Online image of multinational hotel brands on different language platforms

Joy Huang, Liping A. Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the online brand image messages that multinational hotel companies communicate in their home country and host country on different language platforms. Three U.S.-based multinational hotel brands of Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Super 8 are chosen as the cases in the current study. The United States and China are identified as the hotel brands' home country and host country. A qualitative approach of content analysis was adopted to identify the projected images messages. Correspondence mapping was utilized to explore their differences and linkages in the two countries. The results revealed differences in image messages between the two language platforms for each of the three hotel brands. The differences are associated with brand positioning, product development, market segmentation, promotion strategies, distribution channels, and pricing. In addition, as a midscale hotel brand, Holiday Inn has more desired image messages shared between its Chinese and English Websites than the upscale brand of Hilton and the economy brand of Super 8. The study also reveals that brand image messages of three hotel brands from their Websites on the Chinese platform are leveraged by entry timing of these brands to China's market. Both researchers and hotel executives should find the research results interesting because they revealed the paradox of globalization and localization to the extent. The research results are expected to result in thoughts and actions about global branding strategies of the multinational hotel companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-295
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Correspondence analysis
  • Multinational hotel brands
  • Online brand image
  • Online language platforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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