Along with the mattress and pillow, the towel has got to rank as one of the top few guestroom items impacting the guest experience. In my travels I have experienced many hotel towels that were anything but fluffy or that had an unpleasant odor from the laundering process. I suspect you have experienced the same. Xeros, maker of a laundry system that replaces up to 80 percent of the water with polymer beads, just released the results of its survey entitled, “Why Towels Matter: The Surprising Role that Towels Play in a Hotel’s Success.” The survey had an impressive 1,160 responses from business and vacation travelers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The study revealed that 94 percent of all respondents believe that the quality of towels is important for overall customer satisfaction. In addition, the survey found that 73 percent of the survey respondents believe that the quality of towels will influence their decision to return to a hotel brand for future visits, while 84 percent believe towel quality influences brand perception.
When asked about towel attributes, cleanliness was identified as the most important attribute followed by softness. Surprisingly, high thread counts, the attribute that is generally associated with expensive luxury towels, came in last. The study found that 77 percent of travelers usually or always reference online reviews before selecting a hotel. One-third of the respondents said that they would write a negative review on an online site if they were not satisfied with the towels. And 52 of the respondents said that they have already written a negative review due to poor towel quality. Eighty-five percent of respondents reuse towels because they are concerned about the environment and 77 percent of people said that when choosing a hotel they actively search for places that have eco-friendly laundry facilities. Interestingly, the survey found that 31 percent of respondents think washing laundry on premise versus sending it out to a third-party vendor results in cleaner towels.
To access a report summarizing the survey findings, click here.