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Boutique hotels: technology, social media and green practices

Denise Kleinrichert (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)
Mehmet Ergul (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)
Colin Johnson (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)
Mert Uydaci (Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 28 September 2012




The purpose of this paper is to link consumer use of technology to two very popular themes in the hospitality industry: boutique hotels and environmental responsibility.


The case study focuses on how boutique hotels legitimize their green practices through the use of technology – web sites, social media – to communicate their environmental recognitions to discerning eco‐conscious consumers seeking small lodgings. The authors analyze the type of environmental legitimacy practices used by the boutique hotel segment of the tourism industry, using a variety of international, regional, or trade recognized environmental evaluation assessments to legitimize their boutique hotel green practices. A diverse sample of boutique hotel accommodations in two attractive, but similar international destinations – Istanbul, Turkey and San Francisco, California – are used, through content analysis of hotel web sites.


San Francisco Bay Area hoteliers, in the majority of instances, used their web sites to illustrate one international standard, LEED certification, for building structure. However, these hoteliers generally reported use of varying regional standards for legitimizing their green practices. Istanbul hoteliers reported on maintaining international standards for legitimizing their green practices, but did not seek specific standards for building structures.

Research limitations/implications

Future research surveys of specific consumer perceptions of their search and experience would prove valuable in terms of destination selection and experience of environmentally‐conscious boutique hotels. Social media and related web sites utilize consumer self‐reporting, which would add additional insight for future research in this area.


The authors' analysis studies the web promotion of two similar geographic tourism destination boutique hotels' use of international versus regional legitimacy of their environmental practices.



Kleinrichert, D., Ergul, M., Johnson, C. and Uydaci, M. (2012), "Boutique hotels: technology, social media and green practices", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 211-225.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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