Assessing the effectiveness of a customer loyalty programme as marketing tool in the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife resorts
Dube, Simphiwe Emmanuel
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In the hospitality industry, the costs associated with promotions and advertising efforts are greater than those of maintaining relationships with existing customers. However, customer loyalty programmes have been discovered and promoted by different marketing managers and marketing experts in the different industries, as a most prominent and paramount business marketing tool in ensuring customer retention. The purpose of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of a Customer Loyalty Programme as a marketing tool in the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) Resorts. This study strategy is quantitative in nature because of its capability to attain a large number of respondents in a short space of time. The target population of this study is the customer loyalty members of EKZNW, in eight different resorts. Descriptive research was found to be relevant and appropriate for this study. A non-probability sampling, with a convenience sampling technique, was adopted for this research study, to recruit members of the EKZNW Rhino Club’s loyalty programme as participants. It was adopted because it allows for quick gathering of data and is also representative of the population. The sample size for data collection was conducted with 376 respondents that are loyalty programme members of EKZNW. A questionnaire was developed as measuring instrument, with the questions designed to be closed-ended. These questionnaires were personally distributed to the respondents in all the selected resorts of EKZNW. The findings of the study indicated that the majority of tourists holding EKZNW loyalty programme membership are happy with being Rhino Club members, however, some are not satisfied with the incentives provided. They recommend that the Rhino Card should be designed to allow them to also use it in other provinces’ game parks.