How Much are Guests Willing to Disclose Personal Information within Hotel Apps?


How much are guests willing to disclose personal information for the convenience of guest services directed from a hotel app? The answer: not much. An April 2014 study of hotel guests revealed that only 34 percent would disclose personal information, in general, on a hotel app; but drilling down through the responses, the positives increased based on whether a specific detail would impact a hotel stay. The factors that influenced a guest’s willingness to reveal information include: benefit of disclosure, positive emotion and trust in app.

Some details from the study showed:

1) Personal information respondents were willing/likely to disclose: room preference; room amenity preference (i.e. pillow type); gender; smoking preference; and dining preference

2) Personal information respondents were not willing/likely to disclose: credit card information; income; driver’s license/passport number; and geographic location

3) Number of mobile devices respondents travel with: one device – 35%; two devices – 32%; three devices – 23%

Get a full illustration of the study results via the INFOGRAPHIC prepared by the authors DeFranco and Morosan, prepared for HFTP.

The survey was conducted in April 2014 by Agnes DeFranco CHAE, Ed.D. and Cristian Morosan, Ph.D., both of the C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston. The online survey was conducted with hotel guests who had stayed in a hotel during the past 12 months prior; and a total of 317 questionnaires were collected. The sample consisted of approximately 59 percent males, relatively mature, with age categories relatively evenly split throughout the sample. Most respondents had annual household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 (45.4 percent). With regard to their stay, most respondents traveled exclusively for leisure (42.4 percent), stayed in midscale hotels (40.1 percent) for approximately two to three nights per stay (59.7 percent), in most cases having three to six hotel stays per year (44.3 percent).

Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE (ALDeFranco@Central.UH.EDU) is a distinguished chair and professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston. She is also an HFTP Global Past President, chair of the HFTP Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices Advisory Council and a recipient of the HFTP Paragon Award. Cristian Morosan, Ph.D. ( is an assistant professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston and vice chair of the CHTP Advisory Council. This article is partially supported by HFTP.

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About the Author: Eliza Selig