by Mark Albert
It may be the most overrated travel amenity: hotel gyms.
Travelers say they want access to a fitness center on the road, but a new study finds few people actually use them.
Of all major amenities, such as in-room internet access and bottled water, hotel gyms had the least amount of actual use, according to research by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, based in Ithaca, New York.
Cost of Amenities Justified?
The study looked at whether offering various amenities justified the expense in providing them, both for the initial traveler’s visit and for repeat business.
Internet access “held the greatest attraction for first-time guests” no matter if they were traveling for business or pleasure, the study found. Although it also concluded that while 66% of guests said they expected to use wifi in their room, only 42% of guests actually logged on.
For returning guests, complimentary bottled water “offered the highest ROI [return on investment].”
Room price was “the next strongest factor,” followed by location and loyalty program membership, the study said.