Hotel Guest Satisfaction Ratings by Nationality

The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University”™s Hotel School published an interesting study last fall.   It investigated the difference in Hotel Guest Satisfaction Ratings across nationalities.

The study confirmed something that we had suspected for a while now, based on our observations at the Cayuga Collection Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.   There is a difference in judging a hotel or vacation experience depending on where the guest comes from.   The study compared guest satisfaction surveys from nearly 200,000 guests from eight nations over a two year period and came to the following findings:

  • While price and location remain uppermost as decision factors, residents of some countries give considerable weight to specific services.
  • People in different countries do consider different factors in their determination of satisfaction.
  • The effect of certain procedures on guests”™ satisfaction differs by country.
  • Residents of some countries generally express lower levels of satisfaction than those in other countries.
Local staff provide high end service at remote eco lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The study identified that guests from the United States provided the highest ratings, while guests from Japan provided the lowest ratings and guests from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. typically fell between these extremes.

Due to our proximity to North America, our guests receive between 70 and 80% guests from the United States and Canada.   The remaining 20 to 30% visit us from Europe.   We don”™t have many Asian guests, mostly due to distance and visa barriers.

At some of our eco lodges such as Lapa Rios and Jicaro, as well as the smaller boutique hotels such as Finca Rosa Blanca,  Kura and Latitude 10, we receive quite a lot of Europeans and we have found that their ratings are often much tougher than the ones received by North Americans that are more frequent visitors at our slightly bigger hotels such as Arenas del Mar, Harmony and Grano de Oro.

We feel that this has mostly to do with expectations in terms of service and food quality.   By now, we have learned to cater to their needs and special requests and have been able to bring their guest evaluation ratings to the same level as the ones from US guests.
Local staff attending the beds at Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua

Have you had similar experiences?   We would love to hear from you.   How have you dealt with the difference in expectations by nationality?   Send us a not to [email protected].

The complete Cornell study can be accessed at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *