North American Visitor Satisfaction Drops as Travel Volume, Room Rates Rise, JD Power Finds
TROY, Mich .– (BUSINESS WIRE)-Hotel occupancy rates are on track to approach pre-pandemic levels this year1 while travelers return on the road and in the air to make up for two extra years of postponed vacation plans. However, according to the JD Power 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study,SM released today, increasing demand and ever -increasing prices have not been met by corresponding improvements in amenities or services. As a result, overall hotel guest satisfaction has dropped 8 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2021, mainly driven by dissatisfaction with cost and fees and guest rooms.
“The phenomenon we’re seeing this year closely tracks the increase in average daily room rates since late 2021, putting hotel property owners in recovery mode, ” he says. Andrea Stokes, leader of hospitality training at JD Power. “During the fielding period of the study — June 2021 to May 2022 — the average daily rate for branded hotels increased by 34.8%.2 Many hotel owners and operators use this post-pandemic travel advancement to get back into financial stability, but they refrain from investing in upgrades and improvements during the pandemic. Hotel operators must carefully balance a focus on recovery with higher guest expectations along with higher room rates.
The following are additional important findings of the 2022 study:
- Price increases in all segments but many travelers do not see good value for money: The single biggest factor driving the 8-point decline in overall satisfaction this year was cost and hotel fees. Another factor driving the decline was the enjoyment of guest rooms, which suggests that hotel guests feel like they are paying more, but not getting more in return.
- Decreased enjoyment in guest rooms: While hotels are still getting relatively high satisfaction scores for guest room cleanliness, scores for decor and furnishings, in-room amenities and quality of bathrooms have dropped since a year ago.
- More guests paying for internet access: One hotel amenity that guests cannot live without is Wi-Fi. A large majority (81%) of guests accessed the internet in their hotel rooms. The percentage of visitors who paid extra for that privilege rose four percentage points from pre-pandemic 2019.
- Less staff interaction: After emerging as pandemic heroes by helping to maintain hotels and run through one of the toughest times in history, hotel frontline staff have spread thinner this year due to labor shortages in the industry. However, while fewer visitors interacted with front desk staff and breakfast attendants this year compared to pre-pandemic 2019, they still give staff high ratings for courtesy.
Upscale Extended Stay and Upper Midscale/Midscale Extended Stay are two new segments included in this year’s study. The following hotel brands have the highest guest satisfaction rankings in their respective segments:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (885) (for the second consecutive year)
Upper Upscale: Hard Rock Hotels (883) (for second consecutive year) Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn (868)
Upscale Extended Stay: Hyatt House (857)
Upper Midscale: Hotels in Drury (877) (for 17th consecutive year)
Upper Midscale/Midscale Extended Stay: Sonesta Simply Suites (852)
Midscale: Wingate of Wyndham (849)
Economy: WoodSpring Suites (798)
See ranking charts for each segment at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2022079.
The 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study, now in its 26th year, examines guest responses to more than 150 questions about branded hotel stay experiences and benchmarks performance of 101 brands in eight market segments. This year’s study was based on responses from 34,407 hotel guests for stays between May 2021 and May 2022.
For more information about the North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-north-america-hotel-guest-satisfaction-index-study.
About JD Power
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1 American Hotel & Lodging Association 2022 State of the Hotel Industry Report https://www.ahla.com/sites/default/files/AHLA%20SOTI%20Report%202022%201.24.22.pdf
2 Source: CoStar/STR