The coronavirus pandemic affected every industry across the globe and did a number on the hotel sector, which was among the most brutal hit. Like many other industries, the hotel industry has had to adapt, making some subtle as well as substantial changes in order to stay afloat. But, how is the hotel industry really doing in a post-pandemic era?
Covid19 has been a real challenge, but with two whole years lost to COVID quarantines and restrictions, there’s an apparent demand for travel in 2022. In fact, with all the pent-up demand for vacationing, hotels are expecting one of their busiest years yet.
According to a survey carried out by Amadeus’ Demand360, hotel reservations are already higher than at the same time pre-pandemic (Aka; 2019), that’s an encouraging stat. High-performing countries like the United States experienced occupancy levels of up to 65%, 7% higher than in 2019, while Canada saw occupancy of 64%, eight percent higher than in 2019.
On-the-books data for the summer months of June, July, and August internationally reflects a similar trend, with June, July, and August already tracking barely 1% below 2019 levels. However, meaningful understanding requires taking into account occupancy as well as a consistently limited booking window (number of days travellers are booking in advance of their trip).
According to the data, the vast majority of trips (54%) are presently booked 0-7 days before departure, implying that occupancy rates for the summer months may rise. Destination management organizations (DMOs) and travel dealers are closely monitoring Amadeus data to see which nations are booking the most flights to their markets and where more marketing could help increase demand.
According to air booking data by Amadeus, the United States leads all countries in top inbound flights for the summer months, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada.
The dynamics of online hotel booking, on the other hand, have altered dramatically in recent years. Hotels have invested millions of dollars to reclaim their lost territory. From direct-buying technologies to digital marketing and business analytics tools, these approaches yielded a variety of results, ranging from increased brand bookings to enhanced guest loyalty. While hotels should be concerned about demand bottoming out, they should also consider resetting, revaluating and rejuvenating direct distribution networks.
Hotels now have the technology to solve these critical parts of direct distribution till the market recovers, from UI/UX to mobile apps, online booking engines, localized content to search engine optimization and rate parity enforcements. Marriott and Hilton, for example, have invested considerably in technology and brand marketing to promote the advantages of direct booking.