In a recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and conducted by Morning Consult, positive trends are indicating a robust business outlook for hotels in the coming months. The study points to increased optimism driven by a surge in business travel and a consistent preference among both business and leisure travelers for hotel accommodations.
Key findings from the survey indicate a noteworthy shift in travel behavior. Among Americans whose jobs involve travel, 68% express a likelihood of overnight business travel in the final quarter of 2023, reflecting a rise from 59% in 2022. Hotels maintain their status as the preferred lodging choice for 81% of these business travelers.
Looking ahead to the holiday season, 32% of Americans plan to travel overnight for Thanksgiving—a notable increase from 28% the previous year. Similarly, 34% anticipate traveling for Christmas, up from 31% in the preceding year. Leisure travel, however, shows a slight dip, with 37% likely to embark on overnight trips during the last quarter of 2023, compared to 39% in 2022.
The survey also highlights a return to pre-pandemic travel attitudes, with 71% of Americans asserting that their likelihood of staying in hotels mirrors the pre-pandemic norm. Business travelers echo this sentiment, with nearly 70% noting a return to or an increase in business travel by their employers.
Additional findings reveal that 55% of Americans planning leisure trips in the final quarter of 2023 intend to stay in hotels. Moreover, 45% express a greater inclination to choose hotels this holiday season compared to the previous year, and 44% anticipate taking more leisure or vacation trips.
AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers emphasized the industry’s commitment to guest satisfaction, stating, “Hotels are going above and beyond to take excellent care of guests as travel approaches pre-COVID levels.” However, he acknowledged challenges, pointing to a nationwide shortage of workers hindering the recovery of lost jobs.
The survey, conducted from Sept. 18-23, 2023, included 4,006 adults and unveiled a comprehensive perspective on the evolving landscape of travel preferences in the post-pandemic era.