Many researchers (Cronin&Taylor: 1992, 1994, Grönroos, 1984; Parasuraman, Zeithaml&Berry: 1985, 1988) have devoted considerable attention to the development and testing of models for the measurement of service quality. Although some researchers (Chang&Yeh, 2002; Otto&Ritchie, 1996; Sergio&Hudson 2006) paid attention to service quality research within the tourism industry, little is known about service quality research within the business tourism sector and specifically at an International Convention Centre (ICC). Service quality focuses on the standard of service delivery and the interaction between the customer and the service provider in order to ensure that the customer’s expectations are met (Hernon, 2001:1; Palmer, 2005:64). The literature addresses several models for service quality for example “SERVQUAL” (Parasuraman et al., 1985, 1988), the “Servicescape” model developed by Booms and Bitner (1981:39) and the “Servuction” model (Eiglier&Langeard, 1987 in Palmer, 2005:82). SERVQUAL plays a more important role in the measurement of the service quality at a service firm, i.e. an ICC, than “Servicescape”. SERVQUAL focuses on five service quality dimensions: (1) tangible; (2) reliability; (3) responsiveness; (4) assurance and (5) empathy as identified by Parasuraman et al. (1988:23), while “Servicescape” covers the physical features of a service firm. In this study the researcher seeks to add some conceptual insight to the theoretical literature on service quality. This paper explores the use of the SERVQUAL model at an ICC as a diagnostic tool and examines the difficulties that arise with regards to the measurement of the gaps in service quality in the convention consumer market segments, both domestically and internationally. Suggestions are made that the full value of SERVQUAL may not be fully realised if the measurement processes are not well executed. It may be easy to adapt the SERVQUAL model and implement it in a survey (i.e. the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) ICC) and continue to measure the outcomes, but if that is not acted on it becomes a futile exercise.
Dissertation (MCom (Tourism Management))--University of Pretoria, 2007.