Travelers hoping for a hotel rate reprieve this summer after last year’s higher room rates may need to perform some extra legwork to find a bargain. Marriott reports they will feature higher hotel rates this year per room, although travelers shouldn’t expect the percentage hikes to be anywhere near as high as they were in 2022.
Will higher hotel rates keep the guests away? Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano doesn’t believe so. During a recent Investment Summit in Los Angeles, Capuano assuaged industry professionals’ concerns that “we do not think we have tapped all of the pent-up demand that’s out there for travel.”
With steady demand and more people willing to travel as the pandemic moves further away from their primary concerns, finding a discount may be a challenging search this summer.
Should hoteliers relax this season and wait for rooms to book at any price? Travel expert and Ask A Concierge’s Sarah Dandashy believes prudence and preparation for travelers and hoteliers alike is the best bet in this current climate.
“There has been a lot of talk lately about what we can expect moving forward into the summer of 2023 regarding hotel room rates. Will they still be as pricey and expensive as we saw in 2022? The short answer is yes, although the price jump won’t be as significant as we saw last year. Marriott’s CEO recently shared this information as well.
As far as this price hike and how it will impact travel demands, it is not so significant that it will deter travelers from traveling. Travelers expect that they are going to be paying a premium. They understand and value their paid time off, and there has been this consumer travel consumer shift that they will pay the price to go and have their travel and enjoy their vacation time, especially with their family, especially during high and peak season.
Now, that being said, hoteliers, how do they maneuver around this? What’s interesting is we are seeing this shorter booking window. It is still very popular among travel consumers. They’re booking about three weeks before their trip.
In hotel speak, the hotel rooms are sort of perishable inventory. Once a night goes past, you can’t ever rebook that room. We have now gone on to the next day. So, hoteliers need to be very nimble and flexible with their price structure and sensitive to not only their consumers but also their market and understanding the demand. If they can play around with these numbers, they can be far more price flexible and encourage higher occupancy rates, which is ultimately a win for everyone.
As far as forces that could contribute to decreased hotel rates, at this point, I only foresee that if some big global situation arises. Other than that, I mean, people are ready to travel. They’re a little bit numb to anything that’s been happening as of late, and many things are not deterring individuals from getting back out there and traveling. So, I don’t think there’s much that will necessarily inspire decreased hotel rates, and it will continue to be an increased hotel rates market moving forward.”
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