Study Reveals What Triggers Travelers to Book

TrustYou and Donna Quadri-Felitti, director of the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University, have released the results of a study to understand which hotel attributes have the biggest impact on travelers’ booking decisions. The study used heat-mapping technology to understand which attributes prompted hotel bookings in eight different travel contexts (business travel, family vacation, etc.).
Findings show the complexity of the booking process. To be within a traveler’s consideration set, hotels must provide basics like cleanliness and comfort, which are the self-reported most important factors in determining where to stay. However, when presented review “snippets” or excerpts within a booking scenario, travelers often choose a hotel based on other factors relevant to the context in which they are traveling, such as great WiFi for business trips or wonderful rooms when planning a romantic getaway.
“Hotels must understand what travelers want and need in a hotel when making their booking decisions,” said Quadri-Felitti. “These self-reported important attributes like cleanliness and comfort are required for a hotel to be a part of a traveler’s consideration set. Once a hotel becomes part of the traveler’s consideration set by delivering on the “must haves,” it can then focus on attributes that actually trigger a traveler to book.”
Valuable findings include:

The nine most important hotel attributes broken out for leisure travelers and business travelers (i.e., service, amenities, food, etc.)

Details on traveler desires across six different leisure experiences and two different business travel scenarios.

What family travelers and couples want most when choosing a hotel
“The attributes that influence travelers to book a hotel are closely tied to the context in which the person is traveling. For example, a hotel with great WiFi is a trigger for business travelers, while great food is important for those traveling with their friends,” added Margaret Ady, vice president of marketing at TrustYou. “By understanding these triggers, hotels can focus efforts to improve, optimize marketing, and leverage review content to best cater to its audience and ultimately increase bookings.”
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