A comparative study of sustainable communication on hotels’ websites

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och industriell teknik

Abstract: This thesis investigates how hotels communicate their sustainability efforts to their customers on their websites. As sustainability is becoming more known and more expected, businesses feel more pressure to have sustainable initiatives. However, sustainability has no international standards, meaning that businesses can have quite different ideas of what sustainability entails. Therefore, this study looks into different sustainable initiatives that hotels have. The thesis uses discourse analysis to compare what sustainability issues are addressed and how they are presented on the websites. This is done by comparing six theoretical perspectives: sustainability, marketing, storytelling, implementation, and certification. The study was conducted by investigating the websites of 75 hotels in four different cities across the world: Helsinki, Berlin, Los Angeles, and Wellington. In addition, eight international hotel chains were investigated. The hotels are first compared within countries and, afterwards, the countries are compared with each other. The study finds that the most common sustainable initiatives in hotels are environmental changes within the hotels. Furthermore, it is found that there is a lot of variation between how hotels present their sustainability initiatives. While some hotels present their initiatives clearly, some others only vaguely mention them or hide them away. While many hotels have certification, they do not show the certificates clearly. Furthermore, none of the international chains have certification. The thesis concludes in suggesting a possible future study that would examine how the sustainable initiatives on the websites differ from reality.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)