61% of Americans Likely to Travel for Leisure This Summer – Report

In a recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult, it appears that 61% of Americans have plans to embark on overnight leisure travel within the next four months. Additionally, 34% of Americans expect to ramp up their overnight leisure travel this summer compared to last year. This is welcome news for the hospitality sector, which has been navigating a rocky economic landscape.

The survey also found that 31% of Americans intend to increase their number of hotel stays this summer compared to the previous summer. On the business travel front, 35% of respondents anticipate taking an overnight business trip in the next four months, with 16% planning to boost their business-related travel this summer compared to last year. Hotels remain the accommodation of choice, with 60% of business travelers and 46% of leisure travelers opting for hotel stays.

Despite these promising figures, hoteliers are still grappling with significant economic challenges, including a national labor shortage and soaring interest rates. Persistent inflation looms large as a formidable hurdle to growth. Over the next four months, the survey revealed the following inflation-related impacts:

  • 55% of respondents indicated that inflation might reduce their likelihood of staying in a hotel, a slight dip from 56% in January.
  • 51% said inflation could deter them from traveling overnight.
  • 46% noted that inflation might curtail their chances of traveling by airplane.
  • 44% mentioned that inflation could reduce their likelihood of renting a car.

The poll, which surveyed 2,202 U.S. adults from April 25-28, 2024, unearthed several other interesting insights. For instance, 52% of respondents are likely to travel overnight for a family trip in the next four months—up from 51% in January—with 36% planning to stay in a hotel. Additionally, 42% are likely to travel overnight for a romantic getaway, with 56% of those travelers opting for hotel accommodations. Furthermore, 31% are likely to travel overnight for Memorial Day, with 35% planning to stay in a hotel. High-speed Wi-Fi emerged as a top priority for 32% of those surveyed when evaluating hotel amenities.

AHLA Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey commented, “This survey shows hotels are poised to benefit from a strong summer travel season, but it also underscores that inflation remains a stubborn obstacle to growth for our industry. As hoteliers continue to face serious economic challenges, including a nationwide labor shortage, high interest rates, and aggressive federal regulatory efforts, AHLA will be fighting at all levels of government to overcome those obstacles on behalf of our members.”

In other words, while the summer travel forecast is looking sunny for the hotel industry, there are still plenty of storm clouds on the horizon.

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