DALLAS—Vacationing Americans 25 and older expect to spend $84 billion on hotels this summer, with the average traveler booking slightly more than seven nights over the season, according to a new survey released by Room Key, the meta search engine built by hoteliers.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said the price will drive their hotel decision, but location (66 percent) and hotel amenities (58 percent) will also play a big role. The hotel brand (43 percent) and the ability to earn and use loyalty points and rewards (31 percent) are two more important factors that will influence hotel choice, according to the survey.
“Value reigns supreme in the search for hotels this summer, even as the economy improves,” said Stephany Verstraete, chief marketing officer for Room Key. “But today’s savvy traveler is looking beyond room rate to perks like complimentary WiFi or free breakfast, the ability to earn loyalty points and more. With hospitality at our core and the backing of the world’s leading hotel brands, as we celebrate our one-year anniversary today, Room Key stands ready to help summer travelers find the best value for their spend.”
Among those Americans planning to stay in a hotel for leisure between May and August, their expected average spend on hotels is $1,134, which translates to an estimated national spend of $84 billion on hotel rooms for the busy summer travel season.
Slight Uptick in Nights Away, Spend this Summer
Seven out of ten travelers (71 percent) plan to spend about the same per night as last summer for a hotel room and 16 percent plan to spend more. Last year, 45 percent shelled out between $100 and $200 per night, while 40 percent paid less than $100. Americans plan to spend slightly more than a week (7.33 nights) in hotels this summer for vacation, with 28 percent planning to spend more nights than last summer.
Make Room for Amenities
When asked about their favorite part of staying in a hotel while on vacation, 68 percent said the amenities. Having a professional make the bed and tidy the room (housekeeping) rates second at 14 percent.
But there are certain types of hotel rooms that no amount of amenities would enhance: 45 percent of respondents said they would pass on a room by the elevator; 43 percent give the cold shoulder to rooms neighboring the ice machine; 28 percent avoid spots near the restaurant or bar; and, 26 percent rate the first floor low in location preferences.
“Taking it Easy” Tops Summer Travel Plans
Relaxation topped trip goals for the coming summer season, with 59 percent of respondents saying they plan to take it easy at a beach, on an island, or at a spa. Big city sight-seeing that includes shopping came in second at 39 percent, followed by family or school reunions (38 percent), gambling in hot spots like Las Vegas or Atlantic City (32 percent), and natural park exploration (28 percent) at favorites such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. More than half (56 percent) will be taking a spouse or significant other, 42 percent will travel with immediate family, including spouses and kids, and 26 percent will be enjoying their vacation with friends.
But when it comes to traveling during the summer’s national holidays, the majority are set to skip the sights and stick to home: more than half (55 percent) said they’ll stay put during summer holiday weekends; 32 percent plan to travel for the Fourth of July, 22 percent for Memorial Day and 22% for Labor Day weekend.