London, UK – Hotel bookings in Portugal have exceeded their 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting 100.58% of 2019 levels on September 14, 2021, and on Sunday September 19 reaching 107.51% of booking numbers compared to the same date two years ago, according to SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index, sourced from the company’s open hotel commerce platform, used by 32,000 hotels and connected to more than 400 hotel booking channels globally.
Portugal’s bookings are being driven by international visitors, who have comprised 70.27% of the country’s hotel bookings this month to date and are set to comprise over 75% of all hotel guest arrivals in October. Their contribution to the country’s hotel bookings is considerably more than in comparable destinations such as France (46.48%) and Spain (48.05%).
This affirms Portugal as one of the leading beneficiaries of a broader recovery in international tourism across Europe. Following the return of Spain’s hotel bookings to pre-pandemic levels in June, it also means that the Iberian peninsula as a whole is one step closer towards completing the ‘hotel booking reset’ —a trend identified by SiteMinder to capture the five stages a tourism market will go through before it can return to a sense of normalcy.
Pent-up demand, more equitable distribution of travel are evident
Over 72% of travellers who have booked with a Portuguese hotel over the past two weeks either arrived or are due to arrive this month (27.33%%) or next (45.48%), while a further 10.04% are due to arrive in November. The short booking lead times indicate the extent of demand that has built up since the start of the pandemic, with both Portuguese and international visitors so far leaping at the opportunity to travel again soon.
While hotel bookings globally have been highly concentrated in coastal and rural destinations since the start of the pandemic—to reflect a trend among travellers opting for less crowded destinations over densely-populated cities—hotel bookings in both Lisbon and Porto are performing strongly. They currently sit at 99.35% and 85.2% of 2019 figures, respectively. This compares favourably to other iconic European cities including Paris (78.94%), Rome (61.76%) and Amsterdam (70.46%), and signals a geographically diversified recovery in Portugal that is not concentrated in a small number of destinations.
Commerce technology will be an important ally for hoteliers
With today’s encouraging news for the hotel industry in Portugal, SiteMinder’s country manager, André Gois, says technology can be a powerful ally as hotels continue to recover.
“Today is a day that hoteliers throughout Portugal should celebrate. Through the SiteMinder World Hotel Index, we have seen sustained growth in hotel bookings since July, up to and including this latest important milestone,” says André Gois, Country Manager – Portugal at SiteMinder. “However, this does not mean local hoteliers should become complacent. Growing demand can also mean increased competition, and hoteliers would benefit from seeking out the right hotel commerce technology to help them sell, market, manage and grow their business from here on out.”
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In an age of rising choice and accessibility for curious travellers, SiteMinder exists to liberate hoteliers with technology that makes a world of difference. SiteMinder is the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, ranked among technology pioneers for its smart and simple solutions that put hotels everywhere their guests are, at every stage of their journey. It’s this central role that has earned SiteMinder the trust of 32,000 hotels, across 150 countries, to generate in excess of 100 million reservations worth over US$35 billion in revenue for hotels in the last year prior to the start of the pandemic.