The Booking Truth: Delighting Guests Takes More Than a Well-Priced Bed

    The Booking Truth: Delighting Guests Takes More Than a Well-Priced Bed's American Guests Share What Really Matters

PR Newswire

AMSTERDAM, June 20, 2013

AMSTERDAM, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American travelers have spoken and
their feedback will certainly surprise industry insiders. To be "good", hotels
and accommodations need to provide their guests with a comfortable bed at a
competitive price. But these are just the table stakes. It's the properties
that outperform on the intangible elements of travel – superb service, shared
family experiences, discovery, adventure, and the chance to fall in love –
that truly deliver a delightful stay.

(Photo:, the largest brand in the global online accommodations sector,
captures unbiased reviews from guests who have booked through its site. As a
result, the company has an unrivaled reservoir of rich data on real guest
experiences, including more than 21 million reviews written – in their own
words – by guests who booked, stayed and paid through the site. From this vast
bank of data, has mined customer experience data from more than
800,000 reviews written by U.S. travelers – and asked 1,200 Americans to tell more about what made theirs a truly delightful travel experience.

A collection of these travel insights, The Booking Truth, provides the first
truly honest look at the factors that drive the American traveler experience
in hotels and other properties. "With The Booking Truth, we didn't want to
make biased assumptions about travelers, or put words in the mouths of our
customers," says CEO, Darren Huston.

"We wanted to take a completely different approach and look at the picture
solely from the point of view of our guests and ask what makes a stay truly
delightful. Through big data analysis, crowdsourcing approaches, and various
visualization techniques, The Booking Truth unlocks the power of verified
customer stories, reviews, feedback and social media commentary to provide
not-so-ordinary travel insights – and what we arrived at was a much richer,
more nuanced guest experience story than we could have ever anticipated."

The Booking Truth identifies 65 factors responsible for driving guest
experiences – everything from the disappointing to the satisfying to the truly
delightful. It explores everything that is likely to have an impact on a
traveler's stay from basic tangible factors like beds, bathrooms and decor to
experiential considerations like staff, location and ancillary services. These
factors also form the basis of their reviews and therefore what they tell
other travelers.

When it comes to delivering a delightful guest experience, there are six ways
for hotels and accommodations to impress their guests:

1. The Total Package

  oWhether their stay is for business or pleasure, 42 percent of guests say
    that they only truly relax and enjoy their stay when they have confidence
    that they can hand over all aspects of their stay to the "hotel that does
    it all."

2. A Little Staff Attention Goes a Long Way

  oAttentive staff turns a good hotel experience into a delight. The moment a
    guest walks through the front door sets the tone for their entire stay.
  o21 percent of all customers mentioned staff and front desk service as
    being key factors that lead to an exemplary stay.

3. Falling in Love

  oA coup de coeur always ensures repeat business. Accommodations that have
    that something extra that guests can fall in love with get the most
    applause from guests.
  oTravelers mentioned that they fell in love with something (or someone) in
    20 percent of the cases.

4. Good Location + Adventure = A Memorable Experience

  oHotels that help guests to take full advantage of their locations and
    amenities to enjoy new adventures leave them with the best memories of
    their stay, according to 6 percent of travelers.

5. Discovering Something New

  oTravel has always meant opening up to new experiences. And the hotel that
    helps its guests discover new things delivers the most delight for 6
    percent of travelers.

6. Beyond Family Friendly

  oFamily friendly is par for the course these days. Guests favor hotels that
    are "family supportive" and foster quality togetherness, as mentioned by 5
    percent of all guests.

"Every traveler is entitled to a delightful experience," says Huston. "But
that doesn't always happen – which is where can help. It is
important that guests can rely on their online travel reservation sites for
more than simply delivering a confirmation number. At, we're here
for our customers throughout the entire accommodations experience, from
searching for the right property to when they first make the reservation to
providing night and day customer support throughout their stay, and then to
following up with them afterwards to ask them about their experience. can help put their vacation back on track with dedicated customer
support through a 24/7 toll-free service from anywhere in the world."

For more information, please visit

About is the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations
online. It guarantees the best prices for any type of property – from small
independents to five-star luxury. Guests can access the website
anytime, anywhere from their desktops, mobile phones and tablet devices, and
they don't pay booking fees – ever. The website is available in 41
languages, offers over 315,000 hotels and accommodations in 183 countries,
features over 21 million reviews written by guests after their stay, and
attracts online visitors from both leisure and business markets around the
globe. With over 16 years of experience and a team of over 5,500 dedicated
employees in 100+ offices worldwide, operates its own in-house
customer service team, which is available 24/7 to assist guests in their
native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience.

Established in 1996, B.V. owns and operates™, and is
part of the Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN). Follow us on Twitter, Google+,
Pinterest, like us on Facebook, or learn more at


Contact:, Anoeska van Leeuwen, Director, Corporate Communications,
Tel. +31 20 715 8476,; or MWW, Laura Anderson, Tel:
+1 212 704 9727,
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