Increases in Room Charges Contribute to Overall Decrease in Hotel Guest Satisfaction; Some Hotels Able to Offset the Impact of Price Increases with Improvements in Other Services

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The Ritz-Carlton, Associa Hotels & Resorts, Richmond Hotel and JR Kyushu Hotel Rank Highest in Satisfaction in Their Respective Segments

TOKYO: 16 January 2014 — Following three consecutive years of improvement, hotel guest satisfaction in Japan decreases in 2013, due partially to an increase in room charges, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Japan Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM released today.

The study, now in its eighth year, measures hotel guest satisfaction across seven factors: reservations; check-in/ check-out; guest rooms; food and beverage ; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees. Hotels are evaluated in four segments, which are based on the room rate per night and guest room size.

Overall guest satisfaction averages 650 on a 1,000-point scale, down three points from 2012. This slight decline in satisfaction follows a trend in which satisfaction had gradually increased each year since 2010.

As demand for lodging and hotel occupancy rates have increased in 2013, guest room rates have risen. The study finds that the average room rate has risen to 9.6 percent from 2012. 

Among hotels most impacted by the rate hikes are those that charge low room rates (less than ¥9,000 per night), which experience a 10-point decline in overall satisfaction in 2013. Competition among these hotels has been particularly fierce since 2010.

"Increases in room charges have detracted from the impression of inexpensiveness and value for money, which is central to the appeal of these hotels," said Chie Numanami, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific.

While in general the increase in room rates has had a negative impact on guest satisfaction, this is not true for all hotels. Overall guest satisfaction increases for 17 of the 65 hotel chains included in the study, which also charged their guests more in 2013 than in 2012. These 17 hotel chains that have achieved higher overall satisfaction scores for 2013 also have been able to improve their scores in other factors, such as check-in/ check-out, food and beverage and hotel services. Regarding the check-in and check-out factor, more than 90 percent of guests indicate that they were provided efficient, hospitable front desk services, such as being greeted "with a smile" at the time of arrival at the hotel. Improvement in hotel staff service quality also contributes to the improvement in satisfaction.

"A characteristic of the 17 hotel chains that have increased their room charges and have also posted higher satisfaction scores is an improvement in their performance in the food and beverage and hotel services factors," said Numanami. "At a time when room charges are increasing, the keys to providing a higher quality guest experience and increasing guest loyalty are improving the service skills of hotel staff and adding value in such areas as food and beverage facilities and Wi-Fi."

Hotel Rankings

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction within their respective segments:

¥35,000 or More per Night Segment: The Ritz-Carlton ranks highest for the eighth consecutive year, with an overall score of 786. The Ritz-Carlton performs particularly well in the reservations; guest rooms; food and beverage; check-in/ check-out; hotel facilities; and hotel services factors.

¥15,000 to Less than ¥35,000 per Night Segment: Associa Hotels & Resorts (Hotel Associa) ranks highest with a score of 721. Hotel Associa performs particularly well in the guest rooms and hotel facilities factors.

¥9,000 to Less than ¥15,000 per Night Segment: Richmond Hotel ranks highest for the eighth consecutive year, with a score of 685. Richmond Hotel performs particularly well in the guest rooms; check-in/ check-out; hotel facilities; cost and fees; and hotel services factors.

Less than ¥9,000 per Night Segment: JR Kyushu Hotel ranks highest with a score of 677. JR Kyushu Hotel performs particularly well in the guest rooms and hotel facilities factors.

The 2013 Japan Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses from 29,214 guests 18 years of age and older who stayed in a hotel in Japan during the previous 12 months. The online study, which examines 144 hotel groups and chains nationwide, was fielded in August 2013.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

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