April 12 2012 by Bryson Forbes
One of the age old debates for people choosing a hotel has been whether service or price was more important and to what degree. The "luxury" hotels polarized those who were willing to shell out lots of money to get a premium service experience, while budget conscious travellers chose to forego extra amenities to save money.
Although there is still that divide, the Hotel Association of Canada's recent Travel Intentions Study confirms that most travellers now want the best of both worlds.
Travellers expect or at least place significant importance on a number of amenities and services but at the same time are not prepared to break the bank to get them.
Here are a few of the results that illustrate this:
The one non-negotiable standard for any hotel is friendly service. This is far and away the most important factor for both business travellers (87% indicating it is crucial) and leisure travellers (90%). Interestingly these have both taken big jumps in the last few years. Despite price and amenities, having friendly and pleasant staff is absolutely critical to develop loyalty with travellers.
75% of travellers expect to pay between $100 and $200 per night. In 2010, that number was only 54%! Both the number of people willing to pay more than $200 and those expecting to pay less than $100 has decreased dramatically. This illustrates that people are placing more importance on certain amenities and are willing to pay more to get them, however they are not willing to pay a premium price to get them.
Some of the most important amenities for business travelers are: free in room Wi-Fi (82%), free parking (66%) and a relevant loyalty program (60%). Leisure travellers are also looking for free parking (80%) but also want a soft, comfortable mattress (91%) and free breakfast (80%). The relative importance of all of these amenities continues to rise.
The debate seems a lot less polarizing as both business and leisure travellers want their cake and are ready to eat it too. All indications are that travellers are willing to pay a little bit more but with that comes expectations that certain amenities must be provided.
What amenities are most important to you? What things are must haves for you when checking in?