For that weekend a way, the choice of where to stay can be based on any number of factors. The first one has to be is it close to where you want to visit and the second is price. If it is too much then you will probably balance out price and location until you find something acceptable. But have you something in mind at the time you make the decision to have that weekend break?
The US company, Epsilon, the marketing services company that specialises in helping companies understand more about their customers, has conducted a small survey amongst Americans and has come up with some interesting thoughts. My first thought was whether the same applied here. See what you think.
They think that price is more important than any other factor and the location is the second. About a third of people knew when they decided to go away, where they would stay which leaves us with two thirds not knowing and therefore open to persuasion by travel agents, online websites and other influences like friends. That a third knew suggests that they were familiar with where they were going to stay. Is this returning to somewhere where things were appreciated? Was this due to a recommendation? If it shows us to be loyal then it suggests repeat business to be quite low. All those studies that show we return loyally back to the same hotel seem overrated.
The other feature of the Epsilon study is that it those review sites are significant sources of information in helping us to decide where to stay. Good – and bad – reviews play a part. A more important part than friends? My guess, and it is only that since the survey doesn’t seem to cover this, is that a word or two from someone I trust would carry more weight than a review site. I think a review site would help if I didn’t know the destination I was going to. But here is an interesting feature from the research. Even if a person has stayed in the hotel before there is a tendency to look at the reviews before making the decision. Why? Is this because it might have changed since they stayed there? Is it because they might have forgotten they stayed there and only realized after either the review or staying there? If anything this study makes you want to ask even more questions. And, as I said earlier, do the same conclusions apply to us in the UK as well?