September 26, 2023

New SiteMinder research reveals the plans, motivations set to impact accommodation globally


SiteMinder's Changing Traveller Report 2023

Sydney, Australia – SiteMinder, the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, has released the 2023 edition of the world’s largest consumer research on accommodation, which reveals that 91% of travellers intend to travel at least the same amount as they did over the past year, including at least 1-in-2 (57%) who intend to travel more. Additionally, the number planning to travel only internationally has more than doubled, from 20% last year to 42% this year.

The findings are in SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2023, an analysis of more than 10,000 travellers surveyed across 12 countries. They form part of the four key characteristics underpinning the travel plans and motivations that will impact the global accommodation industry over the coming year:

  • The enduring explorer: Committed to travelling, regardless of living costs
  • The digital dependent: Reliant on new technologies and bound to devices
  • The memory maker: Investing in experiences, in a roaring ‘20s rerun
  • The conscious collaborator: An open ally to accommodations and the community.

When it comes to accommodation, in spite of inflation, 87% of travellers globally say they are happy to spend money beyond the cost of their room. However, increased prices are forcing travellers to adapt, with package deals and cheaper rooms listed as the two most common ways they will overcome risen costs. The finding is unsurprising given that nearly 90% of travellers say that what they need from their accommodation has changed in the last year. A ‘great experience’ is what travellers today want most and, for nearly 1-in-3, it is more important now than this time last year that their accommodation has a close connection with the local culture and community.

At a global level, accommodation is being sought out as a destination unto itself with 1-in-2 travellers—notably international travellers—looking to spend either ‘most of the time’ or ‘considerable time’ at their accommodation on their next trip. The number intending to work during their next trip remains unchanged from 36% last year.

SiteMinder’s chief growth officer, Trent Innes, says the research affirms the health of the travel sector and the critical role played by accommodation providers.

“While ‘revenge travel’ has followed the recent period of disruption, it is clear through our research that travel over the coming year will continue in a planned and sustained albeit considered way,” says Innes. “Contrary to recent years, we are seeing a stronger intent to travel internationally only, even as travellers search for ways to adapt to inflationary pressures by seeking package deals and cheaper rooms for their accommodation. Additionally, we are seeing accommodation providers play a more pivotal role than ever before. For 1-in-2 travellers, the accommodation will serve as the destination.”

Adds Innes: “Today’s traveller is enduring, digitally-dependent and conscious, with a strong desire to create memories for as long as the privilege of travelling remains available to them. It is important for the accommodation and broader travel industry to understand the intentions and motivations of today’s traveller, in order to meet their expectations.”

While almost 70% of travellers will be tolerant of accommodation providers having lower standards of service in light of staff shortages, a fundamental finding from SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2023 is that the accommodation sector is perceived to be lagging other industries from a technology standpoint. Almost 80% of travellers think the accommodation industry is either average or behind when it comes to technology adoption, while a total of two-thirds agree (44%) or strongly agree (22%) that their booking experience and stay could be better if accommodation businesses were more tech-savvy.

SiteMinder’s research has found that technology use among travellers includes:

  • AI – more than half of travellers, including more than two-thirds of millennials, are either likely or very likely to use AI to generate accommodation recommendations.
  • Social media – 70% of travellers, including 9-in-10 Generation Zers, say social media influences how they discover their accommodation.
  • Booking websites – while 3-in-4 travellers will arrange their accommodation by booking online, more than half say they have not proceeded with their booking because of a bad experience. Websites that don’t feel secure and processes that are difficult are the top two contributors to a bad experience.

SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2023 is available here.