by Sarah J.F. Braley | May 01, 2007

chartNew hotel brands seem to be announced every day (go here for a listing of the latest entrants). But how aware of these newcomers are meeting planners? Not very, revealed a recent survey by M&C Research. More than 60 percent of the 200 planners who responded were familiar with just one in 10 new brands listed. Only Conrad, a luxury Hilton chain, was a bit more familiar to the sample.

Is the market becoming saturated? Not to 60 percent of those surveyed, who do not feel there are too many hotel brands from which to choose. Almost half (48 percent) believe new brands keep the hospitality market fresh; 37 percent said they create healthy competition. On the other side, 34 percent of the sample find it hard to differentiate between all the brands, and 16 percent feel new brands add confusion to the marketplace.

chartMost planners indicated they like to try out new brands now and again but won’t rush to be the first. Only 17 percent would be very likely to place a meeting at a new hotel brand; 66 percent prefer brands to be established a year or two before they test the waters.

Of course, the opportunity to try out a new chain can depend on the wishes of meeting attendees. About half of the sample said their participants are ambivalent about whether the brand is new, while 28 percent believe participants are skeptical about trying new brands and prefer familiar hotels. Another 21 percent said their attendees get excited about trying out new properties.

Respondents indicated they are flexible when choosing hotels, as only 24 percent said they place more than 75 percent of their meetings in the same brand.

 

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