[Excerpt] As hoteliers have long suspected, gasoline-price increases do depress overall lodging demand, but not all segments feel the effects in the same way (and some not at all).
“With gas prices at a premium this summer, every little bit helps,” proclaimed Wayne Wielgus, senior vice president of marketing for Choice Hotels, as he announced a gasoline price promotion in 2002. During that summer Choice Hotels gave its guests a $5 gas card when they booked in advance and stayed for a minimum of two nights at Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep, or MainStay Suites properties. Choice planned to give away $2 million in free gasoline in response to the concern that consumers would stay at home as gasoline prices rose. This view that gasoline-price increases depress hotel bookings is shared by many. A 2001 study suggested that 14 percent of all travelers, or 19.2 million people, would travel less or cancel vacations because of rising fuel prices.
Canina, L., Walsh, K., & Enz, C. A. (2003). The effects of gasoline-price changes on room demand: A study of branded hotels from 1988 through 2000 [Electronic version]. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 44(4), 29-37. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/365/