Travelers want more flexibility and fewer amenities
A new study of a representative sample of US travelers reveals that they prefer limited interaction with hotel staff
The findings also indicate that frequent flyers, business travelers and younger generations are leading the way in self-directed experiences enabled by tech-enabled accommodations, as well as the diminishing need for traditional accommodation services.
"This data supports what we've seen from Kasa guests over the past few years: flexibility comes first," said Roman Pedan, CEO of Kasa. "Especially in a remote and hybrid world, travelers are taking control of how and where they work and play, and the industry must adapt to meet those needs."
Travelers prefer flexible locations and fewer routine processes.
For today's travelers, the best accommodations can meet a variety of needs, from families on vacation to professionals working remotely.
98% of respondents agreed with the above sentiment, while 57% expressed strong agreement.
In-person check-in is taking its toll, leading younger travelers to devalue the process.
73% recalled unfavorable experiences with in-person check-in, including processes that were too long (44%), incorrect information (32%), and staff who were unfriendly (31%) or completely absent (22%).
47% of Millennials rated front desk check-in and room service as a low priority, compared to 34% of Gen Xers and 22% of Baby Boomers.
Guests gravitate toward tech-forward travel experiences
Travelers of all ages appreciate the convenience and flexibility of virtual travel planning, with younger travelers showing particular interest.
97% of respondents preferred to handle at least part of their trip planning through an app or website.
Gen Z and Millennials are ~2x more likely to prefer virtual check-in via an app or website than Gen X or Boomers.
Major Travelers Go Digital
99% of travelers planning more than 5 trips in the next 12 months said they would prefer to replace in-person interactions with digital experiences.
A self-driven experience trumps in-person interactions with staff, especially for younger guests.
Most respondents said they preferred a flexible, hands-off approach to customer service over one that requires in-person interaction, including 62% of Gen Z and Millennials.
Traditional amenities go unused as hotels fail to meet basic needs
Travelers are outgrowing conventional offerings like room service, front-desk staff and bellhops, along with building amenities like pools and gyms.
61% of upcoming business or "bleisure" travelers said these services have limited appeal, and 34% of overall travelers agreed.
While unwanted extras are ignored by guests, basic concerns like privacy and quiet are left unaddressed.
56% of respondents reported using only some of the available services, including 17% who typically use only some or none.
Of the 81% of travelers who encountered unwelcome guests at their hotel, 70% took action. But younger guests were reluctant to complain: Only 47% of Gen Z and 59% of Millennials took action, compared to 70% of Baby Boomers.