Marketing private hotel management schools in Australia
Emerald Publishing Limited
Place of Publication
School of Business and Law
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of 46 hotel management students from four leading private hotel management schools (PHMS) in Australia on their decision in choosing a PHMS over a traditional public university. Design/methodology/approach: Employing the theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical framework, the qualitative interview data identified ten key attitudes, four reference groups and four perceived difficulties as potential motivators of students deciding to enrol in PHMS. Findings: This paper identified reputation of school and industry placement opportunities as key attitudinal items shaping students’ decision-making process. With regards to important social groups, education agents and family were key reference groups. In relation to perceived difficulties, students reported tuition and living costs, and far distance from home as key barriers in their decision to study at PHMS. Research limitations/implications: The sample draws upon students from a single state, New South Wales, Australia and this limits the generalisability of the authors’ findings. This study also excluded students from Australian public universities who may hold different perceptions towards studying at a PHMS. Practical implications: The findings have important implications for hotel schools to improve their curriculum designs and embed practical hands on the learning experience of their students. Marketing agencies can also use these motivational attributes in developing effective marketing campaigns to increase enrolment figures. Originality/value: This framework has proven to be useful in helping marketers understand various underlying motivational factors to attract prospective students to enrol in private hotel management schools.