Burba Hotel Network, (BHN) host the Rolls Royce of hospitality investment/finance conferences around the world. These must attend events are frequented by industry innovators, influencers, and thought leaders.  To that end BHN developed it’s first opinion survey this past March and reached more 1,000 hotel insiders discovering their likes/dislikes, and preferences. Here are their opinions:

Location, Location, Location: What is the first consideration when choosing a hotel when traveling for personal reasons?  61% say location.  Logical, but we thought brand affiliation might be more important since we were polling hotel industry insiders. Actually, price was identified the second most frequently (18%), followed closely by brand affiliation (17%), and finally amenities (5%).

Is Online Really Out-of-Line?: Despite the rancor about Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), 63% of our insider respondents have used an online booking service such as Hotels.com or Expedia to purchase a hotel room for personal travel over the past year.  For business travel, this number drops to 45%, no doubt due to corporate and other business relationships of the respondents.

It’s Not the Bed, It’s the Wi-Fi: In an earlier survey  we were told that Wi-Fi was the most desirable amenity in a hotel room.  Well, it is also the most annoying amenity – when one has to pay for it or it doesn’t work well.  42% of respondents noted slow Wi-Fi as the most annoying thing in a hotel room.  Coupled with a number of open-ended responses about price, difficulty, or lack of – Wi-Fi is the winner – or is it the loser?  The second most annoying thing noted in a hotel room was poor lighting (17%), followed in a cluster by slow room service, no coffee maker, mini bar prices, and no place for luggage (all 5-6%).  In the open ended responses, lack of power outlets and dirty rooms led the “annoying” responses.

It’s All About the Miles: Perhaps the most surprising (or not) survey finding came from our question about what hotel insiders prefer to collect.  Is it the miles or the points?  A whopping 87% think it is more important to collect airline miles, leaving a lowly 13% indicating that collecting hotel frequent stay points was their top preference.  Why?  Is it because hotel insiders don’t need to redeem points to stay at their own hotel brand, because hotel rewards aren’t seen as being as valuable as airline rewards, because it takes too long to earn something meaningful, or because location drives the personal travel decision and not the brand? We wonder what the hotel frequent stay executives will think about this result.

The Survey Facts:

  • 53% indicated they live in the U.S.
  • 25% indicated they live in Asia
  • 10% of the respondents indicated they live in Europe
  • The balance of the respondents was spread fairly evenly around the globe.

The age of the survey respondents show a broad range:

  • 33% were 46-55
  • 26% were 56-65
  • 3% were 25 or younger
  • 8% were 66 or older

Of course you are invited to share your thoughts, and comment on this interesting survey.