Premier Inn is the most popular budget hotel brand among the UK public, according to new research. This was revealed as the group posted a 12.5 per cent rise in sales for Q2 compared with Q1.
PRWeek/OnePoll's survey of 2,000 members of the UK public found that 39 per cent thought Premier Inn had the best reputation among budget hotel brands, compared with 19 per cent for Travelodge and 16 per cent for Express by Holiday Inn.
Of the higher-end hotels, Hilton was seen as the brand with the best reputation by 38 per cent of respondents, with Marriott in second place at 25 per cent.
The Ritz Carlton was named as the luxury hotel brand with the best reputation by 22 per cent, followed by the Waldorf Astoria at 18 per cent and Sheraton with 12 per cent.
Most respondents book rooms direct through a hotel's website (55 per cent), while 29 per cent do so through a search engine. Expedia.com was named as the online booking service with the best reputation by 34 per cent, ahead of Lastminute.com with 29 per cent and Hotels.com - also owned by Expedia - with 18 per cent.
Three-quarters of respondents said they read reviews online before booking, and 73 per cent said a negative review would affect their decision about where to stay.
Just over half said they would be most likely to book a particular hotel if a friend recommended it, compared with 28 per cent who would be influenced by a positive online review by a previous customer and 11 per cent by a good review from a journalist.
Survey of 2,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll.
HOW I SEE IT
James Brooke, MD, Rooster PR
While most people would assume that price is the number one factor when choosing a hotel, particularly one of the budget brands, price was beaten into second place by location.
Despite the best efforts and significant marketing spend of brands such as Premier Inn with its high-profile Lenny Henry ads, brand loyalty, facilities and previous visits were revealed as being insignificant. For domestic travellers, convenience is still key - there is simply no point in staying in a budget hotel if transport costs to and from it are prohibitive.
For those brands, budget or luxury, that still are not embracing online reputation management, the stats on hotel reviews online simply cannot be ignored.
Digging deeper into the results, I wonder if there is an opportunity for parent firms to better communicate their ownership structure.
With the increasing influence of citizen journalism, large corporates need to work at developing a personality and communicating approachability.
75% of respondents said they read online reviews of hotels in advance of making a reservation
73% said a negative review would affect their decision about where to stay
55% said they booked hotel rooms direct through the hotel's website