JD Power and Associates just released the results of its 2009 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. Now in its 13th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across six hotel segments: luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay. The study is based on responses gathered between June 2008 and June 2009 from more than 66,000 guests who stayed in a hotel between May 2008 and June 2009.
The study provides some good news for the green lodging movement, with two important findings:
1. Guest awareness of property-initiated green programs has increased significantly in 2009, with 66 percent of guests stating that they were aware of their hotel's conservation efforts, compared with 57 percent in 2008. Among these guests, 72 percent say they participated in their hotel's conservation programs.
2. Awareness of green programs has a strong impact on overall hotel guest satisfaction. On average, satisfaction is more than 160 points higher among guests who report being aware of their hotel's green programs, compared with guests who are unaware of them.
Why are guests more aware of properties' green programs? The amount of information online has increased significantly over the past year—whether on individual properties' websites or other sites that either list or rate green lodging properties. Hotels are also doing a better job educating guests once they are at the property.
I am not surprised at all to learn about the strong connection between green programs and guest satisfaction. Travelers like to know that property owners care about more than their bottom lines.
In a year filled with a lot of bad news for lodging, JD Power's report has some great news for "green" lodging.