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The economic prominence of the Tourism industry is very huge which cannot be underestimated. Travel & Tourism is set for a milestone year as the industryâ€™s contribution to the worldwide economy during the year 2016 exceeded $7.2 trillion to world GDP, representing 9.8% of global GDP and created 284 million jobs. Tourism in Malaysia has grown from RM 32 billion in 2005 to RM 69 billion in 2015 with 16.4 million arrivals in 2005 to 25.7 million arrivals in 2015, placing Malaysia currently at 12th position in international tourist arrivals. Current research has focused on branding process of luxury international brand hotels and to find out actual influencing factors which create issues regarding brand loyalty for local hotels. Data was collected from six (6) luxury Five-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by using purposive sampling technique. In total 117 responses were collected from customers by using closed-ended survey instrument and 13 face-to-face interviews were conducted with hoteliers to capture the industrial perspective. SPSS version 23 was used to analyse the data. The findings suggest that brand marketing and brand awareness of the luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur will effectively contribute to enhancing the brand sustainability of these hotels. Furthermore, the study shows that guest negative experiences will weaken the brand equity of these hotels.
Keywords: Consumer preferences, brand, equity, sustainability, luxury hotels, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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