(CNN) — After two pandemic years of high satisfaction with hotels – thanks to good value for money, positive staff experiences, confidence in cleanliness and proactive communication – things have gotten worse for guests of the hotel.
Cost and fees are the biggest issue, according to JD Power’s 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index study. Prices are on the rise and many travelers are unhappy with the value for money.
The 2022 satisfaction study, published on Wednesday, showed an 8-point drop in overall satisfaction, for an overall satisfaction score of 822 out of 1,000. This score in 2020 and 2021 was 830.
While an 8-point drop may not seem like a big deal, it’s “statistically significant,” according to Andrea Stokes, hotel practice manager at JD Power. That’s because the study is so large in terms of the number of guests surveyed – 34,407 hotel guests for stays between May 2021 and May 2022.
Satisfaction with hotel fees and charges fell 18 points from 2021, Stokes told CNN Travel.
This dip is unusual, she said.
“We don’t often see double-digit numbers because our study is usually pretty stable year over year, but we’re not in a normal period. I think we’re still seeing the effects of the pandemic but also , of course, inflation.”
The average daily rate for branded hotels increased by 34.8% over the study period, Stokes noted.
A balancing act for hoteliers
Satisfaction with B&Bs also fell in 2022 – by 10 points – contributing to lower overall satisfaction and lower perception of good value for money.
“Many hotel owners and operators are using this post-pandemic increase in travel to return to a stable financial footing, but have held back from investing in upgrades and improvements during the pandemic,” Stokes said in a statement. .
“Hoteliers must carefully balance a focus on recovery with the heightened guest expectations that come with higher room rates.”
Last year, while overall satisfaction was higher, hotel guests were unhappy with the breakfast situation – as many hotel segments that typically offered a hot breakfast reduced or eliminated this offer due to the pandemic.
“But this year it seems to be less about food and drink because a lot of breakfasts have come back… but this year it’s about cost and value for money,” Stokes said. .
In 2021, guests were largely satisfied with their interactions with hotel staff. They also felt satisfied with the value they received, which JD Power said reflected the rate reductions that many hotels were using to stimulate demand.
Cleanliness scores hit an all-time high in 2020 as hotels stepped up measures to bolster Covid safety and reassure potential guests. Proactive communication with customers also contributed to satisfaction in 2020.
The study analyzes hotel guests’ responses to more than 150 questions about their stays and examines the performance of 101 brands in market segments ranging from luxury to economy.
For a second consecutive year, the Ritz-Carlton brand ranks first in guest satisfaction in the luxury segment. The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, pictured here, recently debuted lavish updates.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
Top performers in 2022
The following brands rank #1 in customer satisfaction in their respective segments in 2022. Scores are on a scale of 1,000.
Luxury: The Ritz Carlton – 885 (ranked first for a second consecutive year)
Top of the line : Hard Rock Hotels – 883 (ranked first for a second consecutive year)
Top of the line : Hilton Garden Inn – 868
Premium Extended Stay: Hyatt House – 857
Upper mid-range: Hotel in Drury – 877 (in first place for a 17th consecutive year)
Upper Mid/Mid Range Extended Stay: Sonesta Simply Suites – 852
Midrange : Wingate by Wyndham – 849
Economy: Wood Spring Suites – 798
Top image: Jon Lovette/Stone RF/Getty Images