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Service elements influencing the emotions of visitors to an international airport
Du Plessis, L.
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Emotions constitute a crucial element in understanding a service experience. When a service experience is evaluated by airport visitors, their evaluation is influenced by their emotional reactions. Furthermore, since emotions represent a primary source of human motivation, positive emotions are likely to lead to positive responses, increased satisfaction and favourable behaviour. These introductory statements give rise to the aim of this article, which is to explore those service elements influencing visitors‟ emotions and, consequently, also their experiences at an international airport. In order to achieve the aim, a questionnaire survey (N=490) was conducted at an international airport in South Africa after which a factor analysis was performed to identify the primary elements of the airport service environment that influence the emotions of visitors. Structural equation modelling was then employed to test the significance of the relationship between the service elements and the emotions of visitors. Five distinct service elements were identified, namely Physical comfort, Amenities, Visitor facilities, Passenger services and Accessibility. These elements further showed significant correlations with the emotions of visitors. This research was the first of its kind conducted at an international airport in South Africa and contributes significantly to management practices regarding specific elements of an international airport environment, i.e. the emotions, experiences and behaviour of international airport visitors.