Hotel Online  Special Report

How Do You Hotel? Survey Reveals What
Influences Consumers' Buying Decisions
for Hotel Accommodations


DALLAS, Aug. 11, 2004 - Quality and price reign supreme for consumers who book hotel reservations online.  According to a new survey, consumers are getting savvier in their hotel selection process relying on more than just price for their buying decisions.

The "How Do You Hotel" Survey of nearly 1,000 people, which was conducted to gauge consumer purchasing behavior and attitudes toward hotels, found the majority of respondents consider their hotel decision to be very important to their trip whether traveling for business or pleasure.

"This survey validates a growing trend that consumers want more than just a good price but are looking for those value-added savings that can help them to make their buying decisions easily and confidently," said Cheryl Rosner, president of  " is the only travel site today offering such a variety of additional benefits with bookings such as complimentary breakfasts, roadside assistance, gas rebates, entertainment coupons and even free steaks." 

Overall, the survey found that more than 67 percent of people feel more confident about booking hotels online when they see a photo of the property; the most important amenity for 64 percent of respondents is complimentary breakfast and 72 percent prefer a traditional hotel room when traveling.

But what does it look like?

Just as most online retail shoppers would not purchase a product sight unseen, nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed that seeing photos of the hotel and hotel rooms are key to their decision making process and more than half agreed that the quality or rating of the hotel makes them feel more confident when booking.  When asked what concerns them most about making a hotel reservation online, more than half indicated that the hotel they book is in the right location and that the website description about the hotels is accurate.

Where is it?

An overwhelming majority indicated that the type of accommodations chosen depends upon the trip type (i.e. business or pleasure) the respondents are taking.  Location ranked highly among what influences their lodging decisions at 77 percent and who they are traveling with (i.e. family or friends) was close behind at 58 percent.  But, price is still the single most important consideration in the hotel selection process with hotel amenities being least important in the purchasing decision.  However, when asked about their favorite amenity, respondents gave multiple answers indicating that it is a variety of factors that contribute to their decision making process.

Favorite Hotel Amenity

Complimentary breakfasts 64%
Swimming Pool  56%
Luxury room amenities: i.e. featherbeds, bath products 36%
Jacuzzi bathtub  35%
Fitness center or Spa 26%
Kid-friendly features: i.e. cribs, game rooms, activities 19%
In-room refrigerator  19%
High-tech features: high-speed Internet, flat screen TVs 16%

In order to address each of the booking preferences, gives customers the ability to search for a hotel by price, location and/or amenities ensuring that customers are able to find the right hotel for their trip.

What's your type?

While most travelers still prefer a traditional hotel situation, an increasing number of Americans are checking out non-traditional accommodation options such as Bed&Breakfasts, vacation rentals which include condos, apartments, villas and private homes, and boutique/independent hotels.  The trend can be attributed toward travelers growing desire for larger space and unique experiences tailored to their interests and needs.  Anticipating this growing segment, offers travelers a selection of thousands of vacation rental properties and is the only national booking engine for vacation rentals available on the Internet.

About the Survey

The "How Do You Hotel Survey" was conducted in conjunction with the recent introduction of the, Meet the Experts advertising campaign.  It is based on an online survey among a sample of U.S. adults visiting from July 12-26, 2004.  The survey results have a margin of error of 3.11%.  Survey results may not add up to 100 percent as respondents were give the option of "choose all that apply" as a response.

About is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, providing service through its own websites (including and others), thousands of affiliated websites, and its toll-free call centers (1-800-2-HOTELS). provides accommodations to travelers at over 12,000 properties in more than 400 markets in North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI).

Nicole Hockin
[email protected]

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The 2004 NAACP Lodging Industry Report Card; Survey Results for 13 Hotel Chains / July 2004
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