75,000 Surveys Reveal the Personal Values that Motivate People to Choose a Hotel

By David Allison Principal, David Allison Inc. | February 10, 2019

The Valuegraphics Database is a random stratified statistical representation of the population of Canada and the US, currently comprised of 75,000 surveys that delve into respondent wants, needs and expectations relating to 40 core values and 340 questions about life.  If you are not a data geek, that's a stupendously boring first sentence.

But I wanted you to know about the intense geekiness of the Valuegraphics Database so you would understand that the Valuegraphics Industry Profile (VIP) that follows is NOT just another opinion. It's data. It's based on fact.

The Lodging industry in all price categories is going through a period of disruption, with huge forces at play. New technologies, mergers, acquisitions, online competition, Airbnb, new travel behaviours, new types of travelers: these are not small adjustments to an ecosystem. This is even more than disruption.

This is reinvention.

Which means there are consultants. Lots of consultants. And complex secondary research. And studies based on smaller samples. And conferences and events and courses and seminars. And reports from well-meaning industry insiders about pricing models. And books and magazines galore. It must feel hard sometimes to stay on top of all that information, especially when much of it is conflicting.

In the midst of that chaos it's valuable to step back and ask our consumers, directly, what they value, want, need and expect. And that's where the 75,000 surveys in the Valuegraphics Database come in. We've done that work of asking hotel guests those questions for you. What we found, follows.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.