Comunicación Integrada de Marketing y Co-Creación de Valor en un contexto hotelero sostenible

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Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 that has had a devastating effect on the tourism industry, the way companies and customers interact before, during, and after service delivery has changed. This new reality provides unexplored opportunities to build better service delivery processes in general and tourism services in particular. Moreover, the rapid growth of the hotel industry during pre-pandemic times created not only a fiercely competitive environment within the global industry, but also caused an adverse impact on the environment, provoking damage to natural resources and excessive emissions of greenhouse gases. All this leads to the need for new approaches to creating powerful brands, where consumers are considered not only as a target of marketing activities, but also as co-producers of services and value co-creators. Furthermore, studies focused on the instruments and factors that drive the pro-environmental behavior of tourists and the measurement of their possible results have become one of the fastest-growing fields of tourism research in the world during the last decade. However, some of the studies argue that despite tourists having positive attitudes towards socially responsible and green hotels, many hotels struggle to engage their customers in sustainability practices. Therefore, to respond to the gaps observed in the literature, the main objective of this Doctoral Thesis is: “To examine the impact of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) and Co-Creation of Value in a sustainable hotel context, and determine how they contribute, together with other variables such as Ecological Knowledge and Brand Equity, to generate Satisfaction and Loyalty in the guests; and, in addition, to analyze the IMC and Ecological Knowledge in a comparative way in the Ukrainian and Spanish context”. To pursue the objective of this Thesis, two studies were carried out: the first took place in Ukraine in 2018 and the second in Spain in 2020, and their results have been published in five works that give content to this Doctoral Thesis by compilation. The findings derived from the empirical studies supporting the Doctoral Thesis, contribute to reducing the gaps identified in the literature in the converging field that unites IMC, co-creation of value, ecological knowledge, brand equity, satisfaction, loyalty, sustainability, hotels, generational cohorts, cross-cultural approach and trip purpose. Thus, a series of substantial conclusions are presented in the Thesis, with relevant theoretical implications. In addition, a number of practical implications are proposed in order to guide hotel industry professionals in developing marketing strategies related to IMC and customer participation in sustainability activities to increase the advantages of brand differentiation and the positive customer responses. Finally, after recognizing some limitations of this Thesis, new research possibilities are proposed that should be addressed in future contributions.
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