USA summer trip 2022 |  McKinsey

USA summer trip 2022 | McKinsey

Summer 2022 is likely to be good for travel and tourism in USA. The following five key trends are shaping the industry and impacting hotel owners.

Holiday travel is booming

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the US is not only surpassing 2020 and 2021 levels, but increasingly also 2019 levels. RevPAR outperformance is largely driven by rates. Hotels aren’t quite as full as they were in 2019, but prices have gone up – the average daily rate (ADR) is now around 15 per cent more expensive than in 2019.

Basically, people like to travel. We asked over 1,000 US travelers what they would do if they won the lottery, and spending on travel was ranked as the second-highest choice (Figure 1).

While short-term travel beyond this summer isn't clear just yet, we're convinced of one enduring truth: everyone loves to travel.
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This summer, vacation will happen for many “no matter what”.

The survey also found that people are concerned about macroeconomic factors such as inflation, but this is not enough to deter nearly 70 percent of travelers from taking their vacations this summer (Figure 2).

Three words define travel this summer: no matter what.
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Gas prices are high? People will go somewhere closer. Hotel prices prohibitive? They will look for a deal. Consumers may find ways to save, but these factors will not ruin their vacation plans (Figure 3).

Inflation may result in some travelers staying closer to home - although this is unlikely to disrupt holiday plans significantly.
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Travel plans have been put in place since the survey in June 2022. AAA estimated that 42 million people would be driving by the July 4th weekend, a new record for road trip volume for the period — despite average gas prices in the country exceeding the $5 mark.

In addition, hotel occupancy, ADR and RevPAR numbers all exceeded the comparable week in 2019, and TSA checkpoint travel counts on the Thursday and Friday leading up to the July 4th weekend showed a 15 percent increase compared to 2019.

Guests have more accommodation options than ever before


Travel insights and trends with McKinsey

The lines between accommodation categories are blurring and travelers are looking for hotel, shared apartments, all-inclusive and outdoor/glamping options.

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

So where are these travelers headed? More than half (54%) plan to go to the beach – a popular choice among 25-34 year olds. The next most likely destination (32%) is a city/urban location, followed by a mountain/hiking trip (24%).

Loyalty heats up

In this environment of higher prices and greater choice, customer retention efforts are intensified. However, the survey shows that many travelers, especially the younger generation, feel that loyalty programs do not benefit them enough or that the programs seem too complicated.

There are some loyalty program features that are more important than others: offering discounts, having the right footprint so guests can stay where they want, and being easy to redeem points are favorites.

ESG is gaining in importance

While 75 percent of travelers surveyed agree sustainability is important, only half would pay extra for it. However, younger travelers are much more willing to pay more for green initiatives. Such initiatives currently resonating best with guests include the use of eco-friendly cleaning products; replacement of plastic key cards with alternatives; reduced paper consumption, e.g. B. electronic receipts; and intelligent devices and monitoring systems to optimize energy consumption.

Five ways hotels can respond to these trends

  1. Encourage bleisure stays by highlighting local attractions and events. With leisure travel booming and business travel recovering, we expect bleisure travel to increase.
  2. Help guests find you when researching their next trip. Hotels can invest in their online and social media presence to communicate with potential guests as early as their research. This is especially important as hotels face labor shortages and sometimes limit service levels: Communicate transparently to ensure guest expectations are appropriately set before guests enter the hotel.
  3. Communicate differentiators in markets with a large supply of alternative accommodation. Hotels can communicate what makes them better, specifically comfort, consistency, and available amenities.
  4. Update loyalty programs. Hotels may need to rethink their loyalty programs to ensure they respond to new needs and help both frequent and infrequent guests get the most out of their programs.
  5. Launch green initiatives with clear and consistent guest communications. Hotels can think about how to attract environmentally conscious travelers and build meaningful relationships with them that lead to long-term loyalty.

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