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Fact, fiction, and feng shui: an exploratory study

Jill Poulston (AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI), Auckland, New Zealand)
Rene Bennett (AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 27 January 2012




This exploratory study aims to determine whether a relationship is likely to exist between good feng shui and success.


The feng shui of eight hotel foyers and entrances were evaluated against 20 criteria, and managers asked to comment on the success of their hotels. Results were examined for possible relationships between feng shui and their descriptions of success.


Similarities between the reported success of hotel and feng shui evaluations were found in six out of the eight hotels in the study.

Research limitations/implications

Responses on success were subjective and based on five criteria, which were insufficient to determine the existence of a firm relationship between actual success and feng shui. However, this was an exploratory study, and the relationships were sufficiently strong to warrant further research.

Practical implications

Findings suggest that feng shui offers useful design principles, and hotels with good feng shui are described as being more successful than those with poor feng shui. Good feng shui appears to have a positive effect on feelings of success.


This is the first study that attempts to test the relationship between good feng shui and success.



Poulston, J. and Bennett, R. (2012), "Fact, fiction, and feng shui: an exploratory study", Facilities, Vol. 30 No. 1/2, pp. 23-39.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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