Hotels

Study: Guest ratings are more important than brand in hotel selection

A new study conducted by Unabashed Research and Expedia Group suggests price and guest ratings carry more weight than brand value for hotel property selection.

Through a choice based conjoint (CBC) analysis of nearly a thousand general population participants, Expedia Group studied the relationship between five attributes: room image, hotel brand, hotel ratings or stars, remodel call-out, and price.

‘The Big Decision’ study took into account how travelers perceive and make selections based on these five attributes.

Participants were also asked to select one familiar domestic city and one aspirational international location that was unfamiliar, for comparison.

From the results, it was found that guest ratings have a strong influence on consumer selection, with a 72 per cent chance that any consumer will value guest ratings higher than hotel brand.

Female concierge welcoming business man at hotel lobby. Receptionist greeting guest at hotel hallway.
The study suggests consumers are willing to pay more for higher guest reviews than for more premium brands.

“While consumers want the best deal on travel bookings, their individual selections ultimately reflect their values,” said Expedia Group head of research Abhijit Pal.

“The consumer searching for a budget accommodation will look for the best value within their constraints, while someone with more disposable income may prefer a luxury option and be willing to pay more per night, but not more than they have to.”

Participants in the study were also found to be willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher guest rating, regardless of the brand. Overall, 24 per cent of participants in the study would pay more for a room with a 0.5 increase in rating, from 3.4 to 3.9.

However, more than 40 per cent of participants said that they would pay more for a further 0.5 increase in hotel rating, from 3.9 to 4.4.

To view the study in-full, click here.

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