WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.—Following two years of declines, hotel guest satisfaction has increased significantly, reaching its highest levels in the past seven years, according to the J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
The study, now in its 17th year, measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; midscale full service; midscale; economy/budget; upper extended stay; and extended stay. Seven key factors are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees.
Overall guest satisfaction averages 777 on a 1,000-point scale, up 20 points from 2012. This marks the highest satisfaction index score for the hotel industry since the introduction of the current study methodology in 2006. Satisfaction has increased in all seven factors, with the largest increases in reservation, cost and fees, and check-in/check-out.
“The fact that guest satisfaction has turned a corner is great news for an industry that has struggled to sufficiently meet guest expectations in the past few years,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “Many hotel chains are finally benefitting from the long-term investments they have been making to improve their properties in terms of staffing, rooms and facilities. Furthermore, cost and fees satisfaction has increased while the factor has simultaneously declined in relative importance to overall satisfaction across all segments, indicating reduced price sensitivity among guests. These are all positive changes for the industry.”
The study finds that the number of interactions guests have with the hotel staff may have a significant impact on satisfaction. Overall satisfaction is highest among guests who interact with four or more staff types, excluding the check-in staff, at 856, which is 79 points higher than industry average. Satisfaction drops to 724 when guests have no other interactions with staff types beyond check-in—53 points below industry average.