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Unlucky for some? Are some hotel rooms and floors really unluckier than others?

Pratt, Stephen and Kwan, Pia (2019) Unlucky for some? Are some hotel rooms and floors really unluckier than others? International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 13 (1). pp. 70-83. ISSN 1750-6182

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Purpose – Different cultures believe that some numbers are ‘‘lucky’’ and other numbers are ‘‘unlucky’’. The purpose of this paper is to determine to what extent hotels follow numerological superstitions in their floor and room numbering, if more accidents or complaints occur on unlucky hotel floors compared to other floors and if more accidents or complaints occur in unlucky hotel rooms compared to other rooms. Design/methodology/approach – For the first research objective, an audit of hotels in a particular destination, Hong Kong, is taken capturing the number of floors and rooms on each floor and determining if ‘‘unlucky’’ numbers are used. For the second and third objectives, the accident and complaint database of one upscale hotel in Hong Kong across a five-year period is investigated. Findings – The authors find that hotels do follow superstitious numbering, with ‘‘unlucky’’ numbers not being included in floor or room numbering. Chinese superstition is more likely to be followed than Western superstition. The non-inclusion of ‘‘unlucky’’ numbers is more likely for hotel floors than for hotel rooms. In the case study hotel, they found no significant differences in the number of accidents and complaints between unlucky and other rooms and floors across the five years of analysis. Originality/value – Superstitions surrounding numbers can affect decisions made by individuals and businesses and can have significant economic consequences. There is little academic research into how the hotel sector is impacted by numerology superstitions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Tourism and Hospitality Management
Depositing User: Stephen Pratt
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 00:41
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 00:41

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