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Changes in hotel industry budgetary practice

Tracy A. Jones (Business School, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into budgetary practice in UK‐based hotel organizations and an update on previous survey work in this area. The research aims to cover a broad range of budgeting issues, including: the process used in setting budgets, monitoring and review of the budgetary processes, and the human aspects of the budgeting process.


This research used a census‐based questionnaire of hotel organizations' finance directors. The questionnaire consisted of mainly closed questions, with opportunities for further explanation to be given. Statistical analysis tools included Chi‐square tests, Spearman's Rank Coefficient, and ANOVA.


The paper finds that the key reason organizations produce budgets are to aid control, evaluate performance and aid planning. Neither the top‐down, bottom‐up or combination approaches to budgeting dominated in the UK. The results showed a higher rate of the top‐down approach in the UK, compared to previous surveys in other countries. Budgets were generally viewed as the main performance indicator in hotel organizations. There is little use of flexible budgeting, budget committees or budget manuals in the hotel industry. The “human aspects” of budgeting identified some interesting contradictions such as the belief that participation is key in budgeting working, yet there is a lack of participation in practice, most significantly amongst hotel department managers.


Limited information as to budgetary practice in hotels has previously been published, particularly related to the UK. This survey and further findings from the broader research project it is part of identify hotel industry budgetary practice. This aids identifying change over time and provides an invaluable insight into how budgets are used in the industry.



Jones, T.A. (2008), "Changes in hotel industry budgetary practice", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 428-444.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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