Is global travel finally back to full strength?

With two years of summer holidays lost to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty, there is huge pent-up demand for travel as we enter the 2022 summer season. It is expected to be the busiest since the pandemic began, and hoteliers need to anticipate and be prepared for the demand amidst ongoing challenges amplified by the pandemic.

According to interesting analysis by Amadeus’ Demand360® business intelligence data, hotel reservations have been on par with pre-pandemic 2019 booking levels for the first time since March this year. April 2022 was the first month to surpass 2019 occupancy levels and continued to climb in May hitting a new high of 63%, compared to 60% in May 2019.

High performing countries like the US saw occupancy levels of 68% for the month, 7% above 2019’s performance, while Canada reached 64% occupancy in May, 8% higher than the same time in 2019. Forward looking on-the-books data tells a similar story globally with the summer months of June, July, and August currently tracking just 1% off 2019 levels.

The data shows that the significant majority of trips (54%) are currently being booked 0-7 days before travel, which means that hotel occupancy rates currently recorded for the summer months could increase significantly. In the case of the US travel market, 55% of bookings are made less than a week prior to travel. Europe is generally slightly more predictable with over a third of 0-7 day bookings (France 33%, Germany 35%, Spain 36%, and UK 39%) made within 0-7 days.

With high demand, the transient average daily rate (ADR) hoteliers are able to achieve has been building steadily from a global low of $83 in April 2020. According to forward looking Amadeus data for June, July, and August 2022, the worldwide average ADR is $200 which is just over 11% higher than in 2019 where the average ADR was $180 for the same months. Individual countries are seeing high room rates over the summer, with France forecasted to hit an ADR of $428 in July 2022, which is a 29% increase on 2019 rates.

Remaining restrictions are still influencing where travelers are originating from. According to Amadeus air booking data as of June 4th, 2022, the US leads all countries in top inbound flights for the forthcoming summer months, followed by the UK, France, Germany, and then Canada.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus says: “It is fantastic to see the revival of travel that is underway. We will continue to work closely with our hotel partners to ensure they have the technology and insights they need to deliver excellent guest experiences in the face of continued labor shortages and last minute bookings. This is where technology plays such a crucial role in helping hoteliers manage daily operations as efficiently as possible.”