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The Art of Upselling

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The Art of Upselling - TRAVELINDEXHung Hom, Hong Kong SAR, September 18, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Online upselling is an ever more popular way for hotel companies to bring in revenue. However, it remains unclear whether online upselling complements or replaces in-person strategies such as front-desk upselling. In an important exploratory study, Professor Basak Denizci Guillet of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University sought to answer this question. Her findings generate crucial insights for hotels in volatile and challenging times, while also providing an “upselling model for the industry that considers the complexities of today’s multifaceted ecommerce environment”.

Hotels can increase their revenue in various ways – most obviously by attracting new customers. However, this can be costly and time-consuming. An increasingly popular alternative is upselling, whereby existing customers are persuaded to spend more on an already agreed transaction, such as by upgrading to a superior hotel room.

Upselling helps hotels to “sell higher room categories, such as club and suite rooms, which would otherwise be empty or used for free upgrades”, says the researcher. The customer also benefits from upselling by getting a superior room at a reduced price. Upselling can take place at “any point during the customer cycle”, such as during the booking process, between booking and arrival, during check-in, or even at check-out with an offer for the next stay.

Traditionally, a hotel’s front desk staff would upsell to guests during check-in. In today’s digital era, however, more and more hotels are introducing online upselling systems. These systems send personalised upselling messages at various points in the booking cycle, give guests the opportunity to “bid for a better room”, and allow customers to select upselling options through the online portal.

However, as little research has been done on this topic, it is unclear whether online and offline upselling channels are complementary, offering customers a choice of the most convenient channel, or whether online upselling has had a negative effect on offline upselling. Dr Guillet aimed to explore this issue and also to investigate whether hotel customers’ profiles and sociodemographic backgrounds influence their likelihood of bidding for superior rooms in the upselling process.

A mixed methods approach, involving the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, was chosen for the study, which the researcher described as “exploratory”. The qualitative data were collected in 2018 during 16 in-depth interviews with “hotel industry professionals familiar with online upselling”. The interviewees included revenue directors, consultants, front office managers and marketing directors working in hotels in the US, Europe and Asia. During the interviews, the hotel professionals were asked about their online upselling systems, why and how they used them, and how the hotels benefited from them.

In the second part of the study, conducted in the same year, the researcher partnered with an independent hotel company in Hong Kong to compare online and front-desk upselling. The hotel has 262 rooms, ranging from standard rooms to suites. For online upselling, the hotel uses a system called UpsellGuru, which offers customers with a reservation “a chance to bid for one or several different room types” by moving a slider to indicate the price they are willing to pay. The hotel can then decide “whether to accept or deny the upgrade offer within 24h”.

The industry professionals who participated in the interviews identified a number of customer and hotel-related factors that influence upselling. They all agreed that only customers who book directly or through an online travel agency are contacted for upselling offers, because an email address is essential. Otherwise, the professionals did not differentiate between customer characteristics for online and offline selling.

They did, however, identify a few customer characteristics that influence whether they might be contacted for upselling. For example, it seems easiest to upsell to customers who are staying for leisure rather than business, celebrating a special occasion, or travelling from abroad. However, as one respondent mentioned, sometimes the hotel receives more than 50 upselling bids a day. Therefore, when deciding whom to choose for upselling, it is difficult to take other factors into account apart from the potential increase in revenue.

The professionals also tended to focus on customers who booked the most basic rooms, because this makes it easier to find options for upselling, such as a larger room, a sea or harbour view, or club access with free breakfast, tea, and cocktails. Indeed, data from the second study showed that the “most popular upsells” were from a standard city view room to a standard harbour view room, and from standard city and harbour view rooms to club city and harbour view rooms.

There was a general consensus among the industry professionals that online and offline upselling “go hand in hand”, as there are advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. Front-desk upselling has the advantage of offering a larger customer base, but it is only possible to sell un-booked rooms on a single day, whereas online upselling can take place a few days before arrival. Online upselling offers greater involvement for customers because they select the price they are willing to pay rather than the hotel setting the price, as is the case with offline upselling.

The industry professionals were divided in their opinions on whether online upselling affects front-desk upselling. However, as one respondent pointed out, overall, only 30-40% of customers book directly or through an online travel agency, leaving many customers whom “front office staff can approach for upselling during check-in”. This suggests that online upselling will not replace front-desk upselling in the near future.

The findings of the second study, in which data were collected from UpsellGuru, confirmed that online upselling was not a substitute for front-desk upselling. In terms of the revenue brought in by the two channels, revenue from online upselling was greater overall than from offline upselling, yet during several months of the study this trend was reversed. In general, upselling revenue increased considerably after the introduction of UpsellGuru, partly because the change prompted the hotel to make its front-desk offers “more attractive to customers” by making the room prices more comparable with those offered online.

Hence, online upselling has certainly not had a negative effect and both channels help to increase revenue. As the researcher explains, it is likely that “the type of customers that choose to bid for upselling” differ from those who “respond positively to front-desk upselling offers”.

Of all the practical implications of the study, writes the researcher, “perhaps the most important one is the need to move away from treating each upselling channel as independent”. The two channels are complementary rather than substitutive, yet currently they “are not streamlined and aligned”. By taking a “more unified view” of customers, hotels can align their marketing efforts to maximise upselling across both online and front-desk channels. The key to achieving this “omni-channel approach to upselling” is to understand customers’ preferences better by collecting data that “go beyond the strategies hotels implement now”. An omni-channel approach also enables an “integrated, seamless experience across multiple devices and touchpoints”.

Overall, the researcher advises hotels to continue to invest in front-desk upselling. To ensure its success she suggests that employees such as front-desk staff should be “trained on the methods and importance” of data collection, and should receive “specialised, regular training in upselling”.

This exploratory study provides an interesting overview of current upselling approaches in the hotel industry. It clearly shows that there is room for both online and offline upselling channels, as long as they are aligned and streamlined. Nevertheless, as the researcher concludes, the study “opens up more questions than it actually answers about upselling in the hospitality industry” and further research is needed to better understand how to achieve the omni-channel approach and improve data collection to “generate a single view of the customer from all distribution channels”.

Basak Denizci Guillet (2020). Online Upselling: Moving Beyond Offline Upselling in the Hotel Industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 84, 102322.

First published at – Global Travel News

Climate Friendly Travel Summer School Launched

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Climate Friendly Travel Summer School Launched

Valletta, Malta, September 4, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / SUNx Malta is launching the first Climate Friendly Travel Summer School – a week-long, online course featuring world class lectures and interactive learning. The sessions will provide an intensive introduction to Climate Friendly Travel – low carbon: SDG linked: Paris 1.5, which will be the future path of the global Travel Industry. It will mean increasing career opportunities in Sustainability and Climate Resilience and the course will prepare attendees for a continuing role in SUNx Malta’s national resilience programs around the world.

Course Outline
Explore key components of Climate Friendly Travel and acquire knowledge to encourage tourism companies and communities to become Zero GHG by 2050 through the Climate Friendly Travel System.

Become part of a global community of Strong Climate Champions to assist Travel and Tourism stakeholders find green and clean pathways to the future.

5-Day Online training 3 hours a day from 1300-1600 CEST*

  • 27 Sep – The UN 2030/2050 Green and Clean, Climate Friendly Travel Framework.
  • 28 Sep – The eXistential Climate Crisis.
  • 29 Sep – SUNx CFT DASH to Zero: Transformation & Resilience.
  • 30 Sep – Paris 1.5 It’s all about the Numbers.
  • 01 Oct – Strong Climate Champions: Action Agenda.

*Please check your local time.

Fee: FREE. Free doesn’t mean it has no value. The course is priced at EUR 120. We are able to offer it for free only for this very first course to support SUNx Malta’s vision to advance Climate Friendly Travel around the globe.

Limited spots available! Register today to not miss your place!

All sessions will be hosted through ZOOM. Stable internet connection is required to join. Zoom link will be emailed closer to the course date. Certificate of Participation will be endorsed on attending all sessions. We encourage interactions during the course.

Course Director Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of SUN x Malta, said:
“This is not just another of the many Travel & Tourism courses and training programmes. We are focused on preparing graduates for a clean and green post-Covid future, helping Travel & Tourism companies and communities transform in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and 2050 Paris Agreement. We aim to create 100, 000 climate champions worldwide by 2030 and these programmes are designed to identify the core issues for the post–pandemic green and clean tourism sector, promote climate hope through youth awareness , education and empowerment, SUN x Malta is a legacy program for the late Maurice Strong, Climate and Sustainability pioneer,

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

School of Hotel and Tourism Management & WTTC Enter into Partnership

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School of Hotel and Tourism Management & WTTC Enter into Partnership - TRAVELINDEXHong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, August 28,2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate and work together for the sustainable growth of global travel and tourism.

The World Travel and Tourism Council is a body representing the travel and tourism private sector globally. Its members consist of Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector travel and tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making. The WTTC has been the voice of the industry globally and is committed to raising the awareness of governments and the public of the economic and social significance of the travel and tourism sector.

The collaboration is in keeping with the two parties’ common interests in promoting the importance of the sustainable growth of the travel and tourism sector, taking the form of shared information and mutual collaboration. As a Knowledge Partner, the SHTM will provide the WTTC with research data and insight services that will be used by the WTTC team to produce joint research reports or to provide specific industry information for dissemination to the wider WTTC membership. The two organisations will also work together to leverage their respective areas of expertise, to produce insight reports, to provide mutual support for events and conferences such as the WTTC Global Summit and regional events.

“One of the important roles of the SHTM is to feed research findings and other forms of expertise back to its principle base – the industry we serve,” said Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management. “This MOU is a further step to strengthen our collaboration, reaffirming the industry’s support for us. We look forward to working more closely with our WTTC counterparts in the years to come.”

“We are excited to partner with the SHTM in the Greater China region. We share the same goal to play a leading and positive role in the sustainable growth of the private sector,” said Ms Maribel Rodriguez, SVP of the WTTC.

About PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management
For over 40 years, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has refined a distinctive vision of hospitality and tourism education and become a world-leading hotel and tourism school. Ranked No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality and Tourism Management” category in ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021 for the fifth consecutive year, placed No. 1 globally in the “Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services” category in the University Ranking by Academic Performance in 2020/2021 for four years in a row, rated No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism” subject area by the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017, and ranked No. 1 in Asia in the “Hospitality and Leisure Management” subject area in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 for the fifth consecutive year, the SHTM is a symbol of excellence in the field, exemplifying its motto of Leading Hospitality and Tourism.

The School is driven by the need to serve its industry and academic communities through the advancement of education and dissemination of knowledge. With a strong international team of over 70 faculty members from diverse cultural backgrounds, the SHTM offers programmes at levels ranging from undergraduate degrees to doctoral degrees. Through Hotel ICON, the School’s groundbreaking teaching and research hotel and a vital aspect of its paradigm-shifting approach to hospitality and tourism education, the SHTM is advancing teaching, learning and research, inspiring a new generation of passionate, pioneering professionals to take their positions as leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.

First published at – Global Travel News

How to Cope in a Crisis – A Case Study

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How to Cope in a Crisis - A Case Study - TRAVELINDEXHealth crises are every hotel manager’s worst nightmare, but they are becoming increasingly common. In a fascinating and prescient case study that bridges the gap between theory and practice, Dr Clare Fung and Dr Alice H. Y. Hon of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a co-author show that embracing a four-stage crisis management model can help hotels to protect their residents, reputations, and revenue. Written before the COVID-19 pandemic, their study documents the responses of Hong Kong China Travel Service Hotels Limited to the outbreaks of SARS and swine flu, showing just how critical a crisis management plan is. As the hospitality and tourism industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons contained in this case study will prove invaluable.

In recent years, the global hospitality and tourism industry has faced numerous shocks, including acts of terrorism, geopolitical instability, and the 2008 global financial crisis. Threats to health have been particularly severe. “The hospitality industry has faced a considerable disease crisis challenge in the past 15 years”, say the researchers. The short-term impact is a loss of revenue, and the longer-term consequences may be devastating. “An unexpected and potentially disruptive crisis can threaten tourism demand and harm the business performance of a hotel, as well as the reputation of its location”, the researchers caution.

Hong Kong China Travel Service Hotels Limited (HK CTS Hotels) operates more than 18,000 rooms in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China, as well as 50 UK hotels. The success of the hotel group lies in “dedicating the best hospitality services to hotel guests”, the researchers tell us. Over time, the group has had to adapt to several emerging threats, making it the ideal focus for a case study of crisis response. The researchers examined how HK CTS Hotels dealt with two serious health events – the outbreaks of SARS and swine flu.

In February 2003, a guest checked in to room 911 at the Metropole Hotel, Hong Kong. Along with his luggage, he was carrying the deadly SARS virus, which he would subsequently pass on to at least 12 other guests. “There was no awareness of SARS at the time”, note the researchers. However, the world soon learned of this deadly disease, which ultimately claimed more than 700 lives. The crisis took the hotel completely by surprise, and it was slow to react.

“The SARS outbreak had a significant impact on the Metropole Hotel’s business as well as that of other Hong Kong hotels”, say the researchers. This included a 90% drop in reservations. Investigators publicly stated that the professor’s vomiting on the floor outside his room had caused the virus to spread. For a chain that prides itself on cleanliness, this report was hugely damaging. “The investigation finding shocked the hotel guests and the wider community of Hong Kong”, the researchers report. The hotel itself became known as the “SARS hotel”, a name it would struggle to shake off. It was eventually rebranded as Metropark Hotel Kowloon.

The hotel’s failure to contain the crisis caused significant damage to the business and the brand. Recognising the risk posed by future health outbreaks to the hotel group’s reputation and profitability, the chain’s management team acted decisively. “The SARS infection case in the Metropole Hotel forced HK CTS Hotels to develop its crisis management system to ensure that its hotels could smoothly handle any potential crisis”, explain the researchers. The group soon had the chance to put this system into action.

As soon as news of the 2009 swine flu outbreak emerged, HK CTS Hotels’ crisis planning taskforce created preventative guidelines for all of the group’s hotels. Despite these measures, the group was unable to avoid its first infection case. A traveller from Mexico who checked in at Metropark Hotel Wanchai was confirmed as the first swine flu case in Hong Kong.

To contain the outbreak, the hotel’s guests were forced to stay inside for seven days. This caused significant “dissatisfaction and anger”, the researchers tell us. The hotel became the focus of global media attention. “Guest satisfaction became a critical factor in the public image and the reputation of the hotel”, say the researchers, and it quickly became the focus of crisis management efforts. The hotel sought to distance itself from the quarantine arrangements. It was made clear to residents, the public, and the press that “the role of the hotel was to provide excellent service to all guests”.

An enquiry desk was set up to field calls and provide information and advice. It also conducted an impact assessment to identify practical ways to make guests feel more comfortable and informed. The hotel made guests’ health and safety its “first priority”, note the researchers, arranging for them to receive relevant information from government health experts. To put its guests further at ease, the chain waived all costs, organised meals and events, and even handed out Sony PlayStation Portable consoles to bored children. A crucial line of communication with the head office was established. This, say the researchers, enabled Metropark Hotel Wanchai “to receive suggestions and support from the HK CTS Hotels management team and resources and support from HK CTS Hotels”.

Clearly, the detailed crisis management plan and decisive action taken by the hotel manager and other decision-makers ensured that Metropark Hotel Wanchai was well prepared to cope with the swine flu outbreak. As well as providing essential support for residents, the researchers note, the hotel’s action plan helped to protect its reputation.

Comparing the responses of HK CTS Hotels to these two dramatic health events, the authors found evidence that adopting a four-stage crisis management process is highly effective. To manage a crisis, they explain, a hotel must go through four key stages: “reduction, readiness, response and recovery”. This theoretical model provides hotel managers with a “general crisis management framework which provides guidelines on how to handle a crisis properly”, the authors state. Going further, they outline a blueprint for crisis management informed by experience.

During the first phase, crisis reduction, hotels should seek to “minimise the impact of an upcoming crisis”, say the researchers. This involves gathering information on the potential threat from all sources, including, crucially, social media. This stage is not about acting – yet. Instead, it “should mainly be about knowledge acquisition, creation and storage”, advise the authors.

On reaching the crisis readiness stage, the organisation has already been affected. Therefore, “providing protection for staff, guests and property will be the main aim of the contingency plan”, the researchers explain. The crisis should be categorised according to its seriousness and its impact, or the “type of damage” it inflicts. Its categorisation should dictate the particular strategy to be taken.

Communication is paramount during the crisis response stage. Having activated and implemented its contingency plan and tactics, the hotel should now “build up effective internal and external communication channels so that its employees, hotel guests and the public can access updated information”, the researchers recommend. Ongoing evaluation is required to assess the impact of the crisis and to re-evaluate and refine approaches.

Once the danger has passed, the hotel enters the crisis recovery stage. It must now “focus on implementing a recovery plan and reconstruction”, suggest the researchers. Although disruption and damage are unavoidable, there is room for optimism, as a “well-devised recovery plan and marketing strategy can change the crisis into an opportunity in the long term”. Such tactics might include price differentiation, service quality enhancement, the efficient use of social media, and public relations tactics. The ultimate aim of this stage, explain the researchers, “is to consolidate the organisation’s competitive advantage and its positioning”.

Translating theory into practice is not always simple, but it is vital – especially at times of crisis. As this case study shows, by adopting and implementing a four-stage crisis recovery plan, HK CTS Hotels was able to safeguard – and even strengthen – its reputation. The paper is a powerful illustration of the important work that SHTM academics carry out in bridging the gap between theory and practice, applying lessons learned in the classroom to the real world. It is this practical and pragmatic approach to management that sets our students and researchers apart.

Clare Fung, Bruce Tsui, and Alice H.Y. Hon (2020). Crisis Management: A Case Study of Disease Outbreak in the Metropark Hotel Group. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, Vol. 25, Issue 10, pp. 1062-1070.




Press contact : Ms Pauline Ngan, Senior Marketing Manager
School of Hotel and Tourism Management

Telephone :      (852) 3400 2634

E-mail :   

Website : 

First published at – Global Travel News

A Table for One, Please!

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A Table for One, Please - TRAVELINDEXSolo diners represent one of the fastest-growing markets in the restaurant sector, but little is known about the factors that influence their menu choices. Do solo diners express their uniqueness through their selection of dishes, or do they seek a sense of belonging? This is just one of the questions answered by Dr YooHee Hwang of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and co-authors in a study that sheds light on the interplay between power, food choices, and crowding in the solo dining context. As restauranteurs seek new ways to tap into this lucrative and rapidly expanding market of diners, such findings are more relevant than ever.

Globally, the number of single-person households is soaring, with at least 28% of US households consisting of just one person. Increasingly, those who live alone are choosing to eat out alone. “The rise in single-person households makes ‘solo diners’ one of the fastest-growing segments in the restaurant industry”, the researchers tell us. Indeed, reservations for individual diners have increased by more than 60% in recent years.

Surprisingly, however, researchers and restauranteurs know little about solo diners’ attitudes towards menus and how they choose their dishes. When targeting group diners, restaurants use various tactics to influence menu choices, including “scarcity cues” (limited time offers) and “popularity cues” (bestsellers). “Consuming a product with scarcity cues (limited in time, limited edition) can satisfy one’s need for uniqueness”, the researchers explain. Conversely, consuming a best-selling dish can enhance social connectedness, “meeting one’s need for belongingness”.

These subtle promotional techniques have proven to be highly effective in influencing group diners’ decisions, but more factors affect choice in the solo dining setting. Whether a restaurant is empty or full, for example, can exert a powerful influence on solo diners. Those dining alone in a crowded restaurant may make menu choices that express their individuality, say the researchers, as they wish to “reassert their freedom”. However, others may seek to blend in by choosing popular dishes.

Our sense of power, or agency, affect show influenced we are by restaurant tactics and environmental cues. However, the researchers note, “little is known about the joint impact of environmental- and individual-level factors on solo diners’ responses to popularity and scarcity cues on restaurant menus”. As each element influences the others, this is a multi-faceted and complex problem. “Social crowdedness (an environmental factor) and solo consumers’ sense of power (an individual – level factor) jointly determine attitudes toward menus”, the researchers hypothesised.

In some cases, say the researchers, “individuals in a crowded environment perceive that their personal space is violated”, which encourages them to assert their individuality. But does this happen when eating alone? Based on a thorough literature review, the team concluded that for solo diners, the desire for uniqueness may co-exist with the desire for belongingness, as “two fundamental human needs”. However, they suggest that “one is more activated than the other, depending on situational and environmental cues”.

The researchers hypothesised that solo diners are more likely to feel a need for belongingness than uniqueness, making them less likely to want to stand out. This, they posited, “should lead to more favourable attitudes toward menus with popularity (vs scarcity) cues”, especially in a more crowded restaurant.

Delving deeper, the researchers hypothesised that the impact of social cues and environmental factors on solo diners is “moderated” by the diner’s sense of power. More powerful individuals “tend to focus more on themselves (vs others)”, say the researchers. Therefore, “powerful individuals should not be influenced by external cues in restaurants such as menu promotions and crowding”. Conversely, low-power individuals are likely to be “communal” and seek the relative safety and approval of a group. This, the researchers explain, “may augment their need for belongingness during solo consumption, particularly in crowded environments”.

To test their hypotheses, the researchers surveyed a diverse sample of 181 US residents aged over 18. “Crowding and promotional cues were manipulated as between-subject factors”, reports the team, “and sense of power was measured”. The participants were invited to imagine enjoying a Thai meal alone at an airport while waiting for a flight. Each was assigned one of four scenarios. The restaurant was either crowded or sparsely populated. Once seated, they were handed a menu that featured either a “limited time offer” cue or a “most popular” cue.

The questions that followed assessed the participants’ perceptions of restaurant crowdedness, sense of personal power, and attitudes towards the menu. The restaurant scenario proved to be highly relatable and realistic for the participants, who took an average of 11 minutes to complete the survey. After being asked to grade how busy the restaurant was, the participants described their sense of personal power. They were asked to agree or disagree with such statements as “In my relationships with others, I can get others to do what I want”. Finally, the fictitious guests were asked to make the all-important menu choices that would prove or disprove the researchers’ hypotheses.

Based on detailed analysis, the researchers were encouraged to find that the proposed three-way interaction between social crowdedness, promotional cues, and solo consumers’ sense of power was indeed statistically significant. “Low-power individuals exhibited more favourable attitudes toward the menu involving a popularity cue in the crowded (vs non-crowded) environment”, the researchers report. However, their attitudes towards the menu involving scarcity did not differ across crowding levels.

In practice, this suggests that solo diners who lack a sense of power will choose popular dishes that enhance their sense of belonging to a group. Powerful individuals, on the other hand, are unlikely to be influenced by either popularity cues or scarcity cues, “regardless of the crowding level”. Critically, say the researchers, the findings suggest that “solo consumers’ sense of power and promotional cues collectively predict their responses to crowding”.

This research represents a valuable addition to the literature on crowding, providing insights into the growing market of solo diners. It offers an important counterpoint to the prevailing theory that in a crowded environment, consumers invariably seek to assert their freedom. In fact, solo diners may make choices that encourage feelings of belongingness and communality – particularly if they are from a low-power group.

“Dining alone can be a daunting experience”, the researchers state. It may induce feelings of “loneliness and social exclusion”. These may prove insurmountable barriers for potential restaurant-goers, particularly individuals who lack a sense of power. Such diners may be especially reluctant to visit crowded restaurants.

To tap into this market, say the researchers, restaurants need to activate the sense of belongingness of diners with low power. They advise restaurant managers to “leverage promotional cues on a menu to enhance solo diners’ experiences”. Specifically, managers may wish to highlight popularity cues at busy times or customise menus to appeal to different types of consumer. New technologies, such as tablets, kiosks, and mobile apps, can be used to personalise menus.

In contrast, powerful solo diners tend to hold “consistently favourable attitudes” towards a menu, regardless of promotional cues or crowding levels. The researchers suggest that restaurants can “lead diners to feel that they are valued and powerful” by making changes to the physical environment or using certain words in marketing materials, such as “energy” or “power”. “Another way of inducing power”, the researchers add, “is to acknowledge solo diners’ loyalty tier in the company’s loyalty reward program”.

Eating alone should be a comfortable, fun, and rewarding experience, regardless of one’s social status or confidence. With more and more people living alone and dining alone, restaurants need to refine and personalise their offering to appeal to solo diners, capturing a share of this lucrative and socially mobile market. This pioneering research challenges several theoretical assumptions about consumer behaviour, suggesting that the urge to belong is more important to consumers than previously thought. Most importantly, the research provides a practical and inexpensive blueprint for restaurants seeking to maximise the enjoyment of solo diners. Whether you’re eating in a restaurant or managing one, these findings offer essential food for thought.

YooHee Hwang, Na Su, and Anna Mattila (2020). The Interplay between Social Crowding and Power on Solo Diners’ Attitudes toward Menus with Popularity and Scarcity Cues. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32, Issue 3, pp. 1227-1246.




Press contact : Ms Pauline Ngan, Senior Marketing Manager
School of Hotel and Tourism Management

Telephone :      (852) 3400 2634

E-mail :   

Website : 

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Jobs Factory Launched to Kickstart Tourism Jobs Recovery

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UNWTO Jobs Factory Launched to Kickstart Tourism Jobs Recovery - TRAVELINDEXBarcelona, Spain, June 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched the Jobs Factory, powered by Hosco, the global hospitality network. This innovative platform is designed to connect talent with employers across the sector, being the perfect solution for hospitality recruitment.

The Jobs Factory harnesses Hosco’s power of machine learning, algorithms, and deep learning to match candidates with suitable positions, both locally and internationally. Job-seekers are able to create a profile, search for positions that match their experience and skills, and set up job alerts to be informed of the latest opportunities. The platform also helps tourism businesses and organizations to find and recruit the best talent.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

All of UNWTO’s 159 Member States will be invited to use the Jobs Factory as their national tourism recruitment platform as will its more than 500 Affiliate Members, ranging from businesses to universities and think tanks. Additionally, through the Jobs of the Future Observatory, Member States can also monitor current and future skills development to analyse trends. This will allow them to forecast and identify gaps and mismatches and make data-driven decisions.

The Jobs Factory will be a great help to the millions of people who depend on tourism. It connects employers with the very best talent our sector has to offer

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The pandemic has hit global tourism hard. Up to 120 million jobs are at risk. However, tourism has a long history of adapting and embracing innovation. The Jobs Factory will be a great help to the millions of people who depend on tourism. It connects employers with the very best talent our sector has to offer. And it will help our Member States make important decisions based on the latest, trusted data.”

Olivier Bracard, Hosco’s CEO, added: “Hospitality is all about people, and since March 2020, its workforce has been terribly affected, thus the industry as a whole. Hosco’s purpose of making hospitality an exciting journey for talent has never been so challenging yet so crucial, and we’re thrilled to be joining forces with UNWTO to expand the impact of our technology and expertise to its Member States. We’re confident that UNWTO’s Jobs Factory, powered by Hosco, will become a critical asset for governments, employers, and hospitality professionals as we embrace recovery.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

About Hosco
Hosco is a professional network specially designed for the hospitality industry. It was born in 2011 with one clear vision: to empower the industry by uniting all of its professionals, educational centres, and employers in one global network to connect, find or provide job opportunities, access tailored content, and career advice. The platform currently connects 1.5+ million hospitality students and professionals and 400+ schools with 7,500+ world-class companies worldwide.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism Management Tops World Ranking

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, May 31, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has again excelled in university rankings, taking top spot in the “Hospitality and Tourism Management” category of ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021. This is the fifth consecutive year for the SHTM to be recognised as world No.


First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO and IE University Partner to Accelerate Online Education

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Madrid, Spain, May 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization, in keeping with its firm commitment to democratizing online education; IE University, with more than 20 years’ experience in online training, and Sommet Education, global leader in higher education in hotel management and culinary arts are partnering to accelerate on-line education in the Hospitality sector.


First published at – Global Travel News

Tourism in Technicolour

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, April 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Cartoons might just hold the key to attracting an important new niche in the tourism market, according to a pioneering recent study by Dr Mimi Li and Mr Yuhao Chen of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and their co-authors. With society’s increasing emphasis on family togetherness and…


First published at – Global Travel News

Are Residents the New Tourism Ambassadors?

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, March 27, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Local people may be the best ambassadors for tourism in their home towns and cities, according to Ph.D. graduates Dr Philipp Wassler and Dr Liang Wang, and Dr Kam Hung of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Building a brand for a destination is an effective way of attracting tourists…


First published at – Global Travel News