Author: Putra, Raden Fajar Kusnadi Kusumah
Title: Characteristics and critical success factors of virtual hotel operator : management and owners’ perspectives
Advisors: Law, Rob (SHTM)
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2021
Subject: Hotel management
Hospitality industry -- Tecnological innovations
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: viii, 178 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Virtual Hotel Operators (VHOs) are one type of hospitality management company that takes advantage of technological developments to maximize sales and empower small-and medium-sized hotels (SMSHs). VHOs have developed partnerships with SMSHs, especially in the budget and non-classified hotel accommodations markets. However, existing research on critical success factors (CSFs) in the hotel sector does not provide sufficient information about what a VHO is. Little is known about VHOs and it is not clear what factors are critical for their success. This thesis, therefore, proposes to fill this knowledge gap in the hotel management sector and CSFs for the hotel sector from the supply side, particularly from the perspectives of VHO management and hotel owners. The central question in this thesis asks what are the critical factors that contribute to the success of VHO? There are four primary aims of this thesis: (1) to identify the goals of VHOs; (2) to identify the characteristics of VHOs from the management perspective; (3) to identify factors that VHOs should focus on from the perspective of hotel owners; and (4) to identify the CSFs of VHOs. A qualitative research method was used, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants in Indonesia. Data were thematically analyzed using Atlas.ti version 8 software to manage unstructured data from the interviewees' transcripts and to code around the identified themes. The findings show that VHO goals place most emphasis on the quantitative aspects of operation such as the number of properties, rooms, and profitability. Other goals are related to their expertise in managing standards and services, by utilizing innovation for their hotel partners and customers. Second, management and hotel owners highlighted the characteristics of VHOs in terms of taking advantage of technological developments to promote local accommodation sectors. Third, there are 29 CSFs which emerged from the participants responses, with marketing and promotion strategies, client relationship, training, hotel operation management, innovation strategy, capital expenditures, and property management system being the top seven critical factors mentioned by the interviewees.
This study's contribution is to add to the literature on tourism and hospitality management, specifically hotel management. The main findings add to the literature on CSFs in the context of VHOs. The practical implications from this study are useful in assisting VHO management to determine the most CSFs for their company, to achieve their goals and measure their performance. For hotel owners, the presence of a virtual hotel business can be used as a solution to their operational and promotional strategies in the digital world. In addition, the findings may have useful implications for government in terms of informing them about how SMSHs can be transformed to become standardized accommodation facilities that support local tourism. Meanwhile, for investors, with the potential for a market in the budget and economic accommodation sector and the changing consumption patterns through the use of technology for travel arrangements, VHOs may become a prospect for future development and investment in varying accommodation sectors. Future study could be conducted through large-scale research by using quantitative questionnaires among a bigger sample of hotel owners and VHO management. Another group of participants has the potential to enrich the information to better understand their perceptions about VHO (i.e., hotel employees, government, investor, and customer). In connection with technological factor, future study could also focus on the "virtual" aspects of VHO, for example by looking at website evaluations, VHO mobile application evaluations, online customer reviews and perceptions.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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