Global hotel arrivals rose in 2023, so did room rates

SiteMinder says hoteliers need to be dynamic and be wary of relying on known travel trends. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Kittiphan

Familiar patterns are emerging as travel bounces back. Outbound travel from Asia is getting destinations excited for a rebound in business, and hotels are once more fully booked on popular weekday nights.

Yet, trend-spotters say that not everything is back to normal. “We have certainly entered a new era of travel. Not only are behaviours and preferences changing, but the travellers themselves,” says SiteMinder’s chief growth officer, Trent Innes.

SiteMinder, a hotel revenue generating software platform, trawled through more than 115 million hotel bookings from 40,000 hotel customers to uncover shifts in travel behaviour, which it has condensed into its Hotel Booking Trends report.

According to SiteMinder, international hotel arrivals in 2023 rose by an average of 33% from the year before, while the average daily rate jumped 11% from the prior year to US$192 globally.

For example, international travellers are also booking their stays sooner, with the average lead time growing 20% to 36 days – longer than in 2019.

And while travellers are happy to spend money beyond the cost of their room, increased room rates are forcing them to adapt by opting for package deals, and most (81%) of check-ins are for only one or two nights. Just 3% of all bookings were for a stay extending one week or more.

“The global travel industry has long awaited the return of Chinese travellers and it is clear from our data that they are beginning to come back, alongside those from other source markets throughout Asia, such as India, Japan and South Korea,” Innes said.

“Hotels would do well to prepare for a change in the mix of travellers arriving at their doorstep, by revising their marketing strategies to reach the world’s fastest-growing travel sources and gaining intelligence on these potential customers to maximise their revenues,” he added.

Other points from the SiteMinder report:

  • China’s and Asia Pacific’s Agoda rose the fastest among the year’s top 12 hotel booking sources.
  • Travellers incurred the highest costs at hotels on Fridays, followed by Thursdays.
  • Hotel websites performed strongly as a revenue-generating channel. Collectively, they ranked higher in almost a third of the lists of the top 12 hotel booking sources, when compared to 2019.