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SOLOMO – are hospitality SMEs able to move beyond traditional websites in their digital marketing roadmap for Expo 2020?

Florian Kriechbaumer (INTEREL, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 10 June 2019




This paper aims to provide an overview of how trends encompassing SOLOMO (social, local, mobile) factors impact marketing activities in small and medium-sized hospitality enterprises (SMEs). It explores the relevancy of these factors and their application in the industry and synthesizes them in the context of Dubai’s path toward Expo 2020 by collecting practitioner input.


This paper provides continuity with the author’s previous WHATT article exploring SME website implementation by expanding its scope by analyzing literature on SOLOMO adoption in the hospitality industry, drawing from a range of journals and applicable industry sources. It collects informal commentary from practitioners with relevant local experience to contextualize the findings within Dubai’s digital roadmap.


Several aspects of SOLOMO in the context of hospitality have been examined by researchers; however, their successful applicability to the SME sector (which is still struggling with the fundamentals of website implementation) lacks comprehensive consideration. There is a dearth of academic and governmental guidance for industry executives. At the same time, trends beyond SOLOMO, particularly around data analytics, are emerging and require incorporation into a digital SME roadmap.

Practical implications

Executives in the hospitality SME domain are encouraged to continue focusing on the fundamentals of website implementation while they take into consideration the trends around SOLOMO identified in the study. A holistic, result-driven view of digital marketing is required to ensure focused resource usage. Closer collaboration between private sector, policymakers and academia will support Dubai’s initiatives to leverage its high degree of technological readiness for marketing innovation in the SME sector.


This manuscript provides a practically oriented and engaging overview of the applicability of SOLOMO concepts for hospitality SMEs, with a local focus on the Dubai ecosystem.



Kriechbaumer, F. (2019), "SOLOMO – are hospitality SMEs able to move beyond traditional websites in their digital marketing roadmap for Expo 2020?", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 298-313.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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