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1999 Domestic Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study Ranks Top Hotel Chains in Five Segments
 
AGOURA HILLS, Calif - April 29, 1999--The majority of all hotel guests across all segments (53 percent) rate their experience as truly outstanding or excellent, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Domestic Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(sm) that was released Thursday.

Of those who gave their hotel experience such high marks, 95 percent indicate they probably or definitely would return to the same hotel. Yet, overall, one out of every seven hotel guests (14 percent) report experiencing one or more problems with their guest stay.

"In general, hotel chains are doing an outstanding job; however, there is a lot of room for improvement across all segments," said Tim Gohmann, senior director, travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Revenue will continue to walk out the front door until every guest has a truly outstanding hotel experience." Despite the diversity of the types of hotels and services offered today, the single most important factor affecting hotel guest satisfaction is the guest room. Additional drivers of satisfaction in order of importance are: reservations/check-in; value for the price paid; check-out; hotel services such as security and wakeup calls; and food and beverage.

Economy/Budget

Fairfield Inn by Marriott received the award for "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Economy/Budget Hotel Chains." Fairfield Inn performed especially well in the areas of reservations/check-in and guest room. In addition to Fairfield Inn, above-average hotel chains in this segment in order of performance include Baymont Inn and Suites and Super 8.

The Economy/Budget segment accounts for the second-largest number of guest stays (27 percent), has the lowest average room rate at $53 per night and provides the fewest guest services or amenities. Hotels in this segment have no on-premise restaurants. The segment appeals primarily to leisure travelers (77 percent) and is selected most frequently on the basis of price and location.

Mid-Price Hotel Chains with Limited Food Service

Hampton Inn received the award for "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Mid-Price Hotel Chains with Limited Food Service." Hampton Inn performed well in nearly all aspects of the guest experience, especially in the areas of reservations/check-in and guest room. In addition to Hampton Inn, LaQuinta's performance in this segment was above average.

Hotel chains in this segment have room rates that average $67 per night, have no on-premise restaurants and provide only limited guest services. These hotel chains are more likely to provide additional security by having internal corridors. Guests choose hotels in this segment on the basis of convenient location and a good prior experience with the individual hotel.

Although a smaller percentage of guests reported problems in this segment than any other, the most frequently reported problems are staff attitude and noise.

Mid-Price Hotel Chains with Full Food Service

Courtyard by Marriott received the award for "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Mid-Price Hotel Chains with Full Food Service." Courtyard's performance was especially noteworthy in the area of hotel services. The remaining above-average chains in this segment in order of performance include Holiday Inn Select, Best Western and Holiday Inn.

This segment accounts for the largest number of guest stays (29 percent) and has an average room rate of $73 per night. These chains are characterized by an on-property, full-service restaurant and more complete guest services and facilities, such as meeting rooms. Guests select chains in this segment on the basis of convenient location and a good prior experience with the individual hotel. Problems reported are most likely to involve room maintenance or noise.

All-Suite

Embassy Suites received the award for "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among All-Suite Hotel Chains." Embassy Suites performed well in all aspects of the guest experience and showed especially high performance in the area of food and beverage. In addition to Embassy Suites, above-average hotel chains in this segment in order of performance include Residence Inn and Doubletree Guest Suites.

All-Suite chains are characterized by offering hotel guests a sitting room, a bedroom and a refrigerator, and often include a full breakfast in the room rate. This segment has an average room rate of $99 per night and the longest average length of stay of any segment -- 3.6 nights. Problems reported in this segment are most likely related to room maintenance or housekeeping.

Upscale

Hyatt received the award for "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains." Hyatt provided especially high performance in the areas of the reservations/check-in, food and beverage and hotel services. In addition to Hyatt, above-average hotel chains in this segment in order of performance include Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham (tied for third), Crowne Plaza and DoubleTree.

Upscale chains have full-service restaurants, multiple meeting facilities and a complete range of guest services. These chains have a high average room rate of $114 per night, with a majority of their guests staying for business purposes (52 percent).

The top-three reasons for selecting a hotel in this segment are conference/event location, convenient location and a satisfactory previous stay at the individual hotel. The most frequently reported problems occur during the check-in process.

J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study is based on 16,109 individual evaluations from a national probability sample of business and leisure hotel guests. More than 100 hotel chains in five market segments were included in the study. Hotel chains in the Luxury segment, including Fairmont, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton, were not ranked due to insufficient sample.

Across all segments, 66 percent of guests in the sample stayed for leisure, the average length of stay was 2.4 nights and the average household income was $56,171. Approximately 14 percent of respondents traveled by air and 26 percent included a rental car as part of the trip. The average room rate across all segments was $77.

With headquarters in Agoura Hills, J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses from more than 1 million consumers annually.

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Contact:
J.D. Power and Associates  www.jdpower.com 
Matthew Scroggs 
matthew.scroggs@jdpower.com
 818/889-6330
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Also See: Renaissance Achieves Highest Ranking in Frequent Flyer Magazine/J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Domestic Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study / Jan 1998 
Ritz-Carlton Ranks Above the Rest in J.D. Power and Associates Second Annual Meeting Planner Study for Hotel Industry / July 1998 

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