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Breakfast epiphany: What Asian travellers want

Why it's important to know where your guests come from and to match your offerings accordingly

New research commissioned by Agoda has revealed the top three things international travellers are looking for when they book accommodation in Australia and the results are quite surprising.

While cleanliness, friendly staff, a comfy bed, great location and value for money have in the main proven decisive factors, according to Agoda research, a complimentary breakfast is now the number one expectation on most people’s list.

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The survey, conducted by YouGov, asked travellers from nine different markets (South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Japan) what they expected in terms of products and services offered by hotels, in comparison to expectations when staying at Agoda Homes style properties, which includes private apartments, villas and unique properties.

And the results showed international travellers have much higher expectations from Australian hotels than other forms of accommodation.

Overall, 70 per cent of respondents said they expected a hotel to offer a complimentary breakfast. This was followed by toiletries (69 percent), daily housekeeping (64 percent) and a concierge service (64 percent).

However, the mix of top three priorities varied greatly between the nine countries surveyed.

Agoda’s Oceania Director, Zsuzsanna Janos said the research showed it was increasingly important for hotel owners to know where their guests were coming from and match their offerings accordingly.

“Hotels that have a clear understanding of the products and services that potential guests from particular countries expect, are more likely to keep their rooms full and generate revenue,” she said.

Ms Janos said the research highlights why Australian hoteliers should no longer see Asian travellers as one market.

“There are many cultural nuances to consider,” she said.

“We can see from the research that South Korean travellers rated quality bedding as one of their top three expectations when staying at hotels, even though this wasn’t identified in other markets.

So, for a hotel to be even more attractive to South Korean travellers, it would be helpful to provide a range of pillow choices, for example.”

Taiwanese travellers, she said, were the most likely to prioritise toiletries, ranking it as their top expectation from non-hotel accommodation providers, and second top expectation from hotels.

Indonesian travellers were the only ones who said that facilities, such as a pool or gym,  were one of their top three priorities at hotels.

Guests from India put ground transport or a car rental service on their list of top expectations at hotels, while both Taiwanese and Japanese travellers want hotels to have adequate luggage storage.

Japanese travellers were less particular about their hotel requirements, with only 51 percent expecting a complimentary breakfast or toiletries.

Ms Janos said while travellers are once again relishing the opportunity to re-explore the world, they want to make sure they have the best possible experience, and that includes finding accommodation that matches their needs and desires.

“The trick is for hotels to have multifaceted marketing strategies that appeal to specific nationalities to take advantage of the surge in international travel,” she said.

“That’s because we have entered an era where hotels can reap the benefits of offering tailored services.”

Top expectations at hotels (by travellers’ country of origin)

South Korea

  • Complimentary breakfast – 69 percent
  • Bedding choices (type of pillows, etc) – 67 percent
  • Toiletries – 67 percent.


  • Daily housekeeping – 64 percent
  • Toiletries – 61 percent
  • Concierge services – 61 percent.


  • Toiletries – 75 percent
  • Complimentary breakfast – 74 percent
  • Facilities (pool, gym, etc) – 73 percent.


  • Complimentary breakfast – 83 percent
  • Toiletries – 77 percent
  • Luggage storage – 76 percent.


  • Complimentary breakfast – 73 percent
  • Daily housekeeping – 71 percent
  • Toiletries – 70 percent.


  • Complimentary breakfast – 60 percent
  • Ground transport / car rental service – 58 percent
  • Daily housekeeping – 56 percent.


  • Toiletries – 73 percent
  • Daily housekeeping – 71 percent
  • Concierge service – 71 percent.


  • Complimentary breakfast – 81 percent
  • Toiletries – 81 percent
  • Daily housekeeping – 78 percent.


  • Complimentary breakfast – 51 percent
  • Toiletries – 51 percent
  • Luggage storage – 34 percent.


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