Without personalizing experiences for guests, it has become a challenge for hoteliers to capture the loyalty of the fast-moving, technology-savvy traveler. In addition, as we have seen, price is no longer the most important factor in selecting a hotel.
However, thanks to a world of data that is available at any hotelier’s fingertips, there are highly effective ways of personalizing services to the point where front desk staff can provide a guest with tickets to a favorite local band, book the latest trendy restaurant for a business dinner, or even coordinate a private safari adventure for a guest’s birthday – all based on real-time guest data.
Driving this point home, InterContinental Hotels Group, recently announced the results of a survey that polled 7,000 travelers. The report found that in order to obtain guest loyalty going forward, hotel brands must go 3D, which means being globalized, localized and personalized.
“This report marks a step-change in the thinking that has dominated the travel and hospitality industry over the last two decades. Hotel brands have traditionally concentrated on being 2D – how to be both global and local,” Richard Solomons, IHG’s chief executive in a recent statement. “But our research shows that the rise of personalization means brands must be 3D in order to build both trust and lasting relationships with guests and to win in a highly competitive global market.”
Other survey findings include:
- 68% of travelers from Brazil, 60 from the UAE and 58 percent from China disagree with the statement that “a global brand can never be a good fit with local culture.”
- 59% of all travelers said personalization makes their hotel stays more comfortable.
- 54% said increased comfort makes them feel more recognized by the brand.
- 62% of millennials said that being able to access such personal content as films or music would prompt them to return to a hotel compared to 55% of travelers of all ages.
- 72% of travelers older than 65 would return to a hotel that featured healthy food and beverage choices versus 61% of millennials.
- 64% of Chinese and 62% of Brazilians “expect a hotel to tailor the experience they have to their personal needs,” compared to 43% of U.S. and 42% of U.K. travelers.
With this knowledge in-hand and using the latest innovations, hoteliers currently have a major opportunity to go 3D and provide the right solutions for increasing guest loyalty and overall revenues. From booking to checkout and beyond, tools exist today that anticipate guests’ needs before they even arrive.
No longer are guests choosing a hotel on price alone. By meeting guests’ needs before they even know what they want, hoteliers will successfully capture the brand loyalty of today’s business and leisure traveler.