Emerging Sales and Marketing Challenges in the Global Hospitality Industry a Thematic Analysis of Customer Reviews from the World’s Top Two Tourist Destinations

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1755-4217.htm Emerging sales and marketing challenges in the global hospitality industry A thematic analysis of customer reviews from the world’s top two tourist destinations Meghna Rishi Institute for International Management and Technology, Gurgaon, India, and Emerging sales and marketing challenges 131 Sanjaya S. Gaur AUT School of Business, Faculty of Business and Law, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand Abstract Purpose – This paper attempts to identify the emerging themes that can shed light on the sales and marketing issues and challenges being faced by global hospitality organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilizes a multi-method approach for data collection. A thorough literature review, a focus group and personal interviews were conducted to explore the themes and construct a tentative thematic web. Publicly accessible secondary data in the form of customer reviews were drawn from world’s leading web site – Tripadvisor.com. A total of 702 reviews of the customers of luxury hotels from the world’s top two tourist destinations – France and USA – were analyzed, using thematic analysis. Customers’ perspective is juxtaposed with industry’s perspective to offer insights on the sales and marketing issues and challenges being faced by hospitality organizations globally. Findings – Marketing challenges, namely personalization/customization of services, service management, creating a strong parent brand, under-utilization of the social media and diverting tourists from heritage properties, are identified as some of the key emerging sales and marketing issues and challenges faced by the global hospitality industry. Practical implications – Analytically identified themes in this research paper provide valuable insights on

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