Innovation from hotel brands a driver of guest loyalty

Travelers are looking for more innovation from the hotel brands they choose. As hotels across the service spectrum, from economy to luxury, meet basic comfort needs, guests are looking for more. Hotel operators should pay attention: Many of these requests are becoming effective drivers of choice and loyalty.

Using the latest results from the Market Metrix Hospitality Index, new product and service ideas gathered from 30,000 guests in the Americas, Europe and Asia were placed into categories. The results revealed that in the Americas, the most frequent new product and service requests related to “Food.” In Europe and Asia, “Internet service” topped guests’ wish list. Requests relating to a property’s facilities ranked second in each region. Let’s look at the most popular new product and service requests globally.

FOOD

In the Americas, nearly one-in-four new product and service requests had something to do with food. These requests most often related to wanting more dining/meal options. Most of these comments came from upper-midscale and upscale guests and were slightly more common from females (males were twice as likely to request “More Entertainment in Room”). Upper-midscale and midscale guests also requested more food variety. Midscale guests wanted better food quality. Free breakfasts were a big topic, coming from all price points, although most were from upscale hotels’ guests.

FACILITIES

Guest suggestions for new products and services relating to “Facilities” represented 16 percent of all comments, with similar proportions in the Americas and Asia. Most were guests at luxury properties, although facility requests were popular across all industry segments. Guest requests were quite creative and practical. Overall, requests relating to a property’s facilities focused primarily on the fitness center/gym, pool and spa.

INTERNET

European and Asian hotel markets are increasingly offering free Internet while the opposite is occurring in the U.S. In Asia, issues relating to the Internet represented the biggest category at 29 percent.

Globally, requests relating to Internet were mainly about guests wanting free Internet/Wi-Fi, with the majority from those at luxury and upper-upscale hotels, where Internet is typically available for a fee. Guests at lower-priced hotels, where Wi-Fi is sometimes free, asked for faster/better connections. However, a whopping 17 percent of all Internet requests were from economy guests requesting that the hotel simply provide Internet/Wi-Fi service (no charge or for a fee).  

Dr. Jonathan Barsky is the co-founder and chief research officer for Market Metrix. Francis Chiu is a senior analyst at Market Metrix. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]

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