Qualitative Research: Analyzing the Hotel Reservations Process
By Johnna Freud Qualitative Research Moderator, Saul Cohen & Associates | May 19, 2010
Of course, a person can still call a hotel or a travel agent, but now he can also conduct research and make reservations via the Internet. Here is where the choices become whelming.
So, when do consumers make reservations online? When do they call a travel agent? When do they call you or central reservation numbers or properties directly?
And, when they consult the Internet, are they reserving directly through the hotel chains' or properties' websites or are they surfing the Web for third-party sites, many of whom provide reduced rate accommodations? What factors impact this decision-making process?
Qualitative marketing research can provide an in-depth understanding into how consumers perceive the various reservation methods available to them. Focus groups and in-depth interviews can explore the motivating factors that influence their decisions about which method to use.
For example, how do pop-up advertisements and emails from third-party vendors influence consumers when they are making travel plans? This is important information, not only for establishments that cater more to budget-conscious travelers, but also for full-service hotels with excess inventory to fill.
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