Survey Reveals Latest U.S. Hotel Trends

hotel industry future

Washington, D.C.— The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released the 2016 Lodging Survey—the definitive industry review examining the top trends in the hotel industry. Conducted by industry data provider STR and funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), the survey provides a comprehensive understanding of amenities, guest services and more.

The survey underscores how hotels continue to advance, accommodate and innovate, offering an even better guest experience and a more rewarding workplace. Consumers can expect an array of the technological assets they’ve grown accustomed to in their everyday lives, including high-speed and wireless Internet in more places and high-definition, flat screen televisions. Hotels are also prioritizing convenience and comfort with mobile check in, mobile apps, smoke-free rooms and complimentary breakfast.

Advancing hotels’ commitment to being a valuable member of their community, charitable giving, through donations and volunteer work have increased and employees and guests alike can feel proud about continued sustainability efforts including recycling programs and efficient energy management systems.


“Anticipating the needs and wants of our guests, and providing a rich and rewarding work environment, are vital to the success of the hotel industry. Hotels are fully committed to providing exceptional customer service and implementing initiatives that are important to both our guests and employees such as a strong commitment to sustainability and charitable giving,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA. “These insights have a profound impact on our industry, helping hoteliers make decisions that will allow them to deliver the best possible service and guest experience as well as develop and enhance their properties and workforce.”

“We are thrilled to once again partner with AHLA on this survey, which provides helpful guidance for hoteliers, industry vendors and the traveling public,” said Amanda Hite, president and CEO of STR. “This benchmark allows key stakeholders to understand and embrace the opportunities within the industry.”

Key findings include:

Central reservations systems are nearly universal across chain scales
Use of mobile apps for hotel service continues to climb, peaking at 35 percent for the industry overall
The overall use of mobile devices for check-in rose greatly, with this service being offered in 65 percent of hotels
High speed in-room Internet plus wireless access is now an industry norm, expanding to 98 percent of hotels
Only 9 percent of hotels charge for room Internet
High definition and/or Flat Screen TVs are in almost nine-out of 10 (88 percent) U.S. rooms

In-room energy management sensors are at their peak overall usage with 48 percent of hotels adopting
90 percent of hotels use high efficiency/LED lighting
94 percent of hotels offer a linen/towel reuse program
Almost half (47 percent) of participating hotels have an amenity (shampoo, soap) recycling program

In-Room Amenities and Property Offerings
In-room air purifiers are largely an upper-end amenity and are led by Luxury (68 percent) and Upper Upscale (40 percent) chain scales
Branded amenities products usage grew to include 90 percent of properties
The percent of hotels reporting indoor (36 percent) and outdoor (43 percent) swimming pools both saw a small drop from 2014 levels
Luxury and independent hotels lead the way in music/entertainment/night clubs at 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively

Guest Services
Complimentary breakfast (62 percent overall) remains a primary mainstay of upper-midscale (80 percent), midscale (96 percent) and economy (81 percent) hotels
The proportion of hotels offering non-smoking rooms reaches 97 percent, an all-time high
Free airport shuttle service is provided by 85 percent of hotels located at an airport location
73 percent of hotels overall offer dry cleaning, while almost all luxury, upper-upscale and upscale properties provide this service
At 100 percent, valet parking is the standard among luxury scale properties, with upper-upscale trailing at 64 percent and a quarter of independents reporting valet parking in 2016

Charitable Giving
85 percent of hotels contribute to charity
Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of hotels make in-kind contributions of room nights, meeting space, goods or services
Well over half (61 percent) volunteer hours to charity