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TRU and avid: Midscale Hotels on the Rise 

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
June 11, 2024
TRU and avid: Midscale Hotels on the Rise 

Hilton Hotels & Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) are two of the biggest names in lodging. The two companies operate a wide range of hotel brands, ranging from luxury chains to budget options. And falling in the middle of this range are two midscale hotel chains: TRU by Hilton and avid Hotels, operated by IHG.

What can foot traffic and demographic data reveal about the preferences of visitors to these chains? We took a closer look.  

Key Takeaways

  • TRU by Hilton and avid Hotels are both performing well year-over-year (YoY) into 2024, with Q1 showing visit growth of 1.4% and 21.0%, respectively. 
  • Both hotels draw economically diverse visitors – showing that their value offerings are appreciated by those with more room in their budgets. 
  • The two chains see differences in their customer bases: TRU by Hilton is more likely to draw affluent, settled visitors – such as those belonging to Spatial.ai’s “Suburban Boomers” segment – while avid Hotels is more likely to attract “Young Urban Singles”. 

Visit Growth Year Over Year

TRU by Hilton and avid Hotels both opened their first locations in 2017, with the goal of offering travelers modern and comfortable accommodations while eschewing the amenities typically associated with more luxurious hotel categories. By streamlining services, these hotels can appeal to a diverse range of travelers while maintaining a lower price point.

The two hotel chains have expanded since their openings, with TRU operating 279 locations and avid operating 70 nationwide as of May 2024. And this expansion seems to be paying off for both brands, helping drive YoY monthly visit increases. Since June 2023, visits to the two chains have been consistently elevated YoY, save for a few minor visit lags at TRU. 

Hilton and IHG both hope to continue expanding their midscale hotel concepts, with projects in the pipeline for 2024 and beyond. And diving into the demographics can help the hotels identify their strengths and plan out marketing strategies more effectively.

Appealing Across The Board

Analyzing the psychographic makeup of TRU and avid’s trade areas by layering Spatial.ai’s PersonaLive dataset onto the two chains’ captured markets reveals that despite their budget offerings, both hotels appeal to economically diverse audiences. 

Between June 2023 and May 2024, TRU and avid both attracted visitors from areas with higher-than-average shares of both “Ultra Wealthy Families” and “Blue Collar Suburbs.” The chains’ ability to appeal to both groups shows that their no-frills offerings are appreciated not just by the most price-conscious customers, but also by those with more room in their budgets to splurge. 

Singles or Families?

Still, TRU drew a greater share of visitors over the analyzed period from areas over-indexed for “Ultra Wealthy Families'' – while avid drew slightly more customers from areas over-indexed for “Blue Collar Suburbs.” And diving deeper into the demographic and psychographic characteristics of TRU’s and avid’s captured markets shows that though both chains have broad appeal, there are some differences between their customer bases.

The median household income (HHI) of TRU’s captured market stood at $79.4K during the analyzed period – above the nationwide median – while that of avid remained slightly below it. And while avid’s captured market included a higher-than-average share of “Young Urban Singles” (also from Spatial.ai’s PersonaLive dataset), TRU was more likely to attract “Suburban Boomers.” So while TRU draws a wealthier and more settled clientele, avid tends to attract younger, less established guests.

These differences serve as a reminder of the differences that exist even within similar accommodation categories, and may help the two chains when deciding how to market to their respective customer bases. 

Final Thoughts

Both TRU and avid seem similar enough on paper – two midscale hotel chains, geared towards a traveler that prioritizes value and convenience. And while both chains attract a wide range of households to their venues, TRU tends to see a more affluent, established visitor, while avid seems to attract more guests who are starting out in life. 

For more data-driven travel & leisure insights, visit Placer.ai.  

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