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Hoteliers’ Thoughts on Accommodating Meeting Groups into 2023

A hot topic during last week’s Hotel Data Conference was booking the right balance between leisure business travelers. Hint: A new meeting pattern could help groups having a difficult time at the negotiating table.

Held in Nashville from August 10 to 12, the Hotel Data Conference featured several panels with hotel-ownership executives and hotel-brand leaders, who gave their thoughts on where the best revenue opportunities are for hotels over the next year.

This article in Hotel News Now shows that the leisure market was the primary focus of the hotel executives on those panels. Their justification: The most recent revenue-per-available-room figures demonstrate that 2022 revenue per available room (RevPAR) will exceed 2019 RevPAR despite transient business travelers and meeting groups representing a notably lower percentage of hotels’ total business in 2022 versus 2019.

One key point made by the article’s author, Robert McClune, notes the effect strong leisure travel could have on meeting groups in the near future: “As long as hotels can continue to drive high rates from leisure travelers on weekends, or extended weekends, how likely are they to negotiate with business travelers or groups who want those rooms on the same nights? [And] if hotels are selling out rooms Thursday to Sunday at sustained higher rates, is it less important [to hotels] that those same rooms are more than half empty during the week?”

Interestingly, the boom in leisure demand might bring a change to the meeting patterns that most hotels have traditionally wanted business groups to follow—Sunday night to Wednesday morning, and Wednesday night to Sunday morning. For planners looking to make the most of their budgets for the next year or so, occupying a host property from Monday night until Thursday morning might be the way to go.

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