Since this subject is part of a restricted and copyrighted blog site, I cannot link to it here. You'll have to trust me!
But a 2011 survey of a small group (under 100) of younger, frequent travelers showed that the majority picked a hotel brand not on the basis of familiarity or brand or loyalty programs, but on price and location.
One on one interviews were conducted to go in depth on the subject.
One forced choice question set asked these young respondents to rank the reason for a hotel choice, and here are the rankings. The numbers are the average of picked ranked from one to ten.
- Location relative to destination: 8.1
- Cost of room per night: 7.6
- Free Wi-Fi or high-speed Internet: 7.0
- Free breakfast: 4.0
- Room type (suite, bed type): 3.5
- Airline loyalty program points: 3.2
- Hotel brand: 2.5
- Coffee maker in room: 1.5
- Hotel loyalty program: 0.2
Perhaps this is the new wave?