Since this subject is part of a restricted and copyrighted blog site, I cannot link to it here. You'll have to trust me!
But a 2011 survey of a small group (under 100) of younger, frequent travelers showed that the majority picked a hotel brand not on the basis of familiarity or brand or loyalty programs, but on price and location.
One on one interviews were conducted to go in depth on the subject.
One forced choice question set asked these young respondents to rank the reason for a hotel choice, and here are the rankings. The numbers are the average of picked ranked from one to ten.
Perhaps this is the new wave?
If this is the new wave, it explains a lot why the Hotels are putting almost all their eggs attracting the younger "future" frequent stays. I think this is what we're seeing and why we're having to lament over the degradation of loyalty program benefits. The huge push to social media just reenforces that direction that the hotels are taking to stay in the race. Soon we'll be talking more and more about what "used to be" (oops, we might be there already ). I guess we can only hope that market and competition pressure from other hotel chains, keep our benefits and points at a level we still enjoy and benefit from.
Yes, hopefully maybe too soon to tell, but I'm leaning tryt's way, us old line loyalist diehards may well be going the way of Hot Shoppes and Farrells. It's how I feel when I watch the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and know only half of the presenters and even fewer of the winners.
That's why I was so excited to discover this site, it greatly improves my chances of getting the most out of my points and wonderfully enhances the travel experiences to both old and new locales. Thanks for all the efforts, it's sincerely appreciated. And don't ever forget, the older we get the better we were.
Good points. LOL on "the older we get, the better we were"! I agree that this site has helped almost every one of us find better ways to travel and make the most our of the rewards we do still have. I will try to hang around here, as long as there are benefits, and such great people to learn from, and share travel tips and stories with!!
I don't now if it is a "new Wave" or not. the only way to quantify change is to know past numbers to compare. i.e., what did the same age group vote as important 40 years ago? I believe that, in theory, I would agree with them. 'Points" are like coupons, you have to acquire a taste for them and young people haven't gotten there yet. Rest assured, they will become point junkies like the rest of us once they have drank the koolaid. We all know internet is where the young reside these days and it makes sense that it would be important to them. Also, young folks don't drink coffee. If they do, they go to starbucks....
Based on what I have observed with younger travelers in my office, I would have to agree with the survey's results. Price and location are paramount. They are very savvy when it comes to locating the best price and will many times use such sites as Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire or even Priceline. I believe in brand loyalty and as long as the brand is loyal to me and provides consistently great service. I don't like to throw away money either, but I don't mind paying a FEW extra dollars knowing that I will be rewarded for my loyalty.
I think this is also reflected in Marriott's newest move to join with other hotels to allow users to book through their sites without using the discount chains like Expedia and all the others. They realize that the newer generation is doing all this at high speeds via the internet. The hotels too, have to keep evolving to keep up with new advances in bookings by younger generations. The new game is to keep up, ob go the way of Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores. They got comfortable renting out their videos in the store, and I see a lot of closed stores that were once booming. The ones who embraced the online aspect are the ones who survived or thrived.
The points you made are well done. I think there is a demand elasticity at work here in that a demand can actually drop when a certain price is exceeded. Hotels get this and have consultant who they hire to adjust prices based on actual, perceived, estimated or other metrics of demand. We are willing to pay the tariff at a higher rate, but there is a line which we cross with trepidation, and then we do not cross it anymore. I agree that the demand curve is subjective, in that we can adjust our price barrier as we need to or if someone else is paying for us to stay. But loyalty must be a two way thing, yes, and that is a problem with continuing loyalty programs--we remain loyal but the other side seems to be shrinking in their loyalty.
As a young member myself, I would like to throw my opinion in on this topic. I must agree, that if my company was not paying for my extended hotel stay, that price and location would be my top 2 highest priorities, as I am a recent college graduate and I want to stay as close to wherever I am traveling to for the convenience. We are a generation addicted to social media, and because of this we have learned about all the tricks to finding the cheapest anything (whethere it be goods or services). We also want everything faster and every possible benefit that is available. Research has been done that actually says that because of the way we were raised (coddled????), that we have a sense of entitlement. It may be that my generation doesn't find the rewards program necessary, because we feel "entitled" to the same low price as a platinum member, while also being treated in a similarly generous manner.
Thanks for focusing on the issue so well. I can't recall being young and have no clue about the power of social media--for that my kids are on call. But the world is changing, let's hope Marriott changes too, for the better, and not just for a specific age group, but all of us.
Hey all - here is the link to the article referencing the survey SSSSS mentioned http://www.hotelsmag.com/Membership/logon.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fMembersOnly%2fblog%2fBlogDetail.aspx%3ftopicID%3d12633%26BlogID%3d733&topicID=12633&BlogID=733 Nothing new here - any publicly traded brand needs to be mindful of current and future customers. The focus of the the author's query was more around how they make their choices and reservations - either mandated by their employer or on their own - and to what extent the Online Travel Agencies play a part in their actions. The results are not conclusive, in fact, the author offers this: Note to reader: With a survey size of only 100, these results require verification through larger-scale research programs, and as such, should be considered directional, rather than statistically significant. Nevertheless, the results require careful examination.
Relative to using social media channels - of our followers on Facebook, the largest demographic is 45+.
Brand affiliation is also an area often studied in terms of Gen Y and there are tomes of data that could sway you either way...all social sciences are great guesses. I read them with glee and form my own conclusion from both business and personal experience.
Enjoy your day! MichelleL
Personally, I wouldn't even qualify it as a survey -- it's entirely too small to draw any conclusions (as he states) and he hasn't even bothered to cite the source. It's an interesting blog post - and I knew about it when it came out because it's one of the sites I get push media from. He is a little dramatic in terms of claiming there is a 'significant weakness' - but I guess that's what sells papers (as we say in the East...)
I would say that any survey using one on one extended interviews is valid as far as the universe that it covers--if only one hundred. This is the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center methodology and it is proven to be as good as you can get. In my survey research past life, the hardest thing to do was to write questions that allowed me to understand the answer. Muddy questions beget bad, unrecognizable answers.
Where I have problems is it he had made this a generalized, across the board thing--which hopefully he will not do. But it points to a trend that is occurring, just like thumb overuse and i-everything-itis prevalent in America's traveling public.
|(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)|
A recently completed survey (summer 2011) of hotel purchase behavior
About the survey
When I started my business career, travel arrangements were regimented. All
The world has changed in the past 30 years. Many companies have disbanded
To my knowledge, not much research has been done, or perhaps published, on
One hundred (useable) one-on-one interviews were conducting in the summer of
Note to reader: With a survey size of only 100, these results require
Survey questions and results
How would you best describe your business travel experiences (pick one
Does your employer have written policies that govern travel by air and
*Cross-border Canada-U.S. considered international travel)
For these trips, who makes the majority of your business travel
For those who make travel arrangements themselves, what is the primary
criteria you use for selecting your hotel accommodation? (rated on a scale of
zero to 10, where zero is not at all important and 10 is most
Have you ever heard of (aided “yes” responses):
Do you belong to at least one hotel frequent guest/loyalty
While this is only a small-scale snapshot, and is by no means statistically
Despite the economy, there is still some very strong enthusiasm for travel.
Hotel brands were not really part of their accommodation selection criteria,
This survey demonstrates a further impact of the OTAs: the decline of brand
Very interesting. Funny that 54% thought Expedia was a brand of hotel. To me, it almost seems that a lot of the newer travelers haven't really seen the benefits of hotel loyalty programs yet, and aren't even very educated in the differences between the brands, and why they'd want to stay at a brand (other than price and location). As they get more and more educated, they will find out that they are leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the loyalty programs, unless they all end up going away (the loyalty programs, that is).
This is quite an intersting statistic, as I often place a lot of emphasis on hotel membership. But getting the free internet, etc. as a Plat, I guess my interest may be somewhat skewed. Many individuals who do not travel a lot I am sure place more of an emphasis on price. Quite interesting SS.