At the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Revenue Optimization Conference, Kelly McGuire, Executive Director of Hospitality and Travel Practice for SAS Institute and member of HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board, shared findings of her recent study on the effect of reputation on business travelers’ booking decisions. She said: “We (revenue managers) look at our business in terms of our demand forecast and our pricing, but consumers buy a little differently. They’re looking at our price and our competitor’s price, but they’re really assessing value and quality. They want to understand the trade-off.”
As part of the study, McGuire and her coworker surveyed more than 500 business travelers, who have an average of 2.38 loyalty memberships. The surveyed travelers said that the overall sentiment of a property’s reviews made the highest impact on their booking decision, followed by brand, ratings and price. Least important was the language of reviews.
Based on her findings, McGuire has determined that reviews DO matter. Business travelers are often curious about how their experience at a property will be and reviews offer a fantastic way to make an educated guess.
Another important booking consideration for business travelers, is loyalty membership. They will tolerate hotels that are “good enough” for them as long as they can accrue points for staying there.