Tough love from business travelers

J.D. Power and Associates recently released its 2010 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study that is based on responses from more than 14,400 guests across Europe.  This article summarizes some of the key findings from the study related to business and leisure guests. 

In today’s column, I want to share some interesting data on business vs. leisure guests and loyalty and advocacy from J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. 

Business vs. leisure guests 

Consistent with other travel-related studies conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, business travelers are more critical of their experience than leisure travelers. Overall, satisfaction levels are relatively the same among business and leisure guests. Among the seven measures, the widest gap is in the guestroom measure (13 index points). 

The chart below summarizes satisfaction scores for guests who indicated they were staying for business, leisure or for both—a combination of business and leisure, which interestingly scores higher in some cases than if a guest were just staying for business or just for leisure.  

 

Perhaps those staying for both business and leisure appreciate the leisure part of their stay and the trip overall more because they can directly contrast their relaxation to the work portion of their trips.  

Oftentimes, contrast can lead to wider differences in satisfaction levels. For example, if you travel between two airports, one of which is big, spacious, well laid-out with great retail and food outlets, plenty of seating and electrical outlets and Wi-Fi and then later another one which has not been updated in decades, feels cramped, dark and crowded and lacks amenities, you might rate the nice airport even higher and rate the less nice airport even lower than if you had traveled between two similar-caliber airports instead.

 Frequent guests 

Guests who traveled 10 or more times during the past 12 months are only slightly more satisfied with their hotel experience, compared with infrequent travelers who traveled less than 10 times during the past 12 months. The largest gap is in the Reservation Index, which is 12 points higher among infrequent travelers. Reservation is followed by guestroom where frequent travelers are 11 index points more satisfied than are infrequent travelers.

Business guests tend to make up a good deal of the frequent traveler base, as you might expect, and that means while they tend to be tougher graders, they also tend to have higher loyalty and advocacy rates. Tough love indeed!

Stuart Greif is VP and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice for J.D. Power and Associates. Headquartered in Westlake Village, California, J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. 

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HotelNewsNow.com or its parent company, Smith Travel Research and its affiliated companies. Columnists published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

Frequent travelers also are slightly more likely to be loyal to and advocates of both the hotel property and brand. While frequent travelers are more profitable by bringing more repeat business, they also are more likely to provide positive recommendations. 

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About candlewoodste

Director of Sales for the Candlewood Suites located in Secaucus, NJ.
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