Enhancing Brand Equity Through Sustainable Tourism Marketing: A Study on Home-Stays in Malaysia

Main Article Content

Zain ul Abedin Janjua
Gengeswari Krishnapillai
Mobashar Rehman


This study examined the antecedent and consequent relationship between sustainable tourism, marketing, and brand equity in the Malaysian rural community-based homestays (RCBHs) perspective. A self-administered questionnaire method was employed to collect data. Homestay operators from three Malaysian states, namely Kuala Lumpur/Selangor, Pahang, and Pulau Pinang participated in the study. In order to test research hypotheses, a structural equation modelling approach was used. The findings of the study suggested that the antecedent (sustainable tourism marketing), the consequent (brand equity), and moderator (political support by local authorities) have a significant relationship. Additionally, it was found that sustainable tourism marketing (STM) promotes rural community-based tourism. As a branding tool for sustainable rural community-based tourism. This study provides a unique contribution to the tourism body of knowledge by introducing political support by local authorities (PLA) as a moderator in STM and brand equity relationship. RCBHs can employ tailor-made promotion policies for the development of homestay business brands; likewise, policymakers can apply undifferentiated promotion policies for the holistic expansion of sustainable homestay market.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zain ul Abedin Janjua, Gengeswari Krishnapillai, & Mobashar Rehman. (2023). Enhancing Brand Equity Through Sustainable Tourism Marketing: A Study on Home-Stays in Malaysia. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 28(1), 237–263. https://doi.org/10.21315/aamj2023.28.1.10
Original Articles


Aaker, D. A. (1991). Capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York, 28(1), 35-37.

Affizah, A. D., Melissa, W., & Muhammad Ashraf, R. (2017). Sustainable community development through a homestay programme. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 7(1), 71-86. https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v7i1.11041

Agyeiwaah, E., McKercher, B., & Suntikul, W. (2017). Identifying core indicators of sustainable tourism: A path forward? Tourism Management Perspectives, 24, 26-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2017.07.005

Almeyda-ibáñez, M., & George, B. P. (2017). The evolution of destination branding: A review of branding literature in tourism. Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing, 3(1), 9-17. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.401370

Artal-Tur, A., Briones-Peñalver, A. J., Bernal-Conesa, J. A., & Martínez-Salgado, O. (2019). Rural community tourism and sustainable advantages in Nicaragua. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(6), 2232–2252. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2018-0429

Aray, Y., Veselova, A., Knatko, D., & Levchenko, A. (2020). Drivers for adoption of sustainability initiatives in supply chains of large Russian firms under environmental uncertainty. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 21(2), 322–338. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-02-2020-0048

Ashrafi, M., Adams, M., Walker, T. R., & Magnan, G. (2018). How corporate social responsibility can be integrated into corporate sustainability: A theoretical review of their relationships. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 25(8), 672-682. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2018.1471628

Aziz, R. C., Hashim, N. A. A. N., & Awang, Z. (2018). Tourism development in rural areas: Potentials of appreciative inquiry approach. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 10(1), 59-75.

Baalbaki, S., & Guzmán, F. (2016). A consumer-perceived consumer-based brand equity scale. Journal of Brand Management, 23(3), 229–251. https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2016.11

Balasingam, A. S., & Bojei, J. (2019). Homestay owners’ perspective of economic sustainability of the registered Malaysian homestay. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 27(2), 1367–1390.

Banerjee, S. B., Iyer, E. S., & Kashyap, R. K. (2003). Corporate environmentalism: Antecedents and influence of industry type. Journal of Marketing, 67(2), 106-122. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.

Bojei, J., Awang, K. W., & Mohd Radzi, S. (2017). Institutional sustainability of Malaysian homestays: Government perspective. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts (JTHCA), 9(3), 85-103.

Carroll, A. B. (1979). A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance. Academy of Management Review, 4(4), 497-505.

Chakraborty, B. (2020). Homestay as a reliable promotional tool for cultural tourism and security in Indian context. International Journal of Safety & Security in Tourism/Hospitality, 21, 1–12.

Cho, M., Bonn, M. A., & Jung, H. S. (2021). What drives restaurant competitive productivity (CP): A comprehensive examination at meso-micro levels. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 33(9), 3065–3090. https://www.emerald.com/insight/0959-6119.htm

Choi, H. C., & Sirakaya, E. (2006). Sustainability indicators for managing community tourism. Tourism Management, 27(6), 1274–1289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2005.05.018

Chen, L., Lin, S., & Kuo, C. (2013). Rural tourism: Marketing strategies for the bed and breakfast industry in Taiwan. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 32, 278–286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2012.07.005

Coelho, A., Bairrada, C., Simão, L., & Barbosa, C. (2020). The drivers of the city brand equity comparing citizens’ and tourists’ perceptions and its influence on the city attractiveness: The case of the City of Coimbra. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 23(2) 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/15256480.2020.1746215

Cooper, J. A., & Alderman, D. H. (2020). Cancelling March Madness exposes opportunities for a more sustainable sports tourism economy. Tourism Geographies, 22(3), 525–535. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2020.1759135

Cohen, J. (1988). Set correlation and contingency tables. Applied Psychological Measurement, 12(4), 425–434.

Cristobal-Fransi, E., Hernández-Soriano, F., Ferrer-Rosell, B., & Daries, N. (2019). Exploring service quality among online sharing economy platforms from an online media perspective. Sustainability, 11(13), 3690.

Dangi, T. B., & Jamal, T. (2016). An integrated approach to “sustainable community-based tourism”. Sustainability, 8(5), 475.

Dinis, I., Simões, O., Cruz, C., & Teodoro, A. (2019). Understanding the impact of intentions in the adoption of local development practices by rural tourism hosts in Portugal. Journal of Rural Studies, 72, 92–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.10.002

Dressler, M., & Paunovic, I. (2021). The value of consistency: Portfolio labeling strategies and impact on winery brand equity. Sustainability, 13(3), 1400.

Elkington, J. (2004). Enter the triple bottom line . In A. Henriques and J. Richardson (Eds.), The Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add up. Earth scan, UK.

Estol, J., Camilleri, M. A., & Font, X. (2018). European Union tourism policy: An institutional theory critical discourse analysis. Tourism Review, 73(3), 421–431. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-11-2017-0167

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39–50.

Ghezal, R., & Khemakhem, R. (2020). Investigating organizational factors of social response activities and their effect on corporate social performance in MNE’s subsidiaries operating in Tunisia. Review of International Business and Strategy, 31(1), 16–37.

González-Mansilla, Ó., Berenguer-Contrí, G., & Serra-Cantallops, A. (2019). The impact of value co-creation on hotel brand equity and customer satisfaction. Tourism Management, 75, 51–65.

Grubor, A., & Milovanov, O. (2017). Brand strategies in the era of sustainability. Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems, 15(1), 78–88. https://doi.org/10.7906/indecs.15.1.6

Hamdan, H. A., Andersen, P. H., & de Boer, L. (2021). Stakeholder collaboration in sustainable neighborhood projects–A review and research agenda. Sustainable Cities and Society, 68, 102776. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2021.102776

Hair, J. F. (2018). Advanced issues in partial least squares structural equation modeling. SAGE Publications.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modelling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1), 115–135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-014-0403-8

Higgins-Desbiolles, F. (2018). Event tourism and event imposition: A critical case study from Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Tourism Management, 64, 73–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.08.002

Hudson, S., So, K. K. F., Li, J., Meng, F., & Cárdenas, D. (2019). Persuading tourists to stay–Forever! A destination marketing perspective. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 12, 105–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2019.02.007

Janjua, Z. U. A., Krishnapillai, G., & Rahman, M. (2021). A systematic literature review of rural homestays and sustainability in tourism. SAGE Open, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440211007117

Jung, J., Kim, S. J., & Kim, K. H. (2020). Sustainable marketing activities of traditional fashion market and brand loyalty. Journal of Business Research, 120, 294–301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.04.019

Kang, J. W., & Namkung, Y. (2016). Restaurant information sharing on social networking sites: Do network externalities matter? Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 40(6), 739–763. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348015619413.

Kapera, I. (2018). Sustainable tourism development efforts by local governments in Poland. Sustainable Cities and Society, 40, 581–588. https://daneshyari.com/article/preview/6775321.pdf

Kastenholz, E., Carneiro Maria Joa?o, Euse?bio Celeste, & Figueiredo, E. (2016). Meeting challenges for rural tourism through co-creation of sustainable tourist experiences. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Kavita, E., & Saarinen, J. (2016). Tourism and rural community development in Namibia: Policy issues review. Fennia-International Journal of Geography, 194(1), 79–88. https://doi.org/10.11143/46331

Keller, K. L. (2003). Understanding brands, branding and brand equity. Interactive Marketing, 5(1), 7–20.

Khan, I. S., Ahmad, M. O., & Majava, J. (2021). Industry 4.0 and sustainable development: A systematic mapping of triple bottom line, Circular Economy and Sustainable Business Models perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 126655.

Khandelwal, U., Kulshreshtha, K., & Tripathi, V. (2019). Importance of consumerbased green brand equity: Empirical evidence. Paradigm, 23(1), 83–97. https://doi.org/10.1177/0971890719844428

Khartishvili, L., Muhar, A., Dax, T., & Khelashvili, I. (2019). Rural tourism in Georgia in transition: Challenges for regional sustainability. Sustainability, 11(2), 410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020410

Kim, J., Sun, Y., Kim, K. H., & Kang, S. (2019). Sustainability and customer equity: Evaluation of citing networks and contributions. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 10(3), 267–274. https://doi.org/10.1080/20932685.2019.1611464

Kock, F., Berbekova, A., & Assaf, A. G. (2021). Understanding and managing the threat of common method bias: Detection, prevention and control. Tourism Management, 86, 104330. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104330

Kumar, V., & Christodoulopoulou, A. (2014). Sustainability and branding: An integrated perspective. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(1), 6–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2013.06.008

Kunjuraman, V. (2020). Community-based ecotourism managing to fuel community empowerment? An evidence from Malaysian Borneo. Tourism Recreation Research. 47(4), 384–399. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2020.1841378

Kunjuraman, V., & Hussin, R. (2017). Challenges of community-based homestay programme in Sabah, Malaysia: Hopeful or hopeless? Tourism Management Perspectives, 21, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2016.10.007

Li, T., Liu, J., Zhu, H., & Zhang, S. (2018). Business characteristics and efficiency of rural tourism enterprises: An empirical study from China. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 23(6), 549–559. https://doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2018.1483957

Lim, Y. M., & Lee, T. H. (2020). Operating issues and challenges: The case of Pachitan Homestay from 2017 to 2019. Journal of Marketing Advance and Practices, 2(1), 1–25.

Liao, Y. K., Wu, W. Y., Amaya Rivas, A. A., & Lin Ju, T. (2017). Cognitive, experiential, and marketing factors mediate the effect of brand personality on brand equity. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 45(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5621

Liu, J., An, K., & Jang, S. S. (2020). A model of tourists’ civilized behaviors: Toward sustainable coastal tourism in China. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 16, 100437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2020.100437

Liu, C., Dou, X., Li, J., & Cai, L. A. (2020). Analyzing government role in rural tourism development: An empirical investigation from China. Journal of Rural Studies, 79, 177–188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.046

Lou?anová, E., Šupín, M., ?orejová, T., Repková-Štofková, K., Šupínová, M., Štofková, Z., & Olšiaková, M. (2021). Sustainability and branding: An integrated perspective

of eco-innovation and brand. Sustainability, 13(2), 732. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020732

Luzzani, G., Lamastra, L., Valentino, F., & Capri, E. (2021). Development and implementation of a qualitative framework for the sustainable management of wine companies. Science of The Total Environment, 759, 143462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143462

Martinez, P., & Nishiyama, N. (2019). Enhancing customer-based brand equity through CSR in the hospitality sector. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 20(3), 329–353. https://doi.org/10.1080/15256480.2017.1397581

Marzuki, A., Hay, I., & James, J. (2012). Public participation shortcomings in tourism planning: The case of the Langkawi Islands, Malaysia. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20(4), 585–602. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2011.638384

Mena, J. A., Hult, G. T. M., Ferrell, O. C., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Competing assessments of market-driven, sustainability-centered , and stakeholder-focused approaches to the customer-brand relationships and performance. Journal of Business Research, 95, 531–543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.07.038

Miller, G., & Twining-Ward, L. (2005). Monitoring for a sustainable tourism transition: The challenge of developing and using indicators. CABI Pub.

Müller, U., Habel, J., & Stierl, M. (2017). Exerting pressure or leveraging power? The extended chain of corporate social responsibility enforcement in business-tobusiness supply chains. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 36(2), 331–347. https://doi.org/10.1509/jppm.16.097

Mikuli?, J., Mili?evi?, K., & Kreši?, D. (2016). The relationship between brand strength and tourism intensity: Empirical evidence from the EU capital cities. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 10(1), 14–23. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-06-2015-0054

Padin, C. (2012). A sustainable tourism planning model: Components and relationships. European Business Review, 24(6), 510–518. https://doi.org/10.1108/09555341211270528

Parguel, B., Benoît-Moreau, F., & Larceneux, F. (2011). How sustainability ratings might deter ‘greenwashing’: A closer look at ethical corporate communication. Journal of Business Ethics, 102, 15–28.

Pasanchay, K., & Schott, C. (2021). Community-based tourism homestays’ capacity to advance the Sustainable Development Goals: A holistic sustainable livelihood perspective. Tourism Management Perspectives, 37, 100784. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2020.100784

Phelan, A., Ruhanen, L., & Mair, J. (2020). Ecosystem services approach for community-based ecotourism: Towards an equitable and sustainable blue economy. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(10), 1665–1685. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1747475

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.

Pulido-Fernández, J. I., Cárdenas-García, P. J., & Espinosa-Pulido, J. A. (2019). Does environmental sustainability contribute to tourism growth. An analysis at the country level. Journal of Cleaner Production, 213, 309–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.151

Rasoolimanesh, S. M., Roldán, J. L., Jaafar, M., & Ramayah, T. (2017). Factors influencing residents’ perceptions toward tourism development: Differences across rural and urban world heritage sites. Journal of Travel Research, 56(6), 760–775. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287516662354

Rasoolimanesh, S. M., Ramakrishna, S., Hall, C. M., Esfandiar, K., & Seyfi, S. (2020). A systematic scoping review of sustainable tourism indicators in relation to the sustainable development goals. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1775621

Ren, J., & Toniolo, S. (2021). Interval reference point technique for sustainable industrial processs election under uncertainties. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 354–371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2020.11.006

Renfors, S. M. (2020). Stakeholders’ perceptions of sustainable tourism development in a cold-water destination: The case of the Finnish Archipelago. Tourism Planning & Development, 18(5), 510–528. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2020.1816566

Ruiz-Ortega, M. J., Parra-Requena, G., & García-Villaverde, P. M. (2021). From entrepreneurial orientation to sustainability orientation: The role of cognitive proximity in companies in tourist destinations. Tourism Management, 84, 104265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2020.104265

Rust, R. T., Rand, W., Huang, M. H., Stephen, A. T., Brooks, G., & Chabuk, T. (2021). EXPRESS: Real-time brand reputation tracking using social media. Journal of Marketing, 85(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/0022242921995173

Saad, N. H. M., Khalid, S. N. A., & Abidin, N. Z. (2014). Tourism development and planning at a local authority level: A case in Manjung, Perak, Malaysia. SHS Web of Conferences, 12(2014), 01092. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20141201092

Scott, K., Martin, D. M., & Schouten, J. W. (2014). Marketing and the new materialism. Journal of Macromarketing, 34(3), 282–290. https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146714532471

Sen, V., & Walter, P. (2020). Community-based ecotourism and the transformative learning of homestay hosts in Cambodia. Tourism Recreation Research, 45(3), 323–336. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2019.1692171

Sheth, J. N., & Sinha, M. (2015). B2B branding in emerging markets: A sustainability perspective. Industrial Marketing Management, 51, 79–88.

Shukor, M. S., Salleh, N. H. M., Othman, R., & Idris, S. H. M. (2014). Perception of homestay operators towards homestay development in Malaysia. Jurnal Pengurusan, 42, 3–17.

Schulz, S. A., & Flanigan, R. L. (2016). Developing competitive advantage using the triple bottom line: A conceptual framework. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31(4), 449–458. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-08-2014-0150

Singh, J., & Del Bosque, I. R. (2008). Understanding corporate social responsibility and product perceptions in consumer markets: A cross-cultural evaluation. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3), 597–611. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9457-6

Tang, Z., Shi, C. B., & Liu, Z. (2011). Sustainable development of tourism industry in China under the low-carbon economy. Energy Procedia, 5, 1303–1307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2011.03.226

Taylor, L., & Hochuli, D. F. (2015). Creating better cities: How biodiversity and ecosystem functioning enhance urban residents’ wellbeing. Urban ecosystems, 18(3), 747–762.

Tevapitak, K., & Helmsing, A. B. (2019). The interaction between local governments and stakeholders in environmental management: The case of water pollution by SMEs in Thailand. Journal of Environmental Management, 247, 840–848. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.06.097

Tourism Malaysia (n.d.). Malaysia tourism statistics in brief. https://www.tourism.gov.my/statistics

Turker, D. (2009). Measuring corporate social responsibility: A scale development study. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(4), 411–427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9780-6

Vesal, M., Siahtiri, V., & O’Cass, A. (2021). Strengthening B2B brands by signalling environmental sustainability and managing customer relationships.

Industrial Marketing Management, 92, 321–331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.02.024

Wanner, A., Seier, G., & Pröbstl-Haider, U. (2020). Policies related to sustainable tourism: An assessment and comparison of European policies, frameworks and plans. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 29, 100275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jort.2019.100275