ABOUT 78 PERCENT of global travelers place high quality service above all else when booking a hotel, according to a global survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts’ voco hotels. Cleanliness and other basic needs also rank highly, but the way hotel staff approach guests during their stay is very important, and travelers want to feel comfortable, both physically and in themselves.
“Just like travel has changed, consumers expectations have too,” said Will Yell, VP luxury and upscale conversion and affiliate brands at IHG. “With nearly half of travelers stating they want to be valued as an individual, a one-size-fits-all approach to hotel service no longer resonates with travelers.”
Travelers also are ready to reconnect post-pandemic, with six out of 10 craving connection, interaction and/or conversation more during their travels, compared to pre-pandemic, the survey said. That leads them to want more connection with hotel staff.
“As many as 65 percent of travelers think hotel staff should act in a friendly manner towards guests and half said they want to be able to talk to staff and vice versa in a friendly, conversational manner, rather than overly formal or personal. Nearly half (48 percent) of travelers agree that a friendly, approachable, and personalized experience is more important than ever following the pandemic,” the survey said.
“One in three (33 percent) wish more hotels offered late night comfort food, 29 percent wish for enhanced bathroom amenities for more me time, and another 29 percent would like in-room afternoon tea or happy hour delivered directly to their room. Additionally, roughly a quarter (26 percent) would enjoy a personalized welcome package or the option to have breakfast in bed.”
According to the survey, travelers in the U.S. wished they could request their favorite cocktail or dessert in advance so hosts can offer it without guests asking.
Recently, IHG said that it is seeing encouraging signs of recovery in business and international travel.