.D. Power and Associates Reports: As Hotels Focus on Environmentally Friendly Programs

Although nearly three-fourths of hotel guests in North America willingly participate in environmentally friendly programs offered during their hotel stays, many guests remain unaware of whether these programs are offered at the hotel property, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

In response to growing concern about global warming and conservation issues, being environmentally responsible has become a top trend in the hotel industry, with properties initiating various "green" programs, such as changing linens and towels only on request and using water-saving bathroom faucets and toilets.

When guests were asked if the hotel had conservation programs in place, 63 percent of guests answered yes, while 8 percent said no, and 29 percent indicated that they didn't know. When they are aware of a hotel's environmentally friendly programs, 73 percent of hotel guests indicate they participate. In turn, raising awareness of environmentally friendly programs among customers may help properties further increase participation.

"Since conservation is such an important issue globally, it is vitally important that hotel properties actively market their eco-friendly offerings and make them easy to recognize and participate in," said Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Offering green programs is a win-win situation for both hotel guests and hotel operators. Guests are increasingly looking for these types of offerings, and hotels are finding that going green actually saves money."

Of the 27 percent of hotel guests who are aware of hotel environmentally friendly programs and choose not to participate, a large number (86%) indicate that they would take part if offered a reward for doing so. However, this number declines to 83 percent among guests in the Pre-Boomer generation (those born prior to 1946), and drops even further -- to 33 percent -- among Pre-Boomers staying in luxury hotels. Willingness to participate is much higher among luxury hotel guests in other generational groups -- 87 percent of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), 95 percent of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) and 79 percent of Generation Y (those born between 1977 and 1989).

Now in its 11th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across six hotel segments: luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, hotel services, hotel facilities, and costs and fees.

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction within their respective segments:

-- Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton
-- Upscale: Embassy Suites Hotels
-- Mid-Scale Full Service: Hilton Garden Inn
-- Mid-Scale Limited Service: Drury Inn & Suites
-- Economy/Budget: Microtel Inns & Suites
-- Extended Stay: Homewood Suites

Both Hilton Garden Inn and Microtel Inns & Suites rank highest in overall satisfaction in their respective segments for a sixth consecutive year. In addition, three of the six highest-ranked brands -- Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites -- are part of the Hilton Hotels Corporation.

In this year's study, issues with staff attitude and staff service are among the most frequently reported problems by hotel guests, particularly by luxury hotel guests. With more than one in five guests reporting a problem with staff service, this issue is the most frequently mentioned problem among luxury hotel guests who say they experienced a significant problem during their stay.

"With the hotel industry rapidly approaching product and price parity, the key differentiator between a good hotel experience and a truly outstanding experience is the quality of service delivered by the hotel staff," said Hirneise. "Staff-related problems are controllable, and significant problems with staff make it difficult, if not impossible, to deliver great service and high levels of satisfaction. Hotels have dedicated tremendous resources for renovations and improvements of their properties in efforts to improve satisfaction, but all of this may be for naught if service excellence is remiss."

The study finds that 97 percent of hotel guests say they feel either safe or very safe traveling within North America. However, among hotel guests traveling outside of North America, 34 percent report feeling "unsafe" or "very unsafe." Of those traveling abroad, 40 percent of those staying in economy/budget hotels and 38 percent of guests staying in mid-scale limited service hotels say they felt "unsafe" or "very unsafe", compared with only 21 percent of guests who reported feeling "unsafe" or "very unsafe" while staying in luxury hotels.

The study also finds that providing a non-smoking environment continues to be important to hotel guests. Overall, 82 percent of guests say they prefer a smoke-free hotel environment-including public areas and guest rooms-up from 79 percent in 2006. In response to this preference among guests, some hotel brands now offer completely smoke-free environments, including Marriott properties in North America and Westin Hotels & Resorts properties in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

The 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered between June 2006 and June 2007 from 47,634 guests who stayed in a hotel between May 2006 to June 2007.

Find more detailed findings on customer satisfaction with hotels by watching a video, reading an article and reviewing hotel ratings at http://www.jdpower.com/ .

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on hotel ratings, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies(NYSE:MHP)is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/ .

Luxury Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
The Ritz-Carlton 854
JW Marriott 831
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts 821
Loews Hotels 818
Luxury Segment Average 815
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 808
W Hotels 798
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 777
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Le
Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt
Hotels, Sofitel and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
Upscale Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Embassy Suites Hotels 805
Renaissance Hotels & Resorts 801
Marriott Hotels & Resorts 795
Omni Hotels 794
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts 789
Westin Hotels & Resorts 789
Hilton Hotels 787
Upscale Segment Average 784
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 770
Doubletree 769
Delta Hotels 765
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts 763
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts 759
Radisson Hotels & Resorts 753
Mid-Scale Full Service Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Hilton Garden Inn 806
Courtyard 789
Four Points by Sheraton 755
Wyndham Garden Hotels 752
Mid-Scale Full Service Segment Average 745
Best Western 738
Holiday Inn 737
Clarion 733
Quality 724
Ramada Inn/Plaza 723
Howard Johnson Hotels/Plaza 672
NOTE: Novotel is included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample
Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Drury Inn & Suites 824
Hampton Inn/Suites 814
SpringHill Suites 800
Wingate Inn 789
Country Inns & Suites 785
Fairfield Inn 776
Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment Average 770
Holiday Inn Express 766
Comfort Suites 760
Sleep Inn 759
La Quinta 756
AmeriSuites 749
AmericInn 747
Baymont Inn & Suites 746
AmeriHost Inn & Suites 742
Comfort Inn 741
Ramada Limited 695
Economy/Budget Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Microtel Inns & Suites 743
Red Roof Inn 704
Super 8 Motel 697
Days Inn 688
Howard Johnson Express/Inns 685
Economy/Budget Segment Average 684
Travelodge 676
Motel 6 671
Econo Lodge 655
Rodeway Inn 633
Americas Best Value Inn 628
Knights Inn 621
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are:
America's Best Inns & Suites, Budget Host Inn and Country Hearth Inn
Extended Stay Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Homewood Suites 815
Residence Inn 809
Staybridge Suites 800
TownePlace Suites 780
Extended Stay Segment Average 778
Candlewood Suites 766
Hawthorn Suites 753
Extended StayAmerica 703
Homestead Studio Suites Hotels 702
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Hyatt
Summerfield Suites, MainStay Suites and Studio 6

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by published on July 25, 2007 2:03 PM.

Guests Remain Unaware of Hotels' Green Programs, Study Finds was the previous entry in this blog.

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