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We asked ourselves the following question: what are travelers’ criteria for choosing a hotel?
How important is e-reputation for hotels? What is the impact of their presence in a guide, of their ecological commitment? And what do travelers think of fluctuating hotel rates?
Today, the Internet is the main source of information for travelers looking for hotels: 86% of leisure travelers, 45% for corporate clients.
Based on their research and feedback from our clients, we have listed 7 key selection criteria for your potential clients when choosing a hotel to stay in.
1st criteria for selecting a hotel: location
The first criterion for selecting a hotel, for all types of clientele, is its geographical location.
While leisure travelers are quite willing, at least in certain situations, to be accommodated up to a few kilometers from their final destination, business travelers prefer their hotel to be located near their meeting place, on a convenient route, or in the city center where they can easily find restaurants or various activities in the evening.
2nd criteria for selecting a hotel: price
The second criterion for selecting a hotel is price. If we go back to the figures from 2017, 58% of customers put this criterion first, compared to 74% today, which means that the feeling about price has increased significantly.
But be careful, this does not necessarily mean that customers are looking for the cheapest, but rather for an offer that corresponds to the budget they have set.
For similar services, they choose the hotel with the lowest rates.
Recently, customers have also become accustomed to yield management (which makes prices fluctuate according to supply and demand on a daily basis). Nowadays, just like when you go on sale and wait for the price of a product to drop without missing it (before it is sold out), customers cancel and rebook if they see that the rate has dropped.
That said, many people do not understand and do not agree with the big differences in rates from one period to another, for example when rates go from one to four times during certain high demand periods.
3rd criteria for selecting a hotel: online reviews
In 2017, 35% of customers consulted the e-reputation of the establishments they had pre-selected. Now, this prerequisite is clearly on the rise as it has increased to 46%. In more detail, it is the 26 – 50 year olds who consult online reviews the most, with Booking.com being the most questioned site, followed by TripAdvisor and then by Google.
This means that if your hotel fulfills all the criteria a web user would choose (location, rates, services, etc.), the quality of your e-reputation can really make the difference between you and other establishments offering similar services.
Therefore, keep a close eye on your e-reputation (and those of your major competitors) by monitoring customer satisfaction while they are still with you. This will allow you to defuse situations that could attract bad reviews. Don’t forget to encourage satisfied customers to leave you positive comments and ratings!
Also, respond to online reviews in a thoughtful way: it is one of the first points of contact with potential customers who would read reviews about your establishment.
In fact, 72% of respondents have a good image of the hotel when the hotelier responds to online reviews, as it shows the hotelier’s interest in their guests. The responses are read by 8 out of 10 people.
4th criterion for selecting a hotel: the stars
While in 2009, 64% of customers considered the stars first, now only 16% do. The rate has replaced the stars as a way to get an idea of a hotel’s level of quality.
Hotel services are closely linked to the number of stars, and we invite you to read our study on the most requested services in the hotel industry.
5th criterion for selecting a hotel: chains
When analyzing the latest figures, we see that hotel chains are no longer a major selection criterion for travelers. In fact, only 13% of them now take them into account, compared to 22% in 2017. That said, obviously since the advent of OTAs such as Booking, to name but the leader, customers have at their disposal platforms offering a much wider choice in terms of offers and various prices.
6th criteria for selecting a hotel: word of mouth
The recommendation of a hotel by a friend or family member represents 15% of hotel customers, which is not negligible. This is why it is so important to take care of your customers, to improve their experience in order to make their stay with you memorable (so that they talk about you!).
In the same dynamic, the presence in a tourist guide in which one trusts, like Michelin, Routard or other, counts for 10% of the customers of a hotel establishment (which appears there).
7th criterion for selecting a hotel: ecological commitment
Ecological, environmental and quality labels currently account for only 4% of customer selection criteria. This is primarily due to the fact that most of them are not known to the general public, due to a lack of promotional resources and, for some, credibility.
However, this is a criterion that has just appeared, and that is bound to evolve.
So put forward and communicate your ecological commitment!
Apart from location, prices and online reviews are logically the most important criteria for selecting a hotel. While 86% of customers systematically check online reviews, 46% choose an establishment with a good e-reputation, 10 points more than in 2017 and 27 points more than in 2009.
Some less important criteria (presence in a guide, word of mouth, ecological commitment, etc.) should not be neglected: put together, they are always worth their weight in gold!
Thank you for reading !
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