Hoteliers without room for errors: Demand grows but also the expectations
A new Siteminder report reveals that after restrictions, tourist expectations are higher than ever
New SiteMinder research based on responses from 800 tourists reveals that expectations are higher than ever for 3 in 5 Americans and at least 1 in 2 UK travelers.
The research underscores the higher expectations among consumers with a pent-up demand for travel experiences, after a year of travel interruptions and restrictions. Compared to the pre-pandemic era, 78% of travelers in the US and 61% of travelers in the UK plan to travel the same number of times or more, which according to SiteMinder illustrates the need for that hoteliers remain optimistic but at the same time prepared to operate flawlessly to meet the standards now expected of them.
“While the last 18 months have been challenging for accommodation providers, our findings show that traveler demands over the next year will be relentless and hotel guests will not forgive average or poor standards,” states the Senior Director. SiteMinder Global Ecosystem Officer, James Obispo. "There will be consequences for hotels that are unprepared, including including loss of business, damage to their brand image and the dreaded negative criticism online, which is the last thing they need after the year they have endured".
On a positive note, SiteMinder notes that most travelers support the use of their personal data to improve their stay. 80.52% of Americans and 77.59% of British do not object to their preferences being used to enhance their experience.
Bishop states, "Importantly, hoteliers must consider the end-to-end experience of their guests, evaluating each touchpoint up to the point where guests leave the property."
Direct bookings keep rising, but trust remains a challenge
When it comes to booking preferences, SiteMinder research reveals the continued growth of direct bookings, a trend first discovered through SiteMinder's recent study of the main generators of hotel income. Consistently in the US and UK, direct bookings via a hotel website, phone and email remain the most popular booking methods, with a notable increase year-on-year.
Despite this, only 31% of US travelers and 15% of UK travelers indicated that they trust "a lot" while paying for their stay.
“For today's hoteliers, there is a growing need to deliver a seamless online experience and to think about their brand presence holistically. It is not enough to have an attractive hotel website if the reservation and payment process does not create security” said Bishop.