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[Excerpt] Hospitality executives have available a number of different research methodologies and tools to aid them in decision making. Each methodology is valuable in its own way, but no single technique can provide all the answers to decision makers' questions. This article advocates the increased use of experiments and quasi-experiments in hospitality-marketing research. To be as effective as possible, marketers should develop and test several potential courses of action before embarking on any of them. The best way to develop a variety of courses of action is to conduct exploratory or descriptive research. The best way to evaluate those options is to conduct a causal-research study that compares consumers' behavior when faced with various options. Experiments and quasi-experiments are under-used, but are nevertheless powerful research tools that allow hospitality marketers to draw strong causal conclusions about the effects of pricing, design, and other changes on the amount of money customers spend, or the number of visits they make to an establishment.


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