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The extent to which hotel guests accept and use technology both during a hotel stay and on their own can be a useful means of segmenting guests. One excellent mechanism for establishing segments based on customers' inclination toward technology is the Technology Readiness Index (TRI), as shown by the study described here. A test of the TRI with 865 business and leisure hotel customers in the United States revealed an approximate normal distribution that ranged from people who seek to use technology at every turn to those who essentially want nothing to do with it. Furthermore, a comparison of the travel habits of the high and low technology-ready guests revealed numerous differences that should be of interest to the hotel companies. For example, guests with a high TRI score tended to travel more frequently on business and were willing to pay relatively high room rates. A greater percentage of male guests were in the high TRI group than were in the low TRI group. The study also found that the hotel guests with high TRI scores were relatively young, more highly educated, and more affluent than the sample as a whole. The technology-adept guests were more likely to patronize upscale hotels than were the other members of the sample. Thus, executives who wish to differentiate their hotels using technology should carefully consider the response to high-tech innovations that will come from their target guest segments.


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