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Need A Vacation? CHD Expert Evaluates the Hotel and Lodging Landscape in the USA

12:01:29 PM

With the rise of AirBNB, VRBO, and Home Exchange websites, the hospitality industry has been shaken up in recent years, creating new challenges for not only hotel owners and managers, but for industry suppliers as well.

Considering the evolution of the industry, and the perspective of the hospitality industry supplier, CHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice data and analytics firm, evaluates the current landscape of the hospitality industry in the USA.

As of July 2015, there are over 74,000 lodging establishments in the USA. Of these, 54% are Independent, while 46% are classified as Chains. (For reference, CHD Expert classifies a Chain as a brand that has 10 or more units in operation.) For a breakdown of the top five lodging chains by total number of units in the USA, see Figure 1.


“Given the state of the hospitality industry, it is now more important than ever that hospitality industry suppliers leverage data to understand the market landscape, and use this insight to maintain demand for their products,” said Brad Bloom, VP of Sales and Marketing at CHD Expert The Americas. “As hotels look to compete on value, this can present significant opportunities for suppliers who sell innovative or tried and true products. However suppliers must be in the right place at the right time, and our data and market intelligence can help suppliers make the sale.”

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 78% of domestic trips are for leisure purposes and USA Residents logged 1.7 billion ‘person-trips’ compared to the 452 million ‘person-trips’ by USA residents who traveled for business.

This new model of citizens opening up their homes to travelers is pushing hotels and traditional lodging establishments to consider ways to increase their perceived value to travelers. Both professionals and families who travel for vacation are now considering how they can stretch a budget by opting to stay at someone’s home in lieu of a commercial hotel.

Furthermore, a recent study by Oxford Economics indicated that Americans use just 16 vacation days per year and that Americans took less vacation time in 2013 than at any other point in the last four decades.

While this may be cause for concern among hotels, hospitality industry suppliers may also feel the pains of lower occupancy as affected hotels may scale back their supply purchasing due to less demand or other financial issues.

To combat the new overly saturated accommodation market, some hospitality establishments are focusing on providing top tier amenities or high-value products and services that give guests something extra – something they can’t access while staying at a residence. And hospitality industry suppliers must take notice.

When broken down by segment, the most common lodging establishments in the USA, are the 2-star Midscale establishments without an on-premise restaurant, which make up 36% of the market. This is followed by Bed & Breakfasts, which make up 24% of the market, and then 3-star upscale establishments without an on-premise restaurant, which rounds out the top three at 11%.

Upscale 4- and 5-star hotels make up less than 4% of the landscape, but they compensate by charging premiums room rates for a more upscale experience.

The Forbes Travel Guide uses a number of criteria to define the differences between a 4-star and 5-star hotel. These hotels must offer a variety of top-tier features, services, and amenities. Many of the differences are in the details. For example, a 4-star room may offer live plants and triple-sheeted beds, while a 5-star room will include these touches along with other details that create a more memorable experiences, such as a stereo system, fresh flowers, or high-quality drink mixes in the room.

As such, premium hotels require suppliers from which to source high-quality guest items, including bath and beauty products, custom furniture, kitchen utensils and appliances, towels, or even monogrammed bathrobes. Suppliers and distributors looking to form new partnerships and sell new products to hotels need to go to where the travelers are.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, over 41 million people visited “Sin City” in 2014, including over 5 million convention delegates.

Unsurprisingly 93% of Nevada’s 500+ room hotels are located in Las Vegas. Additionally, of the 1,500+ casinos identified in CHDFIND® (CHD Expert’s foodservice and hospitality database), over 230 are located in Nevada, the state with the most casinos in the nation. Nevada is followed by Montana, California, Washington State and South Dakota, in volume of hotel casinos, in that order.

Hawaii is another dream destination for many Americans. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, since May 2014 year over year total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands grew 9.3 percent. Average daily spending was also up ($198 per person) and total visitor expenditures increased to $1.2 billion. Suppliers looking to make a splash in Hawaii should look to the state’s capital, where 46% of the hotels in Hawaii with 500+ rooms are located in Honolulu. As more visitors flock to the islands and visitor expenditures increase, hotel operators will no doubt be searching for premium products to offer their guests.

Outside of larger hotels, suppliers can also target high-end boutiques that offer exceptional amenities and experiences to their guests. For example, Colorado boasts a number of high-end boutique resorts with less than 50 rooms. The state is home to many world-class ski mountains and tourist destinations, including Vail, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Aspen, among others. Many of Colorado’s boutique hotels are located in Colorado Springs, Estes Park, and Steamboat Springs, yet the individualized approach is evident throughout the state: 69% of Colorado’s lodging establishments are Independent.

To obtain detailed information on hotel operators, please contact Brad Bloom: [email protected]

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