Last AND least: when hotel guests do not care about environmental policies
Purpose of the paper: The study tests whether guests’ perceptions of the environmental policies put in place by the hotel influences guests’ evaluation of their overall experience.
Methodology: The empirical analysis uses a dataset of 52,764 reviews from a hotel chain’s internal platform, which specifically requests for a guest evaluation of the environmental policies. The sample includes data from 105 European hotels in 2017-2018. A semantic content analysis of almost 100,000 observations from the chain’s internal platform and from open peer-to-peer platforms complements the quantitative study.
Findings: Findings suggest that hotel guests, when evaluating the overall experience, do not take their own evaluation on the environmental policy into account.
Research limits: The study adopts a single case-study approach, which does not allow for the generalizability of its findings. The study cannot disentangle the motivation of the results (e.g. limited care about the environment or inability to make the assessment). Moreover, the research does not consider the eventual impact on consumers’ purchase intention or willingness to pay.
Practical implications: Hotel managers can improve their environmental communication strategies to enhance their perceived relevance. Open peer-to-peer platforms could promote environmental discussion by adding a specific review item. More generally, environmental regulation remains crucial, since results suggest caution in relying on consumer-driven greening strategies.
Originality of the paper: To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a specific assessment of the effect of environmental policies on hotel guests’ overall satisfaction. Previous studies largely suggest that “greening” a hotel appears to be inevitable to meet hospitality consumers’ increasing green needs, but the analysis of consumers’ evaluations contradicts this view.
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