Guest Satisfaction in New Zealand Luxury Hotels: a Study of Reviews from TripAdvisor

An, Ting (Bella)
Poulston, Jill
Harkison, Tracy
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Guest satisfaction and dissatisfaction in luxury hotels are based mainly around expectations and perceptions of service and products (Lu, Berchoux, Marek & Brendan, 2015). Consumers are increasingly looking for high-quality services and high-value products in luxury hotels (Walls, Okumus, Wang & Kwun, 2011), and the website TripAdvisor provides rich data showing what luxury hotels do right and what they do wrong, based on consumer feedback (O'Connor, 2010). However, there are no studies exploring guest satisfaction and dissatisfaction in New Zealand luxury hotels using TripAdvisor as a data source. This study therefore uses TripAdvisor to examine these factors in New Zealand luxury hotels. The study has two main objectives: (a) to identify the influences on guest satisfaction; and (b) to identify the influences on guest dissatisfaction in New Zealand luxury hotels.

This study aims to provide guidance for hotel managers to develop appropriate strategies to improve guest satisfaction, and therefore make a positive contribution to luxury hotel management. The study adopted an interpretivist approach and used thematic analysis to analyse data from TripAdvisor. Positive and negative guest reviews were collected from eight New Zealand luxury hotels, from 1 July to 31 August 2017. In total, 120 TripAdvisor reviews were selected and separated into 60 positive and 60 negative guest reviews. The main influences of guest satisfaction and dissatisfaction were service quality, professionalism and passion of staff, rooms, food and location. Intangible services were found to be more important than tangible products, and staff attitudes had a stronger influence on guest satisfaction than staff knowledge. ‘Personalisation,’ ‘service surprises,’ ‘extra values’ ‘interaction,’ ‘welcome feelings’ were keywords expressed by guests on TripAdvisor.

The results fulfilled the objectives of the study, as they added knowledge and understanding to the literature on guest satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The benefits of this research are twofold. Firstly, it contributes to the body of knowledge in hospitality management, specifically identifying the influences of guest satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Secondly, it provides luxury hotel managers with practical insights into guest expectations, and how they can better satisfy guests’ needs.

Hospitality management , Guest satisfaction , TripAdvisor , New Zealand luxury hotels
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