People don’t just want to travel, they are traveling. That was the overwhelming consensus among participants at HSMAI’s Chief Digital Officer Executive Roundtable, which was held in Dallas on Sept. 27 as part of Commercial Strategy Week. And it was just one of the positive trends that they’ve observed recently, which include:
- Mobile and road trips have continued; customer sentiment and appetite are there.
- Hotels have invested in digital/mobile infrastructure.
- The uptick in leisure travel is helping occupancy. Revenues from leisure have been much higher than pre-pandemic.
- Travel is alive and well, and airports are busy.
- As a leisure brand, 2021 was a great year. Once people got over the initial phase of COVID, they didn’t want stay at big hotels, and ours are in tertiary markets.
- It’s encouraging that guests are willing to spend a lot to make a memorable experience.
- Traveling two to three times a week, I’m noticing more business travelers on the planes, including construction workers, and, since the middle of July, also bleisure.
- Everyone wants to travel, and we can continue to improve the booking process and better understand what people want.
- We have seen ADR pick up pretty quickly, and the digital contribution is as high as it has ever been.
- Appreciation for travel is a positive trend, as is the switch culturally to work from anywhere — we are poised to own that for our employees.
- Demand has been significantly stronger than anticipated.
- Digital contribution to growth as well as the growth of rate above and beyond 2019.
- Leisure — sold-out flights are nice to see happening.
- We’ve been creative in finding new sources of revenue and maximizing best practices.
- Sports is booming; it’s our busiest ski season, and we have a resort with a lot of dance groups. We’ve been able to win over owners to digital marketing as group hasn’t been there.
- Booking direct has picked up and is sticking around.
- It’s great to see people are traveling; we’re celebrating some small wins for our sales team
The roundtable was supported by IRECKONU and attended by professionals from Aimbridge Hospitality, AMResorts, Atlantis Paradise Island, Best Western Hotels and Resorts, Concord Hospitality Enterprises, CoralTree Hospitality, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, G6 Hospitality, IHG, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, NCG Hotels, Peachtree Hospitality, Preferred Hotel Group, Prism Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Red Roof Inn, Regency Hotel Management, Remington Hotel Corporation, Sonesta+RLHC, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.