(16 May 2021) New research from Amadeus reveals how the hospitality industry worldwide is adapting to the complex and ever-changing working environment that COVID19 has created.
Business intelligence data from Amadeus Demand360 shows that hotel occupancy levels are now on an upward trajectory, reaching 46% in April 2021, up from the low point of just 13% in April 2020.
Australia and New Zealand, in particular, recorded a steady increase in occupancy levels from 30% to 60% in February – April 2021, surpassing global occupancy rates. The results are aligned with the recent quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
On a global level, the data shows the booking lead time is lengthening, indicating growing consumer confidence to plan ahead and in the generous cancelation policies currently available.
For much of the past year, nearly all reservations across the world were made within 0-7 days of travel. In recent weeks, bookings made on the same day of travel, which are the most problematic for the industry to accommodate, have shrunk globally from 39% the first week of 2021 to 23% the week of 25 April 2021, and 31-60 days bookings increased from 6% the first week of 2021 to 11% the week of 25 April 2021.
The Rebuilding Hospitality report incorporates a survey of 688 global hoteliers delivering new insights into current sentiment and plans:
• Significant growth optimism: There is a sense of optimism as 30% of hoteliers anticipate opening one or multiple sites in 2021.
• Leisure travelers are driving recovery: The majority (63%) of hoteliers worldwide think that leisure travel will drive their recovery with domestic leisure by far the highest contributor (45%). In line with this, Amadeus data shows that US, China, and the rest of Asia are starting to see an increase in OTA booking volume, shifting the focus away from a dependence on direct bookings during the pandemic.
• Recruiting will be a high priority: Over half (59%) of global hoteliers anticipate that they will need to hire new staff in 2021.
• Opinion on vaccine passports divided amongst hoteliers: Over half of Asian hoteliers say they are considering asking for vaccine passports before permitting guests to stay whereas just under half of hoteliers in the Americas say they will definitely not be adopting this approach. In EMEA, nearly half of hoteliers are uncertain on their strategy in this area.
When considering the aspects of the pandemic pivots that will be here for the longer term, the report reveals:
• Enhanced hygiene measures are here to stay: A third (32%) of hoteliers think that they will always need significant social distancing, sanitization and visible hygiene measures.
• Long-term reduction in guest contact and stayover cleans: 20% of global hoteliers indicate they will keep interaction between staff and guests to a minimum for the long term, and 21% plan to reduce daily housekeeping for guests.
• Personalization could help cross the contactless hospitality divide: Over a quarter of respondents (30%) said that contactless tech to support personalized guest experiences was one of the developments in hospitality they were most excited about as we emerge from the pandemic. Around one in four hoteliers (24%) went on to say they would be turning to technology to support personalized experiences making sure the ‘human touch’ of hospitality is not lost.
• Work ‘staycations’ and long stay rental investments: Creative business pivots like offering work ‘staycations’ and investment in facilities that help travelers elongate stays have helped hoteliers test out new strategies to access new guest segments. Hoteliers report that these will stay as part of the portfolio for the long-term.
Maria Taylor, Head of Commercial, Asia-Pacific, Hospitality, Amadeus, said, “From our survey, nearly half of hoteliers (48%) across Asia-Pacific said they expect pre-pandemic levels of occupancy to return in 2022. And those expectations are supported by our data, as Australia and New Zealand’s occupancy growth in the first months of this year reflect that strong appetite for travel. Meanwhile, technology continues to play a central role to help hoteliers adapt to changing traveler needs, as 1 in 3 hoteliers surveyed in Asia Pacific (33%) are turning to contactless technology to enhance guest experiences. At Amadeus, we will continue to support our partners as we continue to rebuild the travel industry together.”
The Rebuilding Hospitality report was managed by Amadeus and conducted anonymously with hoteliers in March and April 2021. The 33-page (4.7MB) report can be downloaded here.