Hotel Dealbreakers Survey 2023 — Ghosts, Cameras, Bed Bugs, & No Bible Among Reasons Travelers Would Leave a Hotel With No Guaranteed Refund (LIST)
Summer travel is now near. Millions of people are going to set out on adventures both in the United States and abroad. And, many of these Americans will choose hotels as their preferred lodging. Everyone at some point has had a horror story when it comes to a hotel. However, some people find ways to make bad hotel experiences work, while others do not.
We set out to conduct this Hotel Dealbreakers Survey to see what would cause Americans to leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund. We consider a hotel dealbreaker any reason, cause, or happenstance that makes a person leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund. What incidents are people most likely to put up with? Are some inconveniences at hotels more important than others? What is the most common reason someone would leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund? Below you can find the complete results of our survey question. You can also find key takeaways and interesting demographic comparisons about the data.
Which of these would cause you to leave your hotel without a guaranteed refund?
Respondents were able to select as many causes that would make them leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund. There was also an option for “None of These.” For convenience purposes, we have ordered the hotel dealbreakers starting with the worst or one most frequently mentioned by respondents.
Here is the full ranked list of most likely hotel dealbreakers:
1. Bed Bugs. — 81.02%
2. Foul Odor such as from Smoking, Mold, Urine, Excrement, etc. — 68.14%
3. Finding a Camera. — 66.08%
4. Stained Sheets and Overall Unsanitary Hotel (Found by Black Light or Naked Eye). — 65.78%
5. Unwanted Critter in Room such as Snake or Cockroach. — 65.49%
6. No Locks or Broken Locks. — 65.00%
7. Broken Plumbing such as Toilet, Shower, or Sink. — 62.14%
8. Hearing Gunshots. — 55.26%
9. Bad Neighborhood with Unsavory Characters Outside (Prostitutes, etc). — 55.16%
10. Rude or Suspicious Acting Staff. — 45.72%
11. Hidden Resort Fees Not Clearly Disclosed at Booking. — 34.61%
12. Suspicious Acting Guests. — 33.24%
13. Partying or Loud Behavior from Guests. — 29.30%
14. Seeing a Ghost or Sensing the Hotel is Haunted. — 19.76%
15. Online Pictures Aren’t Accurate or Seem Outdated. — 16.32%
16. No Bible in the Side Table. — 4.52%
None of These — 6.29%
Key Takeaways on the Hotel Dealbreakers
Bed bugs and foul odors are the biggest hotel dealbreakers. – Bed bugs topped the list as the most common hotel dealbreaker. More than 81% of American adults said they would leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund if they found bed bugs. The 81.02% that said this equates to 209 million people. After bed bugs, the second most common hotel dealbreaker was a foul odor from things such as smoking, mold, urine, and feces. 68.14% or 176 million American adults stated they will leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund if a foul odor is bad enough.
Nearly 20% of American adults would leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund if they thought they saw a ghost or sensed the hotel was haunted. – The 19.76% that said seeing a ghost or sensing the hotel is haunted is a dealbreaker represent 51 million people. This means that one in five people in America that stay at a hotel would leave due to the perception of haunted activity.
Nearly 5% of American adults would leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund if there was no bible in the side table. – The 4.52% represents nearly 12 million people. There are nearly 12 million American adults that would leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund because there is no bible. The Bible being guaranteed in hotel rooms has been slowly disappearing over the years. However, there are still millions of people that wish that was not the case.
Privacy being broken is a hotel dealbreaker for more than 66% of American adults. – More than 66% of American adults said that finding a camera was a hotel dealbreaker. If they found a camera, they would leave the hotel without a guaranteed refund. The 66.08% represents more than 170 million people.
Safety is one of the highest priorities for travelers when it comes to hotel dealbreakers. – Nearly half of the hotel dealbreakers concern a traveler’s safety. As I mentioned, 66.08% of American adults would leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund if they find a camera. 65.49% would leave if they found an unwanted critter such as a snake. 65% would leave if their room had no locks or broken locks. 55.26% of people would leave if they heard gunshots. 55.16% would leave without a guaranteed refund if they found out the hotel was in a bad neighborhood. 45.72% consider rude or suspicious acting staff a hotel dealbreaker. Finally, 33.24% would leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund if they noticed suspicious acting guests. Safety appears to be one topic more important than saving money for Americans.
Some American adults will put up with pretty much anything to ensure they do not waste money. – More than 6% of American adults said none of these 16 hotel dealbreakers would cause them to leave without a guaranteed refund. The 6.29% represents more than 16 million people. This means more than 16 million people are okay with finding cameras and can bare the smell of excrement to save money. They’re even okay with hearing gunshots or making a room with bed bugs work!
The Vacationer Tip
Now that you know what most people consider hotel dealbreakers, review the following guides before planning your travel:
Interesting Demographic Comparisons
Women are more likely than men to perceive paranormal activity as a hotel dealbreaker. – 23.13% of women stated if they saw a ghost or sensed the hotel was haunted, they would leave the hotel without a guaranteed refund. On the other hand, only 15.81% of men felt paranormal activity was a hotel dealbreaker.
Men are more likely than women to consider hidden resort fees as a hotel dealbreaker. – 36.11% of men consider hidden resort fees as a hotel dealbreaker. However, only 33.33% of women do. In fact, hidden resort fees were the only choice that meaningfully showed men considered it more of a hotel dealbreaker than women. Every other choice was clearly more women or relatively equal opinion.
The oldest American adults are most likely to consider unwanted critters in their room a hotel dealbreaker. – 78.17% of people over age 60 said they’d leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund if they found an unwanted critter such as a snake. On the other hand, as respondents’ age decreased, they were less likely to say unwanted critters would be a hotel dealbreaker. Only 69.03% of American adults between 45-60 said this. And, only 60.37% of people in the 30-44 age range stated an unwanted critter in the room would cause them to leave the hotel without a guaranteed refund. Lastly, 53.30% of people aged 18-29 consider this a hotel dealbreaker.
American adults in the West North Central Region are the least likely to leave their hotel without a guaranteed refund. – Our poll showed that 9.84% of American adults in the West North Central Region said they would not leave their hotel room without a guaranteed refund for any of these reasons. This is the highest out of any other region. The West North Central Region contains the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. On the other hand, the Mountain region is the most likely to consider something a hotel dealbreaker. Only 2.56% of people in the Mountain region said they would not leave under any circumstance. The Mountain Region consists of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
The youngest generation of American Adults aged 18-29 is far less likely than any other age group to consider partying or loud behavior from guests a hotel dealbreaker. – Only 12.78% of people aged 18-29 said partying or loud behavior by guests was a hotel dealbreaker. However, 26.67% of those aged 30-44 said it was. And, 34.33% of those aged 45-60 said partying or loud behavior by guests was a hotel dealbreaker. Lastly, 41.67% of those over the age of 60 said they’d leave a hotel without a guaranteed refund if guests were partying or too loud.
This 2023 Hotel Dealbreakers Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,017 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on March 1 to March 2. Of those surveyed, 46.02% were male and 53.98% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 22.32% in the range 18-29, 26.55% in the range 30-44, 26.35% in the range 45-60, and 24.78% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.136%. You can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.
The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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