Room for View: More Looks at Hotel Guest Experience

I am always looking at different studies about Guest Experience especially as it relates to hotels.  Our hotel market research and hotel mystery shopping analysis has taught us that measuring the guest experience is part science and part art form.

That is why when I saw The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Hotel Experience Index (HEI) study, it caught my eye.  The study contends the guest experience is broken down into four dimensions:

  • Benefit
  • Convenience
  • Incentive-Price or Price Incentives
  • Environment

Let’s talk today a bit about Incentive-Price or Price Incentives.

If you think that for most travelers, price is the number one factor when measuring the experience, you would not be entirely correct.  A recent Coyle Hospitality research article titled, “Price-What Attributes really make guests Feel Value,” noted that while the mention of price varied amongst the different segments (extended stay, economy, luxury, etc.), it was not mentioned very often at all when travelers spoke about their best experiences. In Luxury and Upscale hotels, price was only mentioned 1% and 4% of the time respectively.  People who stayed in the Economy segment mentioned price/value attributes 17% of the time; though attributes like guestroom cleanliness and helpful staff came in higher, even in a segment that strongly suggests price is a key driver.  This certainly implies that price/value is not a significant attribute when the guest takes stock in measuring the experience after the stay.  That is where I think the line in the sand gets drawn:  Price is certainly a prime driver in acquiring new business, but once the guest is in, the other factors like Benefit, Environment, and Convenience become the yardsticks that truly matter in rating the guest experience.

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