How People Seek Hotels

People look a fair amount before leaping to a choice of hotel, finds a Synovate poll issued this month. Choosing among statements that might describe their mode of picking a hotel, 6 percent of U.S. respondents agreed that they “select the first OK one that I find.” At the other extreme, 21 percent “research every hotel in the area so I know I am choosing the best one for me.” In between were 67 percent who “find out about a few comparable hotels and choose the one that will best suit me.”

Forty-five percent of U.S. respondents to the poll (fielded in January) visit hotel Web sites when picking a place to stay; 22 percent use “review sites like tripadvisor.com.” Offline, 13 percent read travel magazines when choosing a hotel, and 12 percent “ask colleagues, friends or relatives about a particular hotel.”

There was no significant gender gap in the proportion respondents saying they research a hotel’s technology offerings before they book (39 percent of men, 38 percent of women). Women were somewhat more likely than men (23 percent vs. 19 percent) to say they prefer to stay at a hotel with a spa. Forty-five percent of women, vs. 33 percent of men, said they like trying a new hotel each time they travel. On the other hand, women were more likely than men (82 percent vs. 70 percent ) to say that a bad hotel experience can ruin their whole trip.

There was also a gap on the age-old question of whether it’s acceptable to glom onto the toiletry samples the hotel provides. Women were more likely than men (52 percent vs. 44 percent) to say “They are yours; they are part of the experience.” Men were more likely than women (43 percent vs. 29 percent) to say “You use what you need during your stay and leave the rest.” Fourteen percent of women, vs. 6 percent of men, agreed that “You love taking them with you but always feel a shade guilty.”