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Domestic travel dominates in US

Marriott was the highest-ranking brand in the country, followed by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Travel intent in the US continued to favor the domestic market, according to the latest Hotel Guest Survey from BVA BDRC.

The study found that 78% of leisure guests had already booked a domestic stay, or were highly likely to, as the overseas leisure market remained weak, with only 35% of travelers eyeing a break.

Matthew Petrie, President of BVA BDRC Americas, said: “Potential outbound travelers from the US have only recently started to see restrictions lift, after rigorous travel bans were put in place.

“The US is rich in destinations, from cities to beaches to mountains, with an extensive road network, all of which has encouraged people to pursue driving trips and explore  the country while enjoying the comfort and convenience of utilizing their own vehicles.”

The domestic leisure market has dominated the sector during the pandemic, with an average of 5.5 leisure trips taken over the past two years – led by Generation Y, with 6.3 trips – against 2.2 overseas leisure trips. For those planning future breaks, city breaks led for the domestic traveler, with activity and adventure popular with those travelling overseas

Leisure travelers were eager to relax on their trips, as those without children were most motivated to book comfortable, well-equipped rooms and those with were looking for entertainment and facilities for children on site. In the business segment, booking was driven by comfortable, well-equipped rooms.

Petrie added: “Consumers are looking forward to exploration and adventure as summer approaches and while we are seeing growth in overseas intent, the same cannot be said for international business, where only 19% of travelers had either booked or were highly likely to.

“There was more enthusiasm for domestic business travel, with 25% of travelers having already booked or likely to.

“The comparative lack of movement towards booking business travel can be seen less as a reluctance to travel following the pandemic and more as an uncertain return from the corporate market. Budgets remain under pressure and many conferences continue to be held virtually. There has been a gradual return of large events, but there is a likely to be a permanent shift to platforms such as Zoom for some smaller meetings where overseas travel cannot be justified.

Hotel websites and the OTAs were dueling for the guests’ money, with 28% of guests perceiving that the hotels’ own websites offered the best rates, against 31% favoring the OTAs. When it came to booking, hotel brand sites were the preferred booking platform for 54% of business travelers, and 48% of leisure travelers. As befits the most branded market in the world, 59% of respondents – and 83% of business travelers – were members of a loyalty program.

Marriott was the highest-ranking brand in the country, followed by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Petrie said: “The US is the most heavily flagged hotel market in the world and is providing a testing ground for the success of the hotel brands’ loyalty programs, which they hope will restrain the rampant OTAs.

“While the business market remains depressed and focused on regional, rather than international travel, the brands are unable to use these programs to bring in the corporate traveler and must instead pay OTA fees to attract the leisure market. Owners are unlikely to bear these costs happily for long.”

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.