What do consumers look for when booking hotels?

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

What do consumers look for when booking hotels?

Related tags: Cent, Travel

Online reviews play an increasingly important role in driving hotel room bookings, so what factors can trigger different types of consumers to book?

According to a new study by reputation management firm TrustYou customer priorities vary depending on the reason for travel - and understanding this can allow hotels to target their marketing to drive bookings.

Family travellers are most likely to book hotels rated highly for comfort (19 per cent) and based on the reviews of the rooms (23 per cent), particularly when staying in a large city.

Guests travelling with friends rated a hotels food offering as most important, with 28 per cent booking a room based solely on positive meal reviews.

Those travelling for romantic vacations were most likely to book a hotel based on room reviews (36 per cent), a significantly higher percentage than any other group.

Business travellers tended to have differing needs, with Wifi (39 per cent), cleanliness (52 per cent), and comfort (36 per cent) all ranked as ‘extremely important’ to the group.

“The attributes that influence travelers to book a hotel are closely tied to the context in which the person is traveling,” said Margaret Ady, vice president of marketing at TrustYou.

“By understanding these triggers, hotels can focus efforts to improve, optimize marketing, and leverage review content to best cater to its audience and ultimately increase bookings.”

The report also found that 40 per cent of leisure travellers and 31 per cent of business travellers booked directly through a hotels’ website rather than via online travel agents (OTA’s).

Expedia was the most commonly used OTA, followed by Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline and Orbtiz.

“Hotels must understand what travellers want and need in a hotel when making their booking decisions,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, director of the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University, who co-released the research.

“Once a hotel becomes part of the traveller’s consideration set by delivering on the “must haves,” it can then focus on attributes that actually trigger a traveller to book.”

Related topics: Trends & Reports, Hotel

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