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Hotels Maintain Service and Reduce Expenses Without Impacting the Guest Experience

November 12, 2008

Despite economic pressures to reduce staff and services, hotel customer satisfaction for the third quarter remained flat (-0.1), maintaining near record levels for the industry according to the most recent results of the Market Metrix Hospitality Index(TM) (MMHI). Contrary to severe budget cuts and steep declines in satisfaction following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, hotel satisfaction has been nearly immune from the current financial crisis. Hotels have been able to maintain service and reduce expenses without impacting the guest experience.

Comparing Performance Across the Hospitality Industry

In the third quarter, economy, timeshare and casino segments showed the most improvement. Economy brands showing the biggest gains include Budget Host (+4.2), America’s Best Inns & Suites (+1.5), and Jameson Inns (+1.4). Timeshare brands continue to get rave customer reviews and have outscored all other hotel segments, including luxury hotels, since the first quarter of 2007. Disney Vacation Club extends its dominance in the segment with Marriott Vacation Club showing the most improvement (+1). Casinos were up slightly (+.2 to 83.1) with Borgata taking top honors and showing the most improvement (+2.5 to 88.9).

Car Rental satisfaction scores increased to their highest levels in two years (+1.3 to 81.0). Advantage (82.3) was the winning car rental brand, finishing just ahead of the perennial leader Enterprise (82.1). In 2007 Advantage ranked only 7th among all car rental brands with a score of 79.1.

Satisfaction among airlines also improved (+0.7 to 74.5). However, these scores are still at historically low levels for the industry. Airlines continue to struggle with customer satisfaction and have made matters worse with the expanding suite of fees charged for services such as in-flight meals and baggage. Midwest Airlines (85.6) was the high scoring airline, outpacing JetBlue (83.7) for the third consecutive quarter.

Top Scoring Hotel Brand

The top hotel score went to Sandals Resorts, a collection of twelve “all-inclusive” resorts in the Caribbean. Sandals guests rave about the service, “Wow, we had a butler… what a treat! A great idea!” and are enthralled by the facilities, “I loved the European decor mixed with tropical landscaping… nothing short of amazing!” According to Mr. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts, “We work very hard to ensure that our guests are experiencing a top luxury product and are humbled and flattered that our ongoing efforts to modernize and improve have been recognized.”

 Market Metrix Hospitality Index 2008 3rd Quarter YTD Winners WINNER                                          SEGMENT Hotels Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts         92.8       Luxury Riu Hotels                           91.0       Upper Upscale Sandals                              93.1       Upscale Red Lion Hotels                      82.6       Midscale w/ F&B Drury Inns                           91.7       Midscale w/o F&B Jameson Inns                         87.0       Economy Casinos Wynn Las Vegas                       92.1       Upscale casino Borgata                              88.9       Casino Web Sites Walt Disney World Resorts            88.3       Hotel Brand Web Site Hotwire.com                          79.4       Hotel Travel Web Site Airline Midwest Airlines                     85.6       Airline Car Rental Advantage                            82.3       Car Rental Timeshare Disney Vacation Club                 90.6       Timeshare Accommodations 

About MMHI

Based on 35,000 customer interviews conducted each quarter, the Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI) is the largest and most in-depth measure of hospitality company performance available today. These benchmarks, delivered through our flagship product Customer Metrix(TM), enable Market Metrix clients to compare their results to competitors by STAR segment, AAA classification, Brand, SMSA, industry averages, performers in the top 10% and other classifications. The MMHI is also available by subscription.

About Market Metrix

Market Metrix helps hospitality companies around the world foster loyal customers and engaged employees. Based on award-winning research and breakthrough concepts, our SaaS-based products deliver instant survey results, analysis and management tools for increasing revenue and reducing staff turnover. Our benchmarking database, MMHI, is the most comprehensive, independent comparison of consumer brand satisfaction in the industry. Our annual MMHI Awards are coveted by lodging and travel enterprises around the world. With clients that include more than 120 brands across 70 countries, Market Metrix has been helping leading hospitality companies turn feedback into performance since 1996. For more information, visit www.marketmetrix.com.

 Contact: Mike Pharis 1-800-239-7515  

SOURCE: Market Metrix




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