What Do Hotel Guests Really Want? Anticipated Versus Actual Use of Amenities
September 25, 2018 12:29am
by Chekitan S. Dev, Rebecca W. Hamilton, Roland T. Rust, and Matthew V. Valenti
Abstract: Hotels provide a lengthy menu of amenities based on the (largely accurate) perception that guests want those amenities and claim they will use them. While many guests do exactly that, a substantial percentage will “overpredict” which amenities they will use. This study of fifty hotel-wide and in-room amenities details both the overpredictions and, in some cases, underpredictions of amenity use by 724 guests in thirty-three hotels operated by six hotel brands—one upscale, two upper upscale, and three luxury—belonging to one hotel company. This study is intended to assist brand managers and hotel owners in determining which amenities make the most sense for their particular brand. Among the amenities that were highly overpredicted were an alarm clock, a spa, and in-room dining for dinner and late night. That is, a much larger percentage of guests expected to use these amenities than actually did so (although they still were used by some guests). Unexpected underpredictions included lobby seating, valet parking, and concierge service, for which the percentage of guests expecting to use the service was noticeably smaller than the percentage who did use them.
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Tags: cornell hospitality report,
chekitan s. dev,
rebecca w. hamilton,
roland t. rust,
matthew v. valenti,
Chekitan S. Dev is professor of marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in the SC Johnson College of Business, where he has received multiple awards for teaching excellence. A globally renowned thought leader with over 125 publications to his credit, Dev is recognized as the leading expert on hospitality marketing and branding, and has won numerous research awards. An active consultant, expert witness, keynote speaker, and workshop leader, Dev has served corporate, government, education, advisory, legal, and private equity organizations in over 40 countries on six continents. A sought after commentator on hospitality and travel trends, he is also active in professional and community service, serving as reviewer for peer reviewed journals, advising hospitality startups as a board member, and served the AHLA Chairman’s Marketing Task Force and Tompkins Tourism Marketing Committee, as well as teaching in the Hotel School’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans.
Rebecca W. Hamilton is the Michael G. and Robin Psaros Chair in Business Administration, Professor of Marketing and marketing area coordinator at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her research examines the effects of contextual factors—such as the social environment, stage of decision making and presentation format—on consumer decision making. Her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She is co-editor of the Journal of Marketing
Research, associate editor for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and serves on several editorial review boards. Hamilton enjoys teaching consumer behavior classes to undergraduate, MBA and executive MBA students.
Roland T. Rust is Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, where he is founder and executive director of the Center for Excellence in Service. He is also visiting chair in marketing research at Erasmus University (Netherlands) and International Research Fellow of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation (UK). He has earned several lifetime achievement honors and was one of the inaugural honorees in the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Legends video series. He has won best article awards from five different journals, and is editor of the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM). He has consulted with many leading companies worldwide and was a national class distance runner in his collegiate days, for which he has been inducted into the DePauw University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Matthew V. Valenti is the founder of Intersection CX, a consultancy focused on aligning customer and employee insights, for understandable, data-driven actions. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from New York University. A 12-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Matt was formerly the Vice President, Guest Experience Intelligence at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where he was responsible for the alignment and integration of global metrics across guest, property, and associates to diagnose needs and prioritize action. In recognition of his innovative designs that impacted business performance, Matt was honored with the 2017 Wiley Award for Excellence in Survey Research by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
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