Hospitality management platform Cloudbeds has unveiled its inaugural State of Independent Lodging Report.
The first installment of the report, which will be released annually, offers a unique and data-rich view into the independent lodging segment, including data from property types and segments often overlooked in industry reporting.
“Over the past decade, we have enjoyed a front-row seat to one of the world’s most dynamic and accelerating industries,” said Adam Harris, cofounder/CEO, Cloudbeds. “We’re thrilled to utilize that privilege to deliver this report. Our mission is to arm owners and operators with clarity as they navigate the ever-changing travel landscape.”
By leveraging a wealth of aggregated and anonymized data from across the globe, Cloudbeds identified trends shaping the travel landscape. These trends include value-driven decision-making, the shift to virtual front desks, blended travel (flexcations, bleisure) meeting hybrid hospitality, new technologies to disrupt travel search and inspiration, and a shift from focusing on amenities to guest experiences.
The report highlights the following insights:
ADR and occupancy
Among independent properties, hotel rates increased slightly from 2019 to 2020 and continued to grow in 2021 and 2022. In 2022, ADR exceeded the 2019 ADR by 17%. In 2022, global occupancy rates had a sluggish start due to the Omicron variant, but by mid-year, rates were back above over 50 percentage points, driven by summer “revenge travel.”
In 2019, OTA-sourced bookings made up 57% of all reservations, while non-OTA bookings made up the remaining 43%. During the pandemic, there was a significant shift toward direct bookings due to decreased advertising budgets for OTAs.
In 2022, pent-up demand for travel shifted the balance back in favor of OTAs and reached 2019 levels again.
In 2019, booking windows had a global average of 34 days. During the pandemic, those who traveled often booked last minute, lowering the average booking window.
In 2022, the effects of “revenge” travel and pent-up demand have driven booking windows back up. In North America, the average booking window exceeded 2019 levels by five days; in Europe, two days. Meanwhile, ongoing travel restrictions in the Asia Pacific region kept the booking window five days short of the 2019 average.
Length of stay
Most travelers within the data set booked stays of 1 to 2 nights over the last four years. The next most popular length of stay was three-four nights. Combined, these two lengths of stay represented 74% of total booked room nights in 2022.
“Bleisure” travel trips typically last anywhere from 3 to 6 days. These types of trips are trending upwards in North America and now exceed 2019 numbers by 3%, with hotels, boutiques, bed and breakfasts, and resorts benefitting most from this trend.
Check-in and checkout patterns did not change significantly during the pandemic. Over all four years of the study, travelers preferred to check in on Friday and Saturday, accounting for 36% of check-ins. In North America, Friday check-ins were five points more popular than Saturday check-ins, with 21% of bookings checking in on Friday. Sunday was by far the most popular departure day in all regions, followed by Monday. Together, Sundays and Mondays represented 36% of departure dates globally.
Cloudbeds created this report utilizing and analyzing proprietary data from a sample of 1,400+ properties across 60 countries worldwide, selected to ensure statistically significant distribution across geographic regions and include various property types. The results are divided into four key regions: North America, Latin America (including Mexico), Europe, and Asia-Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand). Properties in the data set comprise hotels, hostels, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, motels and alternative accommodations.
The report also includes survey findings from an October 2022 survey of Cloudbeds’ customers on the goals and challenges for independent properties. The survey found the top three business goals for independent properties for 2023 are increasing occupancy (52%), increasing direct bookings (51%) and improving operational efficiency (34%). Some of the biggest challenges that independent properties are facing include inflation and rising costs (46%), property maintenance (30%), digital marketing (22%), guest experience (15%) and pricing & revenue management tools (14%). Lastly, the top five technology investments for independent properties are guest engagement, website design & digital marketing, mobile keyless entry and pre-check-in, frictionless payment, and pricing & revenue management solutions.