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white paper Deciding where to stay – what really goes on in our customers’ minds when choosing hotels

Oඞඍකඞඑඍඟ There seems no question in the minds of the hospitality opinionati that “today’s travelers are different from yesterday’s travelers.”

FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF CONSUMERS, THE HOTEL WORLD HAS NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITING, BUT IT HAS ALSO NEVER BEEN MORE CONFUSING. Exciting because hotel brands are being forced, by increased competition, to deliver more value – in the lower and medium rate categories if not in the higher end. (See Hotel Paradox 1). Bathrooms have become more innovative, with attention being paid to the ergonomics and comfort of such previously ignored items as shower curtains. Room design has become a feature, with focus varying from form following function to form following form (see hotel paradox 2). The rooms themselves are better designed; amenities creep has resulted in more options available and service levels have improved markedly (including the introduction of automated check-in machines, non-stop checkout and interactive in-room video services). The hotel world is also more confusing because the marketplace is more than a little inconsistent: the proliferation of brands and sub brands makes it all but impossible to know what any of them stand for; and promotion and pricing systems have become so complex as to render even the most hardened traveler into a burbling idiot.

416.967.3337 www.proteanstrategies.com  © 2014 

Our consultancy undertook a proprie-

tary study of business travelers and combined it with learning from studies we have conducted recently on behalf of hospitality clients, the result is a consumers’ eye view of the hotel market. We have also developed a model, based on these consumer perceptions, of how to approach the marketplace to make it more navigable and understandable for post post millennial travelers.

The consumer eye view

There seems no question in the minds of the hospitality opinionati that “today’s travelers are different from yesterday’s travelers.” This may be true, but it is largely unprovable because very little understanding of the hotel guest was ever undertaken. That which was, tended to be behavioral or demographic, and never really tried to figure out the underlying wants and needs and motivations. It is therefore not surprising that “today’s travelers” appear to have different wants and needs, given that historically the approach has been that “hotel guests want and need what we give them.” Our personal theory is that travelers have always wanted the same things, and it is due to the fact that “today’s” travel-

Paradox of Hotel Choices  

From the point of view of consumers, the hotel world has never been more exciting, but it has also never been more confusing. This white pap...

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