Top Unforgettable Results from the Expedia Group, PhocusWire, and TrustYou Webinar

Looking back at a year full of new information, we took the time to revisit our biggest webinar of 2019 and extract the key results. There were so many great recommendations hidden within the research results in the webinar, “Battle of the Brands: How Guest Reviews are Stealing the Show.” Let’s take a look at the top three results that we’ve extracted for all those who missed it. Don’t worry, you can still access the full recording here.

  • Guest Rating Reigns as #1 in Importance

Price is the variable that ultimately has the highest influence on a booking decision. However, from the hotel perspective, Price / ADR (Average Daily Rate), is the most important factor to actually test against, meaning hotels are always looking for ways to compete while maximizing ADR. Multiple studies conducted by TrustYou and Expedia Group independently showed that Guest Ratings have the most influence on purchase decisions, followed by the hotel’s Brand. Expedia Group determined the difference between these two variables is that there is a 72% chance that a consumer is going to value Guest Rating over Brand. Other variables, including the Star Class, Room Image, and Labels/Descriptions played far less significance in the ultimate booking decision. At the end of the day, the Guest Rating is the variable with the highest impact on Price.

  • Increase ADR by Improving the Guest Rating

Detailed research dove further into the correlation and reported on the positive and negative percentage impact that Guest Ratings have on the Price that a guest is willing to pay. Just take a look at the table below to see the pricing premium percentage, or have a look at our previous blog. In the webinar, Abhijit Pal revealed further statistics, “there is a 24% increase in ADR for people that are willing to pay for a 3.4 Guest Rating versus a 3.9 Guest Rating and a 35% increase for consumers that are looking at a 3.9 Guest Rating versus a 4.5 Guest Rating.” The result here is that increasing your rating by a half-point has a much higher impact on ADR than an increase in the perceived value of a brand.

Guest Rating2.9 Score3.4 Score3.9 Score4.4 Score4.9 Score

  • Independent Hotels Can Compete with Chains

Guest Ratings can still work to the independent hotelier’s advantage. While there is some slight premium percentage attached to a hotel’s brand, Guest Rating enhances that premium above and beyond that. Abhijit Pal explains further that “this is a takeaway that any hotelier can potentially utilize when thinking about their pricing strategy and thinking about the quality of the product that they’re going to put out and how to improve their operating metrics.” Considering all things equal, including the hotel’s ADR, an independent brand could compete with a known chain by significantly improving their Guest Rating, thereby proving the point that it should be a top priority for independent hotels to invest in having the higher Guest Ratings than the hotels they are competing with in order to win the traveler’s booking decision.

Keep in mind that these three results are just a portion of the findings discussed in the “Battle of the Brands” webinar, so if you haven’t already, watch the full recording here