Travel distance and hotel service satisfaction: An inverted U-shaped relationship


The existing literature suggests that travel distance is a crucial factor that determines tourism demand and tourist behavior. However, there are limited attempts to understand how tourists’ travel distance shapes their experiences, and more specifically, their satisfaction in a destination. This paper aims to shed light on the distance–satisfaction relationship by analyzing a data set of online hotel reviews at four large US cities in a one-year period. The results show an inverted U-shaped relationship between travel distance and service satisfaction. Inflection points of the quadratic relationship across different cities are also identified. The implications of these findings contribute to literature on tourism geography and allow tourism marketers to develop more effective differential marketing strategies.

International Journal of Hospitality Management, 76, 261-270.