Hotel industry outlook for next three months is very good, as most business travelers report return to normal
60% of Americans report being more likely to stay in hotels this year than in 2022, and hotels are the top lodging choice among those planning to travel for business and leisure in the next three months, according to new national Hotel Booking Index survey research commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult.
According to the surveys, 52% of adults would choose to stay in hotels if they were to travel overnight for leisure in the next three months, while 76% of potential business travelers would be most likely to stay in a hotel if they travel for work during the same timeframe.
Survey responses from business travelers indicate that nearly 70% of their employers have either returned to the pre-pandemic normal or increased amounts of business travel. This is good news for hoteliers, as business travel is one of hotels' main sources of revenue.
- 51% of business travelers say the share of employees expected or encouraged to travel for work is now the same as before the pandemic, while another 20% say it's more than before.
- 53% of business travelers say the average length of business trips is now the same as before the pandemic, while another 20% say it's more than before.
- 52% of business travelers say the amount of business trips expected or supported by their employer is now the same as before the pandemic, while another 20% say it's more than before.
- 52% of business travelers say the amount of spending their employer will cover on business trips is now the same as before the pandemic, while another 18% say it's more than before.
Based on the survey results, AHLA's Hotel Booking Index (HBI) for the next three months is 7.1, or very good. The HBI is a composite score gauging the short-term outlook for the hotel industry. The ten-point score is based on a weighted average of survey respondents' travel likelihood in the next three months (50%), self-reported household financial security (30%), and a preference to stay in hotels for travel (20%).
The two Hotel Booking Index surveys of more than 4,000 adults were conducted Dec. 16 – 19, 2022, and Dec. 28, 2022, to Jan. 2, 2023. Other key findings include the following:
- Hotels are the top lodging choice for those planning to travel overnight for the upcoming holidays Martin Luther King Jr. Day (47%), Valentine's Day (54%), and President's Day (42%)
- 48% of business travelers have extended a business trip in the last year for leisure purposes, and 84% of business travelers are interested in bleisure
- 60% of adults are likely to take more vacation/leisure trips in 2023 vs. 2022
- 45% of business travelers are likely to take more business trips in 2023 vs. 2022
"With Americans planning for more hotel stays this year and business travel moving in the right direction, AHLA's Hotel Booking Index is a cause for optimism among hoteliers," said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. "This positive momentum is great news for the hotel industry as well as its employees, who are enjoying more career opportunities, upward mobility and flexibility than ever before."
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