A new report by SiteMinder this month looks at the five stages that lay ahead of the world’s almost one million accommodation providers until their booking cycle resets into a different normal. The report was six months in the making, because, for the first time in recent history, the travel industry is learning how to start anew.
Indeed, our study of the latest behaviours and preferences of travellers concludes that the Five Stages of the Hotel Booking Reset are domestic acceleration, plateauing, flux, embracing, and international acceleration. And, on 27 September, the World Hotel Index tells us that hotel bookings globally entered the third stage of flux.
The move into the third stage followed two solid months of domestic acceleration around the world and then 12.5 weeks of plateauing between 50-55 percent of 2019 levels. As I write this, hotel bookings globally now sit at 48.11 percent year-on-year and, as markets around the world experience second waves of coronavirus, it’s difficult to know how long this stage will endure. We hope, not long.
It’s a timely reminder of how quickly our world is changing and why we all need to reset the way we think about travel. In recent months, we’ve seen:
As we prepare for more dramatic fluctuations across the globe, we should look to markets that are already in the next stage of ‘embracing’. During this stage, we see travellers embracing domestic tourism as the new exciting adventure. They may book a trip overseas in anticipation of international borders reopening, but ultimately they know that they can and will cancel, if needed.
This stage is no more evident than in the Pacific, where hotel bookings in Australia and New Zealand now sit comfortably above the global average as the weather warms and coronavirus remains contained. The travel bubble between the two countries will commence this week, with New Zealanders able to travel to two Australian states from Friday. It’s a travel bubble that the entire world will surely be watching. We hope it’s a successful blueprint for more destinations to follow, and acts as a precursor to international acceleration potentially lurking around the corner.View the live World Hotel Index
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