Using themes and storytelling in framing guests´experiences in the Danish hospitality industry: A case study of Skt. Petri and Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center’s use of themes and storytelling in framing guest experiences and their guests’ perceptions of this use

Sandra Lykke Koll

Student thesis: Master thesis


Due to fierce competition within the Danish hospitality industry, hotels need to find new ways to differentiate themselves in the market. Some scholars and industry professionals suggest that a differentiating factor could be the use of themes and storytelling. However, there is a gap in the literature regarding the use of themes and storytelling in Danish hotels. Hence, drawing on theory from the fields of experience economy, storytelling and immersion, the purpose of this project is to generate new knowledge by analyzing how Danish hotels can use themes and storytelling in framing guests’ experiences, and by exploring how the hotel guests perceive this use and how it influences their experiences. By adopting the research philosophy of interpretivism, a qualitative case study of two Copenhagen hotels, Skt. Petri and Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center, was conducted. Based on primary data collected, consisting of four semi-structured interviews with employees and 23 short semistructured interviews with guests, it was found that Skt. Petri wants to facilitate service-driven and personal experiences where design, individual treatment and comfort are in focus, whereas Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center aims at framing a complete thematic and service experience. At both hotels, the servicescape serves as a facilitator of the delivery of a story and thereby also in framing these experiences. At Skt. Petri, cues in the servicescape emphasize the design theme, which is the cornerstone of the hotel. And the Tivoli Gardens theme provides Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center with a frame that can help facilitate the thematic experience in the servicescape. The majority of the guests interviewed do recognize the themes used at the two hotels, and the themes have a positive influence on the guests’ experiences. However, several hotel guests do not perceive the actual stories being told by the hotels as stories; this could indicate that the hotels need to make their stories clearer or more visible in order for them to be perceived by their guests. This project serves as a basis for further research in the academic field of experience economy and storytelling within the Danish hospitality industry.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages112