SOURCE: Market Metrix

Market Metrix

June 09, 2009 08:00 ET

Hotels Keep Customers Happy Despite Cuts in Staff and Service; Luxury Hotels Struggling; Casinos and Timeshares Improve

Market Metrix Announces First Quarter 2009 Hospitality Index Results

SAN RAFAEL, CA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - Customer satisfaction with hotels remained strong (unchanged at 82.9) but airlines (-1.9 to 75.8) and rental car (-0.3 to 79.0) scores declined in the first quarter of 2009. Mandarin Oriental Hotels, JetBlue Airlines and Enterprise Rent-a-Car ranked number one in hotel, airline and rental car industry customer satisfaction, respectively.

Comparing performance across the hospitality industry

Hotels are facing a difficult time as consumers and businesses tighten spending on vacations and scale back on conventions and business travel. Despite the escalating recession, the industry has been able to protect the guest experience -- customer satisfaction remains steady at near record level scores. However, the results for individual hotel companies are mixed. Unlike previous recessions, the luxury chains have been hit hard this time -- here prices as well as quality of service have been cut. This is problematic, because the success of the luxury hotel is a function of great service and reasonably high margins. By contrast, value for money has remained strong for the budget hotels, in part because both prices and service were low to begin with.

The car rental industry continues to face a difficult operating environment with fewer people renting cars and rising costs (e.g. higher vehicle maintenance and repair costs). As a result, reductions in staff and operational cutbacks have resulted in diminishing levels of customer satisfaction. Hertz (+.8 to 80.1) and Thrifty (+.5 to 79.9) showed the biggest improvements in customer satisfaction scores while Alamo (-3.5 to 77) and Budget (-2.2 to 77.3) showed the biggest declines. Enterprise continues their industry dominance with overall satisfaction and loyalty scores well above competitors.

Passenger satisfaction with airlines declined (-1.9 to 75.8) compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. High volatility in fuel prices, indifferent service, labor problems, congested airports, and financial challenges continue to weigh heavily on the industry. Airlines remain the lowest scoring industry in this study. JetBlue retained the top spot with improved scores while AirTran posted the biggest decline (-1.1 to 76.0). Frontier Airlines continues its ascent with improved scores (+3.5 to 82) landing the brand in second place and edging closer to the top spot.

Top Scoring Hotel Brands

The top score among all hotel brands for Q1 2009 was Mandarin Oriental -- a portfolio of deluxe and first class hotels, resorts and residences in 25 countries. Guests rave about their "inspiring" experience, the "exquisite facilities," the staff's "legendary service" and even the "great value." Kimpton Hotels posted a big gain (+4.9 to 94.7) and won the Upper Upscale category. The first quarter results also included two first time winners: The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino (+2.8 to 88.1) won the Casino segment and WorldMark by Wyndham (formerly Trendwest Resorts) increased .5 to 91.5 which earned them top honors in the Timeshare Accommodations category.

            Market Metrix Hospitality Index - Q1 2009 Winners

WINNER                                      SEGMENT

Hotels
------
Mandarin Oriental                    96.2   Luxury
Kimpton Hotels                       94.7   Upper Upscale
Staybridge                           90.9   Upscale
Holiday Inn Select                   82.3   Midscale w/ F&B
Drury Inns                           91.9   Midscale w/o F&B
Microtel Inns & Suites               84.8   Economy

Casinos
-------
Wynn Las Vegas                       93.2   Upscale casino
Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino         88.1   Casino

Web Sites
---------
Le Meridian                          88.5   Hotel Brand Web Site
Hotwire.com                          79.1   Hotel Travel Web Site

Airline
-------
JetBlue                              83.2   Airline

Car Rental
----------
Enterprise                           82.2   Car Rental

Timeshare
---------
WorldMark by Wyndham                 91.5   Timeshare Accommodations

About MMHI

Based on 35,000 customer interviews conducted each quarter, the Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI) is the largest and most in-depth measure of hospitality company performance available today. These benchmarks, delivered through our flagship product Customer Metrix™, enable Market Metrix clients to compare their results to competitors by STAR segment, AAA classification, Brand, SMSA, industry averages, performers in the top 10% and other classifications. The MMHI is also available by subscription.

About Market Metrix

Market Metrix is helping hospitality companies around the world succeed in the tough economy. With guest feedback collected 24/7/365, and built-in service recovery and investment decision support tools, we help clients save money and reduce risk of client defections. Based on award-winning research and breakthrough concepts, our SaaS-based products deliver instant survey results, analysis and management tools for increasing revenue and reducing staff turnover. Our benchmarking database, MMHI, is the most comprehensive, independent comparison of consumer brand satisfaction in the industry. Our annual MMHI Awards are coveted by lodging and travel enterprises around the world. With clients that include more than 120 brands across 70 countries, Market Metrix has been helping leading hospitality companies turn feedback into performance since 1996. For more information, visit www.marketmetrix.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Mike Pharis
    1-800-239-7515