Study: 81% of Consumers Want Experience Recommendations From Hotels

NEW YORK—Alice has released new research that found a majority (81%) of consumers would like to receive local experience and hotel upgrade recommendations from their hotels.

The “Hotels’ Digital Divide” report, commissioned by Alice and conducted by third-party research firm YouGov, highlights the shifting expectations of modern hotel guests, as well as travelers’ technology preferences and the role that technology plays in providing more personalized travel experiences.

Revitalizing a Hotel’s Best Resource: The Concierge

In order to meet evolving guest expectations, hotels should equip their concierge with the most up-to-date information about nearby attractions and cultural experiences. Of the guests that want to receive recommendations from their hotels, more than one in four (27%) want dining recommendations for nearby restaurants and more than one in five (21%) want to receive experience or room/service upgrade recommendations (21%).

Travelers are most interested in experiences:

  • Food tastings/food tours of local cuisine (40%)
  • Guided tours of the town they are visiting (36%)
  • A learning center to learn more about the culture/life of the city they are visiting (33%)
  • Spirit/wine/beer tours of local distilleries/wineries/breweries (27%)

Technological Integration is Key

Not all guests are interested in the latest emerging technologies—as more than half of consumers (56%) said they did not want to interact with robots during their stay; however, 52% did express interest in touring hotels in augmented reality or virtual reality. Consumers also conveyed a demand for improved in-room technology, and the research found that this was a leading priority for modern guests. In fact, they’re willing to give up other amenities in exchange for it:

  • A business center (34%)
  • A fitness center (27%)
  • A spa (24%)
  • Room service (15%)
  • Fresh towels delivered daily (11%)
  • Later checkout times (11%)

In addition, more than two in five of those who want hotels to better match their home life (43%) list in-room technology to integrate with their personal devices among their top three wishes. However, not all guests are alike—and it’s important for hotels to provide travelers with multiple options to make service requests. The research found that among those who want to use either their personal or a hotel-provided smart device:

  • For in-room technology: Nearly seven in 10 (69%) want to use hotel-provided smart devices
  • To order room service and housekeeping: More than three in five (63%) want to do so from a hotel-provided smart device, and nearly two in five (37%) want to use their personal devices
  • To make reservations for dining/spa: More than two in five (41%) want to do so on hotel-provided smart devices, and nearly three in five (59%) want to use their personal devices
  • For check-in and checkout: Two in five (40%) want to use hotel-provided smart devices, and three in five (60%) want to use their personal devices

Creating a Home Away from Home: Where Personalization and Hospitality Collide

While guests are seeking new and unique experiences during their travels, the research also revealed that consumers seek lodging experiences that feature a level of comfort that’s close to their home lives—from additional blankets in-room to the ability to select bedding and more. Top amenities of interest for those looking for a “more like home” experience:

  • A better WiFi connection than currently offered (59%)
  • Their preferred coffee/tea selection in-room (38%)
  • Their preferred toiletries in-room (33%)
  • A white-noise machine (20%)
  • An option to select their room’s layout (18%)
  • A selection of books to read at their leisure (16%)

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