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Nothing has the power to make a hotel stay memorable and special like a genuine smile or an act of unexpected kindness.
Over 13 million reviews written by guests at Italian accommodations in 2018 reveal that hospitality strongly influences the perception of a hotel or independent accommodation. More often than not, hospitality trumps a stellar room or a prime location.
What are guests discussing when they review a hotel or accommodation? We typically assume common topics include room size, furniture, cleanliness or view from the balcony… However, it’s not always the case.
After analyzing the occurrence of the most common topics within accommodation facility reviews - rooms, location, services, hospitality, catering, costs, WiFi and cleaning - we uncovered that hospitality is frequently the most discussed topic.
Generally speaking, the center and southern regions of Italy are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. It may come as a surprise that the northern region, Emilia Romagna, was also at the forefront for their impressive and welcoming hospitality.
For the regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Marche, Molise and the Aosta Valley, hospitality is the number one most discussed topic within online reviews about accommodation facilities.
However, throughout other regions of Italy, hospitality ranks second or third in the most discussed topics. Hospitality and a welcoming experience are important factors for guests during their stay, as evidenced by the frequency of which these topics appear in reviews.
Hospitality is most often described positively. In fact, of the reviews analyzed, the overall sentiment regarding hospitality always exceeds 90%, reaching 95.9% for non-hotel facilities (B&Bs, agriturismos, etc).
One interesting insight we discovered is that at tourism apartment rentals - where there’s no dedicated reception and usually just one host - hospitality records a stellar sentiment of 95%, higher than the average for hotels!
Of course, the frequency of ‘hospitality’ as a topic for tourism apartment rentals is lower than hotels, 16% versus 21%, but it’s clear that warm and friendly communication is greatly appreciated. This is likely due to the fact that it’s easier for hosts of one or a handful of rooms to create a personalized experience, compared with a large hotel managing hundreds of guests.
This analysis reveals the importance of hospitality; exceeding guest expectations and creating a memorable experience is invaluable. Never underestimate the importance of the ‘human factor’ for your hotel, apartment rental or B&B; it’s one of the top elements impacting your reputation.