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Why are Chinese and North American guests satisfied or dissatisfied with hotels? An application of big data analysis

Shun Ying (School of International Economy and Tourism Management, Zhejiang International Studies University, Hangzhou, China)
Jin Hooi Chan (Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Xiaoguang Qi (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK and Business School, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 10 September 2020

Issue publication date: 14 October 2020

1225

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to identify the emergent themes of hotel guests’ satisfaction, to compare the distribution of the attributes of the themes between Chinese and North American guests and to compare the importance of the themes for different satisfaction levels between Chinese and North American guests from a cross-cultural perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

By adopting Python (a computer language), the word-frequency method was used to identify emergent themes of hotel guests’ satisfaction. Topic modeling was adopted to compare the attributes distribution of each theme and the features of satisfaction between Chinese and North American guests.

Findings

First, three themes were identified including functionality, staff and price. Functionality can be further categorized into five subthemes, namely, room, travel, food, environment and hotel facility. Second, the distribution of the attributes of the themes between Chinese and North American guests was compared from a cross-cultural perspective. Chinese guests tend to mention both lifestyles- and social norms–related attributes and expect personalized service, while North American guests mainly prefer to describe lifestyle-related attributes and prefer standardized service. Third, the study compared the changing importance of the themes (functionality, staff and price) for different satisfaction levels between Chinese and North American guests. As the satisfaction level decreases, the importance of functionality decreases, that of staff increases and that of price remain stable for Chinese guests. In contrast, the importance of each theme has fluctuated mildly from the high to the low satisfaction level for North American guests.

Practical implications

Proposed managerial implications are to highlight lifestyle- and social norms-related attributes, as well as personalized service for Chinese guests. However, lifestyle-related attributes and standardized service should be facilitated for North American guests. Specific suggestions were made to help improve hotel performance such as the good performance of functional-related attributes, which could enhance satisfaction and better staff performance, which would reduce dissatisfaction.

Originality/value

By mining big data, this study investigated hotel guests’ satisfaction from a dynamic instead of a static perspective. This study provides some rare insights into differences in key attributes influencing satisfaction levels of Chinese versus North American guests staying in luxury hotels in China. This study also takes a novel approach to examine the dynamics of the importance of the various themes at different satisfaction levels, and contrast these dynamics between Chinese and North American guests. The findings offer valuable insight into market segmentation and management in the hospitality industry.

Keywords

Citation

Ying, S., Chan, J.H. and Qi, X. (2020), "Why are Chinese and North American guests satisfied or dissatisfied with hotels? An application of big data analysis", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 10, pp. 3249-3269. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-02-2020-0129

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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