According to a national survey commissioned by Marriott International and conducted by 72Point, key shifts are occurring in venue site selection and demands from hotels.
The insights come from a survey of more than 1,000 travel planners and event organisers across the US.
Hotel selection focused on adaptability and swift communication
Survey findings reveal that the top factors influencing hotel selection for events for 2024 will be adaptability to changing needs (47%) and rapid response times to inquiries and requests (46%).
Only 34% of respondents indicated that their selection of a hotel or destination was influenced by prior experiences, suggesting that most planners are willing to embrace new venues that meet current priorities and requirements.
Only 33% will choose based on the destination or hotel’s popularity, showing that reputation matters less than the ability to meet event desires and needs.
Wellness surges beyond the spa
Marriott finds that wellness will remain a significant focus in 2024, with travellers craving more experiences from hotel stays beyond the typical spa.
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The survey found that 65% of respondents expressed interest in active wellness activities such as jiu-jitsu or kickboxing classes, while 58% wanted more mindful activities such as yoga and meditation.
As wellness becomes more of a sensory journey, travellers will seek immersive experiences such as creative fitness classes, informative workshops and nutritious dining.
Sustainable travel remains a priority
Sustainability is still paramount, with an impressive 77% of respondents wanting to visit environmentally friendly destinations that align with their values and offer volunteering opportunities.
According to data, there is particular interest in supporting communities still rebuilding from natural disasters. Others are looking to reduce travel with high carbon emissions (60%) and want choices that positively impact the destinations visited.
One such example of how hotels can pay attention to detail when it comes to sustainability is Marriott International’s recent collaboration with EV Connect to streamline electrical vehicle charging at its properties.
Marriott International CALA chief sales and marketing officer Louise Bang commented: “Travellers are seeking more meaningful travel experiences that focus on personalisation, flexibility and cultural immersion.”