Forget beach views: Tourists want hotels with air conditioning and a hearty breakfast

Got to have breakfast.
Got to have breakfast.
Image: Reuters/Pilar Olivares
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International tourists have vastly different habits when it comes to tipping in restaurants (if at all), jumping queues, and staking out precious space on the beach.

But when they choose a hotel, travelers from opposite ends of the globe have priorities in common.

Hotel booking site Booking.com last year polled 12,781 travelers with plans to travel in 2017 about which hotel amenities are most important to them. It found that Chinese and American travelers love air conditioning, while Brazilians and Indians want a tasty meal to start the day. The French, British, and Kiwis are obsessed with customer service.

Regardless of nationality, travelers all seemed to be concerned about safety. A hotel that was in a “safe location” was the top priority when booking, said Booking.com.

After the hotel’s safe location, here’s what respondents told Booking.com was most important when picking a hotel:

How serious are travelers about these amenities? Booking.com ranked travelers by nationality based on whether they said they would avoid a hotel altogether if it lacked what they are after.

Younger travelers, understandably, have different priorities than their parents or grandparents. In the future, hotels may ditch their valets and parking garages and add more Wi-Fi. Travelers between 18 and 35 years old listed a free Wi-Fi connection as a priority, something absent on the list for older travelers—they wanted free parking included instead.

These findings hint at what hotels will look like in the future. Soon we may thankfully see ugly parking garages be replaced by beautifully designed common areas, where younger visitors can congregate while on their phones, ignoring each other.