We recently finished a study that looked at the reasons why people all around the world select a particular hotel or casino. The results offer insight into current guest behavior, and suggest ways to appeal to them. In this and subsequent posts we’ll pull out some of the highlights.
The study was based on results from the Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI), and includes data from 40,000 American, European, and Asian travelers during 2012. We focused on several questions that ask guests why they selected a particular hotel or casino on their most recent trip (visit MMHI product page for more detail on methodology).
Location still reigns as the primary factor that determines hotel choice. Location generally matters more to leisure guests. Location also tends to be more important to older travelers (over 50 years old), with a high income (USD $100,001 – 150,000), who prefer staying in an upper midscale or upscale hotel.
“Price” and “Past Experience” are the next most important factors in hotel selection. Interestingly, the importance of “Past Experience” has climbed over the past few years while emphasis given to “Location” and “Price” has remained constant. Perhaps guests have become more demanding with the diversity of hotel choices available, especially at the higher end of the market.
Globally, “Past Experience” (11.9%) plays a much bigger role in hotel selection than the influence of a friend’s recommendation (6.8%), the brand’s reputation (5.5%), the role of promotions (5.0%), the power of loyalty programs (3.8%), and the impact that online reviews have on hotel selection (2.9%).
For casinos, location plays a lesser role and the customer experience is even more important. In fact, as shown in Figure 2, “Past experience” and other elements that are part of the customer experience (Casino ambiance, Feelings of excitement, entertainment, etc.), if considered together, have the biggest overall impact on casino selection.
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