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Global bookings near 50% YoY as markets progress through recovery stages

By Mike Ford, Founder and Managing Director at SiteMinder


It’s hard to believe this is now my 10th weekly analysis of the World Hotel Index – a product initially conceived to help the industry we love, and which has quickly evolved to become the benchmark by which we can all assess the recovery of hotel markets globally.

As we commence the second half of the year, we can see that hotel bookings globally are nearing 50% of 2019 levels, led over the past week by the UK, which has risen over 56% from 20.36% YoY to 31.87% YoY after sitting below 10% for more than three months.

I spoke last week about the four stages of hotel booking recovery, including the first stage of Domestic Acceleration and, indeed, we’re witnessing that now in the UK. Of all guest arrivals over the next six months, 78.69% will be local holidaymakers. As for how quickly those arrivals will come? Based on all bookings made in the last two weeks, 71.48% are scheduled to arrive during this month and August, although, with at least one city re-entering lockdown, we may be looking at different figures this same time next week.

A similar journey is unfolding in Ireland, where hotel bookings have risen 28.95%, from 53.27% YoY to 68.69% YoY. The jump makes Ireland our second-fastest riser this week, behind the UK. Of all guest arrivals this month, 77.22% will be locals, which is nearly 60% more than the makeup of domestic travellers during the same period last year.

In tandem, a number of countries have progressed further along their hotel booking recovery journey, including:

  • At Deceleration or Plateau – Germany, which has stayed above 50% of last year’s levels since 8 June but has been unable to rise above 58% YoY; and Australia, which has hovered around 58% YoY for two weeks, due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria. Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, has dropped to 18.12% YoY and is likely to drop further after lockdown was reinstated in the city this week.
  • At Destabilisation – Portugal, which has dropped nearly 10% WoW after nearly two weeks of deceleration; and New Zealand, which has dropped from 76.16% YoY to 71.99% YoY in the last two weeks after being drawn back from COVID-free status.

With the EU’s international borders reopening this week, our data is now showing signs that the fourth stage of recovery⁠—International Acceleration⁠—could be coming for a number of European nations, including Spain, Italy and France. The makeup of international travellers to these countries over the next three months are 47.97%, 62.76% and 44.48%, respectively, compared with 37.66%, 42.76% and 28.09%, respectively, between April and June.

Tourists from countries as far-reaching as Canada and Thailand are now permitted to enter Europe, so it’s surely one part of the world where we can expect change over the coming week, as global hotel bookings (likely) tip past the 50% YoY milestone at long last.

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