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Hotel reservation windows are gradually getting longer as travelers’ confidence returns

Hotel reservation windows are getting longer, according to a study released by Amadeus this week.

In its report “Rebuilding Hospitality: Trends in Demand, Data and Technology that are Driving Recovery”, the company indicates that April is a pivotal month for the segment, when global occupancy rates hit 46%.

The percentage compares to April 2020, when bookings plummeted as lockdowns were imposed and the occupancy rate was 13%.

Rates vary by region, according to the report, with China reaching rates of 60% and North America 50%, but Europe still lags around 18%, attributed to a slower easing of bans. travel.

The Amadeus report says that while last-minute bookings were a feature of the pandemic, a trend that has spilled over into the industry, booking windows are starting to grow longer.

Same-day bookings fell from 39% in the first week of 2021 to 23% in the week of April 25.

At the same time, bookings made 31 to 60 days before the stay went from 6% in the first week of 2021 to 11% in the week of April 25.

To put that in some context, in early April 2020, 62% of all bookings worldwide were made within seven days, and 41% were made on the same day as check-in.

While there is still room for improvement, other studies also show the positive trend.

The Skyscanner Horizons: The Return of Travel report reveals that booking windows are now 80 days in advance in EMEA, 70 days in North and South America, and 54 days in Asia-Pacific.

Reports suggest that confidence is growing as restrictions are lifted.

The Amadeus report also asked hoteliers about their biggest challenges today, with a third claiming the lack of business travel, followed by government restrictions and lack of international flights.

Leisure travel, especially domestic, is now expected to largely lead the recovery and two-thirds of hoteliers do not expect to see pre-pandemic occupancy levels until the end of 2022.

Data from the Amadeus Demand360 analytics tool shows that distribution strategies have changed during the pandemic with much more direct activities including brand.com.

In April 2020, direct bookings represented 67% of the mix compared to 2019 levels of 41% direct.

Hospitality giants including Accor and Hilton have said in their recent results that they would seek to capitalize on the direct trend, although questions remain as to how long it will take before the trend returns to middlemen. travel online.

The Amadeus study shows that this change is starting to occur with the share of OTA bookings at 19% in April 2021, more than double that of 2020 and up slightly from the percentage of 16% in 2019.

Among hoteliers surveyed for the study, 28% say OTAs are their most important distribution channel, while 43% say direct channels.

Hoteliers are urged to leverage more data sources as the industry recovers with historical data unable to provide a full picture at this time.

The airline industry is also looking to diversify the data sources it relies on to include sources such as travelers’ intention to forecast demand.

A final insight highlighted in the hospitality report is that 46% of hoteliers globally are undecided on whether to require guests to provide proof of vaccination or a health passport with and a third parties say they won’t.

In addition to pulling data from Amadeus Demand360, the company surveyed 668 hotel executives around the world.