The impact of culture on hotel ratings: Analysis of star-rated hotels in China

Yiu Chung Leung, Hee Andy Lee, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of cultural values on consumer behavior is well documented in tourism studies, yet limited research is reported on the link between cultural values and hotel ratings. In Chinese culture, "face" prevails in every aspect of interpersonal relationship and hinders aggressive behaviors in public, whereas the American society values decision making based on honesty and independence more than what is derived from giving face. The difference in this cultural value is likely to be a critical component of idiosyncratic ratings by companies from different cultural backgrounds. This study compares the ratings on a hotel guide published by the Chinese government and one Chinese online and three U.S. online distribution channels. Based on four a priori comparisons of ratings among the five channels, the hotel ratings on the Chinese sources are considerably higher than those on the U.S. channels, which can be attributed to the unique value of "giving face" in Chinese culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • China
  • Culture
  • Face
  • Hotel rating
  • Star-rated hotels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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