Summer trip to the United States 2022 |  McKinsey

Summer trip to the United States 2022 | McKinsey

Summer 2022 is likely be a good choice for US travel and tourism. The following five key trends are shaping the industry, with implications for hoteliers.

Pleasure trips are booming

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the United States is surpassing not only 2020 and 2021 levels, but increasingly also 2019 levels. RevPAR’s outperformance is largely driven by rates. Hotels aren’t as full as in 2019, but rates have increased – the average daily rate (ADR) is around 15% more expensive than in 2019.

Basically, people love to travel. We asked over 1,000 travelers in the United States what they would do if they won the lottery, and travel spending was ranked second highest (Figure 1).

While short-term travel beyond this summer is still unclear, we are convinced of one lasting truth: everyone loves to travel.
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This summer, for many, the holidays will happen “no matter what”

The survey also revealed that people are concerned about macroeconomic factors such as inflation, but that’s not enough to stop nearly 70% of travelers from taking vacations this summer (Figure 2).

Three words define this summer's trip: it doesn't matter what.
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Are gasoline prices high? People will go somewhere closer. Hotel prices prohibitive? They’re going to hunt for a bargain. Consumers can find ways to cut back, but these factors won’t ruin their vacation plans (Figure 3).

Inflation can cause some travelers to stay closer to home, although this is not expected to significantly disrupt vacation plans.
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Since the survey was conducted in June 2022, travel plans have been set in motion. AAA has estimated that 42 million people will travel by car over the weekend of July 4, a new record in car travel volume for this period, despite national average gas prices exceeding $ 5.

Additionally, hotel occupancy, ADR and RevPAR data all passed the comparable week in 2019 and TSA checkpoint travel numbers showed a 15% increase for the Thursday and Friday before the weekend. July 4th, compared to 2019.

Guests have more accommodation options than ever

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The boundaries between accommodation categories are blurred and travelers are looking for hotel, home-sharing, all-inclusive, and outdoor / glamping options.

While 78% of travelers surveyed say they feel comfortable in a hotel, only 61% are comfortable in alternative accommodation. The top five reasons to stay in a hotel include consistency and predictability; security and privacy; Convenient location; availability of concierge, lounge, restaurant and / or other services; and low cost. In comparison, travelers can choose alternative accommodation options as they offer more space; Supplies; and an authentic or local experience.

So where are these travelers going to go? Over half (54%) plan to go to the beach, a popular choice between 25 and 34 years old. The next most likely destination (32%) is a city / urban location, followed by a mountain hike / hiking (24%).

Loyalty is heating up

Against this backdrop of higher prices and more choice, efforts to maintain customer loyalty are intensifying. But the survey shows that many travelers, especially the younger generation, don’t feel they are getting enough value from loyalty programs, or the programs seem too complicated.

There are some features of loyalty programs that matter more than others: offering discounts, having the right footprint so guests can stay where they want, and making it easy to redeem points are favorites.

ESG is gaining in importance

While 75% of travelers surveyed agree that sustainability matters, only half would pay extra for it. But younger travelers are much more willing to pay extra for green initiatives. Such initiatives that currently resonate best with guests include the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products; replacement of plastic magnetic keys with alternatives; reduced use of paper, for example electronic receipts; and smart appliances and monitoring systems to optimize energy consumption.

Five ways hotels could respond to these trends

  1. Encourage bleisure stays by highlighting local attractions and events. With the boom in leisure time and the resumption of business travel, we expect an increase in bleisure travel.
  2. Help guests find you when they’re looking for their next trip. Hotels can invest in their online presence and social media to communicate with potential guests in the early stages of their research. This is especially important as hotels face labor shortages and sometimes reduce service levels – communicate transparently to make sure guests’ expectations are set appropriately before guests set foot on the property.
  3. In markets with a strong supply of alternative housing, communicate the differentiators. Hotels can communicate what makes them best, namely convenience, consistency and available services.
  4. Update your loyalty programs. Hotels may need to review their loyalty programs to make sure they respond to new needs and help both frequent and infrequent guests get the most out of their programs.
  5. Launch ecological initiatives with clear and consistent communication with guests. Hotels can think about how to attract eco-conscious travelers and build meaningful relationships with them that will lead to long-term loyalty.

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