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The effects of atmospheric elements on customer impression: the case of hotel lobbies

Cary C. Countryman (School of Business, Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii, USA)
SooCheong Jang (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 1 December 2006




The purpose of this study is to examine the atmospheric elements of color, lighting, layout, style, and furnishings that make up the physical environment of a hotel lobby. Previous research indicates that these atmospheric elements impact overall guest perceptions and impressions.


Data were collected using a scenario approach along with photographs of the hotel lobby. Structural equation modeling was used to analysis the data to determine which of the atmospheric elements were more influential in the overall impression of the hotel lobby.


Three of the atmospheric elements (color, lighting, and style) were found to be significantly related to the overall impression of a hotel lobby. Color was the most significant of these three atmospheric elements.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of this research was the hotel lobby. While this physical environment is fairly important in helping to establish first impressions, there are other physical spaces within a hotel that have a large influence on guest perceptions and impressions. Hotel practitioners need to understand the importance of the atmospheric elements and their influence on overall guest perceptions and impressions.


This research examines atmospherics from a hospitality and lodging perspective. The topic has received limited research interest in the past but it is becoming recognized as an important consideration in future hotel design and construction. This research helps in establishing a foundation on which future research can be built.



Countryman, C.C. and Jang, S. (2006), "The effects of atmospheric elements on customer impression: the case of hotel lobbies", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 18 No. 7, pp. 534-545.



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