December 15, 2021

Amadeus Data Alert: US Holiday Season Hotel Occupancy Already Ahead of 2019 Booking Pace

The holidays are looking merry and bright, as hotels in warm weather destinations draw the biggest crowds this year

For the 2021 holiday season, warm weather destinations lead the top markets for hotel occupancy in the US. Across both weeks, seven of the top markets are common including destinations in Florida, Hawaii, and California, though ranking varies slightly.

Amadeus, as a global leader in travel technology and business intelligence, provides unique, on-the-books, forward-looking insights for hotel bookings, as well as air travel search trends in major markets around the world.

For the last two weeks of the year (Dec 19 – Jan 1), occupancy rates in the US are already expected to exceed 2019 rates with 28.7% total occupancy versus 23.6% for the same time in 2019. For the week of December 19, five of the top US markets meet or exceed 2019 occupancy and during the week of December 26, nine of the top markets exceed 2019 occupancy.

Where are travelers going this year?

The top 10 US markets for the last two weeks of 2021 based on hotel occupancy are:

Week of December 19

Week of December 26

Booking lead times/occupancy pace

One of the most impactful trends throughout the last year and a half has been the short booking lead time. This indicator continues to improve, with a stronger performance than 2020. While not yet at 2019 levels, the 0-7 day booking window in the US has condensed from 72% last year to 55% this year, only 4% behind 2019. Therefore, with 55% of reservations in the US being made within a week of travel, there is significant opportunity for occupancy to continue to increase for the upcoming holidays.

US Booking Window

“It’s exciting to see so many of the top 10 markets in the US already exceeding 2019 performance. Including Thanksgiving, this is the second consecutive US holiday period where we see 2021 occupancies exceeding 2019 in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Because of the sustained shortened booking lead times, there’s significant opportunity for the market to end 2021 on a high note,” said Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Hospitality, Amadeus.

Air travel search trends

The US saw strong demand for air travel over the Thanksgiving holiday. Earlier in the year many hotel and air travel top destinations did not align as road trips remained popular for social distancing. But there are now several top air travel search markets including New York, Miami and Orlando, overlapping with the above noted top hotel occupancy markets:

Top 10 US markets searched, indicating intent for 2021 holiday air travel are:

  1. New York City

  2. Los Angeles

  3. Miami

  4. Orlando

  5. Chicago

  6. San Francisco

  7. Fort Lauderdale

  8. Washington D.C.

  9. London

  10. Las Vegas

December 23 and 26 are expected to be peak travel days in NORAM and top markets for air travel bookings are Los Angeles, Honolulu, Miami, Cancun, and London.

Source: Amadeus Air Search Travel Data as of December 3, 2021.

Car Rental Booking Trends

Top 10 US rental car markets for the holidays:

  1. Orlando

  2. Los Angeles

  3. Miami

  4. Denver

  5. Las Vegas

  6. Phoenix

  7. Fort Lauderdale

  8. Tampa

  9. Honolulu

  10. Fort Myers

Source: Amadeus Cars Eyesight as of December 9, 2021.

Copyright 2021 Amadeus Hospitality.. All rights reserved. From By Alison Guillot.

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