Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Hotels and Hotel Alternatives market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

If given the choice between two equally priced rooms, 70% of travelers would go with the one that has better safety and sanitation protocols. Despite heightened concern for safety, half of travelers also miss the hotel buffet. This contradiction is an example of how the intersection of old habits and new realities makes success in the lodging industry difficult.

By the summer of 2021 the rollout of vaccines had consumers feeling confident in traveling for leisure again. However, the rise of the Delta variant has already put a damper on enthusiasm for travel that will likely continue into 2022, especially as cold-weather destinations continue to be affected by the variant. Further, business travel is not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels for another two or three years.

Business travel may not recover fully because companies have found that virtual meetings can substitute for much of what in-person business travel accomplished. If it doesn’t come back, this can be a real blow to hotel revenues in particular. Also not helping hotels’ bottom lines is the rise in popularity of homeshares and vacation rentals, which the pandemic prompted many travelers to try (and like) for the first time.

However, the rise in remote work also provides an opportunity for lodging brands. Remote workers are willing to take longer vacations if they can put in hours remotely on the trip, and will thus prioritize properties that can accommodate both their business and leisure needs as the line between the two continues to blur.

Read on to discover more about the US Hotels and Hotel Alternatives consumer market, read our US COVID-19 Impact on Travel: One Year Later | Market Report 2021 report, or take a look at our other Hotels and Accomodation Market Research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ travel behavior and the accommodations market.
  • The most important factors that drive decisions for accommodations.
  • What amenities travelers look for that can drive bookings to a particular property.
  • How COVID-19 era accommodations policies will have a lasting impact on expectations going forward.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Vrbo, Airbnb, HotelTonight, Expedia, Hilton, GrubHub, Resorts World Las Vegas, The Courts, Accor, Zoom.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles & Leisure sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

As the accommodations industry begins to see signs of recovery, albeit likely temporary, the more indelible consumer demands are starting to be seen. Hospitality brands need to be able to address the needs of leisure travelers, while at the same time contending with the growing population of workcationers that will become more important as business travel recovery lags.
Mike Gallinari, Travel & Leisure Analyst
Mike Gallinari
Travel & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of hotels & hotel alternatives, at current prices, 2016-26
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on hotels and hotel alternatives
                      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on hotels and hotel alternatives, 2021
                    • Hotel advantages
                      • Safety is priority one
                        • Figure 3: Factors in lodging choice, 2021
                      • Travelers want rewards for long stays
                        • Figure 4: Desired loyalty program features, 2021
                      • Hoteliers are in a better place than alts to meet consumer policy demands
                        • Figure 5: Attitudes toward cancellation policies, by age group and HHI and by parental status, 2021
                      • Hotel Alternative advantages
                        • Improved opinions of alternatives make them more competitive to traditional hotels
                          • Figure 6: Attitudes toward homeshares, 2021
                        • Young guests less likely to rely on lodging for foodservice
                          • Figure 7: Desired hotel amenities, by age group, 2021
                        • Smaller footprint leads to more legitimate sustainability claims
                          • Figure 8: Attitudes toward sustainability, 2021
                      • The Market – Key Takeaways

                        • Leisure rebounds, but not enough for full industry recovery
                          • Homeshares and upscale hotels have seen increased patronage
                            • Workcations are appealing
                              • Consumers spending more of the personal savings they’ve built up
                                • Key lodging metrics are strong, for now
                                  • Early signs point to a lower ceiling for business travel
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Leisure travel rebounds with vaccines; business travel recovery will lag
                                        • Figure 9: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of hotels & hotel alternatives, at current prices, 2016-26
                                        • Figure 10: Total US sales and forecast of hotels and hotel alternatives, at current prices, 2016-26
                                      • Accommodations chosen
                                        • Hotels are still strong choices in the lodging landscape
                                          • Figure 11: Type of accommodation stayed in, 2021
                                        • The pandemic caused increases in certain lodging classes
                                          • Figure 12: Type of accommodation used, 2017-21
                                        • Impact of COVID-19 on lodging
                                          • Consumers are ready to return to hotels
                                            • Figure 13: Comfort with activities, 2021
                                          • COVID-19 has made travelers more attentive to sanitation, cancellation policies
                                            • Figure 14: Attitudes toward pandemic-era policies, 2021
                                          • Remote work popularity bodes well for workcationing
                                            • Figure 15: Attitudes toward remote work, 2021
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • Rising COVID-19 cases, mask mandates can cause hesitation to travel
                                            • Dropping confidence can keep people home
                                              • Figure 16: Consumer Sentiment Index, monthly, 2007-21
                                            • Job gains benefit the hospitality industry
                                              • Figure 17: Unemployment and underemployment, 2007-21
                                            • Consumers are spending their savings
                                              • Figure 18: Personal Saving Rate, percentage, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate, 2019-21
                                            • Key hotel metrics have been positive
                                              • Figure 19: Hotel occupancy, ADR and RevPAR, 2018/9-2020/1
                                            • Business travel faces an uncertain future
                                            • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                              • Brands focus on flexibility
                                                • Vrbo spends big
                                                  • Reimagining the hotel experience for workers
                                                    • Properties get more involved with the local area
                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                      • Airbnb expands search options to aid workcationers and provide flexiblity
                                                        • Vrbo spends big to bring its differentiation to the fore
                                                          • Figure 20: Online campaigns, Vrbo vs Airbnb, 2021
                                                        • Hilton enables on-trend flexibility
                                                          • The pandemic expanded options for direct booking
                                                            • Hotels tie themselves to local events to attract guests
                                                            • Market Opportunities

                                                              • Outsourcing food and beverage opens room for different amenities
                                                                • Resort passes: WeWork’s death knell?
                                                                  • Boutiques will be centered around an interest
                                                                    • Business resorts can get remote workers out of the house
                                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                      • Hotels are still tops
                                                                        • Safety has skyrocketed in importance
                                                                          • Dining can take many different forms
                                                                            • Extended stays can be an activation point for FTPs
                                                                              • Forgiving cancellation policies shouldn’t go anywhere
                                                                                • Homeshares are on the rise
                                                                                  • Travelers don’t trust hotel environmental claims
                                                                                    • Hotels must have hybrid workers in mind, even for events
                                                                                    • Matching Lodging and Trips

                                                                                      • Hotels are seen as appropriate for most types of trips
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Lodging preferences by trip type, 2021
                                                                                      • Motels have a questionable future
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Lodging preference – Motels, by age group, 2021
                                                                                      • Alternatives can leverage workcationing to increase business travel
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Lodging preference – Select trip types, among business travelers, 2021
                                                                                    • Choice Factors

                                                                                      • Travelers are willing to explore new properties in the name of safety
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Factors in lodging choice, 2021
                                                                                      • Show Black travelers a wealth of amenities to improve their affinity
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Factors in lodging choice – In-room amenities, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                                      • A good reputation and a valuable FTP attract high-dollar travelers
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Factors in lodging choice – Select items, by HHI, 2021
                                                                                      • Young, wealthy travelers read reviews, giving indies an edge
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Factors in lodging choice – Select items, by age group, 2021
                                                                                    • Desired Hotel Amenities

                                                                                      • Dining preferences hint at a shift in public-private space perceptions
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Desired hotel amenities, 2021
                                                                                      • Younger consumers are open to different food service options
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Desired hotel amenities, by age group, 2021
                                                                                      • Black guests seek in-room experiences
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Desired hotel amenities, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                                      • Business travelers seek more personal space
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Preferred hotel amenities, business vs leisure travelers, 2021
                                                                                    • Lodging and Loyalty

                                                                                      • Guests want to be rewarded for long stays
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Desired loyalty program features, 2021
                                                                                      • Hotel FTPs need to be broad for broad appeal
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Desired loyalty program features, by age and HHI, 2021
                                                                                      • Loyalty programs have the leeway to diversify
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Desired loyalty program features, by guest type, 2021
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Hotel Policies

                                                                                      • Lenient cancellation policies are a persistent consumer demand
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Attitudes toward cancellation policies, by age group and HHI and by parental status, 2021
                                                                                      • Give guests control of their cleanliness
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Attitudes toward cleaning policies, 2021
                                                                                      • Pandemic-affected consumers are wary about irregular cleaning
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Attitudes toward cleaning policies, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                                      • Workers and vacationers have split opinions
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Attitudes toward cleaning policies, business vs leisure travelers, 2021
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Homeshares

                                                                                      • Homeshares currently have momentum
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes toward homeshares, 2021
                                                                                      • Business travelers find things to like about homeshares
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes toward homeshares, business vs leisure travelers, 2021
                                                                                      • Homeshares aren’t quite luxury among the luxe crowd
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes toward homeshares, by HHI, 2021
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Sustainability

                                                                                      • Consumers are pro-environment, but wary of greenwashing
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes toward sustainability, 2021
                                                                                      • Young consumers need brands to walk the walk
                                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward sustainability, by age group, 2021
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Business Travel

                                                                                      • Business travelers are ready to boom again
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes toward business travel, 2021
                                                                                      • Hybrid workers are the most enthusiastic about in-person events
                                                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes toward business travel, by worker type, 2021
                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                        • Forecast
                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                  • Sales and forecasts
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Total US sales and forecast of hotels and hotel alternatives, at current prices, 2016-26
                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Scenario forecast for hotels and hotel alternatives, 2021-26

                                                                                                About the report

                                                                                                This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                                                                                Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                                                                Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                                                                Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                                                                Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                                Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                                                Click to show report

                                                                                                Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                                                                Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                                                Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                                                                Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                                                                Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                                                Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                                                                Contact Us