To coincide with its 15th year in business this week, SiteMinder, an open hotel commerce platform, released its global consumer research, The Dynamic Traveler: A New Era of Hotel Guest, which uncovers the new hotel guest that has emerged through the pandemic.
The research, which draws upon the survey data of over 7,000 travelers from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom, highlights that a traveler with higher expectations, driven by fresh experiences and the need to be more in control of their stay, has developed in the last 18 months.
The birth of the dynamic traveler comes as global hotel bookings hit 70% of their 2019 levels — their highest point since the start of the pandemic began — according to SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index, with the U.S. sitting comfortably above this at 82% of 2019 numbers.
SiteMinder’s report has found:
- When it comes to accommodation standards, the expectations of American guests in 95% of cases are now much higher (23%), higher (37%) or the same (35%) as they were compared to pre-pandemic times.
- ‘Bucket list items’ are among the top two considerations for almost a third of American travelers (31%) when deciding what location to travel to. They rank as high as 60% in Spain.
- Accommodation that’s able to be freely cancelled and modified is one of the top two priorities for almost 1-in-3 travelers globally, as they decide where to book.
“Thanks to the rise of technology use over the last 18 months, today’s dynamic traveler is an increasingly savvy one – an avid researcher that’s hyperaware of the widening range of choices available to them,” says Mark Renshaw, Chief Marketing Officer at SiteMinder. “The dynamic traveler not only craves a stay that’s unique and personalized, but one that’s experience-led too. Additionally, as unforeseeable restrictions continue to be experienced in travel markets around the world, today’s dynamic traveler seeks a greater sense of control.”
SiteMinder’s report outlines that experience packages are now as important as health/safety practices as travelers globally decide where to make their accommodation booking, and that 54% are either ‘supportive’ (39%) or ‘very supportive’ (15%) of accommodation providers using their personal data to better their stay. Another macro trend is that over 30% of travelers are now planning to work on an upcoming trip, extending above 40% in the United States and over 50% in Thailand.
An average of 44% of travelers in the U.S. expect to arrange their next trip directly with the accommodation venue, compared to 34% in 2020.
“The preferences of this dynamic, evolved traveler is likely to fundamentally reshape the travel industry, as well as the approach hoteliers now need to take to be seen as a viable accommodation option,” says Renshaw. “Control has tilted even further into the hands of increasingly discerning guests and, as we enter this new era of travel, the always-on nature of hotel businesses has never been more apparent – and put to the test.”
The Dynamic Traveler: A New Era of Hotel Guest can be downloaded here.