Research Article

Exploring the key components of a contemporary hospitality servicescape: Architecture, theology and community

Published in: Research in Hospitality Management
Volume 10, issue 1, 2020 , pages: 13–20
DOI: 10.1080/22243534.2020.1790205
Author(s): Peter Singleton, The Netherlands, Erwin Losekoot, The Netherlands

Abstract

This article aims to contribute to the theoretical understanding of the hospitality servicescape. Through this analysis this article makes recommendations to managers on how they can set about creating a genuine sense of welcome and hospitality in a contemporary setting. It uses a case study of Jabixhûs, a “prayer house” in the northern Dutch city of Leeuwarden to investigate how religious convictions can blend with architectural expertise and a lifetime love of hosting “the other” to create a hospitable space where people can share experiences. The location of Jabixhûs on the actual historical pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and socially within the community in Leeuwarden provides a combination of influences on the religious hospitality experiences offered. As well as extensive observations, a phenomenological interview was conducted with its owners, designers and operators, supplemented by feedback posted on the accommodation’s Airbnb listing. The three theoretical servicescape-related themes identified are the provision of hospitality through architecture, theology and community. Management recommendations include the suggestion that the closer personal motivations and the hospitality offering are aligned, the easier it is to deliver a meaningful experience. A clear and authentic hospitality servicescape can help to ensure that this occurs.

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