HotelsByDay Survey: Travelers are willing to pay COVID safety surcharges, with 72% expressing confidence in the hotel industry's handling of pandemic

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A survey of 1,057 American travelers reveals their expectations from re-opened hotels. From COVID safety surcharges, property amenities and safety procedures, to how confident they are about staying at a hotel, the survey reinforces the steps hotels must take to keep guests safe.

72% of American travelers expressed confidence in the hotel experience and plan to stay at a hotel again soon.

The hotel experience is really different these days.

As travelers plan fall "workcations" and winter holidays, hotels are working diligently to make guests feel confident and safe during their stay. HotelsByDay, a booking platform for day use hotels, surveyed 1,057 travelers to find out what they expect from re-opened hotels.

  • The top traveler expectations at re-opened hotels

As expected, the top guest expectations for re-opened hotels were around safety and sanitation. The top expectations were for hand sanitation stations (53%), mask requirements for staff and guests (50%), contactless options at the front desk (39%) and for hotels to limit access to guests only (37%).

Notably, 44% of guests expect a welcome basket upon check-in that includes hand sanitizer and masks.

  • Will travelers pay COVID safety surcharges?

Of course, these added items and safety processes costs hotels a lot of money -- up to $100,000 per hotel, according to IHG estimates. Surprisingly, guests are sympathetic to these costs, with 46% of respondents were either understanding of the fees (but disliked them) or saw them as necessary for survival. Fee fatigue was still real: 34% said "no more fees!" and another 18% want COVID costs rolled into the resort fee.

So how much are guests willing to pay? 30% of respondents said nothing at all, while 44% said anything under $19 is fair. A further 18% would pay anywhere from $20 to $50 for a COVID safety fee.

  • What hotel amenities do travelers expect to be open?

The other big adjustment to the guest experience is around hotel amenities. With social distancing and strict rules around indoor events, hotels have had to reduce hours and temporarily close property amenities. Yet, a big proportion of guests — 44% — still want daily housekeeping service. That’s a major thing, as you’d think that most guests would prefer to avoid that service.

  • Deals and discounts are top-of-mind

Travelers are also looking for deals — perhaps even more so than usual! 39% of respondents wanted to see discounted rates and/or special packages from hotels. This reflects both the dramatic drop in demand on the hotel side and the general “savings” mindset of travelers today.

  • The reviews are in: hotel guests are confident in the hotel experience

We also wanted to get a sense of how well hotels were meeting guest expectations during the pandemic. For those guests that have stayed at a hotel during this period, here’s how they rated their experience. Overall, not bad at all! Hotels are doing a really admirable job at keeping guests safe and meeting their expectations.

And yes, most guests felt really good about the guest experience. Based on their most recent hotel stay, 72% of respondents said that it met their expectations enough to give them the confidence to stay at a hotel again soon.

On the flip side, 23% weren’t totally comfortable with their experience and stated that they would be more careful with choosing a hotel for their next stay. A small percentage — 4% — had a really bad experience, one that put them off hotels for the foreseeable future.

See the full results here:

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Nick Vivion
since: 07/2014
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