Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (Mar 2021)

Examination of Website Language Strategies Adopted by Five-Star Hotels in China: A Corpus Approach

  • Jianwei Qian,
  • Rob Law

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 60
pp. 1066 – 1078


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Hotel websites are vital information channels for potential customers. Hence, their readability and attractiveness play a key role in online marketing for hotels. This study attempts to investigate how hotels use language strategies to better market themselves online. This study first proposes an analytical framework on the basis of appraisal theory, which aims to reveal the hidden mechanism by hotels in building interpersonal relationships, and uses such a framework to explore online language strategies used by five-star hotels in China. The general language strategy and the corresponding preference in the use of such a strategy amongst hotels are identified. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are generated on the basis of the findings and analysis. It is among the early studies to modify appraisal theory to analyze tourism and hospitality text data and to adopt the corpus approach to explore the hidden mechanism of language use.