Report Overview

We launched a series of travel sector estimates in 2019. Owing to the pandemic, 2020 and 2021 witnessed a plethora of changes in the industry with respect to demand and supply. With this report, we aim to continue our efforts of providing market sizes for the travel industry. We are starting by focusing on accommodations, one of the largest and most important travel sectors.

Skift Research estimates that the total accommodation sector in the U.S. generated $319.9 billion revenue in 2021 and will increase by 13% year-over-year in 2022. Among that, short-term rentals — short-term lodging in private homes or apartments — reached nearly $57.7 billion. Market share of the short-term lodging sector increased from 10.5% in 2018 to 18% in 2021. However, we believe that the hotel sector will make a strong comeback in 2022, meaning we will see a much smaller growth in the share of the short-term rental sector. Owing to the pandemic, consumer preferences have been volatile the past few years. As the situation evolves, the composition of the industry with respect to how hotel and short-term rental sectors share the market will become more defined going forward.

We arrive at our proprietary estimates by analyzing relevant data aggregated in our previous reports, as well as many reputable sources, including the U.S. Economic Census, U.S. Census Service Annual Survey (SAS) and Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), and company filings.

In our U.S. Accommodation Sector 2019 report, we segregated the total accommodation sector into the traditional accommodation segment (comprising establishments primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging in facilities, such as hotels, motels, casino hotels, and bed-and-breakfast inns) and the alternative accommodation segment (private homes, apartments and campgrounds). In this report we will be referring to alternative accommodation as short-term rentals and the traditional accommodation segment as hotels, as in the past few years the short-term rental industry experienced an unprecedented boom in popularity and it’s not an alternative anymore. Furthermore, there is a clear convergence of the short-term rental and hotel sectors taking place.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • U.S. accommodation sector market size estimates, 2018–2022
  • U.S. market size estimates for hotels and short-term rentals, 2018–2022
  • U.S. market size estimates for hotels and motels, casino hotels, B&B, and other traveler accommodation segments, 2018–2021
  • Key hotel sector operational and performance estimates for 2021, including number of companies, properties, and corresponding revenue
  • Analysis of the U.S. Economic Census data

U.S. Accommodation Sector Back With a Bang in 2022

Global Estimates From Previous Research 

In our Skift Research Global Travel Outlook 2022 report, we presented that 2020 was the most challenging year for the travel industry till date while 2021 will be remembered as the inflection point of the pandemic, with the industry edging up to 70% of the pre-pandemic activity. Looking ahead into 2022 and beyond, we are optimistic for a short-term and long-term travel recovery with forecasts for all major travel sectors to grow in 2022.

The Hotel industry, in line with the overall industry, registered an unprecedented decline in revenue in 2020. But Skift Research estimated that the global hotel industry witnessed a significant hike in performance with year-over-year growth of 35% in 2021 and is expected to grow at 55% in 2022, reaching $450 billion. 

Short-term rentals came through 2020 better than hotels, registering a decline of 33% compared to a decline of 60% for hotels. We estimate that in 2021 the sector registered 42% growth, moving towards bookings returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2022. 

U.S. Accommodation Sector Trends From Previous Research

At a country level, our December 2021 Skift Travel Health Index, which is a real-time and holistic measure of the performance of the travel industry, showed that the U.S. travel industry benefited from strong domestic demand, and was increasingly insulated from spikes in new Covid cases in 2021. Taking an average of all monthly index numbers for the U.S. in 2021, the Travel Health Index showed that the U.S. travel industry had recovered around 80.5% and the lodging sector in particular had recovered around 93% as compared to 2019 levels. For short-term rentals, instead of a recovery, the market actually grew to surpass the pre-pandemic level of 2019 in 2021. 

U.S. Accommodation Sector Estimates

We estimate that total accommodation sector revenue in the U.S. was down by 39.3% in 2020 before it increased by 66.3% year-over-year to reach the 2019 level in 2021. In 2022, we estimate the revenue to be up by 12.8%. 

U.S. Accommodation Sector Revenue, 2018-2022 ($billions and % of change)

20182019202020212022e
Total Revenue $298.87 $317.56 $192.76 $319.94 $360.85
% of Change 6.3%-39.3%66.0%12.8%

Note: Comprises establishments engaged in providing short-term lodging in facilities, such as hotels, motels, casino hotels, and bed-and-breakfast inns, or in private homes or apartments.

Source: Skift Research, U.S. Economic Census, U.S. Census Service Annual Survey (SAS) and Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Travel and Company Filings

Was the Pandemic a Watershed Moment for Short-Term Rentals?

The short-term rental business has been encroaching on the hotel industry for over a decade now, and nobody can afford to ignore the sector for its increasing market share and the changing consumer expectations that it has helped to usher in.

The prominence of short-term rentals increased even more during the pandemic as it was the exact kind of accommodation model consumers preferred. Many travelers shied away from hotels during the pandemic and instead escaped to short-term rentals, where they could hunker down, avoid crowds, prepare their own meals and essentially use it as a quarantine bubble. 

We estimate that while the hotel sector revenue was down 41.2% in 2020, short-term rental sector revenue was down by only 26%. In 2021, the trend continued with hotel revenue up by 60.4% year-over-year while short-term rental revenue was up by 96.8% year-over-year.

In 2022, we believe that the growth rate of short-term rentals will decrease significantly, resulting from a bigger base, but will still register about 16% year-over-year growth. We also estimate that hotels will grow at 12% over 2021, with total revenue increasing $15.8 billion from 2019. 

U.S. Accommodation Sector Revenue by Category, 2018-2022 ($billions, % of change and % of total)

20182019202020212022e
Hotels $267.46 $277.94 $163.44 $262.23 $293.70
% of Change 3.9%-41.2%60.4%12.0%
% of Total 89.5%87.5%84.8%82.0%81.4%
Short-Term Rentals $31.41 $39.63 $29.32 $57.71 $67.15
% of change 26.2%-26.0%96.8%16.4%
% of Total 10.5%12.5%15.2%18.0%18.6%
Total $298.87 $317.56 $192.76 $319.94 $360.85

Note: Comprises establishments engaged in providing short-term lodging in facilities, such as hotels, motels, casino hotels, and bed-and-breakfast inns, or in private homes or apartments.

Source: Skift Research, U.S. Economic Census, U.S. Census Service Annual Survey (SAS) and Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Travel and Company Filings

However, the situation remains fluid, and it will take some time for the pandemic induced consumer behavior to reset in the post-pandemic world. Short-term rentals have surely become a more popular concept and they have graduated from being an alternative accommodation option to a core accommodation option. For example, Google announcing the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product in 2021 is yet one of the recent testaments that the boundaries between hotels and short-term rentals are blurring and it is still to be seen how the two segments will compete to define the market landscape. 

Hotel Sector by Segment

Hotels and motels, which include facilities known as hotels, motor hotels, resort hotels, and motels, accounted for about three-quarters of total hotel sector revenues. Casino hotels accounted for about 23%, and Bed and Breakfast Inns and other accommodation types accounted for only 1% of total revenue in 2021.

Within the hotel segment, bed and breakfast inns witnessed a slight increase in share while the share of hotels and motels decreased marginally in 2020, for many of the same reasons that vacation rentals performed so well during the pandemic. However, as with vacation rentals, the share of bed and breakfast inns decreased again in 2021 while the share of hotels and motels increased, hinting that the shift in travel preferences was just temporary.        

U.S. Hotel Sector Revenue by Segment, 2018-2021 ($billions, % of change and % of total)

2018201920202021
Hotels and Motels $196.19 $203.98 $117.66 $198.37
% of Change 4.0%-42.3%68.6%
% of Total 73.4%73.4%72.0%75.6%
Casino Hotels $68.05 $70.82 $43.59 $61.02
% of Change 4.1%-38.5%40.0%
% of Total 25.4%25.5%26.7%23.3%
B&B and Other $3.22 $3.13 $2.20 $2.83
% of Change -2.6%-29.9%28.9%
% of Total 1.2%1.1%1.3%1.1%
Total $267.46 $277.94 $163.44 $262.23

Note: Revenue figure includes revenue from Hotels that the firm owns or leases (include room revenue, meals, beverages, gaming, retail, guest services, etc.), Franchise or royalty fees, Hotel management fees, Cost reimbursables from managed hotels, All other operating revenue

Source: Skift Research, U.S. Economic Census, U.S. Census Service Annual Survey (SAS) and Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Travel and Company Filings

Hotel Sector Key Operational and Performance Indicators

For 2021, we estimate that hotels and motels, the largest accommodation segment, would generate $199 billion in total revenue. There are over 39,000 hotel companies in the U.S. On average, one company owns or manages 1.4 properties. Average revenue per company is about $5 million and average revenue per property is about $4 million.

U.S. Hotel Sector Key Metrics in 2021, by Segment

Hotels and Motels Casino HotelsB&B and Other
Total Revenue ($billions) $198.37 $61.02 $2.83
Number of Companies 39,374 203 5,598
Number of Properties 53,810 418 5,869
Revenue per Company ($millions) $5.04 $300.28 $0.51
Revenue per Property ($millions) $3.69 $145.95 $0.48
Properties per Company 1.4 2.11.0

Source: Skift Research, U.S. Economic Census, U.S. Census Service Annual Survey (SAS) and Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Travel

Economic Census Data Deep Dive

In this section, we present our aggregation, normalization, and analysis of a few metrics from the previous Economic Census. Estimation and forecasting of these metrics is difficult, but we believe the historical data provides valuable benchmarks. 

In 2017, out of the 39,574 hotel companies, only 174 generated $100 million or more in revenue which is less than half a percentage of the total market. The top 174 hotel companies, or 0.5% of all hotel companies, owned or managed 16.5% of all properties, but generated 53% of hotel and motel sector revenues. Data shows that the revenue contribution of the top companies has been increasing since 2002 indicating a significant market concentration. 

Casino hotels are even more concentrated. In 2017, out of the 247 casino hotels, 100 generated $100 million or more in revenue. The top 100 casino hotels, or 38.9% of all casino hotels, owned or managed 60% of all properties, but generated 91.6% of casino hotels revenues.

U.S. Hotel Sector Companies with Revenue $100 Million and Up, 2002-2017

Number of Companies 2002200720122017
Hotels and Motels 71104113174
% within Hotels and Motels 0.2%0.3%0.3%0.5%
Casino Hotels 487490100
% within Casino Hotels 30.0%41.8%42.9%38.9%
B&B 0000
Total number of companies 120 176 201 272
% within Hotel Sector0.4%0.5%0.5%0.7%
Number of Properties 2002200720122017
Hotels and Motels 5,940 6,287 7,079 7,775
% within Hotels and Motels 15.0%15.2%16.0%16.5%
Casino Hotels 157193219247
% within Casino Hotels 56.3%63.7%63.1%60.0%
B&B 0000
Total number of properties 6,107 6,488 7,314 8,043
% within Hotel Sector14.2%14.3%15.3%15.8%
Total Revenue ($billions)2002200720122017
Hotels and Motels $41.61 $59.36 $68.33 $95.46
% within Hotels and Motels 47.8%49.9%51.9%53.2%
Casino Hotels $30.08 $46.66 $48.27 $59.94
% within Casino Hotels 90.2%90.5%90.9%91.6%
B&B 0000
Total $71.85 $106.02 $116.76 $155.58
% within Hotel Sector59.2%61.7%62.7%63.0%
Revenue per Company ($millions)2002200720122017
Hotels and Motels $586.10 $570.75 $604.70 $548.63
Casino Hotels $626.74 $630.55 $536.37 $599.44
Total $598.73 $602.38 $580.90 $571.98
Revenue per Property ($millions)2002200720122017
Hotels and Motels $7.01 $9.44 $9.65 $12.28
Casino Hotels $191.61 $241.76 $220.43 $242.69
Total $11.76 $16.34 $15.96 $19.34

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

The 2017 Census breaks down very detailed product line revenues, down to items such as parking services. We list revenue shares of specific service lines that are above 0.2% below. At the same time, we compare it with the 2012 revenue by product line to see how the revenue composition has changed over time.

For Hotels and Motels, revenue from rooms accounted for 78.4% of the sector revenue. Not much difference was noticed in the contribution of ancillaries between 2012 and 2017. While ancillaries accounted for 21.6% revenue in 2017, the contribution was 23.8% in 2012.  

U.S. Hotels and Motels Revenue by Product Line, 2017

Line Revenue as a % of Sector Revenue Properties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Rooms78.4%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption6.3%16.2%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events5.0%10.4%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption2.8%13.2%
Parking services0.8%6.6%
Rental and leasing of nonresidential space in buildings 0.6%8.7%
Equipment rental services0.5%7.2%
Golf course & country club services0.4%0.7%
Therapeutic massage services0.4%1.3%
Rental and leasing of commercial space0.3%5.2%
Retail sales of perishable prepared foods0.3%3.8%
Retail sales of household and personal goods0.3%7.3%
Rental services for recreational and sports equipment 0.2%1.5%
Retail sales of prepackaged snack foods0.2%16.3%
Retail sales of alcoholic beverages0.2%5.5%
Others3.1%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “Meals, snacks, other food items, and nonalcoholic beverages, prepared and served or dispensed, for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 6.3% of total revenue for hotels and motels; 16.2% of hotel and motel properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

U.S. Hotels and Motels Revenue by Product Line, 2012

Line Revenue as % of Sector RevenueProperties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Rooms76.2%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption9.7%20.1%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption3.0%14.8%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events3.0%9.3%
Parking services0.9%6.6%
Equipment rental services0.6%8.2%
Skiing facility services0.6%0.4%
Rental of space for short-term business uses0.5%15.4%
Membership dues & fees0.4%1.6%
Golf course & country club services0.4%1.2%
Souvenirs & novelty items0.3%5.8%
Rental of retail space0.3%4.3%
Rental of space for food service0.2%2.6%
Rental of space for short-term social uses0.2%6.4%
Other 3.8%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “food and nonalcoholic beverage for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 9.7% of total revenue for hotels and motels; 20.1% of hotel and motel properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

Gambling services, the key product offering of Casino Hotels, accounted for 66.4% of the revenue in 2017. Similar to Hotels and Motels, not much difference was noticed in the contribution of ancillaries between 2012 and 2017. While ancillaries accounted for 19.9% revenue in 2017, the contribution was about 20.7% in 2012.  

U.S. Casino Hotels Revenue by Product Line, 2017

Line Revenue as a % of Sector Revenue Properties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Gambling services66.4%99.8%
Room or unit accommodation for travelers13.8%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption8.7%90.2%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption4.0%88.8%
Admissions to live performing arts performances1.8%52.5%
Retail sales of household and personal goods0.9%53.0%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events0.7%32.2%
Rental and leasing of commercial space0.6%24.6%
Retail sales of other goods0.2%20.3%
Retail sales of perishable prepared foods0.2%15.3%
Parking services0.2%13.6%
Sports and other bookmaking0.2%12.4%
Retail sales of tobacco products and smoking accessories0.2%39.1%
Others2.0%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “Meals, snacks, other food items, and nonalcoholic beverages, prepared and served or dispensed, for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 8.7% of total revenue for casino hotels; 90.2% of casino hotel properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

U.S. Casino Hotels Revenue by Product Line, 2012

Line Revenue as % of Sector RevenueProperties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Gambling services67.8%100.0%
Rooms11.5%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption8.2%92.7%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption4.3%90.5%
Admissions to live performing arts performances1.9%42.2%
Groceries & other food items 0.6%19.6%
Packaged liquor, wine, & beer0.5%9.5%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events0.5%29.6%
Souvenirs & novelty items0.4%51.7%
Automotive fuels0.3%8.9%
Cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, & smokers’ accessories0.2%35.2%
Other 3.8%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “food and nonalcoholic beverage for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 8.2% of total revenue for casino hotels; 92.7% of casino hotel properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

For Bed and Breakfast Inns, the contribution of room revenue increased from 77.5% in 2012 to 87.4% in 2017 indicating that contribution of ancillaries to overall revenue has been diminishing.

U.S. B&B and Other Accommodation Revenue by Product Line, 2017

Line Revenue as a % of Sector Revenue Properties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Rooms87.4%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption5.3%20.9%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption2.1%13.0%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events1.6%9.7%
Rental and leasing of nonresidential space in buildings 0.7%4.4%
Retail sales of household and personal goods,0.4%14.9%
Rental and leasing of commercial space0.2%1.5%
Retail sales of alcoholic beverages0.2%5.6%
Therapeutic massage services0.2%1.6%
Retail sales of perishable prepared foods0.2%2.5%
Home, apartment, and other residential space rental and leasing0.2%2.4%
Others1.5%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “Meals, snacks, other food items, and nonalcoholic beverages, prepared and served or dispensed, for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 5.3% of total revenue for B&B and others; 20.9% of B&B and other properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

U.S. B&B and Other Accommodation Revenue by Product Line, 2012

Line Revenue as % of Sector RevenueProperties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties
Rooms77.5%100.0%
Food and nonalcoholic beverages for immediate consumption9.0%21.5%
Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption2.8%12.9%
Meals, snacks, & beverages prepared for catered events1.2%6.2%
Souvenirs & novelty items0.9%17.5%
Boat & other sport vehicle rental services0.7%6.7%
Groceries & other food items 0.6%6.4%
Automotive fuels0.5%2.7%
Membership dues & fees0.4%2.3%
Rental of space for short-term business uses0.2%4.8%
Boats & other sport vehicles, parts & accessories0.2%2.4%
Packaged liquor, wine, & beer0.2%3.3%
Other 5.8%

Chart reading note: For instance, for the “food and nonalcoholic beverage for immediate consumption” row, food and nonalcoholic beverage accounted for 9% of total revenue for B&B and others; 21.5% of B&B and other properties provided food and nonalcoholic beverage services

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

Overall, Hotels are the most reliant on ancillary revenues, which accounted for 21.6% of the revenue in 2017.

U.S. Comparison of Hotel Revenue by Major Categories of Product Line, 2017

Line Revenue as a % of Sector Revenue

HotelsCasino HotelsB&B Inns
Room or unit accommodation for travelers78%14%87%
Meals & Beverage Sales14%13%9%
Retail Sales1%2%1%
Rental and Leasing of Space2%1%1%
Parking Services1%0%
Gambling Services66%
Others4%4%2%

Properties Providing Line Service as % of Total Properties

HotelsCasino HotelsB&B Inns
Room or unit accommodation for travelers100%100%100%
Meals & Beverage Sales40%100%44%
Retail Sales33%100%23%
Rental and Leasing of Space23%25%8%
Parking Services7%14%
Gambling Services100%
Others2%65%2%

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

Business travel has been accounting for about one fourth of the Hotels and Motels revenue between 2012 and 2017.

U.S. Hotel Sector Revenue by Customer Type, 2012 vs. 2017

20122017
Hotels and Motels Casino Hotels B&B and Other Hotels and Motels Casino Hotels B&B and Other
Household consumers and individuals55%91%92%59%86%88%
Governmental bodies (Federal, state, and local)6%1%1%5%3%2%
Businesses (billed to expense accounts)39%9%7%37%11%10%

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

While Hotels and Motels and Bed and Breakfast Inn properties are more skewed towards full-service facility establishments, Casino Hotels is divided between limited-service and luxury facility establishments.

U.S. Hotel Sector Revenue by Hotel Property Type, 2017

By Number of PropertiesBy Revenue
Limited-service facility establishmentFull-service facility establishmentLuxury facility establishmentLimited-service facility establishmentFull-service facility establishmentLuxury facility establishment
Hotels and Motels 14%76%6%25%30%39%
Casino Hotels 41%10%47%17%4%78%
B&B 12%35%3%21%35%7%
All other traveler accommodation7%36%1%15%26%3%

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates

An overall increase in the share of franchisee-owned properties is seen across segments between 2012 and 2017. While franchisee-owned properties’ share increased from 47% to 58% for hotels, it increased from 4% to 14% for Casino hotels.

U.S. Hotel Sector Revenue by Franchise Status, 2012 vs. 2017

20122017
Franchisee-owned properties as % of total propertiesFranchisee-owned properties as % of revenueFranchisee-owned properties as % of total propertiesFranchisee-owned properties as % of revenue
Hotels (except casino hotels) and motels47.0%38.3%57.9%67.9%
Casino hotels3.6%1.8%13.8%17.2%
Bed-and-breakfast inns0.4%0.5%0.9%1.5%
All other traveler accommodation0.9%1.4%1.2%3.9%

Source: U.S. Economic Census, Skift Research estimates