Upscale hotels have the opportunity to steal share from mid-market competitors because customers want to be seen to be 'weathering the storm' of challenging times, according to BDRC Continental’s MeetingsMetrix report.
The hospitality and hotel insight specialist conducted a series of focus groups for the project, with bookers noting ‘the need the need to create a good impression’ as one of the key demand drivers for external meeting space. In the quantitative survey a number of upscale brands gained higher 'leading choice' scores, with mid-market brands typically losing ground.
Jude Bissert, client services director at BDRC Continental, said: “The latest MeetingsMetrix report demonstrates that the need to impress features very highly on many hotel bookers’ agendas. After several years of economic uncertainty, businesses now want to show that they are trading positively and in doing so are seeking out higher end venues to host their events.”
The MeetingsMetrix report also revealed a widespread resistance to computer reservation systems (CRS) and online RFP. Key barriers surrounding CRS include a lack of information resulting in the agent having to call the hotel to confirm finer details, prompting hotel bookers to deal directly with the property. There was also the concern that when an online RFP is completed it will not always reach its final destination, and there is no paper trail informing the client that anything has been received.
Bissert added: “This negative reaction to CRS presents hotel chains with a real opportunity to become the market leader in customer service through knowledge development and internal training. Simple confirmation of RFP reception and proactive communication would also go a long way to allaying hotel bookers’ fears in this area.”