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Diffusion of Quality Standards in the Hospitality Sector

Purpose: The aim of this study is to compare the diffusion of certifications under two quality management systems (QMSs) in the tourism sector in Spain: the generic ISO 9001 international standard; and the Spanish industry‐specific “Q” standard.

Design/methodology/approach: The study pursues this objective by comparing the logistic curves of dissemination of certifications under the two standards using data obtained from official sources. This analysis is complemented with qualitative data from several case studies of Spanish hotels and restaurants.

Findings: The results show that the two standards are at different stages of diffusion: certification under the Spanish “Q” standard is increasing, while the ISO 9001 international standard seems to have reached saturation point, despite the fact that a lower number of certifications have been registered under ISO 9001 than under the “Q” standard.

Originality/value: The main contribution of this study is that it is one of the first to analyse the dissemination of quality standards in a specific sector. The findings are thus of considerable importance in extending knowledge of quality management in the tourism sector.

Merce Bernardo

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