Word-of-mouth in hotel industry has attracted myriad of academic attention due to its experiential and intangible products for years. With the advent of e-commerce, electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) recently becomes an increasingly significant phenomenon in service industry. In fact, the literature related to e-WOM in hotel industry depicts different lines of the subject. One such line of study centers round advanced knowledge about e-WOM and how it has been developed (Kasavana, Nusair, & Teodosic, 2010) (O’Connor, 2010) (Kaplan ; Haenlein, 2010). Another line focuses on the impacts of e-WOM to consumer behavior (Xie, Miao, Kuo, ; Lee, 2011) (Litvin, Goldsmith, ; Pan, 2008) (Zhu ; Zhang, 2010), potential customer acquisition (Ye, Law, ; Gu, 2009) and thus, hotel profitability (Yacouel ; Fleischer, 2011). Until 2015, a research conducted by Torres et al. (2015) has exposed the positive effect of e-WOM valued by hotel manager on service quality management (Torres, Adler, Behnke, Miao, ; Lehto, 2015). In spite of this, it is likely that the use of such electronic word-of-mouth to improve service quality has been remarkably neglected. To fill the gap, this study aims to portray the stream of using consumer-generated feedback to identify a gap in service quality provided resulting in a decrease in online hotel rating as well as hotel financial performance in a real-world context.

The selected organization is Boutique Hotel 57 which belongs to a chain of boutique hotels named Hotel Prophets based in Sydney. In the age of user-generated content, Boutique Hotel 57 is not an exception where electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) has a great impact on hotel performance and profitability as well as customer acquisition – said by Front Office Manager. Hotel 57 has experienced a remarkable drop in TripAdvisor ranking from #55 in March, 2018 to #59 in 189 Hotels in Sydney due to some negative reviews related to hotel service quality.

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In order to achieve the set of aforementioned objectives, hotel managers need to define the answer for these following questions:
• Why is e-WOM important to hotel’s operation, especially the profitability?
• How significantly service quality impacts on hotel’s e-WOM?
• How to measure hotel’s service quality gap?


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