Group travel is on the rise in the United States with “on-the-books” group advance occupancy rates already exceeding performance for 2021 and 2020, according to a report.
Amadeus has looked at data from its Demand360 technology to reveal the increasing rates as well as highlight trends in U.S. group business for 2022.
While business is improving, group travel requirements have changed with event RFPs for groups of as many as 50 people rising to 63% in 2022 compared to 58% in 2019.
In addition, average lead times have decreased from 223 days in 2019 to 193 days last year.
The report also reveals that teams are having to do more with less, with the need for sales and operations teams to handle more smaller projects with reduced employees.
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Different approaches to business, such as alliances between hotels and businesses, are also being seen as a way to secure bookings and broaden reach.
Data is key, however, with hotels able to use guest profile insights to open to up new revenue streams as well as share potential bookings across properties within a portfolio.
The report points to concepts such as those introduced by Accor enabling local businesses and homeworkers to use hotel facilities.
Daniel O’Keefe, senior vice president hotel property solutions for hospitality at Amadeus, says: “While the picture for 2022 is still evolving, there is cause for realistic optimism in the U.S., where signs are pointing toward a continuation of the momentum that built around group travel in Q4 of 2021.
"One of the key takeaways from this report is the importance of both historical and forward-looking data as a prerequisite for overcoming a number of the challenges facing meetings and events executives during a pandemic. In the context of reduced sales and operations teams, accurate data and information is critical, and teams need the expertise to act on it efficiently.”
The report, which was put together in conjunction with Salesforce, can be downloaded here.