The Impact of Sensory Environments on Spagoers’ Emotion and Behavioral Intention
Carl A. Boger
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
University of Houston, Houston, TX
The research objective is to identify and verify the relationships among environmental sensory components (i.e., sight, sound, smell, and touch), consumer emotions, and consumer behavioral intentions in a spa context by applying the Mehrabian-Russell’s Stimuli-Organism-Response model. The results showed the acceptable level of model fit (χ2/df =2.144, P<0.001, RSMEA = 0.06, CFI = .94, and NNFI = .93) for the proposed model. Sight and touch had significant impacts on pleasure of emotion, and sound had a direct impact on customer behavioral intention. Pleasure had a significant influence on customer behavioral intentions; however, arousal did not. This study results have important implications for the spa industry in understanding how to create and manage their sensory environmental resources to affect customer’s emotion and behavioral intentions.
Keyword: MR model; Sensory environment; Consumer behavior; Consumer emotion; Spa industry; Multi-sensory effect
Spa is one of the fastest growing areas in the hospitality industry with an estimated growth rate of approximately 20% per year in the U.S. (Cohen & Bodeker, 2008). Since it has been recently noticed as a wellness business in the global hospitality industry, spa services are being recognized and integrated into various businesses such as beauty, massage, fitness, and alternative medical treatment. Although it has extended its service areas, the most essential characteristic of a spa is “place for emotional sensitization” (Lempa, 2000, p.58). To gain a differential advantage, the spa industry has focused more efforts on designing, building, and embellishing its environment to create a more attractive atmosphere. Spa owners invest...