As of today, we are only weeks away from 2023. It’s almost hard to believe after the trials and tribulations that largely defined 2020, 2021, and the beginning of 2022. In some ways, the last two and a half years were a whirlwind, but, at the same time, the world came to what could be best described as a prolonged, collective standstill. For industries like hospitality, that standstill was especially pronounced – as an industry that exists to provide an in-person experience to global travelers, the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be one of our greatest obstacles. Our proverbial liferaft during this time was the promise of a ‘post-pandemic landscape’ which, for a long time, felt a little too far out of view to seem tangible. And yet, that moment has finally arrived.
As 2022 comes to a close and we gather with industry experts, peers, and colleagues to prepare for the year ahead, we find ourselves looking upon a terrain that is no longer desolate but thriving. Over the last six months, hospitality has roared back to life. There appears to be an appetite for travel that is more than ready to feast on the experiences offered by leading travel and hospitality brands. The year ahead is promising, and our industry is primed for continued growth and technological innovation as we work to remain in lockstep with the preferences of modern travelers.
With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of what I expect to be the most important hospitality industry statistics and trends, leading us into this next chapter.
The Industry at a Glance
1. By the end of 2031, the global hotel and resort industry market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% and reach US$1.27 trillion. (Statista)
2. Across the world, 2,934 hotels are expected to open in 2023 – compared to 2,246 hotels opened in 2021. (Statista)
3. The demand for hotel rooms and revenues is projected to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Revenues are projected to reach $168 billion (AHLA)
4. In 2022, the occupancy rate of the United States hotel industry was forecast to reach 63.4 percent. By 2024, that figure is expected to increase to 66.4 percent. (Statista)
5. For the summer of 2022, global hotel occupancy hit an average of nearly 70%, an increase of around 5% over the summer of 2019. Sources show strong recovery indicators for the remainder of 2022 and evidence of growing traveler confidence as the sector looks toward 2023. (Amadeus)
6. Today, U.S. passenger movement is back to 95% of 2019 levels, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.
7. 2022 now virtually matches the booking behaviors seen in 2019, with 53% of bookings made in the 0-7 day window versus 50% of bookings made in this timeframe in 2019. As the booking lead time improves, this implies increasing traveler confidence as people make longer-term commitments. (Amadeus)
8. Overall, airfare rose 42.9% from September 2021 to September 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index.
Airbnb: Still A Popular Alternative to Hotels
9. As of 2022, Airbnb has grown to over 4 million hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. (Airbnb)
10. Roughly 60% of Airbnb’s user base are millennials (The Zebra)
11. People stay an average of 2.4 times longer in Airbnbs than at hotel stays.
(Stratos Jet Charters Inc.)
12. Airbnb’s net income rose 46 percent year-over-year to $1.2 billion for the period that ended September 30th, 2022. The San Francisco-based company also had 90 million guest arrivals and generated 99.7 million “nights and experiences” booked, a figure that climbed 25 percent year-over-year. (Skift)
The State of Business Travel
13. Group and business travel segments are showing steady recovery in Q4, with 4.3 million group room nights already booked for H1 2023. (Amadeus)
14. Global business travel will fully recover by 2024. It is forecast to increase by 14% in 2022, with the US and China seeing the largest growth (30% each). (Leslie Josephs)
15. 60% of all global business trips turn into business-leisure (bleisure) trips, in which work and leisure are combined. (Stratos Jets)
16. More people are traveling for bleisure—business+leisure trips. The bleisure tourism market is projected to reach $ 497.5 billion in valuation in 2022. (Future Market Insights report)
Hotel Labour Crisis
17. According to a survey, 94% of hotels are understaffed, 47% are severely understaffed, and around 50% of those hotels say the shortage is "severe." (October 2021 AHLA member survey)
18. 96% of the hotels say they are trying to hire but need help to fill the open positions. (October 2021 AHLA member survey)
19. By the start of 2023, employment in hotels is expected to reach 93% of pre-pandemic levels. (AHLA)
20. As of February 2022, 78 percent of travelers intend to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead. (Statista)
21. 81% of global travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 50% saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. (Booking.com)
22. 57% of travelers would feel better staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification (Booking.com)
23. 70% of global travelers say they would be more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation – whether they were looking specifically for one or not. (Booking.com)
24. There is consensus amongst travelers on wanting to avoid busy and over-visited destinations, with a third (33%) saying that they chose to travel outside of peak season and over a quarter (27%) choosing to go to a less popular travel destination over the last 12 months to avoid overcrowding. (Booking.com)
Emerging Trends to Watch
25. As of November 2021, guest surveys were the most common hospitality technology implemented by hoteliers prior to the pandemic. Meanwhile, self-service check-in technology was the most implemented during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with 25.3 percent of hoteliers stating that they adopted it. Lastly, 15 percent of hoteliers planned to implement mobile keys in 2022. (Statista)
26. A January 2022 study that surveyed hoteliers worldwide identified that chatbot usage in the hospitality sector was expected to increase by 53 percent in 2022. The use of this technology was expected to increase by 42 percent in branded hotels and 64 percent in independent hotels. (Statista)
27. The global health and wellness market has reached a market evaluation of $1.5 trillion and is growing at a rate of 5-10% per year. (McKinsey)
28. 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than on things. (Zippa)
29. 66% of millennials book their trips using a smartphone, while 74% use their mobile for travel-related research. (Condor Ferries)
30. Work-abroad and work-from-home flexibility enables a new wave of digital nomads who stand to have an outsized revenue impact on the travel industry. Skift Research estimates that digital nomads could be a $1B new market in the U.S. alone.
31. ‘Blended travel’ is on the rise. When Deloitte studied leisure holiday travelers that brought their laptops with them (called Laptop Luggers by the authors), they found that by incorporating some work, the largest cohort of travelers extended their trip by 3-6 days.
32. Long-term luxury spending is expected to stay: Almost 30% of travelers say their vacation budgets are higher after COVID. (Skift)
33. For many large hotel chains, loyalty members account for more than half of all room bookings. (Skift)
From an industry-wide rebound to the global embrace of hospitality sustainability initiatives, the rise of blended travel, and the return of group travel and events, 2023 bears all the markings of an exciting rejuvenation and evolution for our industry at large.
By Brett Thoreson, CEO & Co-Founder of CartStack & RezRecover