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Global bookings creep past 14% of 2019 volume as restrictions ease

By Mike Ford, Founder and Managing Director at SiteMinder


World hotel index update 13 May 2020

A week after rising to above 12% of 2019 levels for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, global booking volume has risen past 14% of 2019 levels as markets around the world both eased restrictions and showed the potential for second waves of coronavirus transmissions.
World hotel index update 13 May 2020

Germany has served as continental Europe’s success story to date, due to its well-resourced health system and implementation of early mass testing. Yet, almost as quickly as restrictions have relaxed, the country’s reproduction number of coronavirus has again increased to above one in recent days. And, with that, its nation-wide bookings compared with the volume this same time last year rose to 19.36% over the weekend—its highest level since March—and hovered around the same level since. In spite of being one of the top two coronavirus epicentres within Germany, Hamburg is showing booking volumes well above the country average, at 25.45% of the prior year.

Similarly, within Asia, the momentum of bookings in the Maldives has been steady until early May. A rapid rise in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, both within the nation’s capital and isolated islands, have seen the country remain in lockdown and likely re-imagining the role of luxury tourist resorts over the many months ahead.

Across the ocean, we see that Indonesia performed above the global average since mid-March before sinking to 6.43% of 2019 levels—its lowest point this year—on 29 April. While Indonesia has sadly suffered more coronavirus-related fatalities than any other East Asian country outside China, the government is already considering a phased reopening from next month. The discussions may be contributing to a booking momentum that is back on the upswing, led by the city of Makassar where the volume of hotel bookings is now more than half (57.30%) of last year’s levels.

Perhaps the biggest surprise this month has been the UAE, where booking volume has soared from 8.39% of the prior year on 1 May to 20.42% this past Tuesday. Likewise, Taiwan continues to rise with a booking volume above 60% from this same time last year and we expect this will be sustained growth from here on out. Tampa in the USA, too, remains a rising star with booking volume now at 82.34% of 2019 levels, driven perhaps by locals from hard hit areas along the east coast heading south to Florida. This is supported by short booking lead times for the Tampa region.

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