Year-end hotel bookings increase as vacation plans take shape

A further easing of restrictions over the past month has helped boost confidence as travelers prepare for a holiday season away from home. Currently, the World Hotel Index shows us that on average more than one in five hotel reservations worldwide are for the three weeks leading up to the end of the year, while an average of almost 10% of stays booked are due to arrive in the week around New Year’s Eve.

Due to the rush to end-of-year celebrations, the global dynamics of hotel reservations remain stable, hovering around 80% of pre-pandemic volumes. And, there is evidence that a more holistic recovery has recently taken place. Only six countries in the World Hotel Index are now below 50% of their number of bookings in 2019, compared to nine at that time in October and 23 countries six months ago, in May. Fortunately, more than 3 in 5 countries are now above 70% of their pre-pandemic levels.

A series of relaxed restrictions and greater international mobility are partly to blame. So far in November, international travelers have accounted for 51.32% of hotel bookings, averaging country ratios on the World Hotel Index, up from 49.03% at that time in October and 44. , 84% in August.

The Americas are now leading the charge

Momentum in hotel bookings in Chile tops the Global Hotel Index for the first time, thanks to the removal of quarantine requirements and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world . The timing is perfect for the country, with the peak summer period and Antarctic cruise season approaching, closing a strong month for the region. Mexico and Costa Rica rank second and fourth on the Global Hotel Index, ranking all countries based on their current booking volumes relative to their respective pre-pandemic levels, while the United States and Canada recently hit 20-month highs.

In the United States, hotel booking dynamics are now above 90% of 2019 levels, thanks to the easing of restrictions on a long list of countries and the reopening of borders with Canada and Mexico. The country had been closed to non-essential international travel since March 2020.

Here in Asia-Pacific, Thailand’s long-awaited reopening to non-quarantine travel earlier this month prompted hotel bookings to rally, as travelers target December and the New Year. And hotel bookings in Australia are again above the global average, after slipping below in mid-July.

Not to be outdone, Europe still has the highest number of countries exceeding their pre-pandemic booking volumes, thanks to hotels in Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Estonia and colder and colder Sweden. As restrictions remain relaxed across the continent, the winter holidays that were suspended last year officially begin, creating an increase in international arrivals to places such as Finland and Norway, where ski areas are coming back to life. .

As usual, I’ll be back next month to monitor this and other trends found in the World Hotel Index. Until then, have a good vacation booking!

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