A growing appreciation for mobile technology and contactless services is brought into sharp focus by two surveys of more than 7,000 travellers which measured their preferences before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research commissioned by award-winning technology provider Criton, reveals that, when travelling again, 80% of hotel guests would download a hotel app that would enable them to check-in, check-out and get all information about the hotel; a 10% increase compared to March 2020. Only 8% of guests now would feel comfortable to check-in and check-out at a public kiosk.
The findings highlight crucial information for hoteliers, with guests’ mobile phones now clearly being recognised as an essential tool for delivering a safe and carefree experience. With 43% of travellers staying in a 3-star hotel and 40% staying in a 4 or 5-star hotel, findings show that, compared to March this year, a higher percentage of guests, 73%, would download and use an app that would enable them to open the door of their room.
Research findings also highlight the need for hoteliers to adopt contactless solutions to boost revenue as almost half of the respondents, 47%, said they would be more likely to order in-room service or to go to the hotel restaurant if they could use a mobile app to place their order.
The importance for hotels to communicate their new guest safety protocols is confirmed by the fact that 75% of respondents said that the hotel should have clearly defined cleaning standards to fight against COVID-19; with 67% of travellers saying that, in order to consider staying in a hotel, the hotel staff should disinfect everything that people might touch in a hotel room.
Reflecting on the results of the survey, Julie Grieve, founder and CEO of Criton said: “At Criton, we work hard to track and really understand changes in guest technology requirements to allow us to ensure our operators benefit from that knowledge to enhance their guest experience and drive their bottom line."
"Undoubtedly due to Covid-19 there has been a significant change in how guests are looking to interact with the hotel, however in reality the demand for digital was there before the global pandemic. At Criton, our mission is to make it easy for independent hotels and groups to embrace digital to give their guests that choice of interaction pre, during and post-stay”.
Criton is a guest engagement and integration platform which simplifies digital transformation in hotels, helping operators save money, stay engaged with guests and drive more revenue with a sophisticated mobile app.
An online survey ran between February and March 2020 and received 5,405 responses. As the landscape of the hospitality industry changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Criton ran another online survey which between July and August 2020 received 2,549 responses.
Key findings of the August survey
- 43% of respondents said they stay in a 3-star hotel
- 40% of respondents said they stay in a 4 or 5-star hotel
Technology preferences for check-in/out
- 62% of respondents said they would prefer to check-in and out through a hotel app
- 30% said they would prefer to check-in and out through a webpage
- 8% said they would prefer to check-in and out at a public kiosk
Contactless technology preferences
- 80% of respondents said they would download a hotel app that would allow them to check-in, check-out and get all information about the hotel
- 73% would download and use an app that would enable them to open the door of their room
- 47% would be more likely to order room service if the hotel would give them the option of ordering via an app
- 48% would be more likely to go to the hotel restaurant if the hotel would give them the option of ordering food via an app
Safety measures when staying in a hotel
- 75% of respondents said that the hotel should have clearly defined cleaning standards to combat COVID-19
- 67% said that in order to consider staying in a hotel, the hotel staff should disinfect everything that people might touch in a hotel room
- 42% of respondents said they would expect the hotel to replace complimentary toiletries, whether used or not, between guests
- 53% of respondents would still prefer to eat in the hotel restaurant, followed by 18% who would use room service
For the findings of both surveys and more details on how hotel guest expectations have changed, please download the Criton report here.