Social Pulse: Can Travelers Find Any Bliss in Summer 2020?
July 20, 2020
Hotel data analysis reveals factors that drive positive and negative guest sentiment.
Four months into quarantine—amid global border restrictions, decreased flight travel and record low hospitality bookings—travel advisors report a pent-up demand for travel among Americans. Itching to get away from their homes and with limited getaway options, many are opting for “staycations,” or, a vacation spent in one’s local region. Hotel bookings across the country reveal an uptick in local occupants. Analyzing social media data shows that the hospitality industry fosters consumer confidence in two ways: by exceeding safety and cleanliness expectations and by creating meaningful digital touchpoints.
Sentiment, a Clarabridge metric, uses highly nuanced Natural Language Understanding to identify the positive or negative nature of an experience described by a customer across an 11-point scale. Clarabridge aggregated tweets from 13 major hotel chains to evaluate the components of a positive experience.
About the Scale: -5 to +5
Clarabridge’s sentiment score shows how
positively or negatively people are talking
about their experience.
Date of Data Pull: 7/13/2020 10:31AM
Source: API Connectors
Current Volume: 30,879
Date Range: May 5, 2020 to July 13, 2020
The average sentiment, -.05, indicates that, overall, individuals felt neutral toward their experiences at these hotels. Drilling into the details, though, a few drivers of positive sentiment pop up: COVID Relief Support, Cleanliness, and Digital Experiences.
Figure 1: Top Topics with Positive Sentiment
Figure 1: Above shows the top three topics with positive sentiment: COVID Relief Efforts, Cleanliness, and Digital Experience
As we have shown in previous analysis, companies demonstrating empathy through tangible actions foster consumer trust. For major hotel chains, cleanliness and digital experiences are two main differentiators driving consumer sentiment.
Figure 2: Top Words Within Highly Positive Hotels
Figure 2: Above shows the top words within the top four hotels driving positive sentiment.
Innovations like new amenities and new cleanliness and safety protocols create positive experiences for guests. Vacationers look for hotels which clearly meet the expectations regarding safety. But the extra steps hotels take to exceed expectations creates a feeling of luxury and relaxation.
Creating positive experiences that allow consumers to relax, especially in highly tense times, provides a direct benefit to both consumers and brands. Similar to airline travel previously analyzed, failure to enforce protocols and unmet expectations triggers concerns that guests will carry throughout the customer journey. Consumers consult social media platforms for indicators that will influence their travel choices. New amenities such as in-room gyms, private beach access, and personalized service without in-person contact result in positive consumer sentiment reflected in social media posts. Companies that measure and trend the sentiment expressed by customers using social media data can adjust policies and programs, keeping pace with shifting consumer needs.
|THE BRIGHT SIDE
A decade worth of out of this world views come directly from NASA to celebrate satellite’s anniversary.
As summer continues, we will analyze key components of a positive vacation experience. I will begin to further explore how hotels and resorts in different regions of the United States compare to each other. Together, we will begin to understand what a “new normal” vacation looks like.
View the Complete Social Pulse Series
 ASTA.org. (2020, June 26). American Society of Travel Advisors Responds to the Government Cruise Advisory. Asta tagline. https://www.asta.org/About/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=29034.
 Specia, M. (2020, July 7). Travel Restrictions on Americans Erode a Sense of Passport Privilege. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/world/europe/american-passport-privilege-coronavirus.html.
Cohen, A. (2020, June 12). Hotels Are Betting on Staycations to Survive Covid-19 Recession. Bloomberg.com. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-12/hotels-are-betting-on-staycations-to-survive-covid-19-recession.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nicole Martin is currently a consultant at Clarabridge. Prior to Clarabridge, Nicole received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from The George Washington University. During her time at GW, Nicole wrote her graduate paper on sexuality, sexual behavior, and mental health. In addition, Nicole taught as a Graduate Assistant for the Biostatistics Department at The George Washington University. During her time at Clarabridge, Nicole has worked with healthcare accounts to enrich their analytic capabilities, created customer journey maps for property and casualty insurance companies, and continued to support innovation for clients across various industry verticals.
Clarabridge has embarked on an independent research project to actively analyze the “emotional pulse” of social media users worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort’s main goal is to assess how people are feeling using Clarabridge’s Natural Language Understanding to glean insights from millions of unstructured data records. We hope to inform the public, provide insights to the scientific community and educate Clarabridge customers. The analyses in this series leverages Twitter data collected beginning March 12th using keywords such as “coronavirus,” “covid19”, and “covid-19” from Twitter. We continue to refine data collection and models as the situation evolves.