Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Book early, after work if you want to enjoy your next hotel stay

Date:
April 16, 2014
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
If you’re planning a summer vacation or weekend getaway, when you book your hotel room can make a big difference. A new study found you’ll be happier with your hotel stay if you book your room after business hours. The research found that consumers who made reservations during business hours selected a higher quality hotel, but they were ultimately less satisfied with their choice. Additionally, the study’s findings on hotel quality and satisfaction is the same regardless of whether a reservation is made online, by phone or through a travel agent.

A study led by Wei Zhang, an assistant professor of marketing, found people who book hotel rooms at work are often less satisfied with their stay.
Credit: Bob Elbert

If you’re planning a summer vacation or weekend getaway, when you book your hotel room can make a big difference. As convenient as it may be to make a reservation at the office, a new Iowa State University study found you’ll be happier with your hotel stay if you wait to book your room after business hours.

Related Articles


Wei Zhang, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, and Ajay Kalra, Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Marketing at Rice University, analyzed reservations from a major online hotel site to understand how different factors influence consumer choice. The study, published online by the Journal of Marketing Research, found consumers who made reservations during business hours selected a higher quality hotel, but they were ultimately less satisfied with their choice.

Researchers not only looked at the time of day, but how far in advance the reservation was made as well as the distance the consumer was traveling to his or her destination. The study shows consumers who booked earlier and traveled farther also opted for a higher quality hotel. Those who traveled farther from home were not as happy with their hotel choice, while consumers who booked in advance were more likely to be satisfied.

“If you pre-pay for the vacation well in advance, by the time you travel you tend to be happier and enjoy the vacation,” Zhang said. “As previous theory has demonstrated, the time gap lessens the pain of paying.” It is important to note that the hotel site used in the study required consumers to pay for their rooms at the time the reservation was made.

Zhang says there are several theories that can provide some explanation for consumer behavior and satisfaction.

“There’s the theory that if a person is traveling farther away and booking a hotel for a major trip, he will likely spend more money to stay in a nicer hotel,” Zhang said. “We don’t know what exactly is driving the consumer’s decision process, but there are a variety of theories that can explain it, and we cannot differentiate one from the other.”

What this means for hotel managers

The findings are significant considering the billions spent on leisure travel in the U.S. With the summer travel season approaching, Zhang says hotel managers should take note that there are certain factors they cannot control when it comes to the overall satisfaction of their guests.

“If you have two consumers and one booked a hotel during business hours and one during non-business hours, both consumers get the same quality of service, but one is still less happy,” Zhang said. “That means some portion of satisfaction is outside the control of hotel managers.”

The convenience of travel websites has led more and more consumers to make vacation plans online. However, Zhang says the study’s findings on hotel quality and satisfaction is the same regardless of whether a reservation is made online, by phone or through a travel agent.

The study included data for more than 4,500 consumers, the majority of which made only one hotel reservation. The reservations were made between January 2008 and October 2009 for visits to the most traveled 200 cities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wei Zhang, Ajay Kalra. Joint Examination of Quality Choice and Satisfaction: The Impact of Circumstantial Variables. Journal of Marketing Research, 2014; 140306084400000 DOI: 10.1509/jmr.12.0139

Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Book early, after work if you want to enjoy your next hotel stay." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162454.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2014, April 16). Book early, after work if you want to enjoy your next hotel stay. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162454.htm
Iowa State University. "Book early, after work if you want to enjoy your next hotel stay." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162454.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins