Hotel bookings are expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels faster than previously forecast, according to the latest data from hotel technology specialist HotelHub.
HotelHub, which provides technology for TMCs and their corporate customers, said that global hotel transactions reached 87 per cent of 2019 volumes in March – up from just 45 per cent in January when the Omicron variant suppressed travel demand.
Europe was one of the regions to experience this strong recovery in March when bookings reached 85 per cent of 2019 levels. This compares with a figure of 53 per cent at the end of 2021.
The recovery is even more advanced across the Atlantic, with US hotel bookings through HotelHub’s platform reaching 100 per cent of March 2019 transactions after recovering quickly from the Omicron-related dip in January when bookings were just 61 per cent of pre-Covid levels.
HotelHub noted that domestic bookings continue to dominate the market with only a “gradual return” to international travel, which now makes up 25 per cent of total transactions. As a comparison, international bookings made up 57 per cent of all transactions in March 2019.
The company said this slower return to international travel could be partly due to the ongoing war in Ukraine with overseas bookings from the US still significantly lower than three years ago.
Eric Meierhans, chief commercial officer at HotelHub, said: “At the end of last year, we were predicting that global transaction volumes made by our TMC customers would not reach pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2022. But global bookings are increasing far more rapidly than expected.
“This is very encouraging and a clear indication that recovery in the hotel sector is escalating rapidly, despite the dip in volumes at the start of the year due to the impact of Omicron.
“However, the share of international travel versus domestic is still relatively low, especially from the US to Europe, and this is potentially due to the war in Ukraine causing hesitancy and uncertainty.”
HotelHub added that average daily rates in major business travel destinations, including London, Paris and Milan, were currently up to 25 per cent lower than in 2019. The number of average room nights was also “still slightly suppressed” on pre-Covid figures.
Copyright 2022 Northstar Travel Media Ltd. All rights reserved. From https://www.businesstravelnewseurope.com. By Rob Gill.