Market Metrix, LLC, the leading provider of market research services for the hospitality industry, today announced results of the Market Metrix Hospitality Index?” (MMHI) for the first quarter of this year. Homewood Suites, JetBlue Airways and Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranked number one in the hotel, airline and rental car industry categories, respectively. Homewood Suites’ top ranking in the hotel category represents the first time an extended-stay hotel chain has taken first place. JetBlue and Enterprise each had won the top spot in the third quarter of 2002.
Among the winners by hotel category, two brands have won for three quarters in a row: Walt Disney World Resorts in the upscale hotel category and Bellagio in the upscale casino category. Walt Disney World Resorts also scored the highest in customer loyalty, which is based on how likely its customers are to come back and to recommend the hotel. Generally, however, casinos continue to dominate the category measuring the strength of hotel loyalty programs designed to garner repeat business.
Customer satisfaction has nearly recovered from the events of September 11. The pre-9/11 customer satisfaction score of 84 in Q3 2001 slumped to 81 in Q1 2002 but has slowly risen: 82 in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2002, and 83 in Q1 2003.
“As the only quarterly report of satisfaction in hospitality, MMHI is able to isolate emerging industry trends. We detected the dip in satisfaction scores that followed September 11. That event and the worsening economy forced the hotel industry to reduce costs, including staffing cutbacks and reductions in services and amenities, which exacted a toll on the guest experience,” said Jonathan Barsky, partner of Market Metrix. “For the first time since 9/11, we have an increase in overall satisfaction in the first quarter of this year.”
Also since 9/11, leisure travelers represent a larger proportion of travelers (77 percent) compared to pre-9/11 levels (64 percent) and the average age of hotel guests has increased to 46 years old during this period.