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Elite hotels: painting a self-portrait

Gillespie, Cailein H. and Morrison, Alison J. (2001) Elite hotels: painting a self-portrait. International Journal of Tourism Research, 3 (2). 115 -121. ISSN 1099-2340

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Commercial hospitality provision arose from a general process of modernisation, the gradual breakdown of the importance of kinship and social obligation relative to a common duty of care for those travelling away from home, and the process of urbanisation. Consequently market demand evolved for the provision of accommodation, food and beverage for those persons temporarily removed from their domestic environment. What is argued in this paper is that the original function of commercial hospitality bears scant resemblance to sophisticated potentialities for socio-economic self-expression, which manifest themselves in the form of the elite hotel sector. The manner in which contemporary consumption of elite hotels revolves around the notion of self, with multiple identities and group affiliations is explored. Conclusions focus on the elite hotel sector as a means of defining self-identities and the management implications therein for the provision of commercial hospitality in elite hotels.