Global hotel occupancy reaches two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels

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Since the onset of the pandemic, hoteliers have had to rethink many aspects of their business to adapt to new security procedures, cater to changing guest needs, and survive in an extremely complex operating environment. A new Amadeus study reveals how the hospitality industry has adapted around the world, as well as the trends that hoteliers believe will continue as the industry rebuilds.

Demand360® business intelligence data from Amadeus shows that hotel occupancy levels are now on an upward trajectory. Global occupancy reached 46% in April 2021, from a low of just 13% in April 2020. This means that global hotel occupancy is up two-thirds of the way back to pre-pandemic norms around 70% for this time of year.

The data also shows that the reservation period is lengthening, indicating greater consumer confidence to plan ahead. For much of the past year, almost all reservations around the world were made between 0 and 7 days before the trip. In recent weeks, reservations made on the same day of travel, which are the most problematic for the sector when it comes to accommodating them, have fallen worldwide from 39% the first week of 2021 to 23% the week of 25 April 2021, and bookings from 31 to 60 days have increased from 6% the first week of 2021 to 11% the week of April 25, 2021.

The Rebuilding Hospitality report incorporates a survey of 688 hoteliers around the world that offers new insights on current sentiment and plans:

  • Significant growth optimism: There is a sense of optimism, as 30% of hoteliers plan to open one or more establishments in 2021.
  • Leisure travelers are driving the recovery: The majority (63%) of hoteliers around the world believe that leisure travel will drive their recovery, with national leisure by far the largest contributor (45%). In line with this, Amadeus data shows that the United States, China and the rest of Asia are beginning to see an increase in the volume of reservations from OTAs, shifting the focus from reliance on direct reservations during the pandemic.
  • Hiring will be a high priority: More than half (59%) of global hoteliers predict they will need to hire new staff in 2021.
  • Opinion on vaccine passports is divided among hoteliers: More than half of Asian hoteliers say they are considering requesting vaccine passports before allowing guests to stay, while slightly less than half of American hoteliers they say they will definitely not take this approach. In EMEA, almost half of hoteliers are unsure of their strategy in this area.

In considering the pivot aspects of the pandemic that will be here long-term, the report reveals:

  • Reinforced hygiene measures are here to stay: 32% of hoteliers think that they will always need significant measures of social distancing, sanitation and visible hygiene.
  • Long-term reduction in guest contact and room cleanliness: 20% of hoteliers worldwide say they will keep staff-guest interaction to a minimum in the long term, and 21% plan to reduce daily housekeeping duties for guests.
  • Personalization could help bridge the gap in contactless hospitality: More than a quarter of respondents (30%) say that contactless technology to support personalized guest experiences is one of the most popular hospitality developments. they are excited as we emerge from the pandemic. About one in four hoteliers (24%) said they would turn to technology to support personalized experiences, ensuring that the “human touch” of hospitality is not lost.
  • Work stays and investments in long-term rentals: Hoteliers have tested new strategies to access new customer segments thanks to the creativity of their businesses, such as offering “stays” at work and investing in facilities that help travelers extend their stays. Hoteliers report that these will remain part of the long-term portfolio.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President of Amadeus Hospitality, comments: “The data and trends in this report are intended to bring together the ideas of hoteliers around the world as we work together as an industry to plan for our recovery. With less constraints, the US market has provided some early indicators. of traveler behavior that could help other international hoteliers understand what stage of their own recovery they are in. One of the main conclusions of our study and report is that technology will play a key role in the recovery of the hotel sector, since that 41% of hoteliers worldwide plan to spend the same or more on technology this year than in 2019. At Amadeus,we are committed to investing in our sector and provide technology that will help hotels to swing their strategies and drive future growth. “

Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Hospitality, Amadeus, says: “One year after the start of the pandemic, we are really pleased to see the first signs of traveler confidence and a rebound in some hotel bookings. Now more than ever. , data is very important throughout the hotel business as it informs not only about revenue potential, but also about marketing strategies, staffing, and occupancy profile. We want to help hoteliers understand how to they connect all the pieces of data. Data is the foundation that helps you build a better plan, and from there your ownership is much stronger from the start.