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Hotels still clear winners in travel accomodation choices - survey

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new international annual survey on travel accommodation choices by The Rees Hotel Queenstown has attracted both predictable and not-so-predictable results from both the Kiwi and foreign leisure and business traveller.

Hundreds based across the globe from San Mateo to Manhattan divulged what they love - and hate - about a hotel stay plus the increasing importance to them of sustainable practices.

Despite a boom in the shared economy offering exponentially more accommodation choices, this has not impacted the survey results as much as perhaps could be first assumed. Hotels are by far still the tried and true favourite for "always" being first choice in both leisure and business travel reservations.

In the business travel context 68% of travellers "always" book hotel rooms and 80% said they’d "never" used Airbnb. 81% "sometimes" book apartments when on holiday. Most of those surveyed booked more than 10 room nights a year.

Over half of the survey respondents will stay the same amount of hotel room nights in 2018 and 30% signalled they’ll spend 30% more hotel nights in hotels this year.

The two main reasons given in favour of hotel rooms over other choices was for their best fit with short stays "for less than three nights" and best for meeting the needs of "solo travellers" or those with a partner only.

Apartments were favoured for extended stays, cooking facilities and the extra space. Hotel villas or residences were a best match for those wanting a "home away from home".

Peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb were preferred by an overwhelming 64% but only when they wanted to "save money" when offshore and seeking a "more local experience".

For trips where there’s a mix of business and pleasure or a niche activity like an event - again hotels took the prize for attracting the greatest number of thumbs up. Most voters said they "always" book a room instead of choosing an apartment, hotel villa or residence or Airbnb.

Over all, "Service" was the main repetitive reason why hotels were number one.

Other reasons ranged from "enjoying the luxury of not having to make beds" through to "all the extra touches like hand written notes and complimentary gifts."

Room service, housekeeping, a central location and the convenience of one "charge back facility" were predominantly mentioned as the "best" thing about staying at a hotel.

What frequently made the "worst" list for travellers included noisy neighbours, uncomfortable beds, no kitchen, extreme air conditioning (either too cold or too hot) and inaccurate portrayals of rooms on booking websites leading to the common pitfall of "thinking your room is larger than it is in reality and comes with a totally different view.

The poll also explored views about hotels’ sustainable practices. 65% said it was "very important". The top initiatives travellers’ rated in order of preference were recycling and paperless communications, followed by not laundering towels daily.

Other ideas suggested to improve sustainability included installing solar powered hot water, rooftop gardens with beehives, partitioned rubbish bins and avoiding the use of plastic straws.

Mark Rose, Chief Executive at The Rees, a Qualmark Gold rated property said he was not surprised by the survey results.

"It’s encouraging to see that our focus on having an excellent service ethic and commitment to sustainable practices is so well aligned with what guests want."

The difference he says between hotels and the peer-to-peer community driven hospitality model comes down to service and he attributes that focus to be one of the prime reasons for the independently owned boutique property’s ongoing and consistent success.

"This survey clearly underlines that guests want GREAT service when they are on holiday or travelling for work. We have put a huge deliberate effort into giving our team the skills and offerings necessary to consistently add that little bit extra" says Rose.

The Rees also delivers on the sustainability front: having launched its own apiary operation on-site last year, built a local wine and food supply channel, gained recognition from the industry for its rubbish recycling practices and operates one of the few electric car charging stations at New Zealand’s most popular tourism resort.

Through the focus on service, sustainability and listening to their guests, The Rees Hotel Queenstown aims to continue as an industry leader exceeding guest expectations.

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