After an outstanding summer of travel, Amadeus’ Agency360® and Demand360® data sources are showing strong recovery indicators for the remainder of 2022 and evidence of growing traveler confidence as the sector looks towards 2023.
Amadeus’ in-depth Demand360® business intelligence data, which offers both retrospective and forward-looking insights to inform revenue strategy, reveals that global hotel occupancy has exceeded pre-pandemic levels consistently throughout the summer. For July and August 2022, hotels have seen a global occupancy average of 67% compared with an average of 64% over the same timeframe in 2019 - a 3% increase from 3 years ago.
These positive trends indicate consistent consumer confidence when it comes to booking travel for future stay dates, laying excellent foundations for a strong Q4 where on-the-books data is already outpacing 2019 bookings.
Mirroring the recovery of occupancy rates is the stabilization of booking lead times. 2022 now virtually matches the booking behaviors seen in 2019 with 53% of bookings made in the 0-7 day window versus 50% of bookings made in this timeframe in 2019. As the booking lead time improves, this implies increasing traveler confidence as people make longer term commitments. Average Daily Rates (ADR) also continue to trend positively for the fall season, exceeding 2019 for the remainder of 2022 and, as usual, peaking around the Thanksgiving holiday (US) and Christmas.
Group travel is set for a strong conference season in Q4. Global group occupancy is consistently between 1-2% of pre-pandemic levels for the remainder of 2022 as the conference sector starts to rebound. Amadeus data shows that group bookings are now also starting to extend more confidently into 2023, with 4.3 million bookings already made for H1 2023.
“Opportunities to get together in person need to be leveraged to have the greatest impact possible. We want to make sure we design events that matter, where people come back energized and solutions are created. The power of human connections is the ultimate renewable resource,” added Mariela McIlwraith, Chief Sustainability Officer, Events Industry Council (EIC) Centre for Sustainability and Social Impact.
With group travel set for strong recovery into Q4 and beyond, hoteliers can confidently plan in advance for larger groups, mitigate the potential impact of staff shortages, and begin to think about what new and exciting event technology to implement to support planners’ demands.
Business travel is also seeing a steady recovery as the year continues. 2022 is closing the gap to 2019 levels according to Amadeus’ Agency360® data, which reveals that hotel bookings across all major global distribution systems (GDS) have increased 98% in August 2022 compared to January 2022. At the start of this year, hotel booking volumes fell behind 2019 performance by 62%, but this gap has progressively closed over 2022, with global hotel booking volumes in August finishing 23% behind 2019 levels.
A new Amadeus survey of travel agents supports this, as 60% of respondents say they are now logging into the GDS more than 4 times a day as business travel resumes. 7 in 10 agents agree that COVID-19 has heightened their roles as price, health, and safety remain the most important factors for travelers globally.
With more travelers looking to travel agents for support on their end-to-end journey, a connected travel ecosystem and healthy distribution mix is more important than ever for hoteliers and destinations to offer a wide variety of promotions and accommodations.
Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Hospitality, Amadeus, concludes, “It is very encouraging to see such positive data this summer across all segments of hospitality. As the appetite to travel looks set to continue to build in the forthcoming months, it is essential that hoteliers and destination marketers have accurate, forward-looking data insights to enable them to maximize their revenue strategies and minimize the ongoing challenges connected to staff shortages. With this insight, they can also understand more about who is travelling, enabling them to deliver a truly differentiated experience.”