This master’s thesis sheds light on the experiential aspects of hotel accommodation. I start by contending that the “raison d’être” of hotels is to offer not only an accommodation – a place to stay – but also an experience. This claim is rooted in the growth of the “experiential hotel market” and the needs of the modern travellers for much more than comfort and convenience. A tendency that has risen out of the present era of the experience economy. With point of departure in this claim, I level criticism against the star classification system – the dominant force in the hotel industry – for neglecting the experiential aspects of hotels. Motivated by the ambition of proposing a new and relevant hotel classification model, I explore and assess the role and value of the experiential hotel aspects, as opposed to the functional hotel aspects, on the guest experience in two experiential city hotels, more specifically in citizenM in Amsterdam and Hotel Fox in Copenhagen. In doing so, I apply theories from different scientific fields, e.g., customer experience management, consumer behaviour, and psychology. The research methods that are applied at each case study site are questionnaire, netnography, ethnography, and interview. The methods in interplay provide a thorough examination of the guest experience in the two case hotels. The questionnaire method addresses the pre guest experience, whereby a significant finding is that the hotel concept has crucial influence on the guests’ choice of hotel. Hotel concept is primarily related to non-utilitarian and conceptual drivers and, therefore, experiential hotel aspects play a dominant role for the pre guest experience. Experiential hotel aspects also show to be significant for the actual guest experience, but during the actual hotel stay, the guests tend to be more concerned with functionality and physical well-being than they do before (and after) the hotel stay. With point of departure in the research results, I round off the thesis by demonstrating how hotel classification on existing travel sites, more specifically on TripAdvisor, can be optimised. Thus, I decide to further develop “what already works” rather than to create a completely new classification system. Additionally, the results contribute to the existing literature as they provide a new perspective on the concept of hotel guest experience and on what motivates and satisfies modern hotel guests. Hereby, the results not only contribute to the hotel management literature but also the customer experience management field more generally.
|Uddannelser||Cand.soc.cbp Management of Creative Business Processes , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|