- The number-one reason guests will travel in 2024 will be to rest and recharge, according to Hilton’s third-annual trends report, released last week.
- The report — titled “What Millennials, Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers Tell Us About Travel in the Year Ahead” — found that hotel guests traveling for leisure are increasingly prioritizing sleep, connectivity, personalization and cultural experiences. The report also noted a rise in blended business-and-leisure trips.
- Overall, 64% of travelers say they plan to reduce other areas of personal spending to prioritize leisure travel in 2024, a sign that ongoing heightened demand for leisure travel will continue.
As wellness travel continues to gain popularity, hotel guests are increasingly concerned with maintaining good sleep health while on the road.
Hilton hopes to capitalize on the trend, according to Chief Brand Officer Matt Schuyler, who said in the report that the company will focus “on the ‘power up’ and ‘power down’ moments of the day that contribute to quality sleep,” and properties such as the newly opened Tempo by Hilton in Times Square offer amenities designed to create an “enveloping” sleep environment.
Travelers also value connectivity and personalization, the report found, with 76% of global travelers saying they appreciate travel apps that reduce the stress of trip planning. Eighty percent of travelers overall believe it’s important to be able to book their trip entirely online.
As for what they do book, Hilton believes that culture and experiences will drive leisure travel decisions in 2024. Culinary experiences, in particular, are travelers’ top focus, followed by “exploration and adventure,” the report found.
“Even with ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, travel demand has remained strong as consumers continue to prioritize the value of experiences and connections over things,” said Kevin Jacobs, CFO and president, global development, in the report, adding that Hilton sees the trend “across each of our segments and regions.”
Hilton is also noticing a blend of leisure and business travel and expects the trend to stay for years to come. In 2024, its report found, 46% of global full-time and self-employed workers plan to travel for “bleisure.”
As for conferences and events, locations have shifted from major urban centers into secondary markets. Leading demand growth among one-year-out bookings for events at Hilton properties are Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Fort Myers, Florida.
In July, Hilton credited strength in leisure travel demand for its stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings. President and CEO Christopher Nassetta also noted strong group recovery in the Q2 earnings call.
Meanwhile, the hotel company is far from the only one to notice consumer interest in better sleep. Last year, Park Hyatt New York unveiled restorative “Sleep Suites” with smart beds. And Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Canyon Ranch launched sleep-focused retreats.