Hickory: Houston Top US Business Travel Location as 2023 Hotel Bookings Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

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Hotel bookings among Hickory Global Partner members reached
96 percent of 2019 levels in 2023, with Houston the most popular city among
members for business travel, the corporate travel alliance reported.

With rising hotel costs, spending on hotels by Hickory
members surpassed 2019 levels by 19.6 percent in 2023, and “business
travel picked up significantly” throughout the year, according to Hickory
president Chris Dane. Bookings this year should surpass 2019 levels, Hickory
reported.

Those rising costs, meanwhile, also are driving business
trips and events to cheaper cities, which could be a factor in Houston’s
popularity, per Hickory’s report. The average daily rate of spend in Houston
for Hickory members was $153.91, compared with $408.19 for New York, which ranked
third among the most popular locations for members.

Last year, Hickory noted that Houston was
emerging as a “business travel hub” in the US.

Hickory also reported that Sacramento—which had an average
daily rate of spend of $142.28—rose to the 10th spot on the top ten list with
“an influx of people relocating from higher-cost cities like Los Angeles
and San Francisco.” Neither of those two cities were in Hickory’s top ten,
though San Diego ranked second.

Among cities outside of the U.S., London was the most
popular destination for Hickory members, followed by three Canadian
cities—Toronto, Calgary and Montreal—due to their proximity in the US and many
multinational members having a significant presence in Canada.

Hickory noted that bookings in Tokyo increased 100 percent
year over year as travel to Japan opened up in early 2023, making the city
ranked 5th overall in popularity. Bookings in Paris, meanwhile, were down 6.3
percent, which Hickory said could be attributed to its high cost of $431.24 per
night.

The Hickory alliance in total has more than 2,500 members
across 74 countries and works with more than 51,000 hotel partners.

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