Luxury tier could gain from hotel bookers seeking to demonstrate that worst is over.
One of the many intriguing findings from this year's MeetingsMetrix report by Hotels and Hospitality insight specialists BDRC Continental is that, contrary to what you might expect in challenging times, there is still an opportunity for upscale hotels to steal share from mid-market competitors. In a series of focus groups conducted as part of the project, one of the key messages expressed by bookers was the importance of being seen by their clients to have weathered the storm: ‘the need to create a good impression' was 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, comments: "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."
Booking channels under scrutiny
MeetingsMetrix 2012 also reveals attitudes to hotel booking channels, uncovering a widespread resistance to CRS and online RFP. Key barriers to using 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. Furthermore there is 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 notes: "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".
About BDRC Continental
BDRC Continental is the UK's largest independent market research agency. Established in 1991, the company has built an unrivalled reputation as a full service consultancy with specialist expertise across a number of sectors including business to business, financial services, hotels, meetings & hospitality, media & advertising, internet & telecoms, Government & not for profit, culture & leisure and tourism, travel & transport. www.bdrc-continental.com
MeetingsMetrix, formerly the UK Meetings Market Survey, has been conducted annually since its launch in 1996. It is based on 500 in-depth interviews with nationally representative samples of Agents, Corporate Organisers and Association planners.
MeetingsMetrix comprises one annual survey and 4 quarterly bulletins. The annual survey measures the performance of over 30 hotel and conference centre brands and tracks market trends and booking behaviours.