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Hotel Customer Satisfaction

In any walk of life, a positive guest experience can go a long way towards creating loyal customers and brand advocates. However, the need for positive experiences is amplified in the hospitality industry. When asked about the forms of information used to plan a holiday, 69% of respondents in our Consumer Travel Insights Report used online review sites, and 51% relied on personal recommendations.

As seen in the image below, hotels were the main accommodation choice for the 2,228 travelers surveyed and, therefore, their sentiments and opinions can help us understand the factors that may influence hotel customer satisfaction.

Main accommodation choices in 2018

Too much tech?

As technology becomes more integrated and important to the hospitality industry, we asked travelers directly for their views on the use of technology in hotel rooms and how it affects their experience. Does it form part of their ideal hotel room?

Hotel Customer sentiment towards technology

Not exactly! Guests demonstrated an affinity with technology, but overly sophisticated in-room options and an abundance of entertainment probably go beyond the need and preference of the average traveler. Instead, it’s clever tech enabling them to control their environment and, of course, free Wi-Fi that enthuse them the most.

While plenty indicated a positive influence of technology on their satisfaction, technology was a much less important driver in the decision to choose accommodation than location and price/value for money.

Key drivers in selecting holiday accommodation

The Wi-Fi factor coupled with consumer rejection of the idea that hotel rooms should facilitate a digital detox show that general connectivity is perceived more important than overly sophisticated technology within hotel bedrooms.

Stay on budget

The importance of value for money in customer satisfaction is underlined as a high proportion (71%) stated that their travel spend on their last international trip came in on or under budget. So, it would appear that if hoteliers can exceed expectations while also offering room rates that fall within consumer budgets, they could go a long way to creating satisfied customers. This is something the CTI reports highlight as a realistic opportunity—given the low proportion of respondents that described their experience as worse than expected.

Accommodation experience vs expectations for travellers

Again, strengthening the need for brands to ensure they offer affordability to their customers, travelers cited value for money as their top influence when choosing a destination, while the quality of accommodation was the fourth most important factor.

Top factors in choosing a holiday destination

Much needed R&R

Another possible string to the bow of hotel accommodation is that, when ranking out of 5, respondents rated rest and relaxation at 3.88 in terms of importance when planning a holiday. A change is often as good as a rest, but hotels are often positioned as offering both—removing the stresses of everyday life and offering the chance to truly recharge batteries in new surroundings.

This was particularly evident in millennial travelers, who ranked a chance to unwind at 3.95 out of 5. Against the overall trend, millennials ranked rest and relaxation higher than ease of travel, suggesting they are willing to take on more difficult journeys to bring their dream relaxation holidays to life.

Most important factors for planning a holiday

This can be summed up by the fact that 36% of all travelers were motivated by the chance to relax and unwind on their travels. However, 43% stated that they always or often travel at quieter times of the year to avoid other tourists, so overcrowding should be an important consideration for hotel management as well.

Perceptions are also likely to be an ongoing challenge for hotels. As shown below, there was mild agreement among respondents from STR’s Traveler Panel that Airbnb offers a more authentic experience than hotels. However, on the other hand, there was a slight favouring towards the idea that hotels offer a more reliable accommodation option than Airbnb in terms of safety and cleanliness.

Traveler perceptions of Airbnb versus hotel

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