This summer, most adults are more likely than they were last summer to stay in a hotel and take vacation trips, according to a new national Hotel Booking Index survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association that was conducted by Morning Consult.
Most adults report being more likely than they were in 2022 to stay in a hotel (56%), take more frequent (55%) and longer (52%) leisure or vacation trips, according to the survey.
According to the findings, hotels are the top lodging choice among those planning to travel for business (77%) and leisure (54%) in the next three months. In addition, 75% of business travelers whose jobs involve traveling are likely to do so in the next three months, compared to 53% in December 2022/January 2023. 51% of adults are likely to travel overnight for leisure in the next three months, compared to 36% in December 2022/January 2023.
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.
● 49% of business travelers say the average length of business trips is now the same as before the pandemic, while another 22% say it’s more than before.
● 47% 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 25% say it’s more than before.
● 46% 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 24% say it’s more than before.
Based on the survey results, AHLA’s Hotel Booking Index score for the next three months is 7.8/10, or very good. The HBI is a composite score gauging the short-term outlook for the hotel industry. The 10-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 HBI survey of more than 4,100 adults was conducted April 28 – May 3, 2023. Other key findings include:
● Hotels are the most popular lodging choice for those planning to travel overnight for the upcoming holidays Columbus Day (47%), Veterans Day (46%), Memorial Day (44%), Labor Day (43%), Father’s Day (42%), and Independence Day (40%).
● 86% of business travelers are interested in “bleisure” travel, with 56% indicating they have extended a work trip for leisure purposes ― sometimes referred to as “bleisure” travel ― in the last year.
● Higher earners, urban adults, and adults ages 35-44 are most likely to be interested in extending a business trip by a day or two for leisure.
● 53% of adults are interested in being a digital nomad, including 26% who are very interested. Digital nomads work remotely, either full-time or part-time, while traveling to new places.
The demand is spurring a need for more workers. There are more than 100,000 hotel jobs open across the nation, and as of March, national average hotel wages were near all-time highs at more than $23 per hour.