Hotel safety and security systems: Bridging the gap between managers and guests

Eric Siu Wa Chan, Doris Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Safety and security are important factors in guests' selection of a hotel. Hoteliers normally follow local regulations when designing a hotel's safety and security systems, but which system features hotel guests perceive to be the most important and which they expect to find in place remain open questions. The main aim of this research is thus to investigate the gap between hotel safety and security managers' and hotel guests' perceptions of the relative importance of safety and security facilities. Two sets of questionnaires - designed for managers and guests, respectively - containing 32 attributes were used to gauge respondents' perceptions of different hotel safety and security system installations. Independent t-tests and one-way ANOVA were employed to examine significant differences in the way managers and guests rate the importance of hotel in-house safety and security systems. The findings reveal that guests perceive "well-equipped fire prevention systems in accordance with local regulations", "an emergency plan", "an emergency lighting system", "a 24-h uniformed security guard" and "the regular testing of hotel safety and security systems" to be the top five in-house safety and security systems, whereas hotel managers perceive "closed-circuit television systems for hotel public areas", "emergency lighting systems" and "application of a guest key to activate the lifts to guest floors" to be the third through fifth most important. The results also indicate two good matches, six under-perceptions and four over-perceptions, indicating that managers may require a better understanding of guest expectations. In addition to gap analysis, this study discusses the importance of staff safety and security training, the acceptance of high-tech safety and security systems and the need for female guest floors, and provides a number of insights to help hotel managers better understand the needs of their customers, thereby allowing them to employ measures that are likely to keep customers' satisfied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-216
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Gap analysis
  • Hotel industry
  • Perceptions
  • Safety
  • Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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