Which 5-star hotel amenity is most important to you? Do you splurge on martinis at the hotel bar or spend big on one-of-a-kind experiences when you travel? Which brands of in-room amenities have delighted your senses so much that even a whiff brings back memories of the perfect getaway?

Luxury travel is an exciting topic, and almost anyone would jump at the chance to be paid to talk about it! But our clients in the luxury travel space need valid responses to their market research questions. “Valid” in this case means that the answers come from people who are very likely to book a reservation at a luxury property.

Part of our responsibility in conducting luxury travel research at The Olinger Group is to make sure we find the right people for each survey and every project. On top of that, their responses must be high quality.

Sure, it can be a tall order, but it is one I enjoy tackling. And just like our luxury hotel clients, my entire team has the ‘know how’ to make tall orders look effortless.

The perfect mix comes down to three things:

  • Access to the right people (a.k.a. leisure travelers)
  • Selecting the right people (travelers who invest in luxury experiences)
  • Keeping the right people (travelers who provided honest, quality responses)

Access to the right people

Maybe your target guests are luxury travelers ages 35-60 who live for the perfect beachfront getaway. Your customer list may not be your best option to find online survey participants, especially if you want to measure things like awareness of your brand or property. For that, you need access to hundreds of travel consumers who match your target guest profile but fall outside of your current customer base.

Luxury travelers don’t all wear Prada pedal pushers and pearls, so we need access to a dynamic mix of people. Who do we turn to? Our trusted panel partners. Their whole business is built around developing and offering a full ‘menu’ of experienced online research panelists from all walks of life.

Let’s be honest, some consumers or panelists are easier to access than others. For example, it is much easier to find 400 people who stay at 5-star hotels vs. 400 managers of 5-star hotels. This is where we invest our ‘figure-out-ability’ and time in our proposal process to find the right panel partner for each client.

Selecting the right people

The next step is to separate the travel enthusiasts from the past, present, and future luxury travelers.

To find the right people for a study on luxury hotels, we might ask potential participants about their past travel, planned travel, and spending habits. As we say in the business, we will screen them for participation. There is no substitute for genuine engagement in a research topic – bottom shelf cannot be passed off as top shelf! 

Keeping the right people

Once we have received all the data from a survey, we check for quality. This review of responses is termed data cleaning, and we remove panelists whose data shows they were not fully engaged. It is an exercise in patience, but the results are more than worth it.

Now we have the perfect mix prepared (shaken, not stirred). Please, sit back and relax. This martini is ready to serve!

Categories: Luxury Travel Market Research, Online Survey, Online Panel, Online Screening Survey /

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