HotelHub: Q1 International Business Travel Declines

HotelHub: Q1 International Business Travel Declines

While overall business travel levels rose, hotel bookings via travel management company technology provider HotelHub in the first quarter revealed some “concerning trends,” including a decline in international travel, the company reported.

HotelHub’s report for the quarter, based on analysis of more than 15 million bookings, showed significant growth in domestic business travel in certain markets, including growth of 46 percent year over year in Asia and 30 percent in Europe. International trips, however, were down 19 percent year over year in the quarter. Proportionally, domestic trips grew to represent 62 percent of overall business travel in the quarter, up 10 percentage points from the first quarter of 2023. In North America, 81 percent of stays were domestic in the quarter, up 5 percentage points year over year, according to HotelHub.

“A reduction in international trips is often an indicator of overall business confidence and broader spending in the corporate sector,” HotelHub director of business development Paul Raymond said in a statement. “The rate of inflation may be falling in some areas of the economy, but in hospitality we’re still seeing significant price increases that many corporate travel departments are finding challenging.”

The average room rate per night for HotelHub bookings increased 8 percent year over year to $177 per night in the first quarter, the report indicated. Over the past two years, average rates have increased by 12 percent in New York, 22 percent in London and 27 percent in Paris, HotelHub said.

Price increases might be pushing travelers to shorten trips to stay within budgets, as the average duration of stay in the first quarter has declined in some markets—down by 8 percent year over year in Asia and by 11 percent in the Middle East, for example, according to the report. However, the average length of stay for international trips was up 5.3 percent, indicating that as companies cut back on international travel “business travelers are extending trips to accomplish more when they do fly,” according to HotelHub.

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