Travellers desire personalised services: Study
A new research published by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on Wednesday revealed that the expectations of 21st century travellers are evolving - and the standards expected of global hotel brands are high.
In the past, the hospitality industry has traditionally focused on how to be 2D - global and local. This research shows that given the rapid rise of technology-enabled personalisation travellers now want hotel brands that are 3D - global, local and personal.
Last year, IHG published, 'The New Kinship Economy', highlighting a transition from brand experiences to brand relationships in the hospitality sector.
This year's research, Creating 'Moments of Trust: The key to building successful brand relationships in the Kinship Economy", builds on this work to help IHG gain a deeper understanding of what it is that travellers around the world are likely to want from their relationships with hotel brands.
It shows that travellers are reshaping their expectations of global hotel brands and are now looking for hotels to not only deliver consistently good service and to reflect local trends and customs, but to also tailor their stays to meet their personal preferences.
Richard Solomons, IHG Chief Executive said: "This report shows us that today's traveller trust global brands to deliver on a promise of quality and consistency. They also increasingly expect these same brands to deliver localised and personalised experiences, whether they are travelling for business or leisure - to experience truly 3D brands."
"That is why IHG has developed our ground-breaking HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts and EVEN Hotels brands and why we are focused on supporting technology-enabled personalisation across our whole brand family," Solomons said.
According to the report, whether in New York or New Delhi, people are increasingly looking for reliable, familiar services every time.
For many travellers only global hotel brands can provide this reassurance, with nearly three in four (71%) saying global hotel brands are more likely to be consistent and more than half saying they like knowing what to expect (60%).
However, despite placing a high importance on consistency, travellers don't want cookie cutter experiences. Travellers from emerging markets (Brazil 68%, UAE 60%, and China 58%) purposely choose global hotel brands because they feel they are considerate to local tastes, customs and cultures.
For these travellers, the more a brand demonstrates its respect for the local culture, the more trusted that brand is likely to be.
Douglas Martell, Vice President Operations, South West Asia at IHG said: "People now expect products and services in all aspects of their lives to be completely personalised and the travel industry is no exception. This research shows that travellers are increasingly demanding more from their hotel experience - they want authentic and exciting experiences as well as the comforts of home, wherever in the world they are."
"With this new paradox of desires for both innovation and consistency, IHG continues its focus on delivering a higher degree of localisation and personalisation across our portfolio of trusted global brands."
(Posted on 24-01-2014)