J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Satisfaction with Hotel Brands in Europe Declines across All Areas of the Guest Experience

By J.d. Power And Associates, PRNE
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California, October 27, 2011 -

- Hilton Garden Inn; Premier Inn; Ramada Hotels; and Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts Each Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Hotel Guests in Europe

After several years of improvement, overall satisfaction among hotel guests in Europe has declined notably, with deterioration occurring across all levels of the guest experience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM) released today.

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The study, now in its seventh year, examines the overall satisfaction of European hotel guests based on seven measures (in order of importance): guest room; costs and fees; hotel facilities; check-in/check-out; food and beverage; hotel services; and reservation. Forty-five hotel brands are measured and ranked in four segments(1): upper upscale, upscale, midscale and economy.

Overall satisfaction averages 735 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011, down by 10 points from 2010. While satisfaction has decreased across all measures from 2010, the largest decline occurs in the cost and fees measure. Cost and fees satisfaction averages 682 in 2011, down by 32 points from 2010.

Cost and fees satisfaction in 2011 is comparable to 2009 levels (681). However, in 2009, overall satisfaction averaged 746-11 points higher than in 2011. This indicates that aspects of the guest experience outside of cost and fees have deteriorated considerably from 2009.

Prior to the economic downturn, hoteliers improved their offerings, increasing satisfaction with the overall guest experience as well as cost and fees satisfaction. Subsequently, during the recession, hotel chains reduced prices to stimulate demand which continued to improve satisfaction with cost and until higher rates began driving satisfaction back down in 2010. Hoteliers also made cutbacks in staffing levels, services and investment in the property to reduce operating costs during this period, which led to the deterioration of satisfaction with the broader guest experience.

“As guests have been coming back, so have their expectations,” said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Hoteliers, like many businesses, are feeling the strain of trying to maintain lower cost structures until they see more sustainable levels of demand. There is danger, however, in allowing their product and service to continue to deteriorate. It is critically important that hoteliers focus on improving the guest experience. If not, they risk losing customers, market share and financial viability.”

According to Greif, increasing the frequency of guest interactions with hotel staff can help elevate satisfaction and loyalty. While nearly all guests interact with hotel staff at check-in, each additional interaction with a different type of staff member (e.g., housekeeper, manager, concierge), increases satisfaction by an average of 28 points.

The study also finds that the availability of Internet service at hotel properties has become increasingly important. For the first time, complimentary Internet access has surpassed complimentary breakfast as the most important amenity. In addition, Internet use by hotel guests has nearly tripled during the past six years, with 47 percent of guests saying they used their hotel’s Internet connection in 2011, compared with 17 percent in 2005.

“Guests increasingly expect hotels to offer Internet access that is consistently available and working properly, particularly since Internet access is becoming more widely available in non-hotel settings, such as restaurants and cafes,” said Greif. “We have reached a point where problems with Internet access will more severely impact guest satisfaction levels with each passing year.”

Hotel guests who are required to pay a separate fee for Internet connectivity are considerably less satisfied with costs and fees, compared with guests who receive Internet access for free or as part of their room rate. In addition, among guests who indicate they experienced a problem with Internet connectivity at their hotel, only 13 percent say they would return to the property for a future stay. In contrast, 28 percent of customers who did not experience a problem with the Internet say they would return.

Hotel rankings by segment are as follows:

Upper Upscale Segment

Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts ranks highest in the upper upscale segment for a fourth consecutive year, performing particularly well in all seven measures. Following in the segment rankings are Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, respectively.

Upscale Segment

Among upscale hotel brands, Hilton Garden Inn ranks highest in guest satisfaction and performs particularly well in four of the seven measures: guest room; hotel services; hotel facilities; and costs and fees. Following in the segment rankings are Riu Hotels & Resorts and Dorint Hotels & Resorts, respectively.

Midscale Segment

Ramada Hotels ranks highest in guest satisfaction in the midscale segment and performs particularly well in six of the seven measures: guest room; hotel facilities; check-in/check-out; food and beverage; hotel services; and reservation. Following Ramada Hotels in the segment rankings are Holiday Inn and Park Inn, respectively.

Economy Segment

In the economy segment, Premier Inn ranks highest for a fourth consecutive year and performs particularly well in six of the seven measures: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel facilities; and costs and fees. B&B Hotels and Travelodge, respectively, follow in the segment rankings.

The 2011 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from more than 18,000 guests who stayed at a hotel in Europe between April and September 2011. The study was fielded between May and September 2011.

(1) Luxury hotel brands are also included in the study but are not ranked due to insufficient number of award-eligible brands.

    Customer Satisfaction Index                  J.D. Power.com Power Circle
    Ranking                                      Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)               For Consumers

    Upper Upscale Segment
    Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts             805   5
    Marriott Hotels & Resorts                    785   4
    Sheraton Hotels & Resorts                    775   3
    Upper Upscale Segment Average                774   3
    Westin Hotels & Resorts                      772   3
    Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts                768   3
    Hilton Hotels & Resorts                      767   3
    Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts               766   2
    Included in the study but not ranked due to small or insufficient
    sample size are: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Pullman Hotels and Resorts,
    Renaissance Hotels and Swissotel Hotels & Resorts.

    Upscale Segment
    Hilton Garden Inn                            792   5
    Riu Hotels & Resorts                         775   4
    Dorint Hotels & Resorts                      767   4
    Maritim Hotels                               759   4
    Four Points by Sheraton                      758   4
    Melia Hotels & Resorts                       743   3
    Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts                738   3
    Iberostar Hotels & Resorts                   737   3
    Scandic                                      737   3
    Novotel Hotels                               735   3
    Upscale Segment Average                      735   3
    H10                                          733   3
    Mercure                                      733   3
    AC Hotels                                    732   3
    Hesperia                                     728   3
    nH Hoteles                                   714   2
    Courtyard                                    711   2
    Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: De
    Vere Hotels & Resorts, Hoteles Silken, Husa Hoteles, Movenpick Hotels
    & Resorts, NH Jolly, Park Plaza and Thistle.

    Midscale Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
    Ramada Hotels                                758   5
    Holiday Inn                                  742   4
    Park Inn                                     739   4
    All Seasons Hotels                           733   4
    Barcelo Hotels & Resorts                     733   4
    Clarion                                      733   4
    Best Western                                 732   4
    Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts          729   3
    Holiday Inn Express                          725   3
    Midscale Segment Average                     723   3
    Sol Hoteles                                  721   3
    Quality                                      714   3
    Campanile Hotel                              707   2
    Ibis Hotel                                   704   2
    Comfort Inn/Hotel                            694   2
    Kyriad                                       691   2
    TRYP Hotels                                  684   2
    NOTE: Tulip Inns is included in the study but not ranked due to small
    sample size.

    Economy Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
    Premier Inn                                  757   5
    B&B Hotels                                   725   4
    Economy Segment Average                      699   3
    Travelodge                                   685   3
    Etap Hotel                                   677   2
    Premiere Classe                              668   2
    Hotel F1                                     662   2
    Included in the study but not ranked due to small or insufficient
    sample size are: Balladins, Days Inn/Days Hotels and Motel One.

Power Circle Ratings Legend:
5 - Among the best
4 - Better than most
3 - About average
2 - The rest

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and McGraw-Hill Education. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2010, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. On September 12, 2011, the Corporation announced its intention to separate into two public companies - McGraw-Hill Markets (working name), primarily focused on global capital and commodities markets and McGraw-Hill Education focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:
John Tews; Troy, Mich., USA; +1-248-312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com

Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif., USA; +1-805-418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com


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