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”Det här är slutet på hotellbranschen, såsom vi förstår den” : En kvalitativ studie av konvergenskulturens, review-sajters och den digitala kommunikationens påverkan på hotellbranschen / This is the end of the hotel industry, the way we know it : A qualitative study of the influence of the convergence culture, review sites and the digital communication on the hotel industry.

  • Serneberg, Ida
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Title: This is the end of the hotel industry, the way we know it – A qualitative study of the influence of the convergence culture, review sites and the digital communication on the hotel industry. This study aims to examine the digitalisation of the hotel industry and how the industry relates to review sites, partly from an organisational point of view and partly how the communication and the replies at the review site may look like. The study focuses on three hotel employees and how they relate to the review site TripAdvisor. Through a qualitative content analysis and interviews I aim to find out how the industry relates to digital communication. As a complement to the three internal voices I have interviewed a digital expert in the digital communication industry.   We live in a convergence culture where old and new media meet. Earlier studies in the area show that reviewers leave many digital footprints that indicates identity, demography an situation based information at review sites. It has shown that it is easier for a reader to percieve information from people the can identify themselves with. This study aims to complement current and previous studies in the area with a inside-out perspective, and a perspective from inside the hotel industry.   The study shows that the responding hotel employees have their own tone of voice and the relate to the medium in their own unique way. Despite different tone of voice it is clear that there is some kind of unwritten formula on how to organize the arguments in a review. Many tracks of intertextuality were found in the reponses of the hotel employees, either to other web texts such as other reviews or references to web pages. There is a explicit desire to interact and to connect with the guest or the reviewer. This confirms previous studies made on the topic.   This study shows that digitalisation has contributed to the increase of decentralisation in the industry and this decentralastion is necessary for digitalisation. Decision-making power in regards of publishing has moved from one department to involve and engage many departments and levels in the organisation. The three hotel employees who were interviewed had three different approaches to digital communication. One of them was well integrated and seemed to move naturally between the digital and the analogue world. When she answered digitally, she would often refer to the analouge world and in the analogue world she would refer to the digital. One of the others had a more segregated view on Internet. She is a occasional visitor at the review site and interpret the organisation as an analogue unit, where you actively have to visit the Internet. At the same time she would highlight how serious and important the reality of Inernet is. When she responds on review sites, she act carefully, systematically and with great consideration.            The last hotel employee experienced Internet at young age and act as a native citizen there. He claims that Internet has changed the analogue reality for him, his staff and for the guests. He refers to digital sources when he is online, as well as to the analogue reality. The digital reality incuses the analogue reality and vice versa. He claims that there is a clear before and after The Internet.   None of the employees address issues connected to reliability and the trustworthyness in the reviews they respond to. This is something that the digital expert on the other hand adresses. This is worth continue studying. In addition, every month 2,000 reviewers write a review at a hotel in the Nordic Choice Hotel group. At the same time and during the same month, more than 100,000 guests leave digital footprints at the social platforms Facebook and Instagram. Even though this is the end of the hotel industry, the way the industry knows it, the research on digital footprints has just begun.   

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