Last month, The Wall Street Journal‘s business travel writer, Scott McCartney, moderated an hour-long webcast with senior C-suite executives at five major hotel brands about how hotel amenities are evolving. The event was based on a study conducted by SmartBrief entitled: “The Guest Experience: Innovative Trends for Creating a More Personalized Stay.”
The list of hotel executive participants was impressive, ranging from luxury boutique brands to corporate business hotels. The discussion revolved around sustainability, turndown service, meetings/events, food/fitness and tech/media.
The panel consisted of:
• Mike DeFrino, COO, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
• Mitzi Gaskins, VP/Global Brand Manager, JW Marriott Hotels
• J.P. Oliver, Regional VP, Morgans Hotel Group
• Lisa Potts, Senior VP Sales/Marketing, Trump Hotel Collection
• Tom Santora, CMO, Omni Hotels & Resorts
A good portion of the interaction dealt with the multi-generational travelers that are guests at their respective chain properties. The needs and things deemed important by a Millennial traveler versus a Baby Boomer were indeed very different.
Check out the article and you will quickly see that decision-making at the highest levels requires recognition and research about their customers and how they want to engender loyalty in this highly competitive industry sector.
In the webcast, McCartney polled the hotelier audience several times, and in one instance, asked: “Do a hotel’s environmental efforts make a difference to guests?”
Almost 80% replied that their guests either look for sustainable programs or expect them to be there. Just 20% said factors like room rate are more important.
It’s good to see that so much thought and research into guest satisfaction and comfort is going on — even in this age of bare bones business and meetings travel!
What kind of hotel amenities do you like and look forward to when checking in?