Phenomenology for hospitality: theoretical premises and practical applications

Ksenia Kirillova

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to illuminate the possibilities of phenomenology in hospitality, enriching methodological rigor necessary to study holistic experiences, which are increasingly recognized as a central component of hospitality businesses. Design/methodology/approach: It first presents the main tenets of phenomenology, along with its two orientations (descriptive and hermeneutic) and three associated methods (descriptive phenomenology, hermeneutic phenomenology and interpretive phenomenological analysis). Second, it undertakes a critical review of post-2010 hospitality and tourism phenomenological studies. Third, the author focuses on Giorgi’s phenomenological method in psychology and illustrates the main methodological aspects with the data gathered for the study on the user experience of hotel smartphone apps. Finally, it discusses challenges and suggests prospective areas for hospitality phenomenological research. Findings: Phenomenology can address a variety of subjects in hospitality, ranging from hospitality guests and workers to business owners, entrepreneurs and members of larger communities. Originality/value: For the academic audience, the paper demystifies philosophically rich methodology of phenomenology by highlighting its methodological aspects and practical applications. It also hopes to contribute to practitioners’ greater appreciation of phenomenological knowledge of lived experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3326-3345
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018


  • Consumer experience
  • Descriptive phenomenological method
  • Hermeneutic phenomenology
  • Hotel app
  • Phenomenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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