Business leaders, journalists, hotel owners and guests are using their homes and office space more frequently to host business meetings than in years past.
According to data from the Association of Hotel Professionals, hotel rooms in 2018 were used to host a total of 1.45 billion business meetings, up 6% from a year earlier.
More hotels are also booked for corporate events.
The latest data, from the American Hotel Association, shows that at least 1.2 billion business and leisure conferences are being held in hotels annually.
According a recent survey of more than 4,000 hoteliers, hotel room occupancy is also on the rise, with more than 40% of hoteliers saying they expect hotel occupancy to grow this year.
“We expect hotel room utilization to continue to grow in the years ahead,” the American Hospital Association said in a statement.
“The hotel industry has been on a fast-growth trajectory for years, and our hotel occupancy projections show a continued upward trajectory.”
Business leaders and hoteliers also said they expect more hotel room uses to be driven by online booking and mobile-only business events.
A majority of hotel rooms, 57%, were used by business leaders in 2018, while more than one-quarter of hotelers said they used them for conference-related activities.
The most popular hotel rooms for business and conference-focused events were those at the Four Seasons in Orlando and Hilton in Atlanta, according to data compiled by hotel industry experts.
The hotel industry’s growth is not only driven by hotel room use.
According the hotel industry, business and professional groups are spending more time at hotel rooms than they did just a year ago.
More than one in three hotels surveyed in 2018 said they are seeing more business and business-related guests, compared to just 18% a year prior.
Businesses are also spending more on events and accommodations.
More business leaders said they spent more than $20,000 on business and event-related expenses last year.
The majority of business leaders and business organizations surveyed said they plan to spend $40,000 or more on such expenses this year, according the American Association of Realtors.