In the hospitality industry, the terms ‘guest’ and ‘customer’ are sometimes used interchangeably. But is there a difference between a hotel guest and a hotel customer?

In short, a hotel guest is someone who books a room and stays on the premises, while a customer interacts with the hotel but isn’t necessarily an overnight guest. Read on as we dive into the nuances between these two important hotel roles.

Defining Hotel Guests

When it comes to the hospitality industry, the terms “hotel guest” and “customer” are often used interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences between the two that are worth exploring. Understanding these differences can help hoteliers provide better service and tailor their offerings to meet the needs of their guests.

Book a room

One of the key distinctions between a hotel guest and a customer lies in the process of booking a room. A customer may simply make a reservation, purchase a room, and leave. On the other hand, a hotel guest goes beyond a mere transaction.

They develop a relationship with the hotel, creating a sense of loyalty and trust. They might be repeat visitors, choosing the same hotel each time they travel to a particular destination. This loyalty can be built through personalized experiences, rewards programs, and excellent customer service.

Stay overnight

While both hotel guests and customers utilize hotel rooms, the duration of their stay can differ significantly. A customer might stay for a few hours, using the room for a quick meeting or as a temporary workspace.

In contrast, a hotel guest typically stays overnight, enjoying the full range of amenities and services offered by the hotel. They might take advantage of the gym, spa, pool, or restaurant, making their stay a more immersive experience.

Use amenities

One of the primary reasons people choose to stay in a hotel is the availability of amenities. A customer might only use the basic facilities provided, such as Wi-Fi or a business center. However, a hotel guest embraces the entire range of amenities, seeking relaxation, entertainment, and convenience.

This can include room service, concierge assistance, and access to exclusive events or facilities. The hotel guest is looking for more than just a place to sleep; they want a memorable experience.

Defining Hotel Customers

When it comes to the hospitality industry, the term “customer” is often used interchangeably with “guest.” However, there are different types of customers that hotels cater to. Understanding these distinctions can help hoteliers provide tailored experiences and meet the unique needs of each customer segment.

Patrons of restaurants/bars

One category of hotel customers includes those who visit the hotel’s restaurants and bars. These individuals may not be staying at the hotel but choose to dine or have a drink at the establishment. These customers contribute to the hotel’s revenue by frequenting their F&B outlets.

Hotels often strive to create an inviting ambiance and offer exceptional culinary experiences to attract and retain these customers. Whether it’s a business lunch or a romantic dinner, hotels aim to provide an unforgettable dining experience that keeps these customers coming back for more.

Event attendees

Hotels often host various events, such as conferences, weddings, and parties. These events attract a different category of customers who may not necessarily be staying at the hotel. They include event attendees who are there to participate in or celebrate a specific occasion.

Hotels provide event spaces and services to accommodate these customers and ensure a seamless experience. From coordinating logistics to offering catering options, hotels play a crucial role in making these events successful.

These customers may judge the hotel’s reputation based on the quality of service they receive during the event, making it essential for hotels to deliver exceptional customer experiences in these situations.

Spa and salon clients

Many hotels offer spa and salon services to guests and customers alike. These customers visit the hotel specifically for the purpose of indulging in relaxation and self-care. They may book appointments for massages, facials, haircuts, or other treatments offered by the hotel’s spa and salon.

Hotels invest in creating tranquil environments and hiring skilled professionals to cater to these customers’ wellness needs. The goal is to provide a rejuvenating experience that leaves them feeling pampered and satisfied.

Understanding the different categories of hotel customers allows hoteliers to tailor their services and offerings accordingly. By recognizing the unique needs and expectations of each customer segment, hotels can deliver personalized experiences that leave a lasting impression and foster customer loyalty.

Different Needs and Expectations

When it comes to the hospitality industry, understanding the difference between a hotel guest and a customer is essential. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences in their needs and expectations.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific requirements of both guests and customers.

Guests want lodging service

Hotel guests primarily seek accommodation services during their stay. They expect a comfortable and clean room, friendly staff, and a hassle-free experience. Guests value amenities such as a comfortable bed, clean bathroom, complimentary toiletries, and a peaceful environment.

They appreciate a welcoming atmosphere and personalized service that makes them feel at home.

According to a survey conducted by Hotel Management, 75% of hotel guests consider cleanliness as the most important factor when choosing a hotel. Additionally, 62% of guests prioritize comfortable beds and quality sleep.

These statistics highlight the significance of providing a clean and comfortable environment for guests.

Customers want product/amenity service

Customers, on the other hand, primarily focus on the products and amenities offered by the hotel. They are interested in the quality and variety of food and beverages, spa services, fitness facilities, and other amenities that enhance their overall experience.

Customers value a wide range of options and the ability to customize their stay to suit their preferences.

A study conducted by Customer Thermometer revealed that 80% of customers consider dining options to be a crucial factor when choosing a hotel. Additionally, 70% of customers prioritize the availability of amenities such as a pool or gym.

These statistics emphasize the importance of offering a diverse range of amenities and services to attract and satisfy customers.

Guests Customers
Seek accommodation services Focus on products and amenities
Value cleanliness and comfort Value variety and customization
Appreciate personalized service Seek diverse amenities and services

Understanding the distinction between hotel guests and customers allows hoteliers to tailor their services and offerings accordingly. By meeting the specific needs and expectations of both guests and customers, hotels can provide an exceptional experience that keeps patrons coming back for more.

Marketing and Communication Differences

When it comes to marketing and communication strategies, hotels need to differentiate between their guests and customers. While the terms “guest” and “customer” are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences in how hotels promote and communicate with these two groups.

Promotions for guests

Hotels understand that guests are looking for a unique and personalized experience during their stay. Therefore, promotions targeting guests often focus on creating a sense of exclusivity and special treatment.

Hotels may offer perks such as complimentary room upgrades, personalized welcome amenities, and access to exclusive facilities like spa or fitness centers.

Additionally, hotels may leverage guest loyalty programs to provide personalized offers and rewards based on a guest’s preferences and previous stays. These promotions aim to build a long-term relationship with the guest, encouraging repeat bookings and fostering brand loyalty.

According to a study conducted by HospitalityNet, 65% of guests are more likely to return to a hotel if they feel valued and appreciated during their stay. Therefore, hotels invest in targeted promotions for guests to enhance their overall experience and build a lasting relationship.

Promotions for customers

On the other hand, customers are individuals who may not have stayed at the hotel before but are potential guests. Hotels employ different marketing strategies to attract and convert customers into guests.

Promotions targeting customers often focus on showcasing the hotel’s unique selling points and highlighting its amenities, location, and value for money.

Hotels may offer special rates, discounts, or packages to entice customers to make a reservation. They also leverage online platforms, such as social media and travel websites, to reach a wider audience and generate interest.

By showcasing positive guest reviews and ratings, hotels aim to build trust and credibility among customers.

A recent survey by Statista revealed that 78% of customers consider online reviews to be highly influential when choosing a hotel. Therefore, hotels invest in digital marketing strategies to generate positive reviews and promote their offerings to potential customers.

Building Loyalty Among Both Groups

When it comes to the hospitality industry, building loyalty among hotel guests and customers is of utmost importance. By creating a positive and memorable experience, hotels can ensure that guests and customers keep coming back. Here are some strategies to build loyalty among both groups.

Loyalty programs

One effective way to build loyalty among hotel guests and customers is through loyalty programs. These programs offer rewards and incentives for repeat business, encouraging guests and customers to choose the same hotel for their future stays.

By offering perks such as free nights, upgrades, and exclusive discounts, hotels can create a sense of value and appreciation for their guests and customers. A study conducted by HospitalityNet found that 81% of guests are more likely to choose a hotel that offers a loyalty program.

Discount offers

Another effective strategy to build loyalty is by offering exclusive discounts to hotel guests and customers. By providing special rates or promotions, hotels can show their appreciation and create a sense of exclusivity for their loyal customers.

This not only encourages repeat business but also helps attract new customers who are enticed by the discounted rates. According to a survey by Hotel Management, 72% of customers are more likely to choose a hotel that offers discounted rates.

VIP services

Providing VIP services is another way to build loyalty among hotel guests and customers. By going above and beyond to make guests and customers feel special, hotels can create a memorable experience that sets them apart from their competitors.

VIP services can include anything from personalized welcome gifts to exclusive access to amenities or facilities. These special touches make guests and customers feel valued and appreciated, increasing the likelihood of them returning in the future.

A study by Hotel Online found that 78% of guests are more likely to be loyal to a hotel that provides personalized service.

By implementing these strategies, hotels can build loyalty among both their guests and customers. Whether through loyalty programs, discount offers, or VIP services, creating a positive and memorable experience is key to ensuring that guests and customers choose to stay at the same hotel again and again.


Identifying hotel guests versus general customers allows for more personalized service catered to each group’s needs.

By understanding these distinct roles, hotels can develop better business and marketing strategies to nurture lasting relationships with both their overnight guests and local customers.

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