Consumer emotional response as a predictor of preferences: A case of hotel style design
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
As the hospitality industry grows, so does the number of consumers booking hotels online. These consumers choose hotels based on webpage information such as hotel pictures and other promotional media. Given the importance of visual stimuli displayed on hotel webpages, little research effort has been devoted to the guests’ emotional response to hotel design. The aim of this study is to measure consumer’s emotional responses and how they can predict preferences in regards to hotel style design; the emotions we are referring to are those that are experienced by potential and current hotel customers and evoked by hotels. A within subjects experiment research design was utilized with a survey conducted from a convenience sample of 120 student respondents. Photo stimuli consisting of pictures from four different hotels was used to elicit emotional responses to hotel stimuli. A likert-type scale was utilized to measure the visual self-report of emotional responses and the corresponding hotel preferences. Results of the research show that hotel style design elicits emotional responses, and those emotional responses can be used to predict hotel preferences. Male respondents are more likely to report higher levels of negative emotional response than females, and non-Norwegian citizens are more likely to report higher levels of positive emotional response to hotel style design than Norwegians. These findings support previous literature regarding emotional response and preferences, and can be useful to hotel management to encourage measurement of their potential and current consumers’ emotional response to hotel style design in order to help predict the consumers’ preferences accordingly.
Master's thesis in International Hospitality Management