The entire
community
should be
sensitized to the
need for
accepting change
with time if it is
considered to be
useful in terms of
making the world
a better place to
live for all.
Of all the above referred aspects of social
sustainability, human adaptation is a very vital aspect.
There are theories which link the human adaptations
based on the cultural transformations (Henrich, 2011).
The interaction between the society and human being has
been the focus in modern approach and the ecological
aspects are also highlighted. The claim is that, all human
activities have to be considered under the social
sustainability (James et al, 2015). Despite the fact that
social sustainability has a very vast spread in terms of its
dimensionality, in the context of this research, it is
important to identify the variables that constitute social
sustainability in the context of hospitality industry in
Qatar and that is discussed in following paragraphs.
As the name itself indicates, these influences
are due to the social issues in the country of business.
Assaker, Esposito, and O’Connor (2011) found that, if
the quality of life lead by the tourists and the local
residents in a country are different, then this would cause
a lot of discrepancies in adjusting with each other and
may adversely affect the hospitality and tourism. If the
quality of life in the country visited by the tourists is
superior, the tourists may be attracted to the place and try
to visit the place more and more (Krippendorf, 1987). On
the contrary, if the quality of life in the country being
visited is inferior, the tourists may not like the place and
the place of visit may look less attractive, and this may
cause dissatisfaction in tourists (Mathieson & Wall,
1982). While the tourists may not like the place of visit,
on the other hand, the residents of the place may also
develop inferiority when they come across the tourist
who again builds the gap between the tourists and the
residents, and this becomes detrimental to the social
sustainability aspect of tourism.
The main theory applicable here is the Social
Exchange Theory (SET), which suggests that the greater
the discrepancy between the quality of life of two
populations, the more willing the locals will be to bear
some inconvenience and enter into exchanges with
tourists for money (Turner, 1986). Ritchie, Brent,
Geoffrey, Crouch and Simon (2000) have studied the
influence of socio-cultural factors to capture local
residents’ quality of life and found that it does influence
the tourism in many different ways. The measurement of
social and cultural influences on hospitality has been a
priority in the sustainability research (Gooroochurn &
Sugiyarto, 2004) and researchers have suggested using
the United Nations Development Programme’s Human
Development Index (HDI) alongside indices for
education, newspapers, personal computers, and
televisions as alternative measures of life quality. The
main dimension of HDI, which is a measure of human
development of a country as these indices is directly
proportional to the number of people who subscribe to
the newspapers, own personal computers and televisions.
The HDI consists of three indicators: life expectancy,
education, and income, which indicate how developed
the country is.
Social dimension as an antecedent is also
opposed by a group of researchers who reject the
proposition that the social dimension is critical for the
sustainability of hospitality instead of aspects such as
service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty,
competitive advantage, and organizational performance
(Kusluvan, Kusluvan, Ilhan, & Buyruk, 2010).
Researchers also bring various other theories in addition
to the aforementioned SET, which include: resource
based theory (Kozlenkova & Palmatier, 2014), dynamic
capability theory (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000),
competency-based theory (Ott, Baca, Cisnernos, & Bates,
2014), knowledge based theory (Nickerson & Zenger,
2004), organizational social capital theory (Woolcock &
Narayan, 2010), and intellectual capital theory (Karanja,
2014). All these theories have many different
perspectives about the growth, sustainability, financial
performance, non-financial performance, organizational
performance, competitive advantage, innovation, etc.
Despite the fact these theories are applicable to any
product or service oriented organization, when it comes
to hospitality, there is a significant amount of personal
touch associated with the service and the customer-guest
interaction, or the tourist and local resident behavior and
the SET is more widely accepted and it governs this
research. It is important to note that, as far as the
sustainable tourism is concerned, it is not just about
sustainability in the turnover in terms of financial
benefits it can bring to the country, but the terms
sustainability here moves beyond the financial aspects
and has many different dimensions as mentioned before.
Income from hospitality has influence on the
income of local residents and in turn the income of the
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Girish K Nair, Nidhi Choudhary
Emerging Markets Journal | P a g e |37
local residents has influence on the tourism sustainability
(Paci & Marrocu, 2013). This is because hospitality
industry promotes travel and tourism, has a direct
contribution to the GDP, employment, and also indirect
impact on capital investment, government collective
spending, and supply chain effects. A lot of income is
generated by hospitality through hotels, travel agents,
airlines and other passenger transport services, as well as
the activities of restaurant and leisure industries that deal
directly with tourists, which directly adds to the GDP of
the country. Hospitality industry growth is vital, because
it provides a lot of employment opportunities and there is
an opportunity for the national citizens to have a priority
on recruitment, selection, training and a steady
employment.
TV index, newspaper index, and PC index have
been linked to sustainability of tourism by many
researchers. The study of tourism induced by popular
culture has often been broken down by media format, so
there is film-induced tourism, TV tourism, literature
tourism and so on (Beeton, Yamamura, & Seaton, 2013).
The study on the causation between these variables and
hospitality sustainability is relatively young, but growing
rapidly (Seaton & Yamamura, 2015). The first major
example of a film significantly affecting tourist behavior
is believed to have been in 1935 though the film called
‘The Mutiny on the Bounty’, which sparked an influx of
tourists to Tahiti (Roesch, 2009).
3. Research Methodology
3.1 The hypotheses development
Following hypotheses are developed based on the
hypothetical research model (Figure 1):
H1a: There is a significant influence of education on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H1o: There is no significant influence of education on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H2a: There is a significant influence of life expectancy
on social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H2o: There is no significant influence of life expectancy
on social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H3a: There is a significant influence of income on social
sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H3o: There is no significant influence of income on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H4a: There is a significant influence of TV index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H4o: There is no significant influence of TV index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H5a: There is a significant influence of newspaper index
on social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H5o: There is no significant influence of newspaper
index on social sustainability of hospitality industry in
Qatar.
H6a: There is a significant influence of PC index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
H6o: There is no significant influence of PC index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
Figure 1. Hypothetical Research Model
3.2 Development of the questionnaire
The development of the metric in the form of a
questionnaire entailed a four-stage approach including
meta-analysis of literature, interviews with major
stakeholders of hospitality industry, questionnaire
development and pilot testing of the questionnaire. The
reason for this selection was to study the influences of
external factors across the cross section of the industry.
The exogenous latent constructs for the survey were the
social factors influencing sustainability of hospitality
industry. The six exogenous latent constructs in this
study included: education, life expectancy, income, TV
index, newspaper index, and PC index. Table 2
summarizes the constructs, description, sample items,
number of items and origin of the items.
Table 2: Survey Constructs, Sample Items and
Sources
Sustainability in this research, which is a
dependable variable, has been measured in terms of
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension Page |38| Emerging Markets Journal
progressive growth of the industry, the importance of
hospitality industry, initiative of the government in
tourism and hospitality development, the place of the
hospitality industry among the other service industries,
information about the local tradition and heritage,
provision for authentic traditional food and beverage,
access for the locals to facilities, support for local
initiatives for heritage conservation as perceived by the
managers (Manning, 1999; Roberts et al., 2008).
3.3 Sample Description
The sample is a finite population of managers in the
hospitality industry in Qatar. There are 108 hotels in
Doha, Qatar where this questionnaire survey is
conducted. The respondents to this survey are the
managers of the selected hotels who are General
Managers, Directors, Assistant Directors and Managers
of Rooms, F&B, Catering & Events, Guest Relations
Managers, Finance, Marketing, Managers of Rooms,
F&B, Catering & Events, Executive Chefs, Sue Chefs,
Senior Front House Managers, Reservation Managers, In
Room Dining Managers, Marketing Managers, Guest
Service Managers, Recreation Managers, Restaurant
Managers, Executive Chef, Shisha Managers, Laundry
Managers, Spa Managers, Chef de Party, Pastry Chef,
Cold Kitchen Chef, Hot Kitchen Chef, Outlet Managers,
Guest Services Managers, Duty Managers, Health and
Wellness Managers. The population size is 3,280
managers and the standard formula for probability based
sampling assuming 2% defects and 2% permissible error
yields a sample size of 178. Questionnaires in electronic
form were communicated to 300 respondents and 213
usable responses were obtained, which have been used
for analysis.
3.4 Pilot study
A pilot study was undertaken to validate and test the
reliability of the questionnaire with a sample size of 35.
The questionnaire with a total 28 indicators of the latent
variables was reduced to a total of 21 items through
factor analysis, which were subsequently used for
collecting data through a total sample size of 213
managers of different hotels.
3.5 Method of data collection
The concept of meta-analysis was used to screen the
social dimensions that influence the sustainability of
hospitality industry. The approach of this study was both
qualitative and quantitative in nature and it basically
being an exploratory and ‘ex post facto’ kind of research
(Creswell & Clark, 2011), the concepts and models
evolved as the research made progress both in terms of
literature review and field work on hospitality industry in
Qatar. Informal interviews with the managers of
hospitality industry and the secondary sources such as
journals and conference proceedings were used to collect
the qualitative data. Questionnaire with 5-point Likert
scale was used for collecting quantitative data from the
managers of various hotels in Qatar. Structural Equation
Modeling (SEM) was used for exploratory factor analysis
and hypothesis testing was undertaken using path
modeling approach.
4. Results and discussion
4.1. Demographic details of respondents
Demographic distribution gives the general idea
about the respondents who have participated in this
research. This becomes important as an idea about
participants, who give strength to the inferences which
are drawn through the data. It can be observed that,
majority of the respondents are males in this research
(64%), the dominating age group was 35-45 years (32%)
followed by the age group of 25-35 years (28%) (Table
3). It can be observed that, majority of the respondents
are undergraduates (44%) followed by post-graduates
(36%). The highest per month salary range was in QAR
10,000 to 20,000 (36%) followed by QAR 20,000 to
30,000 (28%). Majority of the respondents were having a
work experience of six to ten years (40%) followed by
two to five years (34%) in that order. So, by and large, it
is evident that the respondents are qualified and have the
required experience in organization to respond to aspects
related to the topic of research interest.
The researchers have included experts and
experienced professionals in the hospitality industry to be
a part of this study. After analysing the demographics of
the sample, it was realized that, majority of the
respondents were not citizens of Qatar. They are
immigrant workers. Hence, the majority of the
workforce which holds the managerial positions in few of
the best hotels in Qatar are expats. This is attributed to
the fact that about 90% of the population in Qatar is
expatriates (The Report, 2015) Qatar is a popular
destination for the expats who plan to start their career
overseas (HSBC, 2014) . However, the role of expats
labour in achieving sustainable development is another
debatable topic. Though the expats help to bridge the gap
between demand and supply of labour, it is primarily
argued that the widespread utilization of expatriate
labour is recognized as one of the major features that
alleviate the positive economic impacts of tourism
(Mowforth & Munt, 2009) (Wall & Mathieson, 2006).
Further, excess participation by expats also leads to lack
of native governance and contribution in tourism
development (Rao, 2002). Therefore, the Government of
Qatar should not ignore this fact and draft the labor
policies in such a way that the interest of expats as well
as the native labour is intact. This is important for the
sustainable development of tourism in the country.
Table 3: Demographic Distribution of the
Respondents (N=213)
Attributes
Percentage
Gender
Male
64.0
Female
36.0
Age
Less than 25 years
12.0
26 35 years
28.0
36 45 years
32.0
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Girish K Nair, Nidhi Choudhary
Emerging Markets Journal | P a g e |39
46 55 years
43
20.0
Greater than 55 years
16
8.0
Educational
qualification
Diploma
34
16.0
Undergraduate
94
44.0
Post graduate
77
36.0
Other
8
4.0
Income per month
(QAR)
Less than 5,000
17
8.0
5,000 to 10,000
26
12.0
>10,000 to 20,000
77
36.0
>20,000 to 30,000
60
28.0
Above 30,000
33
16.0
Professional Experience
Less than two years
34
16.0
2 5 years
72
34.0
6 10 years
85
40.0
More than 10 years
22
10.0
4.2. Normality of the data
Normality assumption was not violated with an
acceptable range of Skewness and Kurtosis statistics
(threshold values 1.00 and -3 to +3 respectively).
Therefore, the data could be subjected to further level of
statistical analysis.
4.3. Measurement Model
To verify the reliability of the latent variables in
the model, internal consistency reliability measure, item
reliability measure, and composite reliability measure
were calculated. Table 4 shows the Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient and the composite reliability result for the
model. The alpha coefficient has the acceptable value
ranging from 0.6 to 0.9, indicating a moderately high
level of internal consistency. To test for discriminant
validity, the square root of average variance extracted
(AVE) for each construct was compared with the
correlation between the construct and the other constructs
(Table 5), and was found to be higher (shown in bold),
and hence, the discriminant validity is proved. The data
could be subjected to the further analysis as very high
measures were indicated in all the methods of reliability
and validity. Finally, the low value of redundancy (-
0.0067) is an indication that there is no redundancy in the
indicators of measurement. The result of item reliability
(IR) measured as standardized confirmatory factor
loading (FL) ranged from 0.7 to 0.9 (Table 6). The
composite reliability is in the range of 0.8 to 0.9,
indicating moderate to high reliability score. The
communality values ranging from 0.5 to 0.8 are also
indicating that the reliability is adequate. The convergent
validity assessment based on factor loading and
composite reliability indicate moderate to high
acceptable range of factor loading for all items and good
composite reliabilities in general.
Table 4: The Reliability Measures
Table 5: The Correlation Matrix
Table 6: Factor Loadings (after reduction)
4.4. Structural Model
The hypothesized model was designed to test 6
hypotheses built based on the research literature on the
influence of social aspects on sustainability of the
hospitality industry. The model with path coefficients
and the explanatory power (R2) for each dependent
construct is displayed in Figure 2. While path
coefficients show the strength of relationship between the
two latent variables, the t-values (Figure 3 and Table 7)
are indicative of the significance of relationships which
enable hypotheses testing. The R2 values of 0.713 (cut-
off 0.1) for the endogenous variable indicate a very high
explanatory power of the model. In other words, the
exogenous variables influence up to 71% on the
endogenous variables of the study. The path coefficients
are in the range of 0.2 to 0.3, except for an outlier (-
0.011) for the variables associated through hypotheses
testing and indicate a moderate to high influence.
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension Page |40| Emerging Markets Journal
Table 7: The t-Values of the Hypothetical Model
*significance level of 10%; **significance level of 5%;
rest have a significance level of 1%.
The SEM indicated that the following hypotheses were
supported:
H3a: There is a significant influence of income on social
sustainability of hospitality industry.
H4a: There is a significant influence of TV index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry.
H5a: There is a significant influence of newspaper index
on social sustainability of hospitality industry.
H6a: There is a significant influence of PC index on
social sustainability of hospitality industry.
The SEM indicated that the following hypotheses were
not supported:
H1a: There is a significant influence of education on
social sustainability of hospitality industry.
H2a: There is a significant influence of life expectancy on
social sustainability of hospitality industry.
Figure 2. Path Coefficients and Factor Loading
Figure 3. t-values of the Hypothetical Model
5. Findings and Implications to the strategic
managers of hotels
Hospitality industry is a service sector which is
highly knowledge intensive and putting in the words of
the philosopher Telfer (Lashley, 2015), the service
providers should be first of all hospitable, have a desire
to please others, be naturally warm and friendly, have the
ability to meet the needs of individuals, be ready to help
in trouble, have a desire to make friends and enjoy
communication, and entertain guests. The following
discussions open up the issues related to social
sustainability:
1. This research has revealed that income of the
domestic population does have a significant
influence on the sustainability of hospitality
industry. This result is consistent with the results
obtained by a group of researchers who have
worked on hospitality and tourism (Vasheghani-
Farahani, Esfandiar & Tajzadeh-Namin, 2014; Paci
et al, 2013; Yaping, 2013; Zortuk, 2009; Leea &
Chang, 2008; Beresford, 2004; McCain, 2003;
Hach, 2001). The research shows in fact a reciprocal
relationship between the income of domestic
population and hospitality industry sustainability,
according to which, if the local population is having
a higher level of income, then there is ample scope
for the hospitality industry to grow and as the
hospitality industry grows, it will increase the
income of local population. The implication is that,
the government of Qatar should focus on the overall
business growth of the country in general and also
strategize the hospitality industry to meet the
requirement of the international community on a
higher scale. The distribution of the income also
appears to be a challenge to be faced. These
measures are already taken by the government, but
the promotion of local hospitality industry at the
international level should be scaled up for ensuring
sustainability.
2. This research has revealed the fact that, TV index
has a significant influence on the sustainability of
hospitality industry, which is also consistent with
earlier research studies (Seaton et al, 2015; Beeton
et al, 2013; Roesch et al, 2009; Chan, 2007).
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Girish K Nair, Nidhi Choudhary
Emerging Markets Journal | P a g e |41
3. Newspaper index also has a significant influence on
the sustainability of hospitality industry. The
revelations would be higher if the number of local
residents read the newspapers more. Thus, the
hospitability industry will be sustainable. This
outcome is consistent with the contemporary and
earlier research (Loi & Sentosa, 2015; Castro,
Armario & Ruiz 2007; and Grosspietsch, 2006). It is
a well-known fact that, newspaper provides
information about the measures government initiates
for developing the economic health of country. It is
important that the local residents must be aware of
these measures. So, the responsibilities on their part
will be fulfilled. A good understanding of the
privileges and responsibilities as the citizens of
country would help in building a culture, which is
congenial to the growth of hospitality industry. The
local residents may be more cooperative towards the
international community and this would attract more
number of tourists, which will make the hospitality
industry grow. Newspaper also provides the
necessary business opportunities to the local citizens
and supply information on opportunities to
collaborate with foreign companies of international
repute, and all these will further add to the growth
of the hospitality industry. The government can
make the newspapers available in abundance and
have a wide range of newspapers available to the
locals which cover local news, business
opportunities, political initiatives, future of
hospitality industry in Qatar etc., which will pave
the way to the success of hospitality industry.
4. PC index also has a significant influence on the
sustainability of hospitality industry. This outcome
is in agreement with many other researchers (Esty &
Simmons, 2011; Solomon, Barnossy, Askegaard &
Hogg, 2010; Sloan, Legrand & Chen, 2009; Ball,
Horner & Nield, 2007). The higher the computer
usage by the local residents, better will be the
opportunity for sustaining hospitality industry.
While PC usage has many facets including
computing, word processing, accounting, planning
etc., the most widely used application is internet
surfing. The world of internet provides the users
with a whole gamut of information about the
business opportunities as well as tools and
techniques available to build a stronger career for
the local citizens of the country. At the same time,
PC usage builds a computer savvy culture, which
has the ability to access latest information in any
field. These applications of PC will produce a
generation which is receptive to newer ideas and
they will develop linkages with the external world
in social, cultural, and economic front. All these
aspects have a direct bearing on the growth and
success of hospitality industry. The implication to
the government is to introduce computers in early
stages of the student career, so that a computer
literate crowd could be generated which knows how
to exploit technology for the growth of the country.
Making computers available at a reasonable price to
local public through reduced sales taxes may also be
considered to maximize the PC usage. In contrast,
by the correct application of ICT well, the rewards
could be enormous. These are identified as helping
to enhance creativity and innovation to solve
problems, build communities, give more people
access to goods and services and use precious
resources much more efficiently.
5. Income of citizens of the country also has a
significant influence on the social sustainability of
hospitality industry as indicated by the hypothesis
testing. There is research evidence that, higher the
income of the people in a country, higher will be
their awareness about the importance of promoting
hospitality and tourism to strengthen the GDP of the
country (Marrocu & Paci, 2011; Paci & Marrocu,
2013 and Yaping, 2013).
6. It was surprising to note that, education background
of the society had no significant influence on the
sustainability of hospitality industry. This finding is
in direct contrast to a group of researchers such as
Ouane & Singh (2009); Nabi, Rogers & Street
(2009); Adra (2008); Robinson-Pant, (2004). These
research studies have been undertaken in a different
setting and in the context of Qatar, the research has
revealed that sustainability of hospitality is
independent of the educational background of the
local residents. Further investigation may be
necessary and generalizing this outcome completely
may not be advisable.
7. Another counter intuitive outcome of this research
was that, life expectancy of the local residents had
no bearing on the sustainability of the hospitality
industry. This research finding is not in agreement
with some theoretical observations such as Bimonte,
Brida, Pulina & Punzo, (2012); Croes (2012);
Andereck & Nyaupane (2011). The point is
justifiable as hospitality industry has to be supported
by the local citizens of the country, but there is no
rule which would claim that longer the residents of
the country live, the better will be the sustainability
of hospitality industry.
6. Conclusion
This research is the first of its kind in the context of
Qatar and has come out in a timely manner, as the
hospitality industry of the country is undergoing major
scaling operation in the light of FIFA 2022 World Cup to
be hosted in Qatar. The research focused on the impact of
specific social factors such as education, life expectancy,
income, TV index, newspaper index, and PC index on
sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar. The study
has effectively made use of structural equation modelling
to determine the significance of influence of the social
variables on sustainability of hospitality industry. It can
be very clearly concluded from this empirical research
that, income of the local residents of the country, TV
index, newspaper index, and PC index have direct impact
on the sustainability of hospitality industry. Drawing
upon this revelation of the study, a discussion was
undertaken on sustainability of hospitality industry. The
discussion can be utilized by the stakeholders to promote
sustainability of hospitality industry in Qatar.
The study cannot be completely generalized, mainly
because of the sample size chosen, which comprises the
managers of the hospitality industry, and not all the
socio-economic classes of the society. However, it
Volume 8 No 2 (2018) | ISSN 2158-8708 (online) | DOI 10.5195/emaj.2018.154 | http://emaj.pitt.edu
Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: A Social Factor Dimension Page |42| Emerging Markets Journal
highlights the perceptions of managers in terms of the
linkage of social aspects on sustainability. The study is
an empirical investigation only on the social aspects,
which impact the sustainability and thus, it is not a
holistic approach to the problem. This provides ample
scope for extending the work further. Also, other
dimensions of sustainability such as culture, economics,
environment etc. may be added to the model.
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... However, as mentioned by Gursoy & Rutherford (2004) the relationship between the tourists and the society are considered as a key factor and a critical issue for long-term sustainability. Therefore, as mentioned by Nair and Choudhary (2018) due to the nature of the tourism industry and the way the industry interacts with the society social exchange theory is the most applicable theory to consider as the theory to govern this research. Social exchange theory indicates that the relationship between the tourist and the society will be influenced by the evaluation and outcomes from either party. ...
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