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WoW growth of global bookings accelerates in May

By Mike Ford, Founder and Managing Director at SiteMinder


Having jumped from 12.87% of 2019 levels on 5 May, to 15.32% one week later and then to 19.39% this past Tuesday, the week-on-week growth of hotel bookings globally has accelerated over the last fortnight. As governments around the world further flex their loosening of restrictions, it seems we no longer have to predict how quickly consumers will act to travel again. The acceleration we’re witnessing in bookings makes it undeniable that many will act at the soonest possible moment.
World hotel index update 21 May 2020

Unsurprisingly, the biggest spike in hotel bookings over the past week has come from New Zealand where retail stores, restaurants and malls have reopened for the first time since a lockdown was implemented earlier this year. Nation-wide, the growth of hotel bookings almost doubled this past week, from 21.99% to 40.40% of 2019 levels, and the trajectory looks strong.

Across the Tasman Sea, the volume of hotel bookings in Australia has risen to nearly a quarter of last year’s levels and we expect the gap between Australian and global hotel bookings will only continue widening from here on out. That Australia-New Zealand travel bubble can’t be too far away.

For the first time this past week, we saw the booking momentum in both the Netherlands and Norway increase to 20.64% and 23.24% over 2019 levels, respectively. The two countries now join Germany (25.76%) in surpassing the global average from continental Europe.

Meanwhile, in the UK, hotel bookings in Bournemouth are fast approaching the global average, at 15.54% of 2019 levels, driven perhaps by citizens seeking a beach destination getaway in the summer. UK hotels, pubs and restaurants are scheduled to reopen in some form from 4 July.

In spite of reporting Latin America’s first COVID-19 case, Costa Rica is proving to be one of the most successful nations in the fight against the coronavirus. The nation of 5 million—which has just over one doctor per thousand people—has outdone even New Zealand in keeping infection and death rates low, and its quick decision to close all international borders in mid-March is showing positive results. In the last two weeks, hotel bookings nation-wide have grown more than 60% from 7.91% of 2019 levels to 12.78%.

Speaking of high risers, how about Taiwan? The country’s booking volumes continue to soar, sitting now at 70.20% of the levels this same time last year.

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