LONDON – British hotel guests will pay on average £40 more per night for a hotel that makes their stay personalised, the equivalent of at least £1.8 billion additional revenue across the global hotel market. Yet, new research from Mews, the hospitality cloud platform, reveals that very few hotels are seizing this opportunity, with over half (59%) of returning guests having been overlooked as a loyal customer. This is not just frustrating guests, but impacting on hotel’s bottom line as guests take their business elsewhere.
The research reveals the lack of customer loyalty in the hotel market, estimated to be worth £570 billion, with 79% of UK travellers having stayed at a hotel or their sister hotel more than once. Yet, over half (59%) were overlooked as a returning guest. Instead, hoteliers infuriate 15% of guests further by asking the question “have you stayed with us before?”.
Lack of recognition not only leaves guests feeling undervalued and unappreciated, but the impact is felt on the hoteliers' bottom line, with almost one in five (19%) of guests saying they have taken business elsewhere due to this lack of recognition. This is at a time when the hotel industry is expected to face a challenging year as customer uncertainty sets due to household finances being squeezed.
For hotels that get it right, there is long term value, with 61% of UK travellers saying they’ll keep returning to the same hotel or chain if their loyalty is rewarded. And it’s the small things that matter to guests. Almost half (49%) of UK travellers look for personalised local activities based on their past booking history. For 39% of guests, remembering their dietary preferences is key to them rebooking, while for 38% of sporty guests, gym recommendations, with their preferred protein shake left in their mini-fridge post work-out, makes them feel special.
This is where technology plays its role. Hotels cannot rely on individual employees memorising customer preference data. Access to the right tools and technology, allows hotels and its staff to serve up past information and preferences in real-time to ensure every interaction is tailored according to the needs of the guest. And with almost half of UK travellers (47%) willing to give hotels personal information if it means they receive a personalised service, customers are expecting an experience, not just a bed for the night.
Richard Valtr, founder of Mews said, “In a world where our television, meal delivery and even banking subscriptions are personalised, it’s time for the hotel industry to seize the opportunity.
“Post-pandemic, despite inflation surging and a recession loom, people are still keen to spend on travel, having been starved of the experience for over two years. But they also want to feel like they are getting the premium services the excess prices dictate.
“Guests want to be remembered by the hotels they choose to stay with, and their personal preferences not just noted but acted upon to surprise and delight them. This is now possible with the help of technology. In 2022, hotels should truly know their guests, especially their loyal ones, inside out.”