Hotel Management. Report on Case Studies

Term Paper 2013 17 Pages

Tourism - Miscellaneous


Table of Content

II. List of Figures

1. E-Tourism
1.1. The role of Internet for Hotel Bookings
1.2. Major Influencing Factors
1.3. Results of the Study and Outlook

2. Green Hotels
2.1. Dimensions and Criteria of Customer Satisfaction
2.2. Role of Green Factors
2.3. Own Assessment

3. Culture
3.1. Corporate and National Culture
3.2. Major Conflicts
3.3. Intercultural Management within the Hotel Industry

III. References

II. List of Figures

Figure 1: 2010 Internet Penetration rates (Floating Sheep, 2010)

Figure 2: Research and Evalution Channels (PRNewswire, 2012)

Figure 3: Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing (China Connection Tours, 2013)

1. E-Tourism

1.1. The role of Internet for Hotel Bookings

Task: Briefly describe the role of internet in case of hotel bookings while also referring to other sectors of the tourism industry!

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: 2010 Internet Penetration rates (Floating Sheep, 2010)

Nowadays the Internet is the most important source of information and the main channel for buying products. With more than 2.4 billion Internet users worldwide (Internet World Stats, 2012) and the highest population penetration in regions that are most relevant for tourism (see figure 1), it seems obvious, that the internet has been changing the sector in a crucial way since the 1980s and is still gaining importance. Therefore it “can be considered as one of the most influential technologies that changes the behavior of tourists” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 41). While nowadays about 33% of all hotel rooms are booked via the Internet (Ricca, 2011) there is also a trend in the direction of booking directly on hotel websites. Efficiency, quality and flexibility convince the tourists, although still quite a large number of them ends up actually buying the product or service offline and only using the Internet as a platform for information exchange. But modern technology has not only changed the tourist’s behavior (for example the online search process also becomes longer and longer due to the great number of websites), but also the way tourism product and service providers organize and plan their marketing and communication strategies as well as how they adapt to constant changes in the needs of customers (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010).

The field of tourism seems ideal for electronic sale, as “travel booking is based on information as a result of the characteristics of tourism products” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 42). While in 2000 only 49% of all small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) had an own webpage, already 69% of all SME’s in the tourism sector started working on elements such as search engine management, log file analysis, usability and killer content (Egger, 2005). This development made it possible for tourism service providers to distribute products through a widespread range of channels but also made it necessary to adapt business models and value chains as “electronic intermediaries have grown dynamically” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 42) raising the number between hotel room and guests up to five and making the purchasing process more complex and expensive. The challenge is now to choose the right channel, to utilize online marketing to its full potential and to eradicate a lack of resources and knowledge. Using internet booking to its full potential will then be rewarded by a growing number of potential guests booking on the own webpage, who anon tend to be more loyal, better funded and also travel more often (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010).

1.2. Major Influencing Factors

Task: What are major factors influencing the online booking behavior in case of hotels?

The first question that has to be asked when it comes to hotel online booking behavior is why tourists decide for the Internet as a distribution channel in the first place. Potential guests often see quite a wide range of advantages: while they hope for more precise and reliable information, there is also crucial savings in time, money and effort, which has anon created “new” tourists, who “are looking for a value for their money and time” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 43) and want to pander their own priorities and schedules.

After the decision to fulfill the booking process online, it has to be clarified which attributes are expected online to contain information for the tourist. Detailed information about a property should above all contain reservation, facility and contact details. Different studies show that the most important attributes are “location, price of accommodation or value for money, quality of service, cleanliness, security, hotel’s physical attractiveness and hotel reputation” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 44), although differences can be observed between leisure and business tourists. When classifying those determining attributes it can be differentiated between experienced and presented ones.

During the actual reservation process, individual influencing factors and characteristics are not yet entirely understood and researched. Still some constructs were discovered analyzed when it comes to online booking: self-efficacy, travel characteristics, assessment of the webpage, reasons for travel (e.g. business or leisure), experience with e-commerce, Internet inclination, involvement and trust. Demographical properties of online bookers usually differ “in regard to their age, educational background, weekly browser usage, the number of years of Internet use and their past online purchasing experience” (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010: 45), while experts recommend taking into consideration characteristics of the property and the tourist’s cultural background as well in future studies (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010).

1.3. Results of the Study and Outlook

Task: Please comment on the result of the study, based on your own perception of the future role of internet as a booking channel!

The study aims on showing how demographic and travel characteristics affect the tourist’s choice of booking channel. As it was exclusively realized in three five-star hotels who belong to the same hotel chain in Dubrovnik, Croatia, during shoulder season April / May 2009 (year of global crisis) with a total of only 181 responses, I would classify the survey as rather unrepresentative for the entire hotel market in Croatia or even Europe. But of course considering these limitations the results give summery of the nature and characteristics of the interviewed target group. The most important outcome of the study is how the booking method essentially depends on the nature of travel and that the ranked importance of individual property features does only insignificantly depend on the guests’ origin and travel attributes. Almost all online bookings were effected by leisure travelers, while Internet access and hotel rates are equally important to all guests groups. All in all the study shows how hotel market conditions in terms of marketing and management have changed due to the vast development of the Internet. Tourists have become powerful when it comes to determining elements of tourism products as well as requiring a dynamic communication (Crnojevac, Gugić & Karlovčan, 2010).

In my opinion the internet is a very powerful tool that should not be underestimated but which is still not used to its full extend. The customer’s knowhow and general Internet affinity is not yet growing in the same speed and on the same level as on the supplier’s side, where managers and marketing staff sometimes gets lost in the endless seeming number of possibilities ignoring or simply not knowing the tourist’s nature of travel, especially in small companies. Further research in this field seems necessary to me as well, differentiating between for example city hotel and leisure hotel business.

According to Egger (2005), the future hotel industry will evolve three types of business with different online behavior:

- Companies that will have to bow out of the Internet due to a neglected online strategy.
- Companies that act mostly independently and distinctly on the Internet. Those will be exposed to very aggressive competition.
- Companies that will be involved in international networks. While they gain a lot of attention through those networks, they will also have to face the danger to lose control mechanisms over own distribution channels.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Research and Evalution Channels (PRNewswire, 2012)

Another aspects that is probably going to gain in importance in loyalty programs. The 2012 Hotel Channel Usage Study by the market research and consultancy firm HawkPartners, LLC shows that hotel websites are the sources most relied on when it comes to researching and evaluating, directly followed by pages offering loyalty programs (compare also figure 2). Those are cited “as one of the most important reasons to book a particular hotel, especially for business travelers and luxury hotels” (PRNewswire, 2012). But also online review sites (e.g. TripAdvisor) as well as a positive prior experience and the word-of-mouth recommendations gain in importance.

2. Green Hotels

2.1. Dimensions and Criteria of Customer Satisfaction

Task: What dimensions and criteria of customer satisfaction in hotel management are introduced by the article?

The article states that when talking about customer satisfaction there is an obvious connection between value, quality, overall company performance and satisfaction, which is anon crucial to the marketing strategy and concept with a “growing importance in management” (Robinot & Giannelloni, 2012: 158). Robinot & Giannelloni (2010) also cite one of the most common definitions of satisfaction by Aurier & Evrard (2008): “A phenomenon that is not directly observable (a psychological state that must be distinguished from its behavioral consequences...) […] an evaluative judgment […] that results from cognitive processes and that integrates affective elements […] a global judgment of a consumer experience [...] with a relative character, resulting from the fact that the evaluation is a comparative process between a consumer’s subjective experience and an initial reference base”.

The article introduces three different approaches to research and evaluate customer satisfaction and the importance as well as the assessment of single attributes. The first one pictures satisfaction as the result of an emotional and an affective process, which are collateral and can interact, therefore it appears to result from a subjective comparison between expectations and perception of the performance. A second approach depicts single attributes to only have an asymmetric impact on satisfaction, which is considered to be dimensional and “independent from the factors that create dissatisfaction” (Robinot & Giannelloni, 2012: 159). The third approach links the first two and describes satisfaction to be one-dimensional with a non-linear weighting of different attributes. But no matter which methods seems to be the best, all of them are naturally limited by the measured parameters and all show the “value of indirectly measuring the contributions to overall satisfaction of different attributes” (Robinot & Giannelloni, 2012: 159).

The model used in the article is the Tetraclasse model, which divides the study of customer satisfaction into two steps: creating a satisfaction scale out of four items to calculate a satisfaction index and then drawing a contingency table to classify the attributes in the four categories shown below also stating some examples from the hotel industry that the study shows:



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hotel management report case studies




Title: Hotel Management. Report on Case Studies