5dez 2022
06:30 UTC

How Tourism Students Respond to Online Complaints

As future professionals of the service sector, students majoring in Tourism will be in contact with people from all over the world during their career. As a result, they need to be able to adequately perform in their L2 English in very specific professional settings. One of these settings is that of mediated service encounters in the hospitality industry. In the recent years, there has been a tendency on the part of hotels to handle customers’ complaints online, instead of orally and on-site (Gu & Ye 2014). This is due to the fact that platforms such as TripAdvisor have gained popularity over the last twenty years. For this, students of English for the Tourism Industry need to master how to handle complaints online.

This preliminary study analyzes how a group of students taking the course of English I for the Tourism Industry at Universidad de Sevilla give a reply to two online complaints from TripAdvisor (Vásquez 2011; Zhang & Vásquez 2014; Ho 2017a, 2019b). In order to collect the necessary data, a simulation of this type of mediated service encounter was designed. The simulation included two types of negative complaints from TripAdvisor and a space for the participants’ responses. The analysis centers on the moves selected (Davidow 2003; Levy et al. 2013; Sparks & Bradley 2014) and the sequence in which they are used (Ho 2017a; 2017b), and ultimately compares results with previous research on the review response genre (Ho 2017a).