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Abstract

This article explores consumer tendencies to opt for luxury or economy hotels by identifying their most and least important selection attributes. The researchers investigate how sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics influence traveler assessments of hotel attributes. In explaining consumer hotel selection preferences, the researchers used an unconditional method—best–worst scaling (BWS). Based on an analysis of responses from 397 luxury hotel customers and 351 economy hotel customers in the United States, it was found that the two groups perceive hotel attributes differently. Differentials were also identified on the basis of gender, income, and frequency of purchase. While acknowledging that the task is complex, there is an urgent need to identify the factors influencing hotel selection, because hoteliers need to attract new markets and also balance this by retaining existing patrons. The findings extend existing literature by applying BWS to the identification of hotel selection attributes.

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