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Guest ratings more important than brand loyalty

Guest ratings rank higher than brands when it comes to consumers picking what hotel they'd like to stay in.

The Expedia Group and Unabashed Research joint study has found that holidaymakers prefer to stay in the cheaper good quality hotels than necessarily go straight for a household name.

And guests are on the hunt for the best price, rather than a chain hotel, giving independent establishments a chance to compete.

Abhijit Pal, head of research of Expedia Group, said: "While consumers want the best deal on travel bookings, their individual selections ultimately reflect their values. The consumer searching for a budget accommodation will look for the best value within their constraints, while someone with more disposable income may prefer a luxury option and be willing to pay more per night, but not more than they have to ... Peer, or guest, ratings have essentially levelled the playing field for independent hotels, as more potential guests seek out third-party endorsements for hotel properties they are considering. Independent hotels today can compete on a global scale with brands because distribution and technology enable them to compete, and quality is within their control."

A further study by Cornell University found that a hotel's service, the facilities they offer and the quality of their room all ranked highly.

They wrote in their report: "The key drivers in customer satisfaction remain service and room. Hoteliers should, therefore, focus on the operational areas that speak volumes about service and room, such as appropriately friendly service throughout the property, as well as the quality of beds and ensuring a good night's sleep for the guest. The traditional lodging service that delivers a good night's sleep in a clean, well-functioning room, together with the availability of an excellent breakfast, remains central to customer satisfaction."

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