After several years of improvement, overall satisfaction among hotel guests in Europe has declined notably, with deterioration occurring across all levels of the guest experience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
Overall satisfaction averages 735 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011, down by 10 points from 2010. While satisfaction has decreased across all measures from 2010, the largest decline occurs in the cost and fees measure. Cost and fees satisfaction averages 682 in 2011, down by 32 points from 2010.
Cost and fees satisfaction in 2011 is comparable to 2009 levels (681). However, in 2009, overall satisfaction averaged 746—11 points higher than in 2011. This indicates that aspects of the guest experience outside of cost and fees have deteriorated considerably from 2009.
The study also finds that the availability of Internet service at hotel properties has become increasingly important. For the first time, complimentary Internet access has surpassed complimentary breakfast as the most important amenity. In addition, Internet use by hotel guests has nearly tripled during the past six years, with 47% of guests saying they used their hotel’s Internet connection in 2011, compared with 17% in 2005.
Hotel guests who are required to pay a separate fee for Internet connectivity are considerably less satisfied with costs and fees, compared with guests who receive Internet access for free or as part of their room rate. In addition, among guests who indicate they experienced a problem with Internet connectivity at their hotel, only 13% say they would return to the property for a future stay. In contrast, 28% of customers who did not experience a problem with the Internet say they would return.
J.D. Power survey results also leads to a ranking by brands:
Upper Upscale Segment
Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts ranks highest in the upper upscale segment for a fourth consecutive year, performing particularly well in all seven measures. Following in the segment rankings are Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, respectively.
Among upscale hotel brands, Hilton Garden Inn ranks highest in guest satisfaction and performs particularly well in four of the seven measures: guest room; hotel services; hotel facilities; and costs and fees. Following in the segment rankings are Riu Hotels & Resorts and Dorint Hotels & Resorts, respectively.
Ramada Hotels ranks highest in guest satisfaction in the midscale segment and performs particularly well in six of the seven measures: guest room; hotel facilities; check-in/check-out; food and beverage; hotel services; and reservation. Following Ramada Hotels in the segment rankings are Holiday Inn and Park Inn, respectively.
In the economy segment, Premier Inn ranks highest for a fourth consecutive year and performs particularly well in six of the seven measures: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel facilities; and costs and fees. B&B Hôtels and Travelodge, respectively, follow in the segment rankings.
The 2011 European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from more than 18,000 guests who stayed at a hotel in Europe between April and September 2011. The study was fielded between May and September 2011.