Study Shows Travelers Find Hotel Co. Web Sites Lacking

Many multibrand hotel companies are failing to properly package information on their Web sites to encourage bookings by business travelers, according to second-quarter hotel company Web site satisfaction scores in a report released yesterday by New York research firm IPerceptions.

The study compiled information gleaned from a survey of 123,847 business and leisure travel visitors to hotel Web sites, along with supplemental information from hospitality companies. While corporate travelers in managed programs usually have to use preferred booking tools, they often still use hotel Web sites to research properties and explore amenities prior to booking, said IPerceptions President and CEO Claude Guay.

Those who were visiting the site for the first time had much lower satisfaction scores than those who were already familiar with the hotel company's brands and Web site, which suggests that the company's need to improve their presentation of brand offerings and value, he said.

"This industry was one of the early adopters in the late 1990s, but at some point, they stopped innovating," Guay said. "They're slapping nice coats of paint on, but they haven't changed the structure of the house."

Travelers who actually do book hotels through Web sites also reported a high rate of problems, according to the report. Of those who went to the Web site with the intention of booking a room, only 60 percent completed a reservation, with most of the walk-aways reporting technical and usability problems.

Source: Business Travel News