SiteMinder: Inflation won’t stop travelers

SiteMinder has launched its 2022 Changing Traveler Report, revealing that the urge to travel is stronger than rising inflation, and the already popular bleisure travel trend is pushing new preferences that are set to change the hotel sector.

The report surveyed more than 8,000 travelers from 10 countries, uncovering five key trends shaping the next phase of travel recovery across the world:

  • The macro-travel trend: The urge to travel is stronger than rising inflation
  • The digital influence trend: Right now, travelers are the most winnable consumers on earth
  • The bleisure trend: Working travelers want the hotel of the future, today
  • The trust trend: Every digital touchpoint matters for the new trust-critical traveler
  • The human connection trend: Tech-enabled travelers are not willing to compromise on human connection

Globally, the majority of travelers do not expect to be held back by rising inflation, with 87% of travelers saying they are happier when they are anticipating travel, and 85% of travelers comfortable spending additional money on extras during their next stay. The most desired extra cost add-ons are breakfast (50%) and a view (34%).

In the “new normal” of travel, 80% of travelers say it is important to have the flexibility to easily modify or freely cancel their reservations. When making an online accommodation booking on a property’s website, an easy and secure booking and payment process is the top priority for travelers.

“The long-awaited recovery of travel has emerged with a new type of traveler, who has higher expectations from hotels and their travel experiences than ever,” said Sankar Narayan, managing director/CEO, SiteMinder. “The accommodation sector has remained at the heart of travel during the last two years, with the rise of regional and domestic travel. Now, we are seeing pent-up demand pushing the next phase of global travel recovery forward, with supply-driven hurdles such as border restrictions and flight scarcity becoming less of a roadblock for travelers in high-traffic destinations across the world.”

He continued, “More than simply an awakened enthusiasm for travel, travelers globally have reported strong intent to book and spend more, despite rising inflation. In SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveler Report, we can see that, more than ever, travelers now have ambitions to book, travel, work, connect and experience the world with the greatest flexibility and security possible. This strong, multifaceted traveler intent is set to further evolve the role of accommodation, which hoteliers need to be ready for.”

The research highlighted the need for hoteliers and the travel industry to balance increasing guest needs, including higher expectations on hotel brands’ digital touchpoints to build trust and human connection.

Further insights from the report:

  • 36% of travelers globally are planning to work on their next trip
  • For 60% of those not working, the “little things” (e.g. a property’s scent, their artwork, the restaurant’s music) “always” or “often” impact whether the respondents would consider returning to a property, however, this jumps to 78% among working travelers
  • More than 70% of all travelers would “likely” or “definitely” pre-visit their property in the metaverse before check-in if they had the opportunity to
  • 87% would appreciate it if their accommodation provider enabled them to learn more about the culture and history of the location they are staying in