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50% unaware of green programs.
Thursday, 18th October 2007
Source : J.D. Power and Associates
Although environmental conservation is an important topic across the globe and, in response, many hotels have implemented environmentally friendly programs at their properties, nearly one-half of European hotel guests are unaware of them -according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM) released today.

The study finds that a large majority of hotel guests (77 percent) who are aware of the environmentally friendly programs their property offers say they willingly participate in them. However, while 49 percent of European hotel guests say that they knew of their hotel's conservation programs during a recent stay, almost as many guests -- 44 percent -- say they were unaware of these offerings.

"As a point of comparison, 63 percent of hotel guests in the United States say they are aware of their hotel's green programs, so there is ample opportunity for European hotel companies to raise awareness of environmentally friendly policies among their guests," said Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "It is vitally important for hotel properties to actively market their eco-friendly programs and make such offerings easy for guests to recognize and participate in. Without an increase in awareness, these properties may miss reaping the benefits of these programs, which not only positively impact the environment and a guest's quality of life, but also the hotel's bottom line."

The study, now in its third year, measures the overall satisfaction of European hotel guests based on seven factors (in order of importance): costs and fees; guest room; hotel facilities; food and beverage; check-in/check-out; hotel services; and reservations.

Forty-one hotel brands were measured and ranked in four segments: upper upscale, upscale, mid-scale full service and economy. While guest satisfaction with luxury hotels is measured in the study, there is no official hotel ranking in the segment due to an insufficient sample size.

Upper Upscale Segment

Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts ranks highest in the highly competitive upper upscale segment, performing particularly well in the check-in/check-out factor. Hilton Hotels closely follows Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, performing well in guest room and hotel facilities. Following Hilton Hotels in the segment is Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts, which performs particularly well in food and beverage; check-in/check-out; hotel services; and reservations.

Upscale Segment

Among upscale hotel brands, De Vere Hotels ranks highest in guest satisfaction, performing particularly well in costs and fees; hotel facilities; and reservations. Following De Vere Hotels are AC Hoteles and Melia Hoteles, in a tie. AC Hoteles performs particularly well in the guest room factor, while Melia Hoteles performs well in food and beverage.

Mid-Scale Full Service Segment

In the mid-scale full service segment, Clarion ranks highest with segment-leading performances in the costs and fees, food and beverage and hotel services factors. Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn follow Clarion in the segment rankings, respectively, with Movenpick Hotels & Resorts performing particularly well in guest room, hotel facilities, and reservations.

Economy Segment

In the economy segment, Park Inn ranks highest, performing particularly well in four of the seven factors: guest room; check-in/check-out; food and beverage; and hotel facilities. Premier Travel Inn and Tulip Inns follow Park Inn in the rankings, respectively. Premier Travel Inn performs well in three factors: costs and fees; hotel services; and reservations.

The study also finds that, among 38 amenities included in the study, European hotel guests say that complimentary breakfast, wireless Internet access, and a bathtub are the three most important "must-haves."

"The emergence of wireless Internet access and bathtubs in the list of top must-have amenities reflects that hotel guests crave the comforts and conveniences of home when they travel," said Hirneise. "It is no longer good enough to offer wireless Internet access in common areas, as has been the case in the past. Customers tell us that they want it in the guest room as well. Also, some newer properties have begun doing away with bathtubs and replacing them with larger and more functional showers. Designers may need to reconsider the bathtub's importance as they look at future bathroom designs and layouts."

The study results include the following key findings:

  • The number of European hotel guests who say they prefer a non-smoking hotel environment has increased from 69 percent in 2006 to 77 percent in 2007. The desire for a smoke-free environment ranges from 70 percent of residents of Spain, to a high of 87 percent of residents of Sweden.
  • The study also finds that more than 50 percent of guests book their hotel reservations online-up from 34 percent in 2005. Independent Web sites -- such as Expedia and Hotels.com -- are continuously ceding market share to hotel brand Web sites, as hotel guests are three times as likely to book reservations through a hotel brand Web site.
The 2007 European Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 11,728 guests who stayed at a hotel in Europe between June and September 2007. The study was fielded in August and September 2007. For more information on European hotels, visit JDPower.com.
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