Understanding Your Guests: Targeting Your Ideal Hotel Guests

Mireille • May 13, 2023 • 12 min read

Understanding Your Guests Targeting Your Ideal Hotel Guests

Are you struggling to attract the right guests to your hotel? Do you want to improve your occupancy rates, revenue, and customer satisfaction? If so, you need to understand and target your ideal hotel guests. In this article, we’ll show you how to do that effectively, using advanced language techniques and a humorous tone that will keep you engaged and entertained.

Whether you’re a hotel manager, owner, marketer, or curious traveler, you’ll find valuable insights and tips to apply to your business or personal life. Let’s get started!


1. Introduction

As we all know, the hospitality industry is highly competitive and dynamic, with new trends, technologies, and customer preferences emerging constantly. To stay ahead of the game, hotels need to adapt to these changes and offer personalized, memorable experiences to their guests.

However, to do that, they first need to know who their ideal guests are, what they want, and how to reach them. This article will help you do just that, by providing a step-by-step process for understanding and targeting your ideal hotel guests.

You’ll learn how to use data, research, and intuition to create detailed guest personas that reflect your unique brand and value proposition. You’ll also discover how to use various marketing channels, from social media to email to SEO, to attract and engage your target audience.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear roadmap for optimizing your hotel’s marketing and sales efforts, and ultimately, increasing your revenue and guest satisfaction.

2. Defining Your Hotel’s Value Proposition

Before you can identify your ideal hotel guests, you need to clarify your hotel’s value proposition, which is the unique combination of features, benefits, and emotions that your hotel offers to its customers.

Your value proposition should be based on your hotel’s strengths, such as its location, amenities, services, design, history, culture, or sustainability practices, and tailored to your target market’s needs, desires, and pain points. Read also about which of your amenities will attract guess.To define your value proposition, you can use the following framework:

  1. Features: What are the physical or tangible aspects of your hotel that differentiate it from other hotels? Examples: spa, pool, gym, restaurant, conference rooms, free Wi-Fi, etc.
  2. Benefits: What are the functional or emotional benefits that your hotel provides to its guests? Examples: comfort, convenience, safety, relaxation, socialization, learning, inspiration, etc.
  3. Emotions: What are the feelings or perceptions that your hotel evokes in its guests? Examples: luxury, charm, authenticity, adventure, romance, nostalgia, etc.

♦ By combining these three elements, you can create a value proposition that resonates with your target guests and sets you apart from your competitors. For example, if your hotel is located in a beach resort, your value proposition could be “Escape to a tropical paradise where luxury meets relaxation, and every day feels like a holiday.”

Just staring a hospitality business? Read also:
How to create a hotel website
Guide to Writing Hotel Descriptions
Amenities to Attract Your Ideal Guests

3. Understanding Your Guests

In this section, we will explore why it is crucial for hotels to understand their guests’ preferences and needs, how to gather information about guests, and how to analyze guest data to personalize their experience.

A. Importance of Understanding Guest Preferences and Needs

As the hospitality industry becomes increasingly competitive, it is essential for hotels to offer personalized experiences that meet the individual preferences and needs of their guests.

By doing so, hotels can increase guest satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, which can lead to repeat bookings, positive reviews, and referrals. On the other hand, failing to understand guests’ preferences and needs can result in negative experiences, complaints, and lost revenue.

Therefore, hotels must invest in understanding their guests to provide exceptional service and stand out from the crowd.

B. Ways to Gather Information about Guests

There are various ways for hotels to gather information about their guests, both online and offline. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Online surveys: Hotels can create online surveys using tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to gather feedback from their guests before, during, and after their stay. Surveys can cover topics such as satisfaction with the room, amenities, service, and overall experience, as well as suggestions for improvement.
  • Social media monitoring: Hotels can monitor their social media accounts and review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Booking.com to gather feedback and comments from their guests. This can help them identify areas of strength and weakness and respond promptly to guest inquiries and complaints.
  • Guest feedback cards: Hotels can provide feedback cards in their rooms or at the front desk, where guests can share their opinions and suggestions anonymously or with their contact information. This can give hotels valuable insights into guests’ preferences and needs, as well as opportunities to address any issues.
  • Guest history and preferences: Hotels can keep records of guests’ past stays, preferences, and special requests in their customer relationship management (CRM) system or property management system (PMS). This can enable hotels to personalize guests’ experiences, such as by offering their preferred room type, pillow, or beverage upon arrival.

C. Analyzing Guest Data to Personalize Their Experience

Once hotels have gathered information about their guests, they can use various data analysis techniques to personalize their experience. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Segmentation
    Hotels can segment their guests into groups based on their demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and geographic characteristics. This can enable hotels to tailor their marketing messages, offers, and experiences to each segment’s needs and preferences. For example, hotels can offer business travelers early check-in and late checkout, while families can receive kid-friendly amenities and activities.
  • Personalization
    Hotels can use guests’ past behavior, preferences, and interests to personalize their experience. For example, hotels can offer guests personalized welcome messages, room amenities, dining recommendations, and local activities based on their past stays and interactions. This can make guests feel valued and appreciated, and increase their loyalty and advocacy.
  • Predictive analytics
    Hotels can use predictive analytics to anticipate guests’ future behavior and preferences based on their past data and external factors such as seasonality, weather, and events. For example, hotels can predict which guests are likely to book a spa treatment or room upgrade and offer them personalized promotions before their arrival. This can increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities and revenue.

4. Creating a Memorable Guest Experience

Creating a memorable guest experience is the foundation of success in the hospitality industry. A positive guest experience leads to repeat bookings, word-of-mouth recommendations, and positive reviews.

In this section, we will explore the various components that contribute to a memorable guest experience, from pre-arrival communication and preparation to post-stay follow-up and communication.

A. Pre-Arrival Communication and Preparation

The guest experience begins long before the guest arrives at the hotel. Pre-arrival communication and preparation can set the tone for the entire stay and create a sense of anticipation and excitement. Some ways to enhance pre-arrival communication and preparation include:

  • Providing clear and detailed information: Hotels should provide guests with clear and detailed information about their stay, including check-in and check-out times, directions, parking, and any special requests or requirements. This information should be easily accessible on the hotel’s website, mobile app, or email confirmation.
  • Personalizing the experience: Hotels can use guest data to personalize the pre-arrival experience, such as by offering a welcome message or customized amenities based on the guest’s preferences and past stays.
  • Offering additional services: Hotels can offer additional services or experiences that guests can book before their arrival, such as airport transfers, spa treatments, or restaurant reservations. This can create a sense of exclusivity and convenience for the guest.

B. First Impressions and the Check-in Process

The first few minutes of a guest’s arrival can set the tone for the entire stay. A smooth and welcoming check-in process can create a positive first impression and make the guest feel valued and appreciated. Some ways to enhance the check-in process include:

  • Greeting the guest warmly: Staff should greet guests with a warm smile and welcoming demeanor, and use their name if possible. This can create a sense of familiarity and personalization for the guest.
  • Streamlining the process: The check-in process should be streamlined and efficient, with minimal waiting time or paperwork. Hotels can use technology solutions, such as mobile check-in or self-check-in kiosks, to reduce the hassle and provide a more convenient experience for the guest.
  • Offering a welcome amenity: Hotels can offer a welcome amenity, such as a drink, snack, or small gift, to make the guest feel special and appreciated.

C. Room Design and Amenities

The guest’s room is their home away from home during their stay, and its design and amenities can greatly influence their overall experience. A well-designed room with comfortable and functional amenities can create a sense of relaxation and comfort for the guest. Some ways to enhance room design and amenities include:

  • Comfortable bedding: The bed should be comfortable and clean, with high-quality linens and pillows. This can ensure a good night’s sleep for the guest and enhance their overall experience.
  • Functional technology: The room should be equipped with functional and user-friendly technology, such as a TV, Wi-Fi, and charging ports. This can provide entertainment and convenience for the guest.
  • Thoughtful amenities: The room should be stocked with thoughtful amenities, such as toiletries, towels, and a minibar. These amenities should be of high quality and relevant to the guest’s preferences and needs.

D. On-Site Experiences and Activities

Beyond the guest’s room, hotels can offer a variety of on-site experiences and activities that can enhance their overall experience. These experiences can create a sense of excitement, engagement, and entertainment for the guest. Some ways to enhance on-site experiences and activities include:

  • Local recommendations: Staff should provide guests with recommendations for local attractions, restaurants, and activities that align with their preferences and interests. This can help the guest feel more connected to the local culture and enhance their overall experience.
  • Engaging activities: Hotels can offer a variety of engaging activities and experiences, such as fitness classes, cooking classes, or guided tours. These activities should be well-designed and led by knowledgeable and friendly staff to ensure a fun and enjoyable experience for the guest.
  • Special events: Hotels can organize special events or themed nights, such as wine tastings, movie nights, or live music performances. These events can create a sense of exclusivity and entertainment for the guest and encourage socializing and networking.

E. Staff Interactions and Customer Service

The interactions that guests have with staff can greatly influence their overall experience. Friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive staff can create a sense of connection and trust with the guest and enhance their satisfaction and loyalty. Some ways to enhance staff interactions and customer service include:

  • Training and empowerment: Staff should be well-trained in customer service and hospitality skills, and empowered to make decisions and solve problems on their own. This can create a sense of ownership and accountability for the guest’s experience and ensure that any issues are resolved quickly and effectively.
  • Personalized service: Staff should provide personalized service that aligns with the guest’s preferences and needs. This can include offering recommendations, anticipating their needs, and providing thoughtful touches, such as remembering their name or offering a complimentary drink.
  • Positive attitude: Staff should maintain a positive and friendly attitude, even in challenging situations. This can create a sense of positivity and resilience for the guest and enhance their overall experience.

F. Post-Stay Follow-Up and Communication

The guest experience does not end when they check out of the hotel. Post-stay follow-up and communication can create a sense of appreciation and loyalty for the guest and encourage them to return or recommend the hotel to others. Some ways to enhance post-stay follow-up and communication include:

  • Thank-you message: Hotels can send a personalized thank-you message or email to the guest, expressing their appreciation for their stay and inviting them to return in the future.
  • Feedback request: Hotels can request feedback from the guest about their experience, and use this feedback to improve their services and offerings.
  • Loyalty program: Hotels can offer a loyalty program that rewards guests for their repeat bookings and referrals, and provides them with exclusive benefits and offers.

♦ Creating a memorable guest experience is a multifaceted process that involves various components, from pre-arrival communication and preparation to post-stay follow-up and communication.

By enhancing each of these components, hotels can create a positive and satisfying experience for their guests, leading to repeat bookings, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

The key is to focus on personalization, convenience, engagement, and human touch, while also leveraging technology and data to optimize the guest experience.

Visuals are also for your hotel:
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Hotel Photography Ideas

5. Leveraging Technology

In today’s digital age, technology plays a critical role in improving guest experience in the hospitality industry. With the help of various technology solutions, hotels can offer a more convenient, personalized, and engaging experience to their guests, while also improving their operational efficiency and revenue. In this section, we will explore the benefits of technology for improving guest experience, provide examples of technology solutions, and discuss how to implement technology without sacrificing personalization.

A. Benefits of Technology for Improving Guest Experience

Technology can offer numerous benefits for improving guest experience in hotels, such as:

  • Convenience
    Technology can provide guests with more convenient and efficient ways of booking, checking in, and accessing hotel services. For example, mobile check-in and keyless room entry can save guests time and reduce the hassle of waiting in line or carrying keys. In-room tablets or voice assistants can allow guests to order room service, request housekeeping, control room temperature and lighting, and access local recommendations with a few taps or voice commands.
  • Personalization
    Technology can enable hotels to offer more personalized and relevant experiences to their guests, based on their past behavior, preferences, and interests. For example, guest data can be used to offer personalized welcome messages, room amenities, dining recommendations, and local activities. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can also help predict guests’ needs and preferences and suggest personalized offers and promotions.
  • Engagement
    Technology can help hotels engage with their guests before, during, and after their stay, through various digital marketing channels. For example, social media, email, and chatbots can be used to communicate with guests and provide them with useful information and offers. Virtual and augmented reality can also be used to showcase hotel amenities and experiences and enhance guests’ immersion and excitement.
  • Efficiency
    Technology can improve hotels’ operational efficiency and accuracy, by automating repetitive tasks, managing inventory and staff, and analyzing data in real-time. For example, revenue management systems can optimize pricing and distribution across multiple channels, while housekeeping and maintenance software can streamline task assignment and tracking. Data analytics can also help hotels identify trends, issues, and opportunities, and make data-driven decisions to improve their performance.

B. Examples of Technology Solutions

There are many technology solutions available in the hospitality industry, depending on the hotel’s size, type, location, and target market. Some examples of technology solutions include:

  • Mobile apps: Hotels can develop their own mobile apps or use third-party apps to offer guests a personalized and convenient experience. Mobile apps can provide guests with booking, check-in, room service, concierge, and loyalty program features, as well as real-time updates and notifications.
  • Artificial intelligence and chatbots: Hotels can use artificial intelligence and chatbots to automate guest interactions and provide personalized recommendations and assistance. Chatbots can handle guest inquiries and requests, such as room service orders, wake-up calls, or directions, without the need for human intervention.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices: Hotels can use IoT devices, such as smart thermostats, lighting, and sensors, to automate room control and energy management. IoT devices can also be used to monitor guests’ health and safety, such as detecting smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide.
  • Virtual and augmented reality: Hotels can use virtual and augmented reality to showcase their amenities and experiences and create a sense of immersion and excitement for guests. Virtual and augmented reality can be used for virtual tours, event planning, virtual concierge, and gamification.

C. Implementing Technology Without Sacrificing Personalization

While technology can offer many benefits for improving guest experience, it is crucial to implement it in a way that does not sacrifice personalization or human touch. Here are some tips for implementing technology without sacrificing personalization:

  • Know your guests
    Before implementing any technology solutions, it is essential to understand your guests’ preferences and needs. By creating detailed guest personas and analyzing guest data, you can identify which technology solutions would be most relevant and valuable to your guests. For example, if your guests prefer a traditional, personalized experience, they may not be interested in using chatbots or self-check-in kiosks. However, if your guests are tech-savvy and value convenience, they may appreciate mobile apps and voice assistants.
  • Offer choices
    Rather than forcing guests to use a particular technology solution, it is important to offer them a range of options and let them choose the ones they prefer. For example, some guests may prefer to check in with a human receptionist, while others may prefer to use a self-check-in kiosk. By providing multiple options, you can cater to guests’ individual preferences and avoid making them feel uncomfortable or frustrated.
  • Train and support staff
    Implementing technology solutions can also require training and support for staff to ensure that they can use and troubleshoot the technology effectively. Staff should be able to assist guests who may have trouble using the technology, as well as be aware of any limitations or glitches in the system. Additionally, staff should be able to provide personalized service that complements and enhances the technology, such as offering recommendations based on guests’ preferences.
  • Continuously evaluate and improve
    Finally, it is important to continuously evaluate and improve the technology solutions based on guest feedback and performance metrics. By monitoring guest satisfaction, adoption rates, and revenue, you can identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to optimize the guest experience. Additionally, technology solutions should be updated regularly to ensure that they are secure, reliable, and up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations.

♦ Technology can offer many benefits for improving guest experience in the hospitality industry, from convenience and personalization to engagement and efficiency. However, it is crucial to implement technology solutions in a way that complements and enhances the human touch and personalization that guests expect from a hotel.

By understanding guests’ preferences and needs, offering choices, training and supporting staff, and continuously evaluating and improving the technology, hotels can leverage technology to create memorable and satisfying experiences for their guests.

6. Monitoring and Improving Guest Experience

Monitoring and improving guest experience is a continuous process that is essential for the success of any hospitality business. By collecting and analyzing feedback from guests, hotels can identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the guest experience.

In this section, we will explore the importance of monitoring guest experience, guest feedback collection methods, analyzing feedback, and making necessary changes to improve the guest experience.

A. Importance of Monitoring Guest Experience

Monitoring guest experience is important for several reasons:

  • Identifying areas for improvement: By monitoring guest experience, hotels can identify areas where they are falling short and need to improve. This can help hotels stay competitive and relevant in a constantly changing market.
  • Measuring success: Monitoring guest experience allows hotels to measure the success of their efforts to improve the guest experience. This can help hotels set goals and track progress over time.
  • Maintaining guest loyalty: Monitoring guest experience can help hotels maintain guest loyalty by addressing any issues or concerns that may arise during a guest’s stay.

B. Guest Feedback Collection Methods

There are several methods for collecting guest feedback, including:

  • Surveys: Surveys can be sent to guests via email or provided on-site to gather feedback on various aspects of the guest experience, such as check-in, room cleanliness, staff interactions, and amenities.
  • Social media: Social media can be used to monitor guest feedback, as guests may post comments or reviews on hotel pages or third-party review sites.
  • In-person feedback: Hotel staff can collect feedback in person from guests during their stay or at check-out. This can provide immediate feedback and allow staff to address any issues or concerns in real-time.

C. Analyzing Feedback to Identify Areas for Improvement

Once guest feedback has been collected, it is important to analyze it to identify areas for improvement. This can be done by:

  • Categorizing feedback: Feedback can be categorized by topic or area, such as check-in, room quality, or staff interactions. This can help identify patterns or trends in the feedback.
  • Prioritizing feedback: Feedback can be prioritized based on the frequency and severity of the issues raised. This can help hotels focus on the most critical areas for improvement.
  • Comparing feedback: Feedback can be compared to previous feedback or to industry benchmarks to assess progress and identify areas for improvement.

D. Making Necessary Changes to Improve the Guest Experience

Once areas for improvement have been identified, hotels can make necessary changes to improve the guest experience. This can include:

  • Implementing new policies or procedures: Hotels can implement new policies or procedures to address specific issues or concerns raised in guest feedback.
  • Training staff: Staff can be trained on new policies or procedures or on specific skills, such as customer service or communication.
  • Upgrading amenities: Hotels can upgrade or add new amenities to improve the guest experience, such as adding new technology, renovating rooms, or improving dining options.

Statistical Resources to target Hotel Guests

According to a survey by Amadeus, 35% of travelers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for personalized recommendations and deals. (Source: Amadeus)

A study by The Wall Street Journal found that millennials, who make up a significant portion of hotel guests, prioritize experiences over material possessions. This means that hotels should focus on providing unique and engaging experiences to attract and retain this demographic. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

A survey by TripAdvisor found that 85% of travelers use online reviews to make booking decisions, highlighting the importance of maintaining a positive online reputation. (Source: TripAdvisor)

According to a report by Deloitte, personalized experiences and loyalty programs are key drivers of guest satisfaction and loyalty. Hotels should focus on leveraging technology and data to provide personalized experiences and reward repeat guests. (Source: Deloitte)

A survey by JD Power found that the top factors influencing hotel guest satisfaction include room cleanliness, room comfort, and hotel facilities. (Source: JD Power)


Creating a memorable guest experience is essential for the success of any hospitality business. By focusing on pre-arrival communication, first impressions, room design, on-site experiences and activities, staff interactions, post-stay follow-up, and monitoring and improving guest experience, hotels can create a positive and satisfying experience for their guests, leading to repeat bookings, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

It is important to remember that the guest experience is not just about providing basic services or amenities, but about creating a sense of personalization, engagement, and human touch. Hotels should leverage technology and data to optimize the guest experience, while also focusing on the emotional and social aspects that make the experience truly memorable.

By monitoring guest experience and collecting feedback, hotels can identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the guest experience.

This can lead to increased guest loyalty, positive reviews, and ultimately, increased revenue and profitability for the hotel.

In conclusion, creating a memorable guest experience requires a multifaceted and continuous approach, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

By providing a positive and satisfying experience for their guests, hotels can differentiate themselves in a competitive market and build a loyal and satisfied customer base.

How are you Targeting Your Ideal Hotel Guests? Let us know in the comments.

By Mireille
Meet Mireille, a marketing and tourism expert with 15+ years of experience coaching hotels. She crafts compelling marketing strategies using the latest techniques to attract, engage, and retain customers. Her deep understanding of consumer behavior and attention to detail drive measurable results for business growth. Find her exploring the world for new marketing insights to help clients stay ahead.


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