Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Business


Faculty of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Dr Martin O'Neill

Second Supervisor

Dr Katherine Mizerski


This study aimed to look at the importance of cultural awareness across the hospitality industry as a whole and the industry's response to this issue. The research set out three hypotheses based on one main research question. The research question postulated was: What guest services are Sydney and Atlanta hoteliers providing to meet the needs of guests from different cultural backgrounds? The research was carried out using a descriptive qualitative research design, additionally a cross-sectional time frame was used. The research was conducted within the hotel population in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, and in Sydney, New South Wales. Australia. The research was completed through the use of a mail-questionnaire, however there was a relatively small sample size and a low response rate. The average hotel that responded to the questionnaires were three star properties located in the city centre or suburbs with an average of one hundred rooms, and an average occupancy rule of between sixty and eighty percent over the previous twelve months. The data was analysed using SPSS to calculate frequency distribution and percentages. Cross- tabulations. Chi-square tests, and correlations. The analysed data showed that hoteliers ranked the issue of cultural awareness as important to the hospitality industry, thus hypothesis one was accepted. However further analysis showed that hoteliers' beliefs are not affected by the grade of the property to which they are attached. The analysed data showed that even though the majority of hoteliers provided less than four of the listed facilities to their guests, there was a positive relationship between the perceived importance of cultural awareness by hoteliers and the level of the facilities that are provided by the hoteliers, and therefore hypothesis two can be accepted. Furthermore the data revealed that there is no relationship between the star grading that a hotel has achieved and the level of facilities that they provide. The third hypothesis related to the training and/or incentives that hoteliers provided to staff in the area of foreign language or cultural awareness training. Initial analysis showed that the majority of hoteliers provided limited training or incentives to their staff. Further correlation analysis indicated that there is a strong relationship between the importance of cultural awareness and the training/incentives that are available to employees. A final analysis showed that the perceived importance of cultural awareness had a greater impact on training/incentives for Atlanta hoteliers than with Sydney hoteliers. Consequently hypothesis three can be accepted as there is a positive correlation between the level of ascribed importance assigned by hoteliers to the cultural awareness issue and the range of culturally sensitive training that is provided 10 employees. Thus the study found that while hoteliers believe the issue of cultural awareness is Important, the training they have available and their facilities provisions do not reflect this. This has major implications for the universities and colleges that provide hospitality management courses.

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