By: Jonathan Barsky, Lenny Nash
Hotel & Motel Management
According to the Market Metrix Hotel Index database of US hotel
guests, 25 percent of travelers spend more than $1,700/year on hotels
and represent nearly half of all revenue spent on US hotels.
The average rate for these high-spend travelers is approximately
$120 per night. Not surprisingly these upper-crust folks earn 35%
more than the average guest ($98,038 per year) and stay approximately
20 nights per year in hotels (7 nights more than other guests).
The average age of this group is 41 ½ years old which is
slightly older than all hotel patrons (39 years old) and includes
mostly men (61%).
These persons are four times as likely to join a frequent stay
program. Their levels of satisfaction and loyalty are, however,
on par with other hotel guests.
Within this lucrative group are 9 sub-segments. One of these groups
is called The Savvy Loyalist. These are older frequent travelers
who are bargain hunters and join loyalty programs to take advantage
of membership perks. 97% of persons in this group are currently
enrolled in a hotel frequent stay program. They like being treated
differently than other guests -- it makes them feel important. They
typically stay with such brands as Courtyard, Hampton Inn and Comfort
Another sub-group of big-spenders is the Ray Bans and Business
Cards. These mid-class businessmen (94% business, 67% male) travel
frequently (21 nights per year), actively seek hip hotels and reject
loyalty programs. Ray Bans and Business Cards want to stay in a
trendy hotel and location because it is important to them to look
and feel stylish. They rebuff loyalty programs because joining would
conflict with their independent nature. They patronize such hotel
brands as Marriott, Courtyard and Sheraton.
The largest pleasure group of big-spenders is the Wannabees. These
are middle-aged, modest-income travelers who will spend beyond their
means for a nice stay. Wannabees are easy-to-please guests who like
to feel important and respected. Their average income is only $59,000
but spend an average of $102 on 18 hotel nights per year. The most
important element of their hotel stay is being pampered. W Hotels,
Ritz-Carlton and Westin are the preferred hotel brands.
Perhaps the most interesting group is the Manicures and Massages.
This group may be described as Young pleasure travelers living
the good life in preferred hotels. These guests typically
stay in Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Fairmont and other
luxury hotels. These travelers are attracted to these hotels because
of the relaxed, content and comfortable experiences provided by
Despite the size of this group (2% of all hotel customers), they
contribute 6% of the amount spent on hotel rooms in the US ($3,812/year
per person). Their average rate is a healthy $211, higher than any
other customer group. Not surprisingly these upper-class folks earn
$132,889 per year (32% more than the average guest) and are slightly
younger than typical hotel patrons (36 years old).
Manicures and Massages come from big cities (New York City Houston,
Los Angeles, Santa Ana-Anaheim) and from select suburban locations
(Santa Rosa, CA; New Brunswick, NJ; Bridgeport-Stamford CT).
These guys and gals (51% male) are less likely to join frequent
stay programs, but once in the hotel, they are easier to please.
These guests report higher satisfaction levels than any other customer
group. As a result, these persons are 27% more likely to return
to that hotel brand.
The Market Metrix Hotel Index gauges satisfaction, price sensitivity
and 16 "feelings" of frequent travelers. Customer satisfaction
scores are based on responses to 13 product and service questions.
Quarterly interviews are conducted with 30,000 guests about their
most recent hotel stays and include more than 85 hotel brands in
all 50 states.
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Jonathan Barsky, Ph.D. and Lenny Nash are both partners with Market
Metrix LLC (HotelImprovement.com), a firm that provides customer
and employee satisfaction measurement services for hotels and resorts.
For more information, call 800-239-7515.