Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Dr. Kenneth F. Backman

Committee Member

Dr. Sheila Backman

Committee Member

Dr. William Norman

Committee Member

Dr. DeWanye Moore

Abstract

ABSTRACT Tourism revenues are not an accurate indication of the financial impact of this industry because in some cases a proportion of the profits leaves the host country for various reasons, resulting in what is referred to as leakage. The research reported here investigates this issue in connection with the sustainability practices of hotels in Jordan, one of the strategies firms and governments can adopt to enhance performance and to address problems related to environmental, community, and economic development adding a novel contribution to the tourism literature. A mixed method approach was used to collect and analyze the data obtained from 18 semi-structured interviews conducted with randomly selected hotel managers to obtain an enhanced understanding of the financial leakage in Jordanian hotels. In addition, a self-administered survey was distributed to hotel managers in all 213 classified hotels in Amman, Aqaba, Petra, and the Dead Sea area. Of these, 163 questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 76.5%. A coding technique was used to analyze the qualitative data while frequency analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis CFA, and Structural Equation Modeling SEM were used to test research hypotheses. The results of the qualitative and quantitative analyses complemented each other. The qualitative results revealed that Jordanian hotel managers have a high level of awareness regarding the financial leakage issue because they could explain its main channels, the primary reasons for it, and potential ways for mitigating it. Furthermore, the results indicated that sustainability practices have a positive effect on financial leakage. Specifically, it was found that high class and chain hotels have more sustainability practices and higher financial leakage than low class and independent hotels, results supported by past research. However, the educational level of hotel managers did not have a significant effect on either issue. The results from this study help hotels develop financial and conservation strategies benefiting their local economies, resources, and cultures. They may also enhance our understanding of the importance of community involvement in tourism. Future research could include a longitudinal study exploring the evolution of sustainability in the hotel sector. In addition, it could be extended to such tourism businesses as restaurants and souvenir shops.

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