Award Date

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Professional Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Hotel Administration

Department

Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Sarah Tanford, Chair

Number of Pages

39

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify how the cultural differences impact customer satisfaction and service quality evaluation in U.S. hotels.

Statement of Objective: The objective of this paper is threefold. The first objective is to define customer satisfaction and what customer satisfaction means to people from different cultural backgrounds. The second objective is to evaluate past research on satisfaction and to develop a taxonomy based on the existing literature to introduce how to measure customers’ satisfaction effectively in accordance with each culture. The third objective is to recommend what should be done by the hotel professionals in order to increase international guests’ satisfaction.

Justification: This research has implications for hotel operators due to increases in international traveling. Therefore, it is very imperative to understand different cultures and identify service areas that can be improved upon in order to satisfy guests from around the world. This paper may aid hoteliers in identifying what is the best way to measure cultural attributes, which then will help prepare better services to the international travelers by understanding their culture more deeply. It also has implications for future researchers in the field to investigate how culture impacts customers’ satisfaction, using cultures that are not investigated in this study.

There are ramifications of not investigating this field, which are:

1. The hoteliers in the U.S. will not be able to meet the international travelers’ expectations of service without understanding their needs first.

2. The potential customer loyalty to the hotel may diminish due to the hotels’ inefficient accommodations based on the cultural aspects of satisfaction.

Keywords

Consumer satisfaction; Cultural competence; Hospitality industry – Customer services; Hotels; Intercultural communication; International travel; Tourists

Disciplines

Critical and Cultural Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Hospitality Administration and Management

Language

English