Cvent: Hotel Group Business Faces Headwinds

TYSONS, VA—In the latest Cvent Group Business Outlook, a 24-month forward-looking report highlighting U.S. group booking activity through the Cvent Supplier Network, data shows U.S. hotels may face a more difficult group business environment. Looking out into time, group booking pace is down across all eight quarters year-over-year.

“While we saw a significant increase in awarded request for proposal (RFP) activity at the end of 2018, the increase in activity was likely impacted by the desire to finalize group contracts before commission policy changes made by a number of large hotel chains went into effect this year,” said Jeffrey Emenecker, senior director of analytics at Cvent. “As we look at the next two years, our sourcing data shows an overall decline in group occupancy in the U.S. market. While the downturn shown in our group business data may be attributed to external factors outside of a hotelier’s control, such as current geopolitical events, these unique insights allow hospitality professionals to find more proactive ways to attract group business and stay ahead of market trends.”

Overall, the 24-month view highlights a challenging market. Group business demand is relatively flat while supply is increasing, making it a hyper-competitive market, which will require hoteliers to reassess their group strategy and work harder to attract and win group business.

Awarded RFP activity decreased in Q1. This downturn was expected as event professionals navigate the new commission policy changes that went into effect this year.

The average size of group room block and peak room nights are both up significantly (4%). This is somewhat counter to the general downturn that the Group Business Outlook shows, according to Emenecker.