With two years of summer holidays lost to Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty, there is huge pent-up demand for travel as we enter the 2022 summer season, writes Mike Sawicki.
It is expected to be the busiest since the pandemic began, and hoteliers need to anticipate and be prepared for the demand amid ongoing challenges amplified by the pandemic.
According to Amadeus’ Demand360 business intelligence data, hotel reservations have been on par with pre-pandemic 2019 booking levels since March this year.
April 2022 was the first month to surpass 2019 occupancy levels and continued to climb in May hitting a new high of 63 per cent, compared to 60 per cent in May 2019.
High performing countries like the US saw occupancy levels of 68 per cent for the month, seven per cent above the 2019 performance, while Canada reached 64 per cent occupancy in May, eight per cent higher than the same time in 2019.
Forward looking on-the-books data tells a similar story globally with the summer months of June, July, and August currently tracking just one per cent off 2019 levels.
For true insight however, occupancy has to be considered alongside a persistently short booking window (number of days travellers are booking in advance of their trip).
This data shows that the significant majority of trips (54 per cent) are currently being booked 0-7 days before travel, which means that hotel occupancy rates currently recorded for the summer months could increase significantly.
In the case of the US travel market, 55 per cent of bookings are made less than a week prior to travel.
Europe is generally slightly more predictable with over a third of 0-7 day bookings (France 33 per cent, Germany 35 per cent, Spain 36 per cent, and UK 39 per cent) made within 0-7 days.
With high demand, the transient average daily rate (ADR) hoteliers are able to achieve has been building steadily from a global low of $83 in April 2020.
According to forward looking Amadeus data for June, July, and August 2022, the worldwide average ADR is $200 which is just over 11 per cent higher than in 2019 where the average ADR was $180 for the same months.
Individual countries are seeing high room rates over the summer, with France forecasted to hit an ADR of $428 in July 2022, which is a 29 per cent increase on 2019 rates.
Remaining restrictions are still influencing where travellers are originating from.
Hoteliers, destination management organisations (DMOs), and travel sellers are tracking Amadeus data closely to understand which countries are booking the most flights to their markets, and where additional marketing could help drive demand.
According to Amadeus air booking data as of June 4th, 2022, the US leads all countries in top inbound flights for the forthcoming summer months, followed by the UK, France, Germany, and then Canada.
Amadeus car rental data as of June 3rd, 2022, also shows worldwide demand increasing this year, with 33 per cent more bookings made for the months of June, July, and August compared to the same time in 2021.
Rental lengths are also up in 2022 over 2021 (six days vs five days on average), with a higher average daily rate of $102 vs $92.
Based on 2021 performance for the summer travel season, 54 per cent of bookings were made within a week of travel, which provides significant opportunities for car rental volumes to grow.
Katie Moro, vice president, data partnerships, hospitality, Amadeus comments: “We’re proud to showcase the most comprehensive historical and forward-looking travel data available on the market today, which will be instrumental in helping the travel sector strategise and prepare for a welcome summer surge.
“The data clearly shows the proportion of travellers that are booking in the last seven days before travel, for example, which should give hoteliers the confidence to keep their room rates steady and not be tempted to drop them to attract more business.”
Having access to real-time market insights allows hoteliers and DMOs to target travellers at the right time, at the best rate, in order to rebuild their businesses.
For more details on summer travel trends, such as hotel occupancy, ADR, booking windows, top inbound flights and car rentals in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Spain, as well as a worldwide overview, please visit our website.
Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, president, hospitality, Amadeus, added: “It is fantastic to see the revival of travel that is underway.
“We will continue to work closely with our hotel partners to ensure they have the technology and insights they need to deliver excellent guest experiences in the face of continued labour shortages and last-minute bookings.
“This is where technology plays such a crucial role in helping hoteliers manage daily operations as efficiently as possible.”