The information-intensive nature of the tourism industry suggests that the Internet is important in marketing tourism destinations. This article evaluates the marketing related aspects of luxury lodge websites in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Through systematic sampling, 20 luxury lodge websites were selected from a population of 40 rated as four and five star lodges by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. The research design is a concurrent mixed method approach where quantitative and qualitative data are collected concurrently with qualitative data leading the analysis and reporting. Websites were evaluated against criteria developed through a content analysis of existing website evaluation models. The study finds that the websites are generally of a high standard and appealing, but lack originality and uniqueness. The study highlights issues pertaining to the current web marketing approaches of luxury lodges that cater for up-market international tourism, but employs marketing approaches for a local market.
Key words: Websites, luxury lodges, evaluation criteria, marketing.
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