Do ambient scents in hotel guest rooms affect customers’ emotions?
Keywords:Ambient scent; emotions; hotel guest room; facial recognition; happiness; emotional valence
The introduction of ambient scents in different business facilities might be an effective strategy to influence customers’ emotions and, ultimately, their experience. Yet, there is scant evidence on the effects of introducing ambient scents in hotels and, particularly, in hotels’ private areas such as the guest rooms. Accordingly, this study aims to analyse the impact on customers’ positive emotions when a pleasant ambient scent is introduced in a hotel guest room. To this end, a randomized control trial was conducted in a real four-star hotel in Barcelona in which two experimental groups (N=99) were invited to enter and experience a scented guest room and an identical but unscented room, respectively. The happiness level and the emotional valence of the experiment’s participants were measured using a facial recognition technique. This methodological strategy represents one of the significant contributions of the study. The results show that, on average, individuals who entered the scented room were happier and had a better emotional state than individuals who entered the unscented room. These results suggest an important managerial implication for hoteliers who can improve the guests’ experience by implementing a non- expensive action and opens an avenue for future studies on scent marketing in hotels.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Oriol Anguera-Torrell, Iván Álvarez León, Alessandra Cappai, Glòria Sanmartín Antolín
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