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Article
Peer-Review Record

The Importance of Sustainability in the Loyalty to a Tourist Destination through the Management of Expectations and Experiences

Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154132
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154132
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Quality in Leisure and Tourism)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

In reviewing this paper a fundamental question to consider is whether the authors are examining different aspects of the same side of the coin?

The questions raised by the research relate to 1) the conceptual framework and 2) the operational aspects of the execution of the study.

The conceptual framework relate to

1.1 sustainability,

1.2 expectations and experiences, and

1.3 willingness to return and word of mouth.

 

1.1 Sustainability – there is an excellent discussion of this subject in the paper’s literature review.  The importance of sustainability in Acapulco and how this is operationalized and marketed to the guests might have been examined.  Potential guests who might not be influenced/motivated by destination sustainability might self-select out of visiting Acapulco. Persons who have an interest in sustainability will probably have higher educational attainment and will conduct research on that aspect of the destination experience available.  This research will influence the experiences selected for visitation at the destination. And perhaps will positively impact the experiences.

1.2. Expectations and experiences – what about persons who are not interested in sustainability yet select the destination? 

1.3. Willingness to return and word of mouth – Guests tend to be surveyed soon after visiting the destination.  If they have had a positive experience they will tend to report willingness to return and to tell friends and relatives about their positive vacation that they had.  The enthusiasm for the destination may be reduced over time post visitation as memories fade and there is reflection on the experiences.  What about the persons who did not have a positive experience, would they also be inclined to spread negative word of mouth or submit negative feedback to social travel review websites such as tripadvisor?

These are just a few of the questions that might be raised as the connection between sustainability, expectations and experiences, and willingness to return and word of mouth. There are several additional factors that might impact these variables.


2. With regard to the operational aspects of the study that may have impacted the travel experiences, these might include foreign exchange rates, the economy in the tourism generating countries, etc.

2.1 the methodology raises a number of questions such as:

             How many international visitors are recorded by Acapulco?

Why were US visitors excluded from the study?

How were cruise and stay visitors treated in the survey?

Lines 513 to 520 indicate the % distribution of international tourists, but there is no statement of the total number of international tourist arrivals.Was the sample representative of this distribution?

How was the survey conducted?  Was it an exit survey through the airport/s? What % of international visitors does the convenience sample of 310 respondents cover?

International visitors is probably not truly representative to place such emphasis on the findings and the generalizability of the model.  While the use of the SEM technique was probably accurately applied to the survey data, the fact that the data gathering was not driven by probability sampling techniques brings into question the findings and recommendations.  Remember GIGO!!!


Author Response

Please, see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

Originality/Novelty: Is the question original and well defined?      Do the results provide an advance in current knowledge?

 

The paper wants to investigate the way in which a sustainable approach of a destination interrelates with the generation of expectations, experiences and perceptions, and how these influence the future intentions of tourists in terms of return on the destination and recommendations to others. It is an interesting topic but, in my opinion, the research is too weak in the literature analysis and in the empirical part to be published in Sustainability. Results are not able to provide an advance in current knowledge to justify the publication in this journal. Finally, I wonder why authors chose to analyze the role of sustainability in the tourism context of Acapulco if they affirm that ‘Acapulco is considered a scarcely sustainable tourist destination that has an overexploitation of its natural and landscape resources?. They also affirm that in the most recent years, the destination has been working to be more sustainable, but no practical initiatives and current strategic plans are described. Maybe Acapulco is not the proper destination to test the role of sustainability on tourism experiences.

 

Significance: Are the results interpreted appropriately?      Are they significant? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the      results? Are      hypotheses and speculations carefully identified as such?

 

I suggest to the authors to link in a stronger way the literature review with the study hypotheses. Literature able to support the first hypothesis should be wider and better linked to the topic of sustainability and tourists expectations. As regard hypothesis 2, it is not well explained what do authors intend for ‘generation of experiences’ it seems that they refer to the role of tourists as experience co-creators. In addition, in this case also, literature should be wider and better linked to all the topics of the hypothesis. Furthermore, in the model they introduce also the perceptions, but they do not pay attention to this concept in the literature part.

In my opinion, authors should present the hypotheses in general and then they should specify that these will be tested in the specific context of Acapulco.

As regard the conclusions, authors should better link them to the literature review; practical implications should be strongly related to the results arisen by the study, and not  should be limited to general sentences. In the conclusions, the originality and the advances that the research has carried out to the literature should be highlighted.

 

Quality      of Presentation: Is the article      written in an appropriate way? Are the data and analyses presented      appropriately? Are the highest standards for presentation of the results      used?

 

The paper is well written, although I suggest to the authors to avoid the use of personal pronouns (e.g. p. 7 line 291 and page 9 line 361). Furthermore, in the paper the data collection section misses. I suggest to the authors to add information on their survey: where and when they collected data, how they choose their sample and how it was composed, how they collect the questionnaires, what the response rate was, how they managed the missing data, which the sections of the questionnaire are, what results in terms of demographic data they had.

Scientific      Soundness: is the study correctly designed and      technically sound? Are the analyses performed with the highest technical      standards? Are the data robust enough to draw the conclusions? Are the      methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details      to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?

 

Statistical analysis is well performed, but, in my opinion, the literature review that supports the empirical part is too weak and not well linked with the study. Conclusions are not well related with the statistical results. Statistical results are not deeply explained.

 

Interest      to the Readers: Are the conclusions      interesting for the readership of the Journal? Will the paper attract a      wide readership, or be of interest only to a limited number of people? (please see the Aims and Scope      of the journal)

 

According to me, the discussion section of the study is too general to attract readers. The originality, as well as advances in the research and practical implications are not highlighted.

Overall      Merit: Is there an overall benefit to      publishing this work? Does the work provide an advance towards the current      knowledge? Do the authors have addressed an important long-standing      question with smart experiments?

I think that the study is too weak in terms of literature review and interesting results to provide an advance towards the current knowledge

 

English      Level: Is the English language appropriate      and understandable?

 

the English language is appropriate and understandable

 

Other comments:

The abstract should focus more on the originality of the study and the used methodology should be better explained

 

I suggest to the authors to organize in a better way the literature on sustainability, following a chronological order and introducing to the readers the most important studies on the topic, in order to better clarify the development of this important concept and the main current research gaps

 

I suggest to the authors to better explain the links between sustainability and competitiveness since it is explained in a very weak way (p. 8).

In addition, expectations should be better introduced and supported by a proper literature. Maybe, authors could also move the paragraph on p. 9 lines 361.372 in the first part of the section ‘Managing expectations and memorable experiences’.

It could be interesting to have official data on the arrivals and overnight stays in Acapulco both for domestic and foreign tourists, to compare with the results of the survey.

As regard p. 13, lines 513-520, it is not clear if these are data by official statistics or if these are results by the survey.

p. 18, Table 5 should be better explained and linked with the rest of the study.


Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

1.    The topic of the paper (especially in the title) is interesting and important. However, the paper needs some revision in the contextualisation.   In the Literature review there are successful outline of the sustainable tourism concept, development of the tourist experience construct, expectations and experiences of visitors. Besides the above the authors should pay the same amount of attention to the teoretical backround of loyalty in the context of a tourist destination  considering the paper´s very title „The importance of sustainability in the loyalty of a tourist destination through the management of expectations and experiences“. There are many significant recent studies  where authors research loyalty based on satisfaction of visitors. Could you mention the relationship bettween satisfation-loyalty in literature review and compare these approaches? For example see the context in last year´s paper issued in the Sustainability: Building Customer Loyalty in Rural Destinations as a Pre-Condition of Sustainable Competitiveness. Sustainability 2018, 10, 957. (Ryglová, K.; Rašovská, I.; Šácha, J.; Maráková, V.)

2.       There is probably small mistake: p. 5 , line 178 ..two dimensions-a vertical dimension…., line  182 …and a vertical dimension…. Correct for horizontal as appropriate.

3.       I recomend to add a structure of research sample without which the paper is incomplete.

4.       How were the questions about the items (sustainability, expectation, experience) worded in the questionnaire? Could you give some examples in the paper.

5.       Experience could also be negative. How do you diferentiate between positive and negative experience of visitors in your research?




Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

References in the text must be with numbers (please see 30-31, 34, 37 etc.).

There are repetitive sentences "The concept of sustainable tourism emerged in the 1970s and 1980s"

Sections must be numbered. The sub-sections from the  Literature review must numbered. 

Comments about previous studies must be shorter. I think there is a huge disproportion between the sections: the first section is very long compared to the rest.

lines 177-203 represents the authors' position? or a reference should be added? 

There is no mention about the respondents. How were they chosen? when was the study conducted?


Why are there sentences deleted? 430-432


Discussions should be presented in relation to previous results

References must be formatted according to the journal requirements.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

I appreciate the changes done by the authors: in my opinion, they have explained in a betetr way both the methodology of the study, including the study design, and the conclusions arising from teh study. Despite that, in my opinion, authors should also focus on the first part of the study, better linking the study hypotheses with the literature review, highlighting the current gaps in the literature on the topic. 

Author Response

RESPONSE TO REVIEWER 2 COMMENTS


I appreciate the changes done by the authors: in my opinion, they have explained in a betetr way both the methodology of the study, including the study design, and the conclusions arising from teh study. Despite that, in my opinion, authors should also focus on the first part of the study, better linking the study hypotheses with the literature review, highlighting the current gaps in the literature on the topic. 

 

Work has been done to improve the link between the hypotheses ofthe study and the review of the literature and the gaps that exist onthe subject. In this sense, we have introduced two new paragraphs,lines  61-75 and 318-329


 Thank you very much for your indications

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

Dear authors,


I appreciate your effort to improve your manuscript, but minor changes are required, changes which refer to the article design.

Introduction section- the text in red, why does it comprises also the details about the article? it must be placed only at the end in the references section

Line 394-the sentence is not complete.

References in the text must be placed in an ascending order (ex lines 169, 186 etc.)

Author Response

RESPONSE TO REVIEWER 4 COMMENTS

 

 

1.    Introduction section- the text in red, why does it comprises also the details about the article? it must be placed only at the end in the references section. We corrected mistakes of introduction section. 

References in red have been removed from the introduction, which, by mistake, had included the works. Our apologies about this mistake. We doesn’t understand what happened, May be it is a question related with the version of Microsoft Office.

2.   Line 394-the sentence is not complete. 

We eliminated this line and we have rewritten the paragraph between lines 414-420

 

3.   References in the text must be placed in an ascending order (ex lines 169, 186 etc.)

References in square brackets integrated in the text have been placed an ascending order.

Thank you very much for your indications


Author Response File: Author Response.docx

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