Scholarly Works, Hospitality and Tourism Management

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  • From Guest to Family: An Innovative Framework for Enhancing Memorable Experiences in the Hotel Industry
    Alhamadani, Abdulaziz; Althubiti, Khadija; Sarkar, Shailik; He, Jianfeng; Alkulaib, Lulwah; Behal, Srishti; Khan, Mahmood; Lu, Chang-Tien (ACM, 2023-11-06)
    This paper presents an innovative framework developed to identify, analyze, and generate memorable experiences in the hotel industry. People prefer memorable experiences over traditional services or products in today’s ever-changing consumer world. As a result, the hospitality industry has shifted its focus toward creating unique and unforgettable experiences rather than just providing essential services. Despite the inherent subjectivity and difficulties in quantifying experiences, the quest to capture and understand these critical elements in the hospitality context has persisted. However, traditional methods have proven inadequate due to their reliance on objective surveys or limited social media data, resulting in a lack of diversity and potential bias. Our framework addresses these issues, offering a holistic solution that effectively identifies and extracts memorable experiences from online customer reviews, discerns trends on a monthly or yearly basis, and utilizes a local LLM to generate potential, unexplored experiences. As the first successfully deployed, fast, and accurate product of its kind in the industry, This framework significantly contributes to the hotel industry’s efforts to enhance services and create compelling, personalized experiences for its customers.
  • Optimal distinctiveness of short-term rental property design
    Zhang, Huihui; Zach, Florian J.; Xiang, Zheng (Elsevier, 2024-07)
    The short-term rental market remains highly competitive, requiring that hosts should identify effective strategies to position their products for desirable performance. This study investigates the optimal balance beyond dyadic choice between differentiating from or conforming to competitors, in the dimensions of properties’ functional and aesthetic design. We hypothesize U-shaped distinctiveness-performance relationships considering high legitimacy pressure and low strategy effectiveness in the short-term rental context. Moreover, the moderating effects of factors including online review volume and listing age are examined. Analyzing a sample of 99,757 Airbnb listings in Texas, the findings reveal different patterns of product positioning between functionality and aesthetics. The moderate degree of distinctiveness in functionalities leads to the worst performance while in aesthetics generating the best outcome. This study contributes to the hospitality literature by introducing and testing optimal distinctiveness within the short-term rental market. The findings also provide positioning guidance for short-term rental listings under different conditions.
  • Leveraging knowledge via location proximity among hotels and short-term leases
    Bianco, Simone; Singal, Manisha; Zach, Florian J. (Elsevier, 2024-02-28)
  • Mindful Choices: Unveiling the Driving Factors behind Consumers' Intention to Reduce Single-Use Plastic Utensils
    Shin, Ju Yeon; Kim, Eojina; Jang, Yoon Jung; Singal, Manisha (MDPI, 2024-01-13)
    As consumers increasingly access takeaway food from restaurants, the importance of reducing the use of single-use plastic has emerged. To investigate this complex process, the current study applies the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the Norm Activation Model (NAM) to discover how this theory and model leads to discovering customers’ behavioral intentions. Data were collected from 436 respondents and reflect people aged 18 years or older who accessed an online food ordering platform within the three months prior to the study data collection. Results present that customers’ attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, awareness of consequences, and personal norms regarding reducing single-use plastic utensils influence consumers’ behavioral intentions. These findings are meaningful to academia in providing insights into the link between consumers’ behavior and reducing the use of single-use plastic utensils in the restaurant context. In addition, this study provides marketing strategies and implications for improving consumers’ awareness of the use of single-use plastic utensils in retail food services.
  • Multi-level differentiation of short-term rental properties: A deep learning-based analysis of aesthetic design
    Zhang, Huihui; Zach, Florian J.; Xiang, Zheng (Elsevier, 2023)
    This study aims to test the effects of differentiation on short-term rental performance along the dimension of aesthetic design. Online platforms display listing cover photos as search results, thus making aesthetic design a key element of differentiation. We hypothesize opposite impacts in two geographical scopes, local- and city-level, which answers an important question in differentiation literature of whom to compare to. Based on the assumption that localized competition has asymmetric influences, we introduce competition intensity as moderator. Hypotheses are tested with 96,196 listings from April 2021 to March 2022 in the Texas Airbnb market. We quantify aesthetic design by probability distribution scores over four design styles predicted by a pre-trained machine learning model. This study identifies differentiation benefits at local-level but discounts at city-level. Furthermore, it shows market intensity strengthens benefits and mitigates discounts regardless of the geographic scope. Finally, implications for aesthetic design as a strategic tool are discussed.
  • Green and non-green outcomes of green human resource management (GHRM) in the tourism context
    Tandon, Anushree; Dhir, Amandeep; Madan, Poornima; Srivastava, Shalini; Nicolau, Juan Luis (Elsevier, 2023-10)
    Globally, organizational espousal of green and sustainable operations has been critically facilitated by green human resource management (GHRM) initiatives, especially in the tourism and hospitality sector. This research is an effort to examine the nuances of employees' responses to GHRM and contribute to this field by examining how narcissism, an individual trait and boundary condition, influences GHRM's relationship with employees' green (voluntary and task-related practices) and non-green outcomes (task performance and job satisfaction). Our hypotheses, grounded in social identity and trait activation theories, were tested with data obtained through a time-lagged two-wave survey of 219 UK-based hotel employees via the Prolific Academic platform. Analysis revealed significant associations between GHRM and all employee outcomes. Narcissism was shown to have a significant moderating effect on GHRM's associations with both green and non-green (task performance) behaviors. Our results imply important understandings for the advancement of theoretical knowledge and practical implementation of GHRM.
  • Resident perceptions and responses to tourism: individual vs community level impacts
    Segota, Tina; Mihalic, Tanja; Perdue, Richard R. (Routledge, 2022-11)
    This paper reviews resident tourism attitude research through the lens of the individual- and community-level perceived impacts of and responses to tourism. It explores how perceived impacts of tourism and responses to tourism development have been conceptualised and measured in the existing resident attitudes models published between 1990 and 2020. Three categories of variables were identified and used: antecedent variables, tourism impact variables, and dependent variables. The latter three categories are used to discuss the research topic from the lenses of improvements in measurement instruments. Finally, the paper suggests rethinking the overall conceptualisation of residents' perceptions of and reactions to tourism - it proposes future research directions to distinguish between individual-level and community-level effects and reactions.
  • Social and Personal Norms in Shaping Customers' Environmentally Sustainable Behavior in Restaurants' Social Media Communities
    Jang, Yoon-Jung; Kim, Eojina (MDPI, 2023-04-09)
    This study aimed to investigate how personal and social norms affect customer engagement with social media that promote environmentally sustainable behaviors. A self-administered survey of potential participants was conducted. Hypothesized relationships were tested using structural equation modeling and multigroup analysis. The findings confirmed the strong positive effect of social norms on customer engagement; this engagement had a significant influence on brand commitment and sustainable behavior. The moderating roles of social rewards were indicated by significantly greater effects of social norms on customer engagement in the high social reward group.
  • Evolving Landscape of Partnerships of U.S. Destination Marketing Websites: External Hyperlinks From 1999 to 2018
    Zach, Florian J.; Baggio, Rodolfo; Xiang, Zheng (SAGE, 2023-03-01)
    Hyperlinks to external websites are a reflection of partnerships of destination marketing organizations (DMOs). This longitudinal study investigates the external hyperlinks placed on the home page of U.S. state tourism websites from 1999 to 2018. Our analysis shows that the landscape of DMO partnerships underwent considerable growth; however, the growth was distributed unevenly among categories of partners, particularly as social media became increasingly dominant. State DMOs appeared to be changing their external partnerships quite often, while their strategy was likely influenced by technological innovation, policy, and destination-specific issues. Based on these findings, the authors discuss the study implications and provide suggestions for future research.
  • Design standardization by Airbnb multi-unit hosts: Professionalization in the sharing economy
    Zhang, Huihui; Zach, Florian J.; Xiang, Zheng (Elsevier, 2023-01-01)
    Increased professionalism in the short-term rental market has enabled multi-unit hosts to replicate design features across their listings to increase efficiency; however, this standardization represents a huge risk caused by decreased flexibility. We identify the impacts of functional and aesthetic design standardization on guest experience and satisfaction using Airbnb as a case study. The findings show that design standardization impacts guest experience and satisfaction asymmetrically. The results provide implications for tourism place design by articulating the structural relationships of standardized design on guest experiences within the typically unstandardized home-sharing market. This study contributes to design literature by studying design from a strategic level and adds knowledge to standardization literature by testing customer-side outcomes within a micro-entrepreneurship context.
  • Predicting Conversion Rates in Online Hotel Bookings with Customer Reviews
    Tang, Liang; Wang, Xi; Kim, Eojina (MDPI, 2022-09-30)
    E-commerce in the hospitality and tourism field has already ranked No. 2 among all online shopping categories worldwide. However, customers’ visits to a hotel booking website cannot guarantee the generation of sales, while the conversion rate is regarded as the indicator that effectively assesses the e-commerce website performance. This study aimed to investigate the influential factors of conversion rates from both affective content and the communication style of customer’s online reviews. The affective content was evaluated with eight emotional dimensions (i.e., joy, sadness, anger, fear, trust, disgust, anticipation, and surprise) in Plutchik’s emotion wheel, and the communication style perspective was assessed with linguistic style matching (LSM). In total, 111,926 customer reviews from 641 hotels in five cities in the U.S. were collected for the analysis. Results indicated that LSM and four emotions have significant impacts on hotel conversion rates. This research contributes to the knowledge body of customers’ conversion behaviors on hotel booking websites and offers pertinent practical implications.
  • Dual-Branded Hotels: Resource-based entry strategies in agglomerated markets
    Bianco, Simone; Singal, Manisha; Zach, Florian J.; Nicolau, Juan Luis (Elsevier, 2023-04)
    Despite the growing importance of dual-branded hotels, research on this trend is lacking. This study investigates the effect of resource-based entry strategies for dual-branded hotels vis-à-vis incumbent market competition on performance. Using a hierarchical linear model, we found that best performance is achieved by dual-branded hotels that pursue a diversification strategy by entering the market with one brand above and one brand below the mode class of the market. Dual-branded hotels can thus achieve competitive advantage by exploiting superior financial resources and tourism destinations are able to gain monetary advantage from resources employed by dual-branded hotels. This study extends current research on dual-branded hotels by investigating entry strategies and contributes to the resource-based view literature by investigating dual-brands’ resource exploitation and resource spillovers in agglomerated markets.
  • A look into the crystal ball of ski destination development - The role of Alpine Summer Parks
    Happ, Elisabeth; Seidl, Maximilian; Zach, Florian J.; Schnitzer, Martin (Elsevier, 2022-09-21)
    Recently, winter tourism destinations have developed summer attractions as climate change threatens their success. Increasing the number of summer attractions in ski resorts could also be part of the operators’ strategy to adapt to shorter winter and longer summer seasons. Scholarly literature on this evolution is currently limited. This research note aims to close this research gap: first, by examining the relevance of summer tourism at ski resorts and for ski-resort operators; second, by investigating reasons for opening summer attractions and third, by analyzing the impact of summer attractions on climate-induced issues. Two focus groups and one association study were conducted among ski-resort operators to assess why ski resorts invest in summer attractions, specifically Alpine summer parks [ASP] that are branded separately but are typically located in the ski resort. The results show that these attractions are designed to increase visitor numbers in summer and are thus considered an essential element of the summer season. At the same time, while the summer season per se is (still) given little importance, its future potential was emphasized by all respondents. ASPs are seen as part of the future, but not as the future. While climate change was never mentioned in the focus groups, the results of the association study show that climate-induced issues are recognized as a critical challenge for ski-resort operators.
  • Investigating the emergence of third-party online food delivery in the U.S. restaurant industry: A grounded theory approach
    Traynor, Mark; Bernard, Shaniel; Moreo, Andrew; O’Neill, Sorcha (Elsevier, 2022-10)
    This qualitative study explores the emergence of Third-Party Online Food Delivery (TPOFD) in the US restaurant industry. The study used grounded theory to obtain insight into the perspective of restaurant operators regarding TPOFD adoption through interviews with seventeen restaurant managers and owners who use and do not use TPOFD in their businesses. The results identified several emergent themes relating to motivations, experienced outcomes, and future strategies for adopting TPOFD. These findings were used to propose a conceptual model that describes the adoption of TPOFD in the restaurant industry. The data shows that while the tremendous consumer demand for TPOFD is a motivation factor to adopt TPOFD, many restaurants are deterred by various adverse outcomes, most notably, the high commission and service fees paid to TPOFD aggregators. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed in detail.
  • Early and late-stage startup funding in hospitality: Effects on incumbents' market value
    Bianco, Simone; Zach, Florian J.; Liu, Anyu (Elsevier, 2022-07)
    This study investigates the change in investors’ awareness of startups following received funding rounds. We specifically investigate the stock market assessing startups as potential new entrants in an industry that overlooked the disruptor Airbnb to the point where consumers started to embrace the new products, thus costing incumbents market share. This study contributes to the literature on competitive dynamics by investigating resource similarity and market commonality as potential influencer of investors’ awareness. Furthermore, this study offers a new contextualization for studies connecting risk assessment and market value and contributes to the tourism and hospitality literature by investigating investors’ awareness of potential new market entrants. Finally, this study provides managerial insights as it highlights what high-level decision makers can learn from the stock markets’ reactions to startup funding as a means of anticipating possible changes in the competitive environment.
  • Explaining the willingness of consumers to bring their own reusable coffee cups under the condition of monetary incentives
    Nicolau, Juan Luis; Anna Stadlthanner, Katja; Andreu, Luisa; Font, Xavier (Elsevier, 2022-05)
    An increasing number of hospitality firms attempt to foster sustainable practices among their customers. Amongst these, incentives for customers to bring their own reusable products stand out. In this study, we first analyse whether consumers are willing to bring a reusable coffee cup (RCC) under the condition of a monetary incentive (qualitative decision) and the minimum discount required for individuals to be willing to use an RCC (quantitative decision). Second, we analyse the explanatory factors impacting these two decisions. Several factors are proposed to explain an individual's willingness to bring an RCC including their environmental knowledge and involvement, and personal restrictions for using an RCC. An empirical application, conducted on 1,371 individuals using a Heckit model, allows us to conduct a joint modelling and provide a novel methodological contribution to the study of the willingness, and barriers, of individuals towards the use of RCCs in the coffee shop industry.
  • Disruptor Recognition and Market Value of Incumbent Firms: Airbnb and the Lodging Industry
    Bianco, Simone; Zach, Florian J.; Singal, Manisha (Sage, 2022-04-03)
    Although Airbnb debuted in 2008, incumbent lodging firms did not fully recognize it as a legitimate competitor for several years. However, as Airbnb made inroads into the accommodation business, hotel firms and their investors started to take notice and to legitimize its disruptive role. In this paper, we investigate investors’ awareness of the disruptor Airbnb as a competitor of incumbent lodging firms. Specifically, we assess the effect of awareness on incumbent hotel management and hotel property owner firms. Employing an event study methodology, our analysis finds that Airbnb performance milestones negatively affect incumbents’ market value. This research contributes to our understanding of the role played by investors and financial analysts in shaping competitive markets by legitimizing an industry disruptor and by spurring competitive action among incumbent firms.
  • Big Data Analytics and Hotel Guest Experience: A Critical Analysis of the Literature
    Zarezadeh, Zohreh; Rastegar, Raymond; Xiang, Zheng (2022)
    Purpose: Guest experience and satisfaction have been central constructs in the hospitality management literature for decades. In recent years, the use of big data as an increasing trending practice in hospitality research has been characterised as a modern approach which offers valuable insights into understanding and enhancing guest experience and satisfaction. Recognising such potential, both researchers and practitioners need to better understand big data’s application and contribution in the hospitality landscape. This paper critically reviews and synthesizes the literature to shed light on trends and extant patterns in the application of big data in hospitality, particularly in research focusing on hotel guest experience and satisfaction. Design/Methodology/approach: This research is based on a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Metaanalysis (PRISMA) literature review of academic journal articles in Google Scholar published up to the end of 2020. Findings: By data types, user-generated content, especially online reviews and ratings were at the centre of attention for hospitality-related big data research. By variables, the hospitality-related big data fell into two crucial factor categories: physical environment and guest-to-staff interactions. Originality/value: This paper shows that big data research can create new insights into attributes that have been extensively researched in the hospitality field. It facilitates a thorough understanding of big data studies and provides valuable insights into future prospects for both researchers and practitioners.
  • Imbrications of IT and Hospitality Organizations
    Wang, Dan; Wang, Jigang; Xiang, Zheng (2021-10-01)
    The impact of information technology (IT) on the hospitality and tourismindustry has been extensively documented in the last two decades. However, what happens during the adoption process and to the organization over time due to changes in IT is unclear. This study applies the lens of “imbrication,” stemming from Giddens' theory of structuration, to examine the interactions between a casino resort in Macau, China and the use of customer relations management systems over 20 years (1997–2017). The processes of imbrications of IT and people reveal the social construction of reality. This paper expands our scope of knowledge on organizations' integration of IT by offering a window into the complex, recurrent nature of IT adoption in hospitality and tourism industry.
  • Smiley guests post long reviews!
    Li, Chunhong; Ye, Qiang; Nicolau, Juan Luis; Liu, Xianwei (Elsevier, 2021-07-01)
    The inclusion of a photo in users’ profile provides information about them and shows a higher sense of self-expression and potential engagement. On peer-to-peer rental platforms, profile images may be useful for hosts and guests to infer individual characteristics and expectations. We try to fill a gap in the literature by inferring guests’ posting behavior through their profile image. Using Airbnb data and deep learning techniques, our empirical analysis reveals that guests who upload profile images—especially profile images displaying happy emotions—are more involved in posting long reviews. As theoretical implications, these results add knowledge to the application of the Five Factor Model of Personality, deep learning, image recognition, and emotion recognition in hospitality. As managerial implications, the prediction of posting behavior through the mining of visual information can be a relevant tool in the age of big data.