SiteMinder report reveals consumer hotel booking trends

The U.S. hotel industry is entering a new era of travel that necessitates continued best practice in hotel revenue management amid changing customer profiles, according to a new report by SiteMinder.

The report, Hotel Booking Trends, based on more than 115 million online hotel reservations, displays the sophistication of revenue management among U.S. hotels relative to the rest of the world. An analysis of day-by-day hotel price variations shows that, in 2023, hotels in the U.S. generated on average $64 more for a Friday stay versus a Sunday stay, a variation matched only by Irish and Australian properties globally.

The variation in pricing was due in part to a growing desire for deals among travelers who have had to adapt their travel preferences in light of rising costs of living. SiteMinder’s report highlights the rise of hotel booking channels specializing in providing special offers, including online marketplace Hopper and members-only travel club Secret Escapes—both designed to provide exclusive discounts—which entered SiteMinder’s list of Top 12 hotel booking sources for the first time. Additionally, global distribution systems—traditionally used to access the corporate travel sector—featured as U.S. hotels’ fifth-highest revenue-driving booking channel for the first time. 

Despite questions around the current growth rate for corporate travel, the ranking reflects the continued recovery of the segment within the country and the need for local hotels to adapt their revenue management strategies accordingly.

The changing profile of hotel customers was accelerated in 2023 by the growing proportion of international arrivals to U.S. hotels. It grew 17 percent—from 30 percent in 2022 to 35 percent in 2023—to complement the strong domestic travel market, which ranked second globally in its contribution to total hotel arrivals.

“Our report underscores the need for hotels to be dynamic in the way they do business, in order to keep pace with their changing guests," SiteMinder’s market VP for the Americas, Jason Lugo, said in a statement. "Our data indicates that U.S. hotels are embracing dynamic revenue management more than almost any country globally. But in a constantly-evolving market, there is no room for complacency, and it is critical hotels understand not only the need to adopt dynamic revenue management practices, but how every customer touchpoint is now a revenue opportunity.

“It is clear that while people are keen to continue traveling, they are doing so with a more price-conscious mindset. Additionally, despite recent concerns in the industry, there is room for cautious optimism around business travel in the U.S. Our research indicates that business arrivals continue to strengthen, and continue to represent a lucrative market for U.S. hoteliers.”

Other key findings from the report included that July was the busiest month for U.S. hotels, followed by August and June. Sept. 1 was the busiest day, thanks to the Labor Day weekend, and the average gap between a booking and guest’s check-in (average lead time)––while not yet at 2019’s levels––grew by two-and-a-half days, to 36.5 days, when compared to the prior year.

The Top 12 Booking Sources

SiteMinder’s Top 12 U.S. hotel booking sources, based on the total gross revenue they generated via SiteMinder’s platform in 2023, were:

All U.S. properties

  2. Expedia Group
  3. Hotel websites (direct bookings)
  4. Agoda
  5. Global distribution systems
  6. Airbnb
  7. Hotelbeds
  8. HotelTonight
  9. Hostelworld Group
  10. WebBeds
  11. Hopper
  12. HotelsCombined

1-20 room U.S. properties only

  2. Expedia Group
  3. Hotel websites (direct bookings)
  4. Airbnb
  5. Agoda
  6. Global distribution systems
  7. Hotelbeds
  8. Hostelworld Group
  9. Secret Escapes
  10. HotelTonight
  11. Tablet Hotels
  12. Mr & Mrs Smith