n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - The referral-marketing practices of travel agencies : an exploratory study of word-of-mouth communication in the travel-agency industry in the Western Cape

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



Organisations can make use of high levels of customer-service delivery to stimulate positive word-of-mouth referrals. Referral marketing is primarily applied by organisations when the budget is the marketers' largest limitation. The purpose of the article is to indicate the current status of the relationships that travel agencies in the Western Cape Province have with their referral market, and to provide recommendations to the management of travel agencies in said province regarding the improved application of the principles of relationship marketing to this market. The target population for this study comprised 118 travel agencies of which 61 managers and/or owners participated through personal interviews in the completion of questionnaires. Data analysis was done by calculating averages and standard deviations, explorative factor analysis, Cronbach Alpha-values and practical significance by means of effect sizes. The findings stipulate that the owners and managers of travel agencies must create and establish more closely integrated relationships with strategic suppliers to increase the value offering of their products and services to customers, whereby the travel agencies can ensure that the needs and wants of customers can be satisfied more successfully, which, in the long run, could lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals.

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