Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of criteria and an instrument for evaluating upscale hotel web sites and test these in a comparative study of South Korean and the US upscale hotel web sites. Design/methodology/approach – The hotel web sites are assessed by a team of 25 trained evaluators. The study measures and compares the overall effectiveness of upscale hotel web sites and checks the correlation between overall web site effectiveness and size of upscale hotels in South Korea and the US by using balanced scorecard (BSC) approach. To evaluate and analyze upscale hotel web site performance or effectiveness, 14 upscale hotels in both South Korea and the USA are selected. These hotels are selected through Expedia.com or Hotels.com and are rated as either four‐ to five‐star. Findings – The results show that there is no significant difference in the overall effectiveness of the upscale hotel web sites in South Korea and the USA. However, the web sites of the Korean upscale hotels perform slightly better than their US counterparts. The main conclusion drawn is that most upscale hotels in both countries are not effectively using web sites from the marketing and upscale hotel perspectives. Originality/value – The first objective of this research study is to develop a web site evaluation tool for upscale hotels. The modified BSC approach for performance measurement is adopted as the overall framework for the evaluation process. Therefore, BSC performance measurements are adapted and developed to reflect the specific context of upscale hotel online marketing, with an upscale hotel perspective being added to the critical success factors. Also, this study compares actual upscale hotels web page in two different countries and that approach is unique.
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2010
Keywords: Hotels; Internet; Promotional methods; Critical success factors; United States of America; South Korea
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