SiteMinder has released the 2023 edition of the world’s largest consumer research on accommodation, which reveals that, during the coming 12 months, 91% of the world’s travellers intend to travel at least the same amount as they did over the past year, with over half saying they intend to travel more.
Additionally, the proportion of travellers planning to travel only internationally over the next year has more than doubled, from 20% in 2022 to 42% this year. Amongst British travellers this rises to 53%, making the UK second only to Germany, when compared to other European countries, in this regard. With regards to Britain’s leading source markets, a majority of Americans will travel more than last year, whilst the percentage intending to travel only internationally has more than doubled, with similar figures reported amongst Italian, Spanish, French and German travellers. Additionally, SiteMinder’s research shows that Asian markets such as India, China and Indonesia will also be strong drivers of global growth in international travel over the coming year.
When it comes to accommodation, in spite of inflation, 84% of British travellers say they are happy to spend money beyond the cost of their room. British travellers are also the most resilient in Europe to price increases, and second only to the Chinese among the markets surveyed, with almost one-third reporting no impact on their choice of accommodation. Regardless of this, the majority of the UK’s travellers will make changes to their accommodation purchasing patterns, with package deals and cheaper rooms listed as the two most common ways they will overcome risen costs.
The finding is unsurprising given that, globally, 3-in-4 travellers say that what they need from their accommodation has changed in the last year. A ‘great experience’ and ‘connection with the local culture and community’ are what travellers today want most and, in third place, it is more important now than this time last year that their accommodation provides space for family and friends.
Globally, the proportion of travellers intending to work during their next trip has risen incrementally from 29% last year to 30% this year. However, almost four-fifths of British travellers do not intend to work on their next trip.
SiteMinder’s chief growth officer, Trent Innes, says the research affirms the health of the global travel sector and the critical role played by accommodation providers.
“While ‘revenge travel’ has followed the recent period of disruption, it is clear through our research that travel over the coming year will continue in a planned and sustained albeit considered way,” says Innes. “Contrary to recent years, we are seeing a stronger intent to travel internationally only, even as travellers search for ways to adapt to inflationary pressures by seeking package deals and cheaper rooms for their accommodation. Additionally, we are seeing accommodation providers play a more pivotal role than ever before. For 1-in-2 travellers, the accommodation will serve as the destination.”
Adds Innes: “Today’s traveller is enduring, digitally-dependent and conscious, with a strong desire to create memories for as long as the privilege of travelling remains available to them. It is important for the accommodation and broader travel industry to understand the intentions and motivations of today’s traveller, in order to meet their expectations.”
James Bishop, SiteMinder’s vice president of ecosystem and strategic partnerships, adds: “The growth of international travel in all of the UK’s leading source markets is an encouraging sign for British accommodation businesses. However, to ensure they capture these returning travellers, as well as new travellers from high-growth Asian markets, hoteliers would do well to invest in tools to drive visibility online, as well as ensure a consistent, quality and frictionless digital experience for potential guests, from their first encounter with the property, through to booking and beyond. SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2023 contains a wealth of information on the expectations of today’s discerning and digitised guests—broken down by nationality, age, and other demographic data—thereby empowering accommodation providers to adapt their offer in line with their target customers.”
While a majority of UK travellers will be tolerant of accommodation providers having lower standards of service in light of staff shortages, a fundamental finding from SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2023 is that the accommodation sector is perceived to be lagging other industries from a technology standpoint. Eighty-six percent of travellers think the accommodation industry is either average or behind when it comes to technology adoption, while more than half agree that their booking experience and stay could be better if accommodation businesses were more tech-savvy.
“Today’s traveller is enduring, digitally-dependent and conscious, with a strong desire to create memories for as long as the privilege of travelling remains available to them. Through our research, we now know that guests perceive the accommodation industry as being behind when it comes to technology adoption. As such, accommodation providers should see this as an invitation to invest in modern commerce technology that allows them to best cater for current customer needs and expectations,” says Bishop.