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As another indicator that the travel industry is rebounding, the group travel segment, which can be anything from convention goers to group golf trips, is poised to experience tremendous growth.

According to a recent TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (NAHR) study, while individual business and leisure travelers are still driving growth in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR), the group outlook for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014 is stronger than it has been in past months.

For the next 12 months, TravelClick forecasts an occupancy increase of 1.6 percent for the group travel segment, and an ADR increase of 1.8 percent, compared to the same time last year.

Other Key findings

12 Month Outlook (June 2013 – May 2014)

  1. Overall committed occupancy is up 2.3 percent versus this time last year.
  2. ADR is up 3.4 percent based on reservations currently on the books.
  3. Transient bookings are up 4.1 percent year-over-year and ADR for this segment is up 4.1 percent.
  4. The transient leisure segment is showing occupancy gains of 4.7 percent and ADR gains of 4.3 percent.
  5. The transient business segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.0 percent and a 3.9 percent rise in ADR.

The study looked at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays that are booked by May 26, 2013 for the period of June 2013 to May 2014.

Although in the third quarter group travel declines, as most people are taking time off to vacation as opposed to attending large meetings and conventions, overall it is a sign that group travel is on the rise, which can be an indicator of a larger economic recovery happening now.

We believe that this study underscores the need to develop and implement the right innovations that will better cater to the needs of group travelers.  This can be customizable mobile app for specific conventions and groups, or next-generation concierge services that are designed to meet the unique needs of each group.

With group travel rebounding, it is a clear sign that the hospitality sector can develop new strategies for creating brand loyalty – through the use of innovation – that will allow them to full capitalize on this new trend.