Hotel brands lose their power as consumers look for price

With the major hotel companies launching an array of new brands into an increasingly fragmented accommodation sector, the value of a brand name is decreasing, according to new data.

Data from Unabashed Research and Expedia Group has shown price carries more weight than any other driver of hotel selection, followed by guest ratings.

“While consumers want the best deal on travel bookings, their individual selections ultimately reflect their values,” said Abhijit Pal, head of research for Expedia Group.

“The consumer searching for a budget accommodation will look for the best value within their constraints, while someone with more disposable income may prefer a luxury option and be willing to pay more per night, but not more than they have to.”

Guest ratings have a strong influence on selection, with a 72 percent chance that any consumer will value guest ratings higher than hotel brand according to the study.

Consumers were also willing to pay more for higher guest reviews, and considerably more so than for more premium brands.

“Peer, or guest ratings have essentially levelled the playing field for independent hotels, as more potential guests seek out third party endorsements for hotel properties they are considering,” said Jamie Griego, director of market management at Expedia Group.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for hotel brands though, as they carried a slight advantage over other attributes, including remodel callouts, room image and star ratings, according to the study.