Do the Roles of Switching Barriers on Customer Loyalty Vary for Different Types of Hotels?

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The role of switching barriers in generating hotel customers’ loyalty has recently received increasing scholarly attention. The current study aims to investigate the simultaneous impact of customer satisfaction and switching barriers on customer loyalty and examine the moderating effect of switching barriers between customer satisfaction and loyalty. Boundary conditions of the role of switching barriers have also been explored. Online and offline questionnaire survey has been conducted with respondents in three tier-one cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The results suggest that customer satisfaction has significant positive effects on customer loyalty. However, the positive effect and the moderating role of negative switching barriers (i.e., switching costs) were only found for high-tariff hotels. For low-tariff hotels, the moderating role was not revealed. Practical implications regarding the optimal use of switching barriers in the hotel industry were offered.