Millennials Drive Record U.S. Hotel Occupancy

U.S. hotel occupancy in the first quarter of 2017 was the highest ever on record at 61.1% according to STR Global, the industry’s data-keeper. This prompted Mark Woodworth, senior managing director and head of lodging research at CBRE Hotels, to say, “On the surface, it seems that a quarter of weak GDP growth does not mean that much.”

Millennials value experiences in the same way that their parents valued things. This shift is fueling a noticeable increase in experiential leisure travel. I am personally convinced that the strong performance of the U.S. hotel industry, despite the meteoric rise of AirBNB and other non-traditional competitors, is due to this significant cultural shift among millennials. They now comprise the largest guest demographic for both Hilton and Marriott products.

I don’t know what this means for the future – no one does – but I wanted our readers to be aware that the hotel industry as a whole is doing quite well, even in a quarter with less than 1% GDP growth.

by Dave Hogg               May 3, 2017

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