According to a new national Hotel Booking Index Survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult, hotel stays during holiday travel are on the rise this year. Additionally, hotels remain the top lodging choice among those guaranteed to travel for leisure in the next three months.
Thirty-one percent of Thanksgiving travelers plan to stay in a hotel during their trip, compared to 22 percent who planned to do so last year. Twenty-eight percent of Christmas travelers plan to stay in a hotel, compared to 23 percent who planned to do so last year. Among those traveling for leisure in the next three months, 54 percent plan to stay in a hotel.
However, overall holiday travel levels will likely remain flat, with 28 percent of Americans reporting they are likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 31 percent likely to travel for Christmas this year – compared to 29 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in 2021.
The survey also found that concerns about COVID-19 are fading among travelers but are being replaced by economic challenges like inflation and high gas prices. Eighty-five percent of respondents reported that gas prices and inflation are a consideration in deciding whether to travel over the next three months, compared to 70 percent who said the same about COVID-19 infection rates. In a May AHLA survey, 90 percent of respondents said gas prices and inflation were a travel consideration, while 78 percent said the same about COVID infection rates.
The survey of 4,000 adults conducted on Oct. 14-16 also found:
Fifty-nine percent of adults whose jobs involve travel said they are likely to travel for business in the next three months, with 49 percent planning to stay in a hotel during their trip. In 2021, 55 percent of adults whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel for business during the holiday season.
Sixty-four percent of Americans would be concerned about delays or cancellations if they traveled by plane right now, with 66 percent reporting a lower chance of flying this holiday season.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they will likely take more leisure/vacation trips in 2023 than this year.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans are likely to attend more indoor gatherings, events, or meetings in 2023 than they did this year.
Sixty-six percent of Thanksgiving and 60 percent of Christmas travelers plan to drive to their destinations, compared to 24 percent and 30 percent, respectively, who plan to fly.
AHLA’s Hotel Booking Index (HBI) is a new composite score gauging the short-term outlook for the hotel industry. The one-through-ten score is based on a weighted average of survey respondents’ travel likelihood in the next three months (50%), household financial security (30%), and a preference to stay in hotels for travel (20%). Gathered from the survey results, the AHLA Hotel Booking Index for the next three months is 7.1, or very good.
Moving forward, AHLA plans to release Hotel Booking Index results three times a year:
Ahead of the summer travel season
Ahead of the holiday travel season