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Endless Choices for Guests to Find the Perfect Hotel Stay

06 June 2024
Imagine this: You're planning a weekend getaway and decide to browse hotel options in a popular destination. As you scroll through the choices, hotels bombard you with many packages – a romantic getaway for couples, a family fun package, a pet-friendly offer, a senior discount, a golf retreat, and so on. Before you know it, you're overwhelmed, struggling to decide which package, if any, fits your needs.
Despite the many packages and offers, hotels often miss the mark because they don't truly understand what their guests want. This scattergun approach aims to convert lookers into bookers by the sheer volume of options. However, more choices don't necessarily lead to better decisions or increased satisfaction. Instead, they often result in decision fatigue and missed opportunities for genuine guest connection.
The phenomenon of choice overload resonates deeply with many of us. Over the past few decades, research has shown that when people face too many options, they experience adverse outcomes such as frustration, confusion, regret, and even choice paralysis. A study involving over 7,000 participants across six countries found that choice deprivation (having too few options) is more commonly reported and harmful to satisfaction. However, choice overload still significantly impacts consumers, especially in Western cultures.
There is a better way – one that starts by genuinely knowing your guests and offering what they need and want.

The Traditional Approach - Many Choices

Why Hotels Offer So Many Options

Hotels often try to attract guests by offering a wide variety of packages. These can include things for pet owners, discounts for older adults, romantic trips, and golf vacations. They hope that by offering a wide variety, they'll catch the interest of many people and get them to book a stay.

Examples of Hotel Packages and Deals

  • Pet-Friendly Package: This includes things pets need, like beds, bowls, and snacks.
  • Senior Discounts: Lower prices and extras for guests above a certain age.
  • Romantic Getaways: Offers stuff like massages for two, dinners, and bubbly drinks.
  • Golf Packages: Gives access to golf courses, carts, and sometimes lessons.

Pros and Cons of This Approach


  • Covers Many Interests: Hotels can offer different packages to draw in all sorts of guests, upping their chances of booking.
  • More Likely to Match Needs: With more choices, guests are likelier to find something they like.


  • Can Overwhelm Guests: Too many choices might make it hard for guests to pick one, leading to stress.
  • Harder to Decide: Many options can confuse guests and make them less likely to book.
  • Not Specific Enough: Trying to please everyone might mean hotels don't meet anyone's needs well, leaving guests with just okay experiences.
The article from Behavioral Scientist, linked in the right column, points out that despite Too many choices, people still cannot find any that fit what they want. Standardized offers can leave potential guests unhappy and miss chances for hotels to connect with their guests.

The Disconnect Between Hotels and Guests

When hotels fail to understand their guests' specific needs and preferences, they often lack personalized experiences that can significantly impact guest satisfaction. This disconnect leads to generic offerings that may not resonate with any particular group, ultimately reducing the likelihood of positive reviews. By failing to know their guests, hotels miss opportunities to create meaningful and memorable experiences, crucial for building lasting relationships and driving excellent reviews.

A Better Way - Know Your Guests

The Strength of Focusing on Guests

Switching from old methods to focusing on guests means tailoring what you offer to their likes and what they've done before. This change is all about getting to know each guest's unique needs and wants to give them a more personal touch.

Why It's Good to Understand Your Guests

  • Happier Guests: When guests see that you get them and care, they're much happier. Hotels can add small things, like a note saying "welcome" or having their favorite snacks ready, to charm them.
  • More Bookings: If your offerings match what guests like, you'll turn more browsers into bookers. For example, an email that talks about stuff they liked before will probably get them to book.
  • Loyal Guests: When guests receive service that feels made just for them, they connect more with your hotel. If you meet their needs well, they'll tell friends about you.
To make your hotel guest-focused, you need to gather info and see what guests like, how they act, and what they say. This info lets you make deals and offers that hit the mark, making guests' stays better and more fun.

Getting to Know Your Guests

Gathering and Using Guest Information

To know your guests, you need to collect and use data well. Here's how to begin:

Why Collecting Data Matters

  • Surveys: Get direct feedback about guest likes, experiences, and ideas.
  • Booking Records: Look at past bookings to spot preferences and trends.
  • Social Media Insights: Monitor social media for mentions, reviews, and chats to gauge guests' opinions.
  • Direct Feedback: Ask guests to share their views during and after their visit with forms and face-to-face talks.

Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Data

  • Hotel PMSs: These systems track guest info such as bookings and spending.
  • Guest Feedback Tools: Platforms that analyze feedback from different places.
  • Data Analysis Software: Use tools to find patterns and insights.
Using these methods and tools, hotels can better understand their guests and offer experiences that make them happy, loyal, and more likely to leave a great review.

Adopting a Guest-Centric Strategy

Moving from Broad to Targeted Tactics

Pinpoint Key Guest Groups and Preferences
  • Divide guests by demographics, booking patterns, and likes.
  • Analyze data to spot trends and similarities within each group.
Craft Personalized Deals Based on Guest Info
  • Make tailored packages that meet the unique needs and likes of each group.
  • Ensure these deals are precious and relevant to your desired guests.
Apply Focused Marketing to Connect with the Right People
  • Send personalized emails that showcase offers fitting for certain guest groups.
  • Use social media to reach potential guests with ads and content that interest them.
Regularly Get Feedback and Improve Your Services
  • Set up surveys and ways to get feedback to learn about guest happiness and preferences.
  • Use this input to keep improving your services to remain exciting and attractive to your target guests.
These steps allow hotels to move from a comprehensive, vague approach to a sharp, guest-focused strategy that improves guest happiness and helps the business do well.

Conclusion: Moving Toward a Guest-Centric Future

Recap: Traditional packages often overwhelm guests, leading to decision fatigue. This approach doesn't always match what guests want. A guest-centric strategy, however, focuses on personalized experiences that meet guest needs, resulting in more satisfaction, better conversion rates, and stronger loyalty.
Call to Action: Hotels need to adopt guest-centric strategies now. Start by gathering and analyzing guest data to create customized packages. Use targeted marketing to reach the right people. Continuously collect feedback to keep improving your services.
Closing Thought: A guest-centric approach brings long-term benefits. Hotels can build solid relationships, improve guest satisfaction, and achieve lasting success by truly understanding and meeting guests' needs. As the article points out, offering quality and relevant choices is better for consumers than having more options.