Research Outline

Motel/Hotel Travel Insights


Drive understanding of the travel trends and attitudes within the past 2-3 years in regard to road-tripping and how people approach motels/hotels when driving on the road, as well as how the shifts in lodging options with Airbnb and other companies over the past two years have affected the value proposition of motels/hotels (with special focus on anything on Red Lion Hotels and their subsidiary brands/companies).

The report should specifically cover attitudes towards road trip vacations, travel loyalty program insights/what people look for in them, what they value in these hotels while on the road/traveling (for example, convenience, cleanliness, etc.), as well as any other general insights.

Early Findings

Background of Red Lion Hotels

  • Red Lion Hotels is a hotel company that focuses on franchising, managing, and owning a range of hotels. Their brands range from upscale to economy.
  • The Red Lion brands include Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, the Lexington Hotels and Inns, Signature Inn, Guesthouse, Knights Inn, Americas Best Value Inn, and Canadas Best Value Inn.

Insights and Trends on Road Tripping

  • Road tripping is increasing in popularity among Americans. There was a 65% increase in travelers that said they had taken a road trip in 2019 from 2015. This shows no sign of slowing down. In 2019, 2 out of 3 American travelers said they were planning to take a road trip in the next 12 months.
  • Road tripping is also increasingly luxurious. While the average amount of spend Americans have on vacations and travel has remained the same vs. 2018, road trippers spend more and take more vacations than those that use other methods.
  • The new twist on road tripping is "wings and wheels" - a hybrid trip where travelers fly to a destination and begin their road trip from there. This trend is being driven by Millennial families- about 6 in 10 of them did this, vs. 41% of singles and 28% of couples.
  • The primary reason for road tripping is flexibility, e.g. being able to make sudden stops and pack everything needed in the car.

Insights and Trends on Airbnb vs. Hotels

  • A third of consumers said they were likely to use sharing accommodations (like Airbnb) at some point during their vacations. The main reasons cited were cost and the draw of a new place to stay.
  • Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University recently reduced a study on the impact of Airbnb on the hospitality industry. While they found that Airbnb cannibalizes mostly from lower-end hotels and that Airbnb is beginning to focus on business travelers, which will hit higher-end hotels, not all news was bad. Airbnb can stabilize or even increase demand during peak travel season, and disrupt pricing strategies in a way that reduces the need for seasonal pricing.