Travel policy shifts prove gamechangers amid strong hotel booking volumes
By Mike Ford, Founder at SiteMinder
At 85% of 2019’s record-breaking levels, hotel reservation volumes globally are the strongest they’ve been since late February of 2020.
And, as policy shifts sweep the Asia Pacific, early indications are that this is a figure that will only continue to rise, with travellers again proving that they’re both trusting and reactive when it comes to changing regulations.
Here’s a quick country level snapshot through the region:
Other countries in the region, like Fiji and Australia, have also experienced a March uptick. Fiji, a current favourite among Aussie travellers re-engaging with international travel, is again approaching its pre-pandemic volumes, with Easter and July set to be peak periods. Meanwhile, Australia, which is above its 2019 volumes for the first time since last May, is being led by domestic bookings to Far North Queensland.
In spite of the Asia Pacific largely continuing to rebuild, the majority of the world’s strong hotel booking momentum continues to be driven elsewhere. In the Americas, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and the U.S. each remain above the global average, while in Europe, there’s no evidence of a slowdown of hotel bookings on SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index thus far.
To the contrary, with hotels in Estonia, Iceland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden all accepting more bookings than at this same time in 2019—and with France, Ireland and the UK all receiving more than 90% of their pre-pandemic levels in hotel bookings—it’s clear that more travellers are anticipating a summer away from home in comparison to the last two years. This is especially true among international travellers. It will be particularly interesting to watch the UK’s hotel bookings in the coming months. With all remaining Covid travel restrictions now lifted for arrivals, we’ve already witnessed a jump in bookings from international guests, rising to 28% so far in March – their highest point in over two years.
So, that’s it for this month. Stay safe, be kind, and as usual I will be back in April to bring you the key trends in travel via the World Hotel Index.