Hotel bookings have surpassed pre-pandemic levels according to HotelHub, the leading hotel technology solution provider for TMCs and their corporate customers.
The latest HotelHub Index for Q2 2022 shows that global hotel transactions made via the platform in June reached 120 per cent of volumes for the same month in 2019, rising from 86% of 2019 volumes at the start of the quarter. US hotel bookings via HotelHub, which first reached pre-pandemic volumes at the end of Q1 2022, continued to climb rapidly, finishing the second quarter at 153% of June 2019 levels. European hotel bookings began Q2 at 80% of April 2019 volumes, but rose to 108% by the end of June 2022.
International bookings see US slow while Europe growth remains steady
The return to international travel continued at the start of Q2 with international bookings globally making up 40% of volumes in April 2022, compared with 25% the previous month. However, this global figure dipped again to 31% in May and June driven by a decrease in international bookings made in the US.
In April 2022, 20% of bookings in the US were for international travel (compared with 12% in March 2022), but this fell to 15% in May and June. To truly return to pre-pandemic levels, US international hotel bookings need to almost double to 29% of all bookings.
However, the growth in international travel from Europe continued steadily to almost reach pre-pandemic levels. By the end of June 2022 international European hotel transactions made up 41% of all bookings, compared with 44% in June 2019.
Eric Meierhans, Chief Commercial Officer, HotelHub commented:
‘We have seen a significant increase in global hotel transactions made by our TMC customers in the last two months, which means volumes have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
This is very positive news for the hotel sector and business travel in general. It’s also very encouraging to see that international travel in Europe is now more or less back to the same levels as 2019.
However, the US is a slightly different picture – whilst international travel did increase, this growth slowed down in May and June, potentially due to the war in Ukraine causing continued uncertainty.’
Online bookings on the rise
HotelHub has also seen a marked increase in online hotel bookings over the last two quarters, compared with the same period in 2019.
Between January and June 2019, use of OBTs was around 20% per month. In January 2022, online bookings had risen to 60% and continued to increase, reaching 65% in June 2022.
‘Interestingly, bookings made via OBTs connected to HotelHub increased significantly over the last quarter, contrary to our expectations,’ said Meierhans.
‘We anticipated that corporates would need the support and advice of their TMC to book hotels offline whilst they navigate the return to travel and ongoing flight disruption. Perhaps the current TMC staff shortages and servicing issues are driving corporates towards greater use of their online booking tool.’
Hotel rates increasing in key cities worldwide
The latest HotelHub Index also showed that average daily rates in key cities worldwide have increased month on month and are either close to, or have exceeded 2019 rates.
For example, the average daily rate in London in June 2022 was US$313, compared with US$238 at the start of the year (versus US$287 in 2019); in Paris, the average daily rate in April 2022 was US$192; this has risen to US$231 in June 2022 (versus US$246 in 2019); the average daily rate in New York is currently US$359, up from US$237 at the start of the year (versus US$379 in 2019); and in Seattle, rates for June 2022 were on average US$254 up from US$190 two months earlier (compared with an average US$260 in 2019)
‘We have seen a steep rate increase in main cities since January, bringing average daily rates booked by our customers back to pre-pandemic levels and in some cases even higher.
For the last two years our data showed that average rates were up to 20% lower to stimulate demand during the pandemic. But rates are now firmly back on track, which is a reflection of occupancy levels being up, and the recovery of the hotel industry. We expect this trend to continue over the coming months as volumes continue to increase in Q3 and Q4,’ concluded Meierhans.