HotelHub has reported a continued rise in global transactions in the final quarter of 2021, giving cause for optimism that bookings made via the platform will reach pre-pandemic levels before the end of this year.
According to its latest figures, total hotel transactions globally in December 2021 reached 61% of volumes for the same month in 2019 and more than double for December in 2020.
This figure compares with volumes of just 21% of pre-pandemic levels in January 2021 and 31% by mid-2021.
The hotel technology solution for TMCs and corporates said the upwards trajectory began in August and continued to rise by around 5-10% month-on-month over the second half of the year.
US hotel bookings via the HotelHub platform showed particularly strong recovery, reaching 91% of pre-pandemic volumes in December 2021, compared with the same month in 2019.
This compares with the start of 2021 when volumes in January were only 22% of 2019 transactions in the US.
But HotelHub said although European hotel transactions continued to rise in the final quarter of 2021, they still have a way to go to reach 2019 levels.
December 2021 saw Europe volumes reach 53% of pre-pandemic volumes for the same month in 2019.
HotelHub saw no major increase in the number of cancelled hotel bookings in December 2021 despite the new Covid variant.
Some 23% of transactions were cancelled that month, compared with a monthly average of 18% for the rest of the year.
This figure compares with an average monthly cancellation rate of 16% pre pandemic in 2019.
The majority of all HotelHub transactions globally continue to be domestic hotel bookings.
In December 2021, only 15% of hotel transactions were for international travel compared with 38% pre-pandemic in December 2019.
The HotelHub Index also showed average daily rates in key cities worldwide are currently up to around 20% lower than 2019.
For example, in London the average rate is currently US$223 (versus US$287 in 2019) and in New York the average daily rate this year is US$320 (versus US$379 in 2019).
Average length of stay is slightly shorter in most key cities compared with pre-pandemic bookings, for example, 2.1 nights in London (versus 2.9 nights in 2019) and 1.7 nights in Paris (versus 2.5 nights in 2019).
“The data from our latest HotelHub Index shows encouraging signs that recovery in the hotel sector is well underway and that corporate hotel bookings made via the HotelHub platform are returning to pre-pandemic levels faster than we expected,” said Eric Meierhans, Chief Commercial Officer.
“Not surprisingly the bulk of transactions during 2021 were domestic hotel bookings, but we are now beginning to see a gradual increase in international transactions.
“Interestingly the number of cancellations in December were not that much higher than normal, despite the uncertainty of the Omicron variant. In most cities, our data also shows that hotels are still looking to stimulate demand by offering keenly priced rates.”