HSMAI Americas Board Talks Business Travel, Current Talent Landscape

The 2022 HSMAI Americas Board of Directors held its first meeting earlier this week, discussing the business of the association as well as uncovering multiple trends and sentiments regarding what they’ve seen in their own companies and in the industry related to the status of business travel and talent. Here are some of the insights and sentiments they shared about surprising trends they are seeing, the return of business travel, and the biggest talent challenges they are seeing in their organizations.

According to HSMAI president and CEO Bob Gilbert, the sentiments of the board were generally consistent with those found to date in a series of executive roundtables that HSMAI is hosting in February and March.  Findings from those peer groups will be published in the coming weeks.

Positive trends that have surprised the group, which represents 21 unique hotel brands and management companies as well as 14 partner organizations and universities, included:

  • Group business is coming back strong.
  • Travel in North America has been resilient through Omicron.
  • Staffing issues are beginning to stabilize.
  • Pricing power is strong.
  • There’s significant improvement in GDS booking pace looking into Q3 and beyond.
  • Strong shoulder night demand and increased occupancy Sunday and Monday.

When asked about the return of business travel, 64% said that some are back and only 36% said that very few are back.

Key metrics board members are watching to monitor the return of the business traveler include:

  • GDS booking metrics
  • Return to office versus working from home
  • Weekly STR data
  • Weekday TSA traffic
  • Demand reports, feedback from partners, and airlines schedules and bookings
  • Large corporate accounts’ mid-week production
  • Activity at non-leisure destinations

When asked about the challenges facing commercial talent in hospitality, the group ranked issues in this order:

  1. Poaching from other industries
  2. Compensations/benefits
  3. Lack of interest of loyalty to hospitality
  4. Lack of pipeline to hospitality
  5. A lack of career pathing and growth options

When asked about priorities facing them personally in their workplace, the priority themes were:

  1. Mental health and well-being of team members
  2. Work-at-home options and policies
  3. Doing more with less (tied)
  4. Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles