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Hotel guest satisfaction highest since 2006, J.D. Power survey finds

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Hotel guest satisfaction level highest since 2008, J.D. Power survey finds
Gen Y hotel guests are extra critical of how staff treats them

Satisfaction with hotels has climbed to the highest level since 2006, with fewer guests choosing a hotel primarily on price and more making a choice based on online reviews, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Guest satisfaction rose to 784 on a 1,000-point scale, up seven points from 2013 and up 27 points from 2012, according to an annual survey by J.D. Power.

Trouble connecting to the Internet was the most common headache facing guests, but dirty, messy rooms lowered satisfaction ratings the most, the study found.

The proportion of guests who selected their hotel primarily based on price fell from 19% in 2013 to 12% in 2014, while those who thoroughly researched their hotel choices online increased to 10% from 7% last year, the study said.

The annual survey of 67,000 recent hotel guests in Canada and the U.S. also concluded that Gen Y guests (those born between 1977 and 1996) are more critical, especially when reviewing a hotel for the first time.

Reviews by Gen Y guests are also more influenced by the treatment they get from hotel staff than are reviews by older guests, the survey found.

"Hoteliers have the opportunity to improve both satisfaction and loyalty rates by simply focusing on improving their staff interactions with Gen Y guests," said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at Westlake Village-based J.D. Power. 

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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