MADRID – The news is promising. According to Amadeus, a top travel technology company, 4.3 million group room nights are already booked for 2023. Adding to the good news, global hotel occupancy exceeded pre-pandemic levels in July and August, precluding what is forecast to be a strong fourth quarter across all segments, leisure, group and business travel.
The numbers are revealing. This summer, global hotel occupancy hit an average of nearly 70 percent, an increase of around 5% over the summer of 2019.
Group and business travel segments are showing steady recovery in the fourth quarter of this year, with 4.3 million group room nights already booked for 2023. These statistics have been compiled by Amadeus’ Agency360 and Amadeus’ in-depth Demand360 business intelligence data.
These positive trends indicate consistent consumer confidence in booking travel for future stay dates, laying excellent foundations for a strong fourth quarter where on-the-books data is already outpacing 2019 bookings.
Mirroring the recovery of occupancy rates is the stabilization of booking lead times. This year, 2022, virtually matches the booking behaviors seen in 2019, with 53 percent of bookings made in the zero- to seven-day window versus 50 percent 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, peaking around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The fourth quarter of this year will see a strong conference business. Global group occupancy is consistently between 1% and 2% of pre-pandemic levels for the remainder of 2022 as the conference sector starts to rebound. In addition, Amadeus’s data shows that group bookings are beginning to extend more confidently into 2023, with 4.3 million bookings already made for the first half of 2023.
Mariela McIlwraith, Chief Sustainability Officer, Events Industry Council (EIC) Centre for Sustainability and Social Impact, weighed in on this good news. “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,” McIlwraith said.
With group travel set for solid recovery into the fourth quarter of this year and beyond, hoteliers can plan to welcome larger groups, mitigate the potential impact of staff shortages, and consider what new amenities, including upgraded event technology, to implement to support planners’ demands.
Business travel is also seeing a steady recovery as the year continues. Reports show that 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 percent in August 2022 compared to January 2022. At the start of this year, hotel booking volumes fell behind 2019 performance by 62 percent. Still, this gap has progressively closed over 2022, with global hotel booking volumes in August finishing 23 percent behind 2019.
“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 traveling, enabling them to deliver a truly differentiated experience,” Katie Moro, Vice President of Data Partnerships for Hospitality, Amadeus, said.
Reach Amadeus Hospitality at (603) 436-7500