Survey Reveals Selectivity

12th Aug 2004

Quality and price reign supreme
for consumers who book hotel reservations online. According to a new survey, consumers are getting savvier in their hotel selection
process relying on more than just price for their buying decisions.
The “How Do You Hotel” Survey of nearly 1,000 people, which was conducted
to gauge consumer purchasing behavior and attitudes toward hotels, found
the majority of respondents consider their hotel decision to be very
important to their trip whether traveling for business or pleasure.

“This survey validates a growing trend that consumers want more than just
a good price but are looking for those value-added savings that can help
them to make their buying decisions easily and confidently,” said Cheryl
Rosner, president of “ is the only travel site today
offering such a variety of additional benefits with bookings such as
complimentary breakfasts, roadside assistance, gas rebates, entertainment
coupons and even free steaks.” **

Overall, the survey found that more than 67 percent of people
feel more confident about booking hotels online when they see a photo of
the property; the most important amenity for 64 percent of respondents is
complimentary breakfast and 72 percent prefer a traditional hotel room
when traveling.

But what does it look like?

Just as most online retail shoppers would not purchase a product sight
unseen, nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed that seeing photos of the
hotel and hotel rooms are key to their decision making process and more
than half agreed that the quality or rating of the hotel makes them feel
more confident when booking. When asked what concerns them most about
making a hotel reservation online, more than half indicated that the hotel
they book is in the right location and that the website description about
the hotels is accurate.


Where is it?

An overwhelming majority indicated that the type of accommodations chosen
depends upon the trip type (i.e. business or pleasure) the respondents are
taking. Location ranked highly among what influences their lodging
decisions at 77 percent and who they are traveling with (i.e. family or
friends) was close behind at 58 percent. But, price is still the single
most important consideration in the hotel selection process with hotel
amenities being least important in the purchasing decision. However, when
asked about their favorite amenity, respondents gave multiple answers
indicating that it is a variety of factors that contribute to their
decision making process.

Favorite Hotel Amenity—Complimentary breakfasts - 64%—Swimming Pool
- 56%—Luxury room amenities: i.e. featherbeds, bath products - 36%—
Jacuzzi bathtub - 35%—Fitness center or Spa - 26%—Kid-friendly
features: i.e. cribs, game rooms, activities - 19%—In-room refrigerator
- 19%—High-tech features: high-speed Internet, flat screen TVs - 16%

In order to address each of the booking preferences, gives
customers the ability to search for a hotel by price, location and/or
amenities ensuring that customers are able to find the right hotel for
their trip.

What’s your type?

While most travelers still prefer a traditional hotel situation, an
increasing number of Americans are checking out non-traditional
accommodation options such as Bed&Breakfasts, vacation rentals which
include condos, apartments, villas and private homes, and
boutique/independent hotels. The trend can be attributed toward travelers
growing desire for larger space and unique experiences tailored to their
interests and needs. Anticipating this growing segment, offers
travelers a selection of thousands of vacation rental properties and is
the only national booking engine for vacation rentals available on the

The “How Do You Hotel Survey” was conducted in conjunction with
the recent introduction of the, Meet the Experts advertising
campaign. It is based on an online survey among a sample of U.S. adults
visiting from July 12-26, 2004. The survey results have a
margin of error of 3.11%. Survey results may not add up to 100 percent as
respondents were give the option of “choose all that apply” as a response.


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