• Bigfoot Hospitality

Hotel Guest Personas: Understand Your Customers


Hotel Guest Personas.
Hotel Guest Personas: Understand Your Customers

Each individual is unique with their own physical characteristics, personality, tastes, preferences, and capabilities. Accordingly, they make different choices in their lives, be it their career options, friends, clothing, type of accommodation, places they travel, the food they eat and so forth.


Individuality is what adds colour to the world. The same goes for choosing a hotel as well. Hotel guests have different tastes and preferences, along with varying budgets. Hence, hotels have to deal with different types of hotel guests.


Before creating a hotel distribution strategy, you need to understand your audience before you take any further steps. If you don’t understand their personality, tastes, preferences and capabilities, you will not be able to reach your target demographic.


In fact, many hotels make the mistake of not knowing their target audience at all! This is why understanding your hotel guest personas are essential.


What Are Hotel Guest Personas?


The hotel guest persona is the representation of the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your hotel guests. Demographics consists of physical and tangible characteristics such as age, sex and location, while psychographics consists of the personality, opinions and lifestyle of the audience.


Even though each guest is unique, a segment of guests follows a uniform pattern. Grouping the overall target audience based on certain characteristics is known as Segmentation.


Segmentation is the first step toward understanding the various hotel guest personas. Understanding the guest personas will help you determine the various marketing strategies to reach out to your target audience and market your products and services to achieve your business goals.


Elements Of Hotel Guest Personas


As discussed earlier, we have determined that hotel guest personas consist of demographics and psychographics. Let us understand them in detail before we discuss the classification of hotel guest personas.


Demographics


Demographics are the physical tangible characteristics which are quantitative i.e they can be easily measured and classified. Demographics include age, sex, location, income and so forth. They give surface-level information about the audience and are essential for any research work.


Hotel guest personas depend upon these demographic factors because individuals in each demographic set have certain characteristics and circumstances. For example, a 30-year-old has more purchasing power compared to a 20-year-old.


Psychographics


Psychographics go beyond demographics. They try to understand the ‘hidden’ aspects of the sample, including their personality, tastes, preferences, opinions and lifestyle. They are qualitative i.e they cannot be measured in numbers and classification is also a tedious task.


For example, person A may like a resort more than person B, however, you can’t give a fixed numerical value of how much more a person A likes a resort more than B.


Even the various preference scales can only give an idea of preference, not the exact amount of preference. If a hotel is rated 5/5 by one guest and 3/5 by another, we can say that the former guest prefers the hotel more compared to the latter to a great degree. But we cannot determine the exact measurement of their difference in preferences. Even the star ratings given by each customer are subjective based on different factors.


Demographics And Psychographics: How They Interact


Demographics and psychographics, they separate, are interconnected and cannot be handled in isolation. For example, the age of a hotel guest will determine their lifestyle. A 40 year will not be passionate about a beach party like a 21-year-old would be.


A 17-year-old is similar to an 18-year-old in most aspects. However, since the former is a minor and the latter a legal adult, the 17-year-old will not be able to book a hotel room without parental presence. The 18-year-old only the other hand can independently book any room he or she wants, as long they have the finances and maybe, unofficial parental permission.


Corporates mostly take business-related travel, with a little bit of leisure in spare time, while a freelancer can take more leisure-related travel. Women want different services compared to men. As you can see, Demographics and psychographics are interconnected and psychographics is influenced by demographics.


Types Of Hotel Guests


How that we have discussed the concept of hotel guests persona, let us now segment the target audience into various types. Each hotel guest type has a particular persona i.e various characteristics and personalities. The various hotel guests may be unique in their own way, however, we can do guest segmentation based on the combination of similar and interrelated characteristics.


One needs to understand that the classifications are not rigid. A guest can have multiple guest personas at once and also adopt different hotel guest personas according to the situation and their mood. Let us now discuss the various guest types and how hotels need to approach them.


1. Casual Vacationers

Casual Vacationers are the most common type of hotel guest.
Casual Vacationers

Casual vacationers are the most common hotel guest persona. They want only one thing i.e relaxation and enjoyment. These guests don’t have any specific preference, unlike say, an adventurer. They have diverse needs - for example, one may want a hill station vacation, beach vacation or sight-seeing oriented vacation.


Casual vacationers will choose the places which are mostly generic and can travel anywhere, as long as it's easily accessible and guarantees them a good it. For Example, they will explore places like Goa, Kerala, Thailand, and other popular destinations.


They want a hotel that offers value for money. They may want to stay at a budget hotel, high - a mid-range hotel, or a luxury hotel. They want rooms with all the amenities such as air conditioning, heating, swimming pool, restaurant, bars etc.


They want to stay at a location which is easily accessible to various entertainment and sightseeing options. That’s why they chose hotels located in popular areas, close to the city centre, or popular attractions. They are the easiest type of hotel guests. They want a great time, and all a hotel needs to do is give it to them.


If a property wants to target this segment, they need to just give them great rooms at a great price, and enhance the experience they are looking for. Offer them great amenities at the price they are paying.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Casual - Nothing specific in mind

  • They can be of any age

  • They want enjoyment

  • Want Most Out Their Money

  • Can be of any profession

  • Can have varying budgets


2. Casual-Specific Travellers

They have more specific needs compared to casual travelers.
Casual-Specific Travellers

They are like casual travellers, the only difference is that they are more specific in their needs compared to the other casual travellers. They want particular experiences and will not compromise on those. For example, a beach lover will prefer to have a beach vacation, a hotel guest may want a swimming pool, or a customer may like pub hopping in the city they are visiting.


They are a more challenging guest persona compared to casual travellers. They need a specific need fulfilled and will accept no compromise, even if the other needs are fulfilled. For example, the beach lover will want a resort at the beachfront, or within a walking distance of the beach.


He or she may also want to book accommodations that enhance their beach experience, like a beach resort that offers spacious rooms overlooking the beach, and has a swimming pool and a bar for cocktails.


They are willing to pay extra for the experience. Any compromise on that experience will make the guest annoyed. Hotels should understand the strength of their location, and determine how their hotel can enhance their experience. Work on the strengths and ensure that the Casual - Specific traveller comes again and again.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Usually Casual, but they want something specific

  • Can be of any age

  • Can have a varying budget

  • Can be of any profession

  • They want a particular experience, only then they will enjoy it.



3. Business Travellers

Business Travellers don't care about expenses and just want a comfortable and accessible hotel.
Business Travellers

They travel for work and want a property that gives them a good night's sleep and relaxation after they come from their flight or their meeting. They are also not too concerned about the price since it's the company that pays the bill.


They want a functional hotel, with comfortable rooms and quality amenities. They also want to stay in the city centre, accessibility to their work locations.


Business Hotels need to be in the city centre and offer them all the facilities to make their corporate trip smoother. Many business travellers also do some sightseeing when they have time. They also visit the various pubs, bars and restaurants after work. The hotels targeting business travellers should be in central locations.


The hotel also needs to provide various other amenities such as a swimming pool, in-house restaurant, bar, and other recreational options. Reaching out to corporates directly is the best option for business hotels since it's the corporates which send the employees on these trips.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Work oriented may explore a bit

  • Want something functional and comfortable

  • Young, Mid and Senior-level professionals

  • Not budget concerned

  • Aged - 21 - 50s


4. Family Vacationers

Family Vacationers are a common hotel guest persona.
Family Vacationers

Family vacationers are similar to casual travellers in many ways, except that they have a family accompanying them. The single-family group can range from 3 - to 5, if travelling with extended family, it can also range from 6 - to 12 as well. They travel once or twice a year and hence, want a great deal and the most out of their money.


They also have limited options regarding where to go, since they have to choose kid-friendly places such as causal destinations, beaches, hill stations are so forth. They have slightly less freedom and options. They also need spacious rooms and amenities that will make their family vacation memorable.


They will go to places like amusement parks, common sight seeling locations, and also explore the city a bit. They can choose a budget hotel or a luxury hotel, and anything in between.


Hotels need to ensure that they are offered a comfortable experience and that the family is one unit, so they need to be served accordingly.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Usually aged between their late 20s and beyond.

  • Family travellers are usually risk-averse

  • They are less flexible

  • Want to enjoy themselves with their families

  • Think of themselves as one unit along with their family

  • Can be of varying budgets


5. Adventurers

Adventurers want to have fun and explore. They want a rush.
Adventurers

Adventurers are those who are looking for an adventure more than relaxation. These can include hikers, trekkers, scuba divers and surfers. They want to stay in accommodations near these activities. Even better, if the properties themselves make arrangements for these activities.


They are not that concerned with luxury or high-end amenities, they just want a comfortable place to sleep and relax after they have enjoyed their adventure. They want a bed, a cafe to unwind, maybe a swimming pool and a place to sit and chill.


Hotels that offer these adventure activities are on the top of the list for adventurers. Hotels near trekking points, surfing facilities, scuba diving facilities etc should conduct these adventure activities to attract more guests. The popular accommodations for adventurers are budget hotels, hostels, camping sites, and other properties around the adventure activities.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Usually Aged between 18 - 30. However, some can be 30+ as well.

  • Want to experience fun and adventure, accommodation is a secondary concern

  • Want a budget deal on the accommodations

  • They are willing to experiment and don’t have any particular accommodation type in mind.

  • Are not too focused on luxury.

  • They don’t mind mingling with other travellers.


6. Relaxation Vacationers

Relaxation Vacationers want calm, relaxation and peace of mind.
Relaxation Vacationers.

These types of hotel guests have come only to relax. They are generally those who want to unwind after stressful months at a spa resort or a wellness centre. They have a higher demand for amenities since they want a property that can offer them the best relaxation possible.


They are ready to pay extra for high-end amenities such as a large swimming pool, cocktail bars, spa, gym and high-end rooms. They mostly come for weekend getaways or extended weekends.


Hotels serving this category need to provide them with the best amenities. Offering them great deals will also attract more customers. Ensure that they are left relaxed and willing to come again on their next weekend!


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Usually aged between 25+

  • They want relaxation

  • Usually corporate professionals and those with hectic life

  • Are flexible with budget


7. Young Travellers

Young travellers want to have fun and have a lower budget.
Young Travellers

Young travellers are considered to be between the ages of 18 to 25. They are more concerned about vacationing rather than the type of rooms and amenities. They are most adventurers, explorers and casual vacationers. They mostly book budget accommodations since they have lower budgets.


They mostly care about exploring and having fun. They generally chose adventure trips, getaway vacations, sightseeing tours or party getaways. Goa is a great example of a beach and party destination favourite among youths. They want comfortable rooms with decent amenities such as a swimming pool, a decent restaurant and nearby bars, pubs, and happening places.


Hotels can target this hotel guest persona with the help of promos, offers and social media campaigning.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Aged between 18 - 25.

  • Have a lower budget and fewer needs

  • Are adventurous and open to experimenting

  • Want to have fun around the place

  • Are mostly into adventure, partying and casual vacationing.


8. Luxury Travellers

Luxury Travel will also be popular among many hotel guests.
Luxury Travellers

Luxury Travellers need one thing - luxury. They are ready to spend money to experience high-class facilities and amenities. They can also come under the casual and casual specific hotel guest persona. They want luxurious rooms, which are spacious with even grander bathrooms. They want to experience luxurious restaurants, spas, and swimming pools.

Since they have the budget, all they look for is a property that will give them something unique that beats all the other luxurious hotels. Luxurious glamping, seafront resorts, holiday villas, and concept hotels are emerging as destinations for luxury travellers.


Naturally, luxury hotels tend to be around upmarket areas, since the guests also want to experience the high-end destinations and localities around them. Hotels need to go out of their way to provide them with a luxurious experience they will never forget.


Hotel Guest Persona


  • Usually aged 25+. However, they can be between 18 - 25 too.

  • They don’t have budget constraints

  • Want to experience fine things in life

  • Want the best service and amenities

  • They are usually status-conscious


9. Young Couples

Young couple on the beach.
Young Couples

Young couples are one of the most popular hotel guest types. Young couples want to spend time with each other and have various experiences together. There are many types of young couple travellers, including unmarried couples, honeymooners and newly married couples.


Contrary to popular opinions, these young couples have varying needs. Unmarried young couples, for example, can be casual vacationers, adventurers, and also relaxation vacations. They have a limited budget and are looking for great deals on budget accommodations.


Honeymooners are celebrating a special occasion and hence, want to experience something special. They don’t have many budget constraints and are open to booking luxurious hotels.


Young married couples, on the other hand, have a higher budget compared to young unmarried but are not as flexible as honeymooners. They want good amenities and are open to spending more. They also want their hotel to be near various attractions which they can explore.


Hotel Guest Persona


  • Young, between the ages of 18 - 35

  • Want to spend time with each other

  • Varying budgets, with honeymooners being more flexible

  • Can have various personalities - romantic, casual and adventurous


10. Workationers

Workation is the new trend.
Workationers

Workation is the new trend in town. Since the Covid Pandemic, many corporates have started this trend of working from home. Not only that, but the bosses also prefer to work outside of work. They don’t mind going to a hotel at a different location. They work during the day and after completing their work, explore the location and unwind themselves, away from the office and home. They often go out to a bar, shack or restaurant at the location after finishing work.


Workationers are looking for great deals and are looking for properties that offer the amenities that will make their stay comfortable and work easy. They want a property with a lounge area, spacious rooms and restaurants. They want to experience the best of both worlds - work and vacation.


Hotel Guest Persona:


  • Young Professionals aged 21 - 30

  • Want a quality property that suits their budget

  • Want to experience something new and break away from monotony.

  • Functional in approach, not too many frills. They just want a unique working environment


To Conclude


As a hotelier, you need to understand the hotel guests you are catering, to and want to cater to. Identifying your hotel guest personas is the first step before any further marketing can take place. Not only marketing, but revenue management is also dependent on understanding your hotel guests.


Only after understanding your customer, you can determine the types of rooms, the prices of the rooms and the amenities to provide to the customer. Hospitality is built on guests, and without identifying them, you cannot target them effectively.

Read our blogs to know more about the hospitality industry and its various trends.