The global appetite for a luxury hotel experience and its subsequent price tag is growing, according to research from the Digital Luxury Group and Samad Laaroussi, the chair of luxury hospitality at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Perhaps mirroring an improving global economy, global consumer interest in the luxury hospitality industry increased 7.7 percent from the one-year period July 2013 to June 2014 compared with a year earlier. The data are based on analysis of more than 485 million online searches for 70 brands across 20 markets.

The largest growth in demand for luxury hotels comes from China where consumer interest in the sector has increased 58 percent year-over-year.

“Numerous western hotel brands are opening in second, third and fourth-tier cities [in China], building brand awareness in parts of China where wealth is increasing and overall luxury hotel awareness may be low,” says David Sadigh, founder and CEO of Digital Luxury Group.

The most searched-for hotel groups remain major global chains including Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Hyatt Hotels. As Sadigh explains, these chains are boosting their portfolios in growing markets where heightened brand awareness will lead to increased bookings when travelers leave home and stay abroad.

Evidence of the importance of brand recognition is the increasing popularity of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. The brand recorded the largest increase, 20 percent year-over-year, likely given its prominence in Asia where interest in luxury hotel experiences are also increasing.

Although growth of U.S. interest was significant lower at 7 percent, the market still produces the most demand — 58 percent — for the sector among all other countries.

The 20 most sought-after hotel brands worldwide are as follows:

RankingHotelChange in Ranking (YOY)
1Hilton=
2Sheraton=
3Westin=
4Four Seasons+ 2
5Ritz-Carlton– 1
6Hyatt– 1
7Renaissance=
8Embassy Suites=
9InterContinental=
10Hyatt Regency=
11Shangri-La+ 1
12Wyndham– 1
13Grand Hyatt=
14Fairmont=
15JW Marriott+ 1
16Sofitel– 1
17Loews=
18Mandarin Oriental+ 1
19Conrad– 1
20Peninsula+ 1
Photo Credit: The pool at the Shangri-La Hotel in Muscat, Oman. s9-4pr / Flickr