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Internet and Hotels

Hotel Guests Are Happier Now, But There Are Many More Opportunities to Delight Them

Over the past several years, hoteliers have made tremendous strides in meeting the needs of guests. Previous issues that proved to be bothersome, such as booking reservations, check-in/check-out and other fees, no longer cause friction for travelers.

According to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, guests are now more satisfied than they’ve been in seven years with their home-away-from-home experiences at the nation’s hotels.  In addition, since 2012, this happiness ratio has jumped 20 points, even with guests not minding that that are now being charged 5 percent more for their rooms and services.

The study also found that the happiest travelers are those who examined online hotel reviews and articles about their chosen hotels prior to booking.

However, it wasn’t all good news. One area where guests are still dissatisfied is Internet usage and availability.  Slow Internet speeds; lack of availability and spotty connectivity caused the most dissatisfaction for guests.  In addition, being charged for Internet usage, especially when it is free in so many public places, turned off many guests.

We would like to congratulate the top hotels from this study, which include:

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (for a fourth consecutive year)
  • Upper upscale: Kimpton Hotels
  • Upscale: Hyatt Place
  • Midscale full service: Holiday Inn (for a third consecutive year)
  • Midscale: Drury Hotels (for an eighth consecutive year)
  • Economy/budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
  • Upper extended stay: Homewood Suites
  • Extended stay: TownePlace Suites

While this news is certainly encouraging for the hospitality industry, we believe that it is a sign that more can be done when it comes to innovations.  From enhanced usage of mobile solutions to next-generation concierge services, it is possible to make guest even happier with technology.

Just as technologies evolve at a rapid pace, so too can hoteliers when it comes to being on the cutting-edge of delivering services that completely reduce all friction for guests and builds long-term brand loyalty – which is often hard to establish and maintain in the travel industry.

Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit Brings Out Brightest Stars in Hospitality

Without a doubt, the Washington DC area has become the cornerstone for the hospitality industry — with Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels, as well as many lodging investment players, calling our region home.

So, it was no surprise that the folks at Bisnow Media were able to pull off a spectacular national event that drew together the “who’s who” of the hospitality sector at its Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit (BLIS) on May 9-10 at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson’s Corner.

We had the unique pleasure of attending BLIS, which brought together 500 industry players to hear 32 speakers discuss the future of the hospitality industry. Some of the highlights included Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s new CEO, providing his vision for doubling the hospitality provider’s overseas portfolio, as well as political pundit Tucker Carlson’s enlightening and entertaining speech on the state of politics and what to expect from the upcoming Presidential election.

The event also showcased some of the challenges that the industry faces, such as what will happen to RevPAR as consumer confidence continues to decline, as well as managing growth in a global economy that is still in a state of turmoil.

At NetLink, we have always believed that the best way to enhance growth, in even the most challenging of economic climates, is to ensure that all IT investments support business growth. For example, be sure to check out this case study about how Marriott International developed its online gift card effort, which resulted in $35 million in additional revenue.

As the lodging sector continues to move forward, it is exciting to see that the industry is coming up with unique strategies for business growth. And, plenty of opportunities still abound for those selling solutions to hospitality providers.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group