Research: Sixty-Two Percent of Consumers Regularly Use an Accommodation App When Traveling

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Research: Sixty-Two Percent of Consumers Regularly Use an Accommodation App When Traveling


Dependence on mobile phones when travelling is brought into sharp focus by a survey of more than 3,600 travelers which reveals a growing appreciation for bespoke travel apps. Research commissioned by Edinburgh-based hospitality firm Criton, highlights that loyalty programs, self-check-in/out and accessing your hotel room via a digital door key are primary requirements of today's guests.

The findings highlight crucial information for all hoteliers, with guests' smartphones now recognized as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience. With 45% of respondents travelling for leisure more than four times a year, findings showed that 62% of respondents regularly use an accommodation app, with the figure increasing to 67% amongst business travelers.

If their favorite hotel was to have its own app, 74% of respondents overwhelmingly stated they would use this digital channel, with only 10% favouring an in-room device such as a hotel's smartphone or tablet. This reinforces Criton's core belief that the future of hotel technology is own device. Hoteliers no longer need to absorb the cost of installing in-room devices when their guests travel with their own smartphone and are more comfortable with the apps and content within it.

The opportunity to check-in via an app and access their hotel room via a digital door key was warmly received with 58% likely or very likely to want this technology. With 68% finding it unacceptable to queue at reception for longer than five minutes, offering guests access to a service which global chains already offer is fast becoming a core priority for independent operators.

Respondents prioritized loyalty programs as their favored element of hotel technology with 53% recognizing it as their top requirement. In a competitive landscape, the opportunity to drive direct and repeat bookings through a personalized loyalty program will ensure hoteliers save on OTA commission while creating their own closed marketing group to upsell onsite services and facilities.

Criton lets independent operators compete with big chain technology through an easy to use platform. From digitizing the traditional hotel room guest book to PMS, live chat, digital door key and in-room ordering integrations all contained within a fully-branded hotel app; Criton supports hospitality businesses with their digital transformation strategies and work with clients across the UK and overseas.

Research Methodology:

An online survey ran from Tuesday 26th March until Monday 1st April and received a total of 3,654 responses, of whom 1,311 were classed as business travelers.

Key Findings:

45% of travelers stated they travel for leisure 2-3 times a year

36% travel for business

39% use TripAdvisor as main source of research and inspiration before booking a hotel, followed by 29% of respondents relying on online search

40% of travelers said they regularly stay in a 4-star (boutique) hotel, with 6% in a 5-star (luxury) hotel. The majority (47%) stated they regularly stay in a 3-star (mid-range) hotel

53% have at least one hotel app on their phone

74% would use a hotel app if their favorite hotel had one

55% stated it is acceptable to wait at check-in 2-5 minutes

62% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app

58% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app and use digital key

App usage

62% use an accommodation app regularly (eg Airbnb)

57% use a transport app regularly

47% use an airline app regularly

36% uses a hotel app regularly

The hotel technology that respondents seek: 

53% - loyalty programs

35% - self check-in

10% - in-room mobile

18% - in-room tablet