The hospitality industry is big and diverse. Besides, every sector—from accommodation and recreation to travel and entertainment—is constantly changing. As a result, it’s certainly impossible to collect all the hospitality statistics they need to stay abreast of the latest trends.
Without the numbers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for industry players to fine-tune social and digital strategies. Even worse: hoteliers and destination marketers are swamped by day-to-day tasks. It is also no secret that the hospitality and travel industries were among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Global and local lockdowns, travel restrictions, and quarantine protocols have added new challenges for business owners, executives, marketers, and customers alike.
Fortunately, in this article, we’ve compiled all the hospitality statistics and data you need. The idea is to help you use analytics in hospitality to fundamentally drive innovation, delight customers, and capture value. We’ve even noted down a few online booking software that can potentially help you improve your operations.
General Hospitality Statistics
There is no doubt the hospitality industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the years. Driven by rising consumers’ purchasing power, a robust global economy, and digital innovation, the industry has experienced a historic burst. While the current pandemic may have caused a huge setback for the industry, it is poised to recover and maintain its growth trajectory in the coming years.
Key Hospitality Industry Statistics
- As of 2019, there are over 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- The hotel market is made up of over 4 million rooms worldwide. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- There are at least 91,000 hotels and motels in the US, around 52,000 of which are hotels. Collectively, they generate more than $194 billion of revenue annually. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- Hilton remains the world’s most valuable hospitality brand, with its value up by an impressive 35% despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brand Finance, 2020)
- The average room rate in the US is $120.01 per night. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- On the other hand, Airbnb is currently considered the most valuable tourism and leisure brand, with a value of $10.5 billion. (Brand Finance, 2020)
- 81% of travelers want greater digital customer service from hotel brands. (PwC, 2019)
- Hospitality market data reveal that of all the sectors that make up the hospitality industry, air travel, accommodation, and food services, contribute over 50% of the total output. (SelectUSA)
- Also, the hospitality industry exports accounted for up to 11% of total US exports in 2017. Moreover, the industry exports accounted for 32% of total US services exports. (SelectUSA)
- In 2018, the travel and tourism industry accounts for 10.2% of the global GDP. (Deloitte, 2018)
- In 2016, Asia accounts for more than 30% of the global $1 trillion business travel sector. (McKinsey & Company, 2016)
- The travel and tourism sector is one of the fastest-growing industries, accounting for over 10% of the world’s GDP. (Sommet Education, 2019)
- Apparently, large chains lose 10% to 15% of total revenue as commission paid to third-party booking services. On the other hand, small chains and small hotels pay between 18% and 22% of their revenue as commission to third-party services. (PwC, 2019)
- The US needs $4.5 trillion to improve travel infrastructure by 2025 to prevent it from impacting GDP and job growth. (Deloitte, 2019)
Key Hospitality Industry Employment Statistics
- Better still, at the height of the Great Recession, there were approximately 353,000 open positions in hospitality in the United States. As of 2018, the hospitality industry in the US had 1,139,000 job openings. (Deloitte, 2019)
- Consequently, to attract new employees, hospitality industry players are forced to increase wages. As a result, wages now account for 25% to 30% of the total revenue in 2019. (Deloitte, 2019)
- More importantly, 10% of the total global workforce is employed by the tourism industry. (Deloitte, 2019)
- As of the latest data, around 173 million people were employed in the hotel & motel industry before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- Hotels in the US are foreseen to add around 200,000 direct hotel operations jobs in 2021. However, this is still around 500,000 jobs below the industry’s pre-pandemic employment level of 2.3 million employees. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the industry back more than 10 years’ worth of job growth. (AHLA, 2021)
- Immigrants account for 13% of the total US population. However, immigrants account for 31% of the total workforce in hotels and lodgings in the US. (Deloitte, 2019)
- Pre-Brexit, between 12.3% and 23.7% of the total Uk hospitality industry employees are EU nationals. (KPMG, 2017)
The sectors of the hospitality industry may seem to be struggling at the moment but it seems to be on track to recover as travel restrictions become more relaxed. However, the professionals in the industry must also remain alert about other disruptions aside from the pandemic.
For instance, technological innovation and digital transformation have caused quite a buzz for businesses. Like every other sector of the economy, hospitality is not immune to the ebbs and flows of these demands. As such, you should also keep an eye on the critical business travel statistics to better redefine your serving offerings.
Being a key pillar of the hospitality industry, the impact of transportation cannot be underestimated. Today, the global travel industry is billed as the fastest and largest growing sector of the hospitality industry. The airline, cruise, and ground transportation sectors are the highlights and the statistics below tell the story well.
- In the US, international travel and business travel showed the sharpest declines due to COVID-19. International travel spending fell 76% while business travel spending fell 70%. (U.S. Travel Association)
- The pandemic had a significant impact on the travel economies of all US states and territories, with Hawaii suffering the most with as much as -60% year-on-year growth rate in 2020. Meanwhile, Mississippi suffered the least with a -2, 6% year-on-year growth rate. (U.S. Travel Association)
- In total, 18 US states and territories experienced more than a 40% downturn in travel spending in 2020. (U.S. Travel Association)
- From March to December 2020, the pandemic has resulted in $492 billion in cumulative losses for the U.S. travel economy, which equates to a daily loss of approximately $1.6 billion. (U.S. Travel Association)
- However, 56% of consumers say they expect to travel for leisure despite the threat of COVID-19. This is roughly the same percentage as in an average year. (AHLA, 2021)
- Unfortunately, business travel is forecasted to go down by 85% compared to 2019 through April 2021. (AHLA, 2021)
- When making transportation decisions, it was found that 52% of travelers go for the fastest option, 34% go for the most affordable option, and 34% want options where kids are easier to manage. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- An average customer shifts over 50 times across desktops, tablets, smartphones, and channels when researching travel online. (McKinsey & Company, 2018)
The solid travel demand in previous years has benefited many sectors, and cruise is a prime example. While there is a tendency by travelers to stick to traditional vacation experience, the specialized experience of cruise is gaining momentum. However, with the ongoing pandemic, we can see many cruise providers halting operations and consequently hurt their bottom line.
- The cruise industry contributed over $154 billion to the global economy in 2019. (CLIA, 2021)
- The number of ocean cruise passengers worldwide grew from 17.8 million in 2009 to 29.7 million in 2019. (CLIA, 2021)
- Hospitality data show that 55% of the global cruise passengers are from the United States. (Deloitte, 2019)
- Interestingly, only 5% of travelers with Gen Alphas, use a cruise ship as the mode of transport for family travel. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Furthermore, the cruise industry created 1,166,000 jobs in 2019. (CLIA, 2021)
- However, the pandemic has caused many cruise lines to halt operations, with more than 2700 confirmed COVID-19 cases that are contracted aboard cruise ships. (Statista, 2020)
- As of January 2021, the shares of prominent cruise companies Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruises have dropped by 60%. (CNBC, 2021)
Air Travel Statistics
The transformation of air travel over the last few years has been mesmerizing. Commoditization backlash has set the airline revolution on high gear and every brand is fighting hard to reel in the benefits. However, like any other sector of the hospitality industry, airlines have also taken quite a blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The global air transport industry generated total revenue of $838 billion in 2019. (IATA, 2020)
- The air travel industry provides approximately 0.9 million jobs in the US. (SelectUSA)
- 54% of travelers with Gen Alpha use the plane as the mode of transportation for family travel. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Passenger demand suffered as international borders closed and countries locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the low point in April 2020, global air travel was about 95% below 2019 levels. (IATA, 2020)
- 2/3 of the aircraft fleet across the globe are currently parked. Moreover, 18 airlines have filed for bankruptcy as of 2020. (McKinsey, 2020)
- Air travel demand is expected to make a recovery by 2024. (McKinsey, 2020)
Ground Transportation Statistics
- After declining drastically in March and April 2020, road travel recovered most of its losses through summer but regressed again in the fall. The 7-day average of road trips reached a pandemic low of -72% year-on-year growth in early-April. The summer of 2020 saw a year-on-year decline of -20%. The strongest pandemic performance was recorded over the Labor Day holiday with just a -5% year-on-year percentage. (U.S. Travel Association)
- Moreover, 47% of travelers with Gen Alphas, use their cars for family travel. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- 31% of family travelers use a personal car to get around in-market. On the other hand, 28% walk, 27% use rental cars, 21% use a taxi, and 6% use bikes. (Expedia Group, 2019)
Source: Expedia Group Designed by
Leaders of the different sectors of the hospitality industry often talk about the power of disruptive forces. But few have felt the pinch like the travel industry. The major disruptive forces have changed the way things are done in this industry. In fact, each sector of the travel industry is exploring its own path to digitization as well as ways to recover from the outbreak.
As a result, both incumbent and new players need to adapt to change quickly. For example, airlines need to implement real-time integration between revenue management and CRM software systems. This way, it will be easy to reach the level of sophistication required to implement dynamic pricing and sound revenue management. Moreover, it may be worth exploring how to implement COVID-19 response measures to ensure the safety of the customers.
Like any other sector, the hospitality industry is driven by consumer needs and demands. But customers’ preferences, values, and expectations are not universal, nor are they fixed. The statistics below reveal the growing pool of global travelers, their evolving mindsets, and the unique preference of different demographics groups.
Domestic Traveler Statistics
- In 2019, local and international travelers in the US spent $1,126,707 million. (U.S. Travel Association, 2020)
- Also in 2019, domestic tourists in the US spent $972 billion on travel. (U.S. Travel Association, 2020)
- However, travel spending has been fluctuating due to the COVID-9 pandemic. It grew from an all-time low of just $17 billion in April to a pandemic high of $62 billion in August 2020. It continued to improve slightly in September with a year-on-year growth rate of -38%. However, the year ended with $57 billion (-39% y/y growth rate) in December. (U.S. Travel Association)
- In all, total travel spending in 2020 totaled only $679 billion due to the threat of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. (U.S. Travel Association)
International Traveler Statistics
- In 2018, a record 1.4 billion people traveled abroad for their holidays. (The Guardian, 2019)
- In 2019, expenditure by international visitors in the US reached $155 billion. (U.S. Travel Association, 2020)
- 71% of global travelers expect travel service providers to deliver sustainable travel choices. (Booking.com, 2019)
- The number of international arrivals to the US was steadily increasing since 2011, hitting its peak in 2019 with 40.4 million arrivals. However, it dropped by around 7 million beginning 2020. (U.S. Travel Association, 2020)
- Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that by 2023, the total number of annual international visitors to the US will be 95.5 million. (International Trade Administration, 2019)
- However, the projection changed to only 67.4 million international visitors by 2023 considering the pandemic. (US Travel Association, 2020)
- Meanwhile, international visitor expenditures are projected to reach 95 billion by 2022 and 118 billion by 2023. (US Travel Association, 2020)
Millennial Travelers Statistics
- Around 82% of millennials traveled in 2019. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- Millennials took an average of 5.6 trips per year. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- 66% of millennials book their trips using a smartphone while 74% use it for research. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- Meanwhile, up to 64% of millennials book hotel rooms on their smartphones. (PwC, 2019)
- Moreover, 25% of Millenials find their holiday accommodation through social media platforms. (PwC, 2019)
- 23% of millennials have checked in their holiday accommodation using a smartphone. (PwC, 2019)
- Better still, 60 million Millenials tweet on hotels’ Twitter platform. (PwC, 2019)
- On the other hand, 97% of millennials post their holiday pictures on social media. (PwC, 2019)
- More importantly, 80% of millennials are likely to settle for a service that sends recommendations based on their budget and preferences. (PwC, 2019)
- Interestingly, 78% of millennials prefer to spend their earnings on experiences and not things. (Sommet Education, 2019)
- However, 48% of Millennials say that they are concerned about contracting COVID-19 if they travel. (GlobalData, 2020)
Key Traveler Preference Statistics
- Nothing is as important as an entertained and happy family when traveling. Actually, 95% of travelers with Gen Alphas say that keeping their family happy and entertained is of the utmost importance. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- The majority (55%) of family traveler take trips to relax, 54% take family play vacation, visiting family/friends (47%), sightseeing (41%), romantic gateway (25%), special event (21%), and bleisure trips (21%). (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Interestingly, family travel decisions are influenced by travel review sites (63%), family/friends/colleagues (46%), search engine (46%), young children (43%), social media (35%), online videos (28%), online ads (22%). (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Most importantly, appealing imagery influences 54% of travel decisions. Other things that influence decisions include deals (53%), informative content (50%), helpful reviews (44%), and simple language (35%). (Expedia Group, 2019)
- In light of the pandemic, 39% of travelers say they intend to choose less crowded destinations and ones that have extensive hygiene programs. (World Economic Forum, 2020)
Generally, the overarching themes around how consumer mindsets are changing center not only around personalized experience and authenticity but also their concerns about the pandemic. Today’s tourists define a brand based on the quality of service they offer and how well they can keep their guests safe from the threat of contracting the disease. Because of this, brands must strive to keep these elements in mind if they wish to stay relevant in this changing industry climate.
Destination and accommodation are two factors that shape traveler preferences. The following statistics show that as the pool of travelers grows, so do the number of attractive destinations. Also, the stats offer compelling insights that can help destination marketers to refine their strategies to match the growing demand of modern travelers. Besides, studying the data, make you sure to understand the significant restaurant statistics.
- Accommodation is the largest hospitality industry subsector in terms of total output. In fact, this industry accounts for approximately 20% of the total hospitality-related spending. (SelectUSA)
- The US hotel and motel industry had a total industry revenue of $206 billion in 2019, outperforming the wider economy for the last 5 years prior. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- The accommodation subsector supplies approximately 2.1 million jobs in the US. (SelectUSA)
- In 2017 alone, tourists spent over $300 billion on traveler accommodation. (SelectUSA)
- There are approximately 9 million guest rooms in the US, from budget motels to 5-star hotels. (Condor Ferries, 2020)
- In 2020, hotel occupancy averaged just 44%, which is 33% lower than in 2019. Meanwhile, the Revenue per Available Room (RevPar) was just $45, which is 48% lower than in 2019. (U.S. Travel Association)
- After reaching its best pandemic performance in September with a year-on-year growth rate of -28%, the year-on-year change in hotel occupancy once again fell to -35% in November before slightly improving to -32% in December 2020. (U.S. Travel Association)
- Luxury hotels performed the worst during the pandemic, with only 21% occupancy in December 2020 compared to 68% in December 2019. (U.S. Travel Association)
- On the other hand, economy hotels performed better, with 45% occupancy in December 2020, just 3% below December 2019 (48%). (U.S. Travel Association)
- As the hotel sector was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, hotel brands could lose up to 20% of their cumulative value, equating to $14 billion. (Brand Finance, 2020)
- How do different factors influence accommodation decisions? At 41% location weigh heavily in accommodation decisions followed by family needs (39%), price (36%, family friend offerings (31%), room size (31%), and deal/promotion (21%). (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Interestingly, 37% of vacation travelers prefer staying at a value hotel than at a shared lodging. (PwC, 2019)
- Once checked in, 90% of millennials connect to the hotel WiFi. (PwC, 2019)
- 58% of family travelers stayed in a hotel on their last trip. On the other hand, 21% stayed in a resort, 17% were hosted by friends/family, and 16% stayed in a vacation rental. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- In light of the pandemic, 50% of travelers say mask enforcement is their leading factor in deciding where to stay. (Expedia, 2020)
Key Destination Statistics
- 24% of family travelers spend most on hotels, 16% on food, 15% on a flight, 10% on tours, 10% of transportation, and 8% on shopping. (Expedia Group, 2019)
- Fun and entertainment activities in the family travel itinerary include theme parks and attractions (74%), water activities (67%), outdoor activities (55%), and historical landmarks. Others include water activities dining experiences (40%), Museum visits (38%), educational experiences (28%), and guided tours (26%). (Expedia Group, 2019)
- 55% of global travelers say they are determined to make effective travel choices, but face multiple barriers when trying to actualize this. (Booking.com, 2019)
- 51% of US travelers who decide to go on a trip spend up to seven days conducting research. (Facebook, 2019)
- In the last 12 weeks leading to a trip, there are three times more experience searches than hotel searches. (Booking.com, 2019)
Source; Expedia Designed by
Whether you are a hotelier or a marketer, the increasing demands of modern travelers should be a wake-up call. You should know that guests today want relevance everywhere. For this reason, you need to orchestrate personalization across all digital channels and customer touchpoints. This is by no means an easy task, and it will require harnessing the capability of IT innovators as well as savvy marketing professionals. Besides, you will need to implement a workflow using top marketing software as well as robust restaurant management software.
Without booking, the hospitality industry is an incomplete jigsaw. Booking plays an important role in helping guests connect with hoteliers and other service providers in the industry. The following statistics unearth key booking trends and the changing customer preferences when it comes to booking.
- Additionally, 70% of global travelers are more likely to book an eco-friendly accommodation, whether they are looking for a sustainable stay or not. (Booking.com, 2019)
- More importantly, according to Google data, flights and hotels are booked in advance of 12 weeks. (Google, 2019)
- Travelers who book their activities ahead spend 81% more on transportation and 47% more on accommodation. (Google, 2019)
- Meanwhile, 48% of experience bookings happen when visitors arrive at their destination. (Google, 2019)
- Interestingly, most hotel bookings are made at 10 am CET, whereas the least bookings happen at 6 am CET. (TrekkSoft, 2019)
- In 2018, there were 66.7% direct website bookings, 9.1% marketplace bookings, and 24.3% third-party service bookings. (TrekkSoft, 2019)
- Global travel bookings reached $1.6 trillion in 2017. (Deloitte, 2018)
- On the other hand, according to another Deloitte US Travel and Hospitality Outlook report, US hotel gross bookings revenue in 2017 was $185 billion. (Deloitte, 2019)
- Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, about half of U.S. hotel rooms are projected to remain empty in 2021. (AHLA, 2021)
It’s clear that booking is one area that is evolving rapidly. Consumers seem to favor planners offering best-in-class booking experiences. And, as it stands, investing in online booking tools is no longer enough to win customers.
Today, brands that want to drive booking should endeavor to remove the friction between online travel planning and booking. One way of achieving this is by combining insights and cognitive automation to implement intelligent agents that redefine service delivery.
Leading Online Booking Software
- YouCanBook.me. An online booking software that can be embedded directly to your website. Learn about its other booking management features like tentative booking status, follow up emails, and credit card payments here in our YouCanBook.me review.
- Acuity Scheduling. An intuitive appointment scheduling platform for corporate events. It comes with features like activity tracking, real-time calendar availability view, employee management, and multiple location management that you can learn about in this Acuity Scheduling review.
- Bookeo. Book and schedule appointments using Bookeo’s intuitive user interface. Read how its features like an appointment calendar, business performance analysis, and website integration can simplify your booking processes in our Bookeo review.
- SimplyBook.me. This online scheduling and booking system is used by many businesses to streamline their scheduling processes. See how its features like a POS system, customizable booking pages, and membership management can optimize your workflow here in this SimplyBook.me review.
- Checkfront. This intuitive and easy-to-use platform helps businesses simplify their scheduling and booking management tasks. Read about how its unique features such as inventory management and online payment processing can help you eliminate booking hassles in our Checkfront review.
Technology in Hospitality Statistics
The rise of new technology has been a breath of fresh air into the hospitality industry. Technologies such as AI, IoT, Automation, Blockchain, and voice technology are shaping the industry enabling businesses to offer guests greater convenience, control, and customization.
- In 2017, smartphones accounted for 43% of the total travel-related requests. Besides, they accounted for nearly 23% of all logistics-related searches. (McKinsey & Company, 2018)
- Interestingly, 25% of hospitality and leisure CEOs think AI will significantly impact the way they operate in the next five years. (PwC, 2019)
- Moreover, 70% of millennials are likely to book holiday accommodation using a tech amenity like mobile payments, Smart TVs, or keyless entry. (PwC, 2019)
- At least 8 of the global leading hotel chains have implemented VR experiences in their marketing strategy. (PwC, 2019)
- Interestingly, hotels that are using virtual tours are getting up to a 135% increase in online revenue. (PwC, 2019)
- Since implemented a VR staff training program, Best Western Hotel has reaped tangible benefits. Some of the benefits include a 71% decrease in guest complaints, a 19% increase in customer service ratings, and reduced onboarding time. (PwC, 2019)
- Hospitality research revealed that 10% of family travelers use ride-sharing apps to get around in-market. (Expedia Group, 2019)
Hospitality is a people-centric industry, and technology is not here to pull it away from its ethos. Besides aiding personalization and customization, new technologies are providing unique ways to free up employees in the industry. It’s allowing businesses to redefine their services and spend less time on redundant tasks and more on the guests.
What Do These Hospitality Statistics Mean to Your Business?
There you have it, our compilation of the hospitality statistics you should know. In summary, the hospitality industry was on a surge and every sector was reaping the benefit before the COVID-19 shook the world. From transportation and booking to accommodation, each sector was growing steadily.
However, previous forecasts were negated by the recent events. The industry, including its subsectors, all suffered a slowdown. These statistics show that the hospitality industry experienced a devastating 2020, with historically low occupancy and employment.
So what’s next for hospitality owners, executives, and marketers? Fortunately, despite a slow rebound, what’s important is the numbers are beginning to rise again as travel restrictions gradually ease up. With COVID-19 vaccinations already rolling, it will be in the best interest of managers to prepare for a surge of tourists once people can travel normally again.
To start, you should keep in mind that personalization transcends different sectors and delivers a profound impact. The compelling influence of personalization is driven by the fact that consumers eat, sleep, cement relationships, seek cures, and play games in hospitality facilities. This dynamism makes personalization a pillar of success for hospitality businesses.
Furthermore, aside from pandemic-related restrictions, challenges like increased competition, growing commoditization, and demographic shifts also have their claws out to derail your strategy. It’s important to note that Generation Alpha is also playing a crucial role in the changes taking place in the industry. On the other hand, the Millennials seem to be a demographic cohort with unique preferences, needs, and increased demands.
Luckily, new technologies are here to help you scale above the heights of these challenges. The ball is in your court now; all you need to do is to master new technological concepts and innovate strategically. This way, it will be easy to implement better customer targeting, yield innovative products, and improve pricing to gain significant growth in both profits and revenue once the market is back to normal. You can also read our guide on AI-powered customer service, to learn how technology can boost your service delivery.
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