Truth from Research Tidy My Room or Tidy My Pocket
OVERVIEW RECENT PROTEAN STUDY OF HOW US BUSINESS AND LEISURE TRAVELERS RESPOND TO TRADING DAILY HOUSEKEEPING SERVICE FOR CASH OR LOYALTY AWARDS.
THE STUDY UNCOVERS SOME OF THE UNPLEASANT TRUTHS ABOUT THE PERCEIVED VALUE OF HOTEL SERVICES, AND IN THE BROADEST WAY SUGGESTS REEVALUATING THE WAY HOUSEKEEPING IS DELIVERED.
ousekeeping, the sacred cow of hotel keeping, may not be as important as we always thought it was. In fact, it may be almost irrelevant to many guests. In a recent study, 79% of US travelers said they would probably or definitely exchange daily cleaning of their hotel room for 1,000 extra loyalty points. More than two out of three said they would probably or definitely rather have $10 off the price of the room than have their room cleaned every day. These are the findings of a study of US Travelers conducted in May, 2012. Protean Strategies, a hotel marketing and consulting firm, conducted the study to help clients decide whether to offer nocleaning options to guests. A number of chains and independent hotels have been offering guests this option, with mixed results.
Travelers are not as resistant to these offers as was thought. The important thing to remember is people don’t always do what they say, so hoteliers need to be careful in how they proceed. Nevertheless, the study confirms that this approach is definitely worth considering
20% Offered the Deal Of the 320 business and leisure travels surveyed, nearly one in five had been offered an alternative to daily room cleaning on arrival at their hotel (at least once in the past 12 months). In fact, business travelers were more likely to have been offered the alternative than leisure travelers (24% compared to 13%).
68% Said “Yes” And 68% of those offered an alternative, said “YES, Please, I really am not interested in having my room cleaned every day. Give me a few points, a small discount or a discount in the restaurant, and I’ll be happy as a clam.” Well, maybe they didn’t actually say that, but that’s what they did.
Why? Not because they prefer a clean room! Why? It’s not clear and consistent, but it’s interesting to take a look at the reasons people gave for not taking up the offer. Less than an aggregate of 1 in 5 people who refused the offer did so because they preferred having a clean room or they thought a clean room was important. Mostly they declined because they did not have the points program, did not eat or drink in the hotel or they were traveling on an expense account.
$5 > Clean Room The survey offers insights into the value travelers put on hotel services, in general: a $5 discount on the room rate is worth more than a clean room to (potentially) 42% of those surveyed, but the same $5 if applied to food and beverage would be worth more than a clean room to only 35%.
Offers such as these improve the way travelers think of the hotel or brand. But, not necessarily directly n the way the hotel might hope — it is more a question of value than saving the planet. But, given our understanding of how the guest-brain
50% Feel Better About the Hotel The motives behind the offer, from the hotel’s point of view, are not necessarily clear. But the offer, whether or not the respondent would take it, would make around 50% feel better about the hotel, while 41% would feel neither better nor worse. Offering this option is much more likely to impress travelers who generally stay at 3 Star or budget hotels than those who stay at luxury or 4 star properties.
60% See it as Delivering Better Value Over 60% of budget minded travelers agree that this approach is an indication that the hotel is interested in delivering the best value to guests – but those who stay in luxury hotels or boutique hotels disagree with this notion. Luxury hotel guests are unlikely to see this as a sign that the hotel is interested in helping the environment, but they are somewhat likely to credit the hotel with wanting to offer the best service.
20% See it as a Way to Help Save the Environment Generally, if these offers work, it is because the traveler sees value in the reward or discount. Only 20% suggest that saving the environment would have anything to do with their choice. On the negative side, around 11% see these offers as ways for the hotel to reduce costs at the travelers expense and as green washing.
works, keeping an environmental spin might be paramount
And 11% are Totally Sceptical of the Hotel’s Motive On the negative side, around 11% see these offers as ways for the hotel to reduce costs at the travelers expense and as green washing.
The way guests will re-
Three Insights into Who Can be Bought for How Many (Points)
spond to offers in lieu of daily housekeeping varies: the study shows
Higher end business travelers hold out for longer, before succumbing . Really, the only kind of traveler that sees the value of a clean room is the Boutique or Lifestyle Hotel aficionado
frequent travelers will react differently from occasional travelers; business guests respond differently from holi-
Not much difference in the low end (fewer points), but overall, high end travelers are somewhat less likely to take the trade.
dayers, and so on.
Leisure travelers can be bought for less than business travelers!
Custom Runs of this Protean Study are available Call us today to order a customized version of this study. The information can be viewed in terms of: Income Education Gender Travel Frequency Preferred Hotel Segment (Luxury, 4 Star, 3 Star, Economy and
Boutique/Life Style) Business versus Leisure Travel
diverse background of marketing, research and business consulting experience, culminating in his current focus on helping hospitality and retail brands by aligning business goals
cognitive customer experiences. Over a twenty five
Call or email us today for more information on our suite of Hospitality Consulting Services and custom studies Protean Hospitality Partnership 80 Cumberland Street, Suite 1503 Toronto M5R 3V1 Canada 416.967.3337 ext 101 Bernstein@proteanstrategies.com www.proteanstrategies.com
year career in advertising, marketing and consumer research, he has developed experiential strategies for major hotel, restaurant and travel brands, He is currently managing partner at Protean
founded in 1998. Laurence graduated from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and held successive management positions with Westin Hotels, before starting his career in communication and strategic marketing consulting. He has spoken at conferences and conducted seminars throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.