With a strong economic resurgence under way, luxury brands seem to be benefiting from the increase in discretionary income and corporate travel budgets more than any other tier. That is at least what is shown in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry Report for Q1 2011 by Perceptions Inc., the web-focused Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics provider.
Luxury brands were among the most negatively impacted by the recent economic downturn. Economic indicators such as increases in employment, disposable incomes and corporate budgets for business travel, all point to the reasons of their strong recovery.
Price still remains a key motivator in booking, even among luxury brands as travelers continuously browse multiple sites to secure the best deal possible. However, with a healthier economy, other factors will weigh in on the booking decision, such as brand reputation and services offered.
2011 will be a year of opportunity for hospitality brands to differentiate themselves from the competition by offering products and services that their competitors do not. With consumers being less financially restricted than in 2010, they may be willing to spend more if what they are buying increases perceptions of the value they are getting.
Other important findings from the report include:
- Business travel increased from 29% in Q4 2010 to 32% in Q1 2011, while leisure travel decreased from 63% to 60% during the same time period.
- Luxury hotel stays increased from 36% in Q4 2010 to 44% in Q1 2011. As a result, there was a decrease in visitors who stayed at midscale and economy hotels.
- Technical difficulties increased from 14% in Q4 2010 to 18% in Q1 2011 for visitors who came to make a reservation and encountered booking problems.
- Business travelers continued to have difficulty finding specific information related to their stay, such as conference room details, maps/distance to meeting locations and shuttle service.
The report analyzed immediate post-experience feedback from more than 130,000 people visiting over 100 hospitality and tourism sites to identify the most important online issues and trends facing this unique industry. For the full report click here.