Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 82-92.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003313

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Host-Guest Interaction from a Spatial Perspective: The Case of the White Swan Hotel Lobby in Guangzhou

Hengyu Gu1,3(), Wei Tao1,2()   

  1. 1.School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2.Center for Sustainable Development of Rural and Town in Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Greater Bay Area, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    3.School of Government, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2020-05-02 Revised:2020-07-23 Online:2021-01-05 Published:2021-02-19
  • Contact: Wei Tao;


Although host-guest interaction has become an important and heated issue in tourism and leisure research, the effect of geographical location is largely underexplored. Additionally, quantitative analysis methods are less applied in the existing empirical studies. Based on Space Syntax theory and using qualitative analysis (participant observation and in-depth interviews), the present study examined the role of the configuration of spatial elements in the process of host-guest interaction in the lobby of the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. Results suggested the following: 1) The hotel lobby's spatial configuration is visually integrated while also divided and permeable. These characteristics of the space meet the tourists' requirements. 2) The host-guest interaction in the hotel lobby can be categorized as temporary, limited to specific times and locations, and imbalanced. The tourists' position usually prevails over that of the hotel staff, in order for the hotel to make a profit. 3) Spatial configuration plays a role in the imbalance between host and guest in the lobby. Specifically, the hotel lobby "caters to" the needs of all kinds of tourists, enhancing the sense of tourism and leisure. In contrast, "discipline" is required of the hotel staff and is reinforced by the design of the space. There is also a positive "spillover" effect of the spatial configuration on hotel employees. The lobby can be regarded as the "facade of a shop" and "stage" to present the hotel's service level, and thus senior management uses it to maintain the unbalanced host-guest relationship. 4) The hotel managers and employees aim to construct a sense of "home" for tourists to ensure their satisfaction and provide a positive travel experience. The construction of a sense of "home" is related to tourists' emotions in the context of modernity, which can be encompassed in a kind of experience (e.g., comfort and convenience) in a specific spatial configuration, and impacts tourists' consumption behavior. Space syntax regards the space of daily life as the background of social relations and recognizes the subjective role of space. It provides a channel for quantitative analysis of the spatial configuration of the hotel lobby and its social cultural logic with relation to host-guest interaction through mathematical modeling.Host-Guest Interaction from a Spatial Perspective: The Case of the White Swan Hotel Lobby in Guangzhou

Key words: host-guest interaction, hotel lobby, Space Syntax, home, the White Swan Hotel

CLC Number: 

  • F592.7