A new report outlines the best hotel personalization practices and how guests prefer their experiences to be customized.
Hotel personalization practices are part of a general trend toward humanizing the travel experience. That’s a good thing for businesses that are focused on travel risk management, and it’s a good thing for hotels that want to reinforce loyalty among existing customers while developing loyalty among new guests.
But how much is too much? Personalization is important from booking through the actual guest stay, but, as a business traveler, you know that there are limits to how much guests want their experience customized.
A new survey by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) sheds light on the right amount of customization and how hotel personalization practices can enhance the guest experience. Here’s a rundown of the GBTA’s survey findings.
Best Hotel Personalization Practices at Booking
Loyalty programs deliver more than just points and rewards. They can also help create a personalized experience at booking. For example, a loyalty member booking with a preferred hotel chain is likely to find his or her information and customized offers when using the booking portal.
More than 55% of business travelers indicate that they want customized offers for loyalty program credits.
Most loyalty program members appreciate this level of personalization. More than 55% percent of survey respondents indicate that they want customized offers for loyalty program credits. Respondents gave a 7-out-of-10 level of comfort to companies using shared information to personalize booking, and they gave an 8-out-of-10 to companies storing information for future use.
How Loyalty Programs Influence Hotel Personalization Practices
No two loyalty programs are exactly the same, though. As a business traveler, you may gravitate toward specific loyalty programs for specific reasons. But what aspects of loyalty programs are most appreciated by business travelers at-large? The following:
- 47% appreciate earning free nights
- 46% appreciate room upgrades
- 40% appreciate redemption flexibility
- 38% appreciate express check-in
- 30% appreciate complimentary perks (free beverages, shoe shines, etc.)
In general, 86% of respondents agreed that loyalty rewards fit their preferences, and 81% believe that participation in loyalty programs results in better service.
Will Travelers Share Needed Info for Personalization?
Travelers in general want a personalized guest experience at hotels. The survey indicates that 84% of respondents think that a personalized hotel experience is “somewhat” or “very” important. Here’s a look at specific information and the percentage of respondents who would be willing to share it:
- 55% would share preferred amenities
- 42% would share arrival and appointment times
- 38% would share the purpose of their travel
- 32% would share preferred leisure activities
- 25% would share age, occupation and other personal information
- 23% would share dietary restrictions, allergies and other medical information
The survey also indicates that travelers are comfortable both with hotels using the information shared and with hotels storing the information shared.
Best Hotel Personalization Practices During Guest Stays
What about during an actual guest stay? How do business travelers prefer hotels to personalize their experiences? Here’s a look at the types of personalization that guests prefer on-site:
- 58% would like special deals and offers
- 57% would like restaurant recommendations
- 50% would like transportation suggestions
- 40% would like entertainment suggestions
- 37% would like safety tips
- 22% would like suggestions on how to make their stays healthy
This survey indicates that business travelers embrace hotel personalization practices. Still, hotels should tread carefully and take the needed measures to ensure that they use only information that guests want to share and that they personalize stays in ways that guests prefer.
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At JTB Business Travel, we work with companies across the nation, putting the power of booking right into the hands of traveling team members. We help business travelers like you book using an online portal or a mobile device, and you also enjoy 24/7 live support and access to a personal travel advisor.