Survey: Travelers want contactless hotel experiences

This is the technology guests want the most
With guests worried about safety, an increasing number of guests are turning to apps for a contactless experience. Photo credit: Criton

Two surveys of more than 7,000 travelers measured their preferences before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research commissioned by technology provider Criton found that when traveling again, 80 percent of hotel guests would download a hotel app that would enable them to check in, check out and get all information about the hotel—a 10 percent increase compared to March of this year. Only 8 percent of guests now would feel comfortable checking in and out at a public kiosk.

The findings emphasize that mobile phones are increasingly an essential tool for delivering a safe experience. Compared to March this year, 73 percent more guests would download and use an app that enables them to open the door of their room.

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Research findings also highlight the need for hoteliers to adopt contactless solutions to boost revenue as almost half of the respondents, 47 percent, said they would be more likely to order in-room service or to go to the hotel restaurant if they could use a mobile app to place their order. 

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The importance for hotels to communicate their new guest safety protocols is confirmed by the fact that 75 percent of respondents said that the hotel should have clearly defined cleaning standards to fight against COVID-19; with 67 percent of travelers saying that they would only consider staying in a hotel where the staff disinfected everything that people might touch in the guestroom.

“Undoubtedly due to COVID-19 there has been a significant change in how guests are looking to interact with the hotel, however in reality the demand for digital was there before the global pandemic,” said Julie Grieve, founder and CEO of Criton. 

An online survey ran between February and March and received 5,405 responses. As the landscape of the hospitality industry changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Criton ran another online survey between July and August that received 2,549 responses.

Key Findings

Accommodation preferences

  • 43 percent of respondents said they stay in a 3-star hotel.
  • 40 percent of respondents said they stay in a 4- or 5-star hotel.

Technology preferences for check-in/out

  • 62 percent of respondents said they would prefer to check in and out through a hotel app.
  • 30 percent said they would prefer to check in and out through a webpage.
  • 8 percent said they would prefer to check in and out at a public kiosk.

Contactless technology preferences

  • 80 percent of respondents said they would download a hotel app that would allow them to check in, check out and get all information about the hotel.
  • 73 percent would download and use an app that would enable them to open the door of their room.
  • 47 percent would be more likely to order room service if the hotel would give them the option of ordering via an app.
  • 48 percent would be more likely to go to the hotel restaurant if the hotel would give them the option of ordering food via an app.

Safety measures when staying in a hotel

  • 75 percent of respondents said that the hotel should have clearly defined cleaning standards to combat COVID-19.
  • 67 percent said that in order to consider staying in a hotel, the hotel staff should disinfect everything that people might touch in a hotel room. 
  • 42 percent of respondents said they would expect the hotel to replace complimentary toiletries, whether used or not, between guests.
  • 53 percent of respondents would still prefer to eat in the hotel restaurant, followed by 18 percent who would use roomservice.

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