Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the use of strategic planning tools and techniques by hotels in Jordan and the nature of its relationship with managers' views of the strategic planning process. Design/methodology/approach: A review of the literature relating to both strategic planning and strategic planning tools and techniques in both developed and emerging markets is provided. The empirical research was conducted via a questionnaire survey of Jordanian hotels in two cities; namely, Petra and Aqaba. Findings: The main findings of this research are that the Jordanian hotels engage in the strategic planning process by using a number of techniques. The use of strategic planning tools and techniques relates more to the size of hotel and less to age and ownership type. There is a positive relationship between the use of strategic planning techniques and size of hotel. The managers of these hotels have generally positive attitudes towards the strategic planning process. The managers who believe in the benefits of strategic planning engage more in the practice of it. Research limitations/implications: The nature of this research is descriptive and the method used is a cross-sectional survey. Therefore, future research could be conducted on a small number of these hotels by using a more in-depth approach. Second, the sample was restricted to hotels in two cities in Jordan. Further research should include other regions in Jordan and should analyse the ownership types of hotels (such as independent versus chain) and its star rating. Originality/value: This paper provides empirical evidence about the use of the strategic planning tools and techniques by hotels in an emerging market context.