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Techno-business strategies for enhancing guest experience in luxury hotels: a managerial perspective

Sonia Bharwani (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, ISME School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Mumbai, India)
David Mathews (General Manager, Trident Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, India)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 31 May 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This research aims at understanding techno-based strategies deployed by the hospitality industry by exploring the emerging technological product and process innovations that are actively being used in the hospitality space to deliver enhanced guest experiences. It also aims at gaining perspective about the challenges of technology adoption faced by the Indian luxury hotels that have traditionally been driven by high-touch, unscripted and personalised service.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopted a two-pronged methodology for data collection – in-depth semi-structured interviews with General Managers of Luxury Hotels in India and literature-based innovation output (LBIO). NVivo12 software was used to carry out a qualitative thematic analysis of the data. The primary data collected was then triangulated with secondary data gathered through literature review of academic papers, industry reports and studies on the use of technology for enhancing and co-creating customer experience in luxury hotels.

Findings

The research brings in to focus the importance of technology and high-tech, state-of-the-art tools in facilitating the co-creation and delivery of experiences in the context of luxury hospitality. However, it also emphasises that the high-touch dimension is the core of hospitality in luxury and premium hotels and should remain the primary driver of this segment. Luxury hotels will have to fine-tune and tailor their services and provide the right mix of high-tech and high-touch, depending on the micro-niche segments to which they cater.

Practical implications

Practitioners, researchers and educationists in the hospitality industry would find the implications of this study useful in context of the evolving technology imperative and the present customer-centric business environment where hotels are constantly striving to meet the exponentially rising bar of guest expectations.

Originality/value

This study is the one of the few empirical explorations of the techno-based strategies adopted by luxury hotels for co-creating enhanced and high-value experiences leading to critical implications for both hospitality and tourism theory and practice.

Keywords

Citation

Bharwani, S. and Mathews, D. (2021), "Techno-business strategies for enhancing guest experience in luxury hotels: a managerial perspective", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 168-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-09-2020-0121

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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