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Investigating service quality perceptions of travel agencies- a case study on Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN)

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Abstract The purpose of the study is to acquire key insights from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal employees’ expectations and perceptions on service quality of travel agencies in Durban. Most corporates and government, and state owned enterprises utilise services of travel agencies as they travel constantly locally and internationally and most of these organisations encounter challenges with travel agencies relating to bad service. The rapid changes in the travel industry trends lead to a highly competitive environment. Travel agencies have had to increase the quality and type of services they offer in order to meet the current demands. This necessitated the study to look into the current status of service quality within the travel agency sector. The literature review provided an empirical overview of how travel agencies have developed over time due to the fierce global competition that has grown over the past years. The researcher used the employees of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal as the population to be assessed. The population size was 55 and this also formed the bases for the sample. Questionnaires were sent to all 55 and the total population, 49 respondents were received and assessed. When it comes to testing the reliability of the data under review, the analysis showed that the data was reliable as the Cronbach’s alpha values were > 0.70 for all the sub-set of the SERVQUAL model. The respondents provided an insight by demonstrating high level of expectations from travel agencies. The respondents are in a high traveling environment with a 71% traveling for business and 28% on leisure for more than 2-7 times and require complete convenience in terms of required service. The findings from the study provided insights that will enable travel agencies to develop strategies that will improve service quality and encourage customer loyalty. The proposed recommendations look at attributes that were identified across all service quality dimensions looking at sociodemographical components. It should be noted that those dimensions demonstrated significant statistical differences between expectations and perceptions performance. Key outcomes from the study clearly demonstrated the need for travel agencies to consider SERVQUAL model in assessing their current business model. Key words: Service quality, SERVQUAL, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, travel agencies, perceptions and expectations.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.