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Abstract

As the post-pandemic era gradually dawns upon us, the hospitality industry seems to be slow in recovery, partly due to the continuous stress over being infected in public and hospitality places. Scholars have recommended that hospitality establishments seriously consider the potential benefits of artificial intelligence, social distancing, and cleanliness to fast-track the industry’s recovery post-lockdown. This study contributes to that stream of research by proposing and testing a model that demonstrates that through alleviating COVID stress, therapeutic servicescapes at hospitality establishments could promote customers’ revisit intention post-lockdown. We argue that therapeutic servicescapes have potential marketing and strategic benefits that could fast-track the hospitality industry’s recovery while promoting customers’ well-being. This is because servicescapes at hospitality establishments can be designed in such a way that it delivers transformative health-related benefits. Findings from the analysis of data collected from 213 relaxation bar customers support the study’s hypotheses; that reflective second-order therapeutic servicescape is positively related to customers’ revisit intention to relaxation bars through its negative effect on COVID stress. This study theoretically contributes to the literature by empirically demonstrating that a blend of social and physical settings to form therapeutic servicescapes with restorative potentials do occur in commercial hospitality settings. Practically, the findings of the study suggest that managers should seek to blend the restorative potential of the natural environment with relational resources to enhance the therapeutic potential of their place of business. As customers emerge from social isolation experienced during the lockdown, relational resources in hospitality establishments could go a long way. This would not only deliver health-related benefits to customers, but it would also provide marketing and strategic benefits to hospitality establishments.

Keywords

therapeutic servicescapes, COVID stress, revisit intention, social distancing, post-pandemic, S-O-R theory

ORCID Identifiers

Oluwatobi A. Ogunmokun: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0095-1522

Juliet E. Ikhide: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5300-1096

DOI

10.5038/2640-6489.7.2.1191

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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