Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maybe there's an upside to this whole recession-thing

According to a J.D. Power report (found on, "Despite Industry Downturn, Satisfaction with Hotels Increases "

I need to quote their release on the PR Newswire: "Even though reduced demand has caused hotel properties to slash operating costs and reduce staff, hotel guest satisfaction has improved in 2009, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM) released today."

That is to say that in four of the six categories studied, even though hotels were making do with less, they were delivering more. Not to disregard the impact on people who lost their jobs, but that's pretty cool.

Maybe it's because hoteliers were reminded of what they are really selling and went to greater lengths to deliver. Maybe -- although I doubt it -- guest expectations are lower. Whatever the case, it's an interesting lesson going forward. One that can apply even in boom times.

In case you're wondering, the six categories measured are
luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay. The key measurements within each segment are reservations; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and costs and fees.

The four segments that showed increased satisfaction over 2008 are
upscale; mid-scale full service; mid-scale limited service; and economy/budget. From upscale to budget -- if that's not pretty much the full range, I don't know what is.

What does all this mean? Well, from a purely parochial, narrow-minded, single-focused, with-blinders-on and only thinking of my business point of view, I'd say that the next time a hotel looks for money to cut from the budget, maybe advertising doesn't have to be the first to go.

(Or maybe that's just my way of making this whole post relevant to advertising. )

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