What Do Hotel Guests Really Want? Anticipated Versus Actual Use of Amenities
By Chekitan Dev, Marketing and Branding Professor at Cornell University and Rebecca Hamilton , Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University and Roland Rust , Distinguished University Professor at Robert H. Smith School of Business and Matthew (Matt) Valenti , Founder of Intersection CX
Abstract: Hotels provide a lengthy menu of amenities based on the (largely accurate) perception that guests want those amenities and claim they will use them. While many guests do exactly that, a substantial percentage will "overpredict" which amenities they will use. This study of fifty hotel-wide and in-room amenities details both the overpredictions and, in some cases, underpredictions of amenity use by 724 guests in thirty-three hotels operated by six hotel brands—one upscale, two upper upscale, and three luxury—belonging to one hotel company. This study is intended to assist brand managers and hotel owners in determining which amenities make the most sense for their particular brand. Among the amenities that were highly overpredicted were an alarm clock, a spa, and in-room dining for dinner and late night. That is, a much larger percentage of guests expected to use these amenities than actually did so (although they still were used by some guests). Unexpected underpredictions included lobby seating, valet parking, and concierge service, for which the percentage of guests expecting to use the service was noticeably smaller than the percentage who did use them.
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