European travellers are shunning five-star hotels for budget properties, according to a new survey.
Almost 40% of those polled said they were becoming “less convinced” about the added value of premium properties.
And 29% said they considered staying in a budget hotel to be “a great experience”.
The research also found that 87% of travellers pay on average less than E120 per night for their stay.
The report confirms similar findings earlier in the year by technology provider Amadeus and the Economist Intelligence Unit that a “new age of austerity” in terms of business travel was dawning.
That report, released in February, predicted that in 2009 business travellers will take fewer, shorter and cheaper business trips and will opt for basic efficiency and good service over ancillary services.
The latest report, by Samsung and OnePoll, interviewed 5,000 people across Europe.
The research revealed that 81% of travellers said cleanliness was a crucial part of their decision-making process; 46% of Germans were not prepared to compromise on the quality of breakfast and dinner; a third of Italians and 17% of French named customer service as their top priority and more than a fifth of UK respondents said the size of the room was top of their list.
The findings emphasise the fact that the recession has led to a renewed focus on quality of experience as well as cost – making Europe’s budget hotels ideally placed to prosper during the downturn.
Vanguelis Panayotis, Director of Development from MKG Hospitality added: “Our most recent Hotel Industry Trends report demonstrates that budget hotels have felt the effects of the recession significantly less than their upmarket competitors both in terms of customer numbers and revenue per room.
Value is the key decision maker for today’s guests, whether they’re travelling for business or pleasure, and budget hotels are ideally placed to benefit from it.”
The research also asked what single factor would deliver the greatest ‘upgrade’ experience. WiFi was specified as a key influence in Spain (16%) and France (18%), while in Italy 15% said that luxury toiletries would have the biggest influence on their impression of a hotel. For 22% of UK respondents the size of the room came top of the list, with 19% voting for a stylish interior.
A swimming pool was important to 17% of respondents, while 13% said that a flat screen LCD or plasma TV would make them feel like they were in a top of the range hotel.