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11/6/2013 - Hotel guest satisfaction soars

The hospitality industry generated more than $39 billion in income last year.

From check-in to check-out, Americans who frequent hotels are quite pleased with the services they receive, based on recent findings from a new report.

According to global marketing information services company J.D. Power, after two years of reduced sentiment, hotel guest satisfaction has risen substantially in 2013, jumping to levels not seen since 2006. On a 1,000-point scale, overall guest satisfaction averaged 777, with factors such as reservations, guest rooms, food and beverage, hotel services and facilities being graded by respondents to the poll.

Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at the Westlake Village, Calif.-based consumer analysis company, indicated that this is a major achievement for hotels and the owners that operate them, especially considering recent trends.

"The fact that guest satisfaction has turned a corner is great news for an industry that has struggled to sufficiently meet guest expectations in the past few years," said Garlick. "Many hotel chains are finally benefiting from the long-term investments they have been making to improve their properties in terms of staffing, rooms and facilities."

He added that guests are additionally more satisfied with what they have to pay to book a room, but at the same time, they're not letting cost weigh as heavily on their overall sentiment as they have in the past. This suggests they're not as sensitive to price variability.

Ramez Faza, senior manager of global travel at J.D. Power, noted that improving the customer experience can't be overestimated.

"Whether it's assisting a guest with a special request or a friendly greeting from staff members in the hallway, the people aspect plays a key role in guest satisfaction and loyalty," said Faza.

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the accommodations industry generated more than $39 billion in income last year, up 13% from the previous year. The proper businessowners insurance policy has enabled these companies to better serve their clientele, thanks to coverages like reservation and wake-up services liability.

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