Cross-cultural investigation of the relationship between personal values and hotel selection criteria

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Virginia Tech

The present study investigated the potential of personal values to segment business traveler markets in the hospitality industry. The study was conducted both in the U.S. and Korea. Mail surveys were sent to a random sample of one-thousand business travelers in each country. Two hypotheses were tested to examine the relationship between personal values and hotel choice criteria, and two other hypotheses were tested regarding cultural differences of personal value structures and hotel choice criteria.

In the U.S. sample, two major value groups were identified with distinct hotel choice criteria whereas three value groups were found in the Korean sample. In the both samples, respondents' value structures appeared to be related to the importance of hotel choice criteria. Consumer groups with homogeneous value structures seemed to have similar needs and wants regarding hotel services. The influence of personal values on hotel choice criteria was identified across cultures. However, the specific value-to-choice criteria relationship appeared to be culture dependent, preventing generalization of value-choice criteria relationships across cultures. Results revealed considerable cross-cultural differences relative to consumers' value structures and hotel choice criteria. Findings of the present study suggested that personal values hold potential for market segmentation in the hotel industry both in the domestic and international market. Several implications regarding existing consumer behavior theory and application to marketing management practices in the hospitality industry were investigated.