Looming Recession, Rising Occupancy, and Other Hospitality Trends

The key to keeping your business at the top of your game is knowing your customers and the larger trends shaping the industry you’re in. In the case of hospitality, that means understanding what event planners and travelers are looking for from their venues, but it also means understanding how venues are being selected, how and where rooms are being booked, current rates, and more. There are a lot of moving parts, and you need to stay informed to make the best decisions about your own strategy.

Cvent and partner CoStar analyze this data every other month to bring you the latest in hospitality trends. From meetings and events’ geographical hotspots to changing average daily rate to occupancy levels, this webinar, and the associated report, discuss the latest information gathered from the Cvent Supplier Network.

The September installment gave a detailed overview of the hospitality market in the United States. At that point, the hospitality market was beginning to reflect the economic recession the United States was teetering on the edge of. While a mild recession was expected in the final few months of 2023 and into early 2024, it’s not likely that revenue per available room (RevPAR) will be impacted. In fact, RevPAR was expected to continue to grow.

But the recession—or more precisely, the inflation seen worldwide the past few years—was having an effect on the real value of indicators hotels and venues measure. While nominally, RevPAR and ADR have continued to grow compared to 2019 levels, which was expected to finally occur in 2023 as the industry recovered from COVID-19, inflation has caused the real value of these figures to lag. However, even with inflation, both real ADR and real RevPAR have grown each quarter of 2023.


Occupancy, too, was expected to grow, though only slightly through the end of 2023 and into 2024. Luxury and upper upscale hotels are projected to see the most growth, at 5.5 and 6 percent respectively, through the end of 2019, with U.S. hotels overall expecting just under 1 percent growth. In 2024, midscale and economy will experience an uptick after a lackluster end to 2023, with an expected increase in occupancy of 1.6 percent and 1.3 percent. The rise in occupancy in midscale and economy hotels will lead the United States overall to a 1 percent occupancy increase over the course of 2024.

When it comes to meetings and events, things continued to look up for hotels, as well. Group demand has grown consistently since the summer of 2020, and was expected to finally reach 2019 levels again in the fall of 2023. Despite the demand for events, group business occupancy levels are still down from 2019. Some markets like Orlando, St. Louis, and Dallas were expected to finish the year strong, and may even eclipse 2019 rates.

Within the United States, the Southeast was indeed the hottest market for group business. At least 20 percent of planners from all regions of the country sent an RFP to a venue in the Southeastern United States this year.  The Western United States has been the second largest market of the year, but in total, 66 percent of markets in the United States have experienced positive growth year over year.

Sourcing for meetings and events outside of the United States was going strong as well—over 2000 U.S.-based event planners sent an RFP to an international venue in 2023. This year alone, over 130 countries have received an RFP from a U.S. planner, and room nights sourced by U.S. planners to international locations have grown by over 7,000,000.

While the United States has seen an increase in room nights of 16 percent this year, it trails a number of international markets for 2023 growth. The Middle East and Africa have grown by 18 percent, Europe has grown by 21 percent, and Australia and Oceania have seen a 29 percent increase. All of these, however, are outpaced by Asia, which has seen a staggering 82 percent increase in room nights in 2023. International meetings truly are back.

Hotels haven’t capitalized on flexibility the way they could have—so far. Almost half of venues have turned down an RFP due to date concerns, even when the planner was flexible with event dates. In 2022, planners were able to flex event dates 28 percent of the time without needing an alternate date proposal. That means hotels could be taking advantage of event planner flexibility to fill in need dates, but haven’t yet capitalized on this. That, and many other market trends, could be a big factor as hotels plan for 2024.

And while September data is great, the latest data is even better. For more up-to-date information like this, join the November installment of the Cvent Source on November 17.

Sponsored by Cvent.

Previous articleIHG Hotels & Resorts Announces Q3 2023 Trading Update
Next articlePMZ Realty Capital Arranges Refinancing Loan for Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown
Alex Clark is a copywriter at Cvent. She creates ads, promotional materials, and webinars, specializing in content for hoteliers.