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Industry and market trends

Richard Solomons

Where the industry is now

The global hotel industry

The global hotel industry comprises approximately 14.6 million rooms, according to Smith Travel Research, and these are broadly segmented into branded (multiple hotels under the same brand name) and independent (non-branded) hotels. Growth in demand is driven by economic growth and an increasing trend for domestic and global travel resulting in part from favourable demographics and globalisation of travel.

There are a number of key industry metrics which are widely recognised and used to track performance. These include revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate and rooms supply growth. These are amongst the key performance measures actively monitored by IHG. IHG also monitors macroeconomic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) trends, which is a leading indicator in hotel industry trends.

The branded hotel market

Smith Travel Research estimates that the branded hotel market accounts for 51.5% of the total hotel market.

In the US, around 70% of the industry supply is branded. In fast developing markets, such as China and India, branded penetration is lower, at around 20 to 30%. However, this is expected to increase significantly over the coming decades as branded hotels gain traction due to the advantages of reliability, guest safety and security and consistency of standards that large global brands bring.

Where the industry is heading

Short-term drivers and global trends

Short-term industry trends are shaped by differing economic, political or physical factors impacting local geographical markets. Since the economic crisis of 2008/09, GDP growth has returned to key economies, leading to an increase in disposable income and an increase in demand for hotel rooms.

Long-term drivers and global trends

In the long term, growth in the hotel industry is driven by a number of trends:


Over the long term, global economic growth and more sophisticated financial markets in emerging countries has led to a 1.8% increase in global total hotel rooms supply over the last eight years.


During the last 10 years the typical traveller demographic has changed.

The younger workforce is driving more diverse and informal working patterns, with an expectation that hotels will cater for flexible working arrangements. A growing ageing population with the desire, and means to travel, is expected to significantly increase travel flows and lead to an overall increase in demand for travel services.


IHG's 2014 Trends Report found that the rapid rise of technology-enabled personalisation is helping to shape the experience guests want when they travel. It also found that personalised brand experiences which resonate with the local culture are particularly important for the fast-growing number of international travellers from emerging markets.


Increased competition and capacity amongst airlines, lower air fares and more relaxed travel and immigration restrictions in many regions have made international travel a viable option for an increasing number of people.


These long-term drivers and global trends are changing the competitive landscape within the travel industry. Competitors are no longer simply branded or independent hotels, but now include travel intermediaries and companies offering alternative lodging solutions and search options, providing inspiration for travel ideas and aggregating a range of travel solutions.

For information about industry trends, news and information, please select from the following links:

Last updated 3 April 2014

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