Research Insights: Hotels a Lifeline in Hurricanes
During hurricanes, many evacuees seek shelter in hotels, which have become an essential resource for individuals impacted by these weather events. Hotels not only offer shelter, safety, food, and water, their staff can relieve tension, stress, fear, and strain. But how do customers feel about the hotel services they receive during a hurricane? What are their perceptions, emotions, and consumption behaviors during the crisis?
Saunders College faculty Rick Lagiewski, Ph.D., and Victor Perotti, Ph.D., explore these questions in their article, “Customer experiences and situational vulnerability: An exploration of hotel services during a disaster,” published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management. The authors analyzed 3218 Trip Advisor reviews from 393 lodging properties impacted by one or more of three hurricanes during the summer of 2017. They employed multiple text analysis methods including natural language processing, semantic theme analysis, and qualitative content analysis to identify the key attributes of hotel service experienced by the customers during a hurricane.
Lagiewski and Perotti found that customer dissatisfaction results when hotels skew to a market-driven rather than a moral logic during a hurricane. Evacuees expect not only shelter, but kind concern, continual communication, and flexibility in terms of restrictions and fees.
View paper published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, January 2023: Customer experiences and situational vulnerability: An exploration of hotel services during a disaster.