The business world is travelling and hotel occupancy is trending at record levels in many destinations

Despite scepticism and uncertainty in some economies, the business world is travelling and hotel occupancy is trending at record levels in many destinations, claims Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent consortium.


Highlights:

  • Advantage Travel Partnership 2017 Hotel Market Report shows number of room nights booked increased +8.4% in 2017, versus 2016;
  • Findings indicate that the small and medium enterprise (SME) corporate accounts, in which Advantage TMCs specialise, are performing strongly;
  • Globally, Advantage’s Top 100 Cities Worldwide (excluding UK) saw an increase of +9% in room nights booked year on year – New York highest volume worldwide city;
  • Advantage’s ‘Top 250 UK Cities’ enjoyed an overall increase of +9.5% in room nights booked despite Brexit uncertainty.

Its 2017 Hotel Market Report shows number of room nights booked has increased +8.4%, versus 2016. This increase is backed up with a +6.8% rise in the number of bookings, with an average stay of 1.92 nights, which is a longer stay period compared to the same period in 2016.

The report, which analyses corporate hotel bookings made between January – December 2017 by Advantage’s travel management company (TMC) members, utilising the Advantage corporate hotel programme of more than 30,000 hotels worldwide, indicates that the small and medium enterprise (SME) corporate accounts, in which Advantage TMCs specialise, are performing strongly.

CHART – The Top 100 cities worldwide (excluding UK) saw an increase of 9.02% in room nights for the period January to December 2017, compared to 2016Source: Advantage Travel Partnership’s 2017 Hotel Market Report

Globally, Advantage’s Top 100 Cities Worldwide (excluding UK) saw an increase of +9% in room nights booked year on year. New York continued to be the highest volume worldwide city with nearly 94,000 room nights booked at an average cost of USD380 per night. There were some surprising growth areas with Aguascalientres (Mexico) seeing an +86% increase, followed by Austin (US), Cape Town and Christchurch (New Zealand), all with a +30% increase, year over year.

Advantage’s ‘Top 250 UK Cities’ enjoyed an overall increase of +9.5% in room nights booked despite the country’s economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote. Significant growth came from cities in the northern region of the UK, with London continuing to hit the top spot with a +10% increase (year over year) with an additional 33,000 room nights booked.

CHART – 2017 proved to be a very strong year for the top 250 UK cities, with an increase in room nights of 9.46%Source: Advantage Travel Partnership’s 2017 Hotel Market Report

Blackpool saw the most growth with +55% more booked room nights, versus 2016, while big growth (up more than a fifth) was also seen in Peterborough (+48%), Preston (+35%), Bradford (+33%), Oxford (+25%), Sheffield (+24%), Cambridge (+22%), Edinburgh (+21%), Doncaster (+21%) and Coventry (+20%). Overall, member TMCs booked 4.9 million room nights worldwide for clients in 2017.

“The business travel hotel sector for independent TMCs continues to grow, says Neil Armorgie, global product director at Advantage, noting that an increase in bookings through all four quarters of 2017 puts its overall annual hotel business up by nearly 385,000 room nights versus 2016. “Despite skepticism and uncertainty in some economies, the business world is travelling and hotel occupancy is at record levels in many destinations,” he adds.

The report highlights that Advantage is seeing a marginal increase in room nights per booking, but its data also shows a an average daily rate (ADR) across the globe for hotels, down by less than one dollar to USD169.75, but would have been influenced by exchange rate fluctuations. Looking ahead, 2018 , “looks to be positive once again,” predicts Advantage.

“In the hotel sector all indicators point towards more growth,” it says, which would mean eight straight years of growth if true. It predicts small to moderate rate increases in 2018, a slowing in rate increases and even rate reductions, a bright demand for London as any Brexit uncertainty depresses exchange rates and prices the city attractively, the emergence of more ‘smarter’ hotels and further industry consolidation.

READ MORE – download the full Advantage Travel Partnership’s 2017 Hotel Market Report

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