HotelHub has revealed data that shows recovery in the hotel sector is well underway, with bookings via its platform likely to reach pre-pandemic levels ahead of previous forecasts.
According to its latest figures for the first quarter of 2022, global hotel transactions by its TMC clients dropped in January to 45% of volumes for the same month in 2019. This was due to uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant and came after transactions climbed to 61% at the end of the previous quarter.
However, this figure leapt to 87% of 2019 volumes in March.
US hotel bookings are particularly indicative of a full recovery as they reached 100% of pre-pandemic levels for the month of March, despite Omicron triggering a drop in January to 61% of month-on-month 2019 volumes compared with 91% in December 2021.
European hotel transactions have also risen significantly with volumes reaching 85% of pre-pandemic volumes for the same month in 2019 compared with only 53% of pre-pandemic bookings at the end of quarter four in 2021.
Although the majority of transactions globally continue to be domestic hotel bookings, HotelHub is seeing a gradual return to international travel.
By the end of the most recent quarter, international bookings made up 25% of overall volumes, compared with 15% at the end of 2021.
However, this figure still has a way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels when international bookings amounted to 57% of all transactions in March 2019.
Eric Meierhans, Chief Commercial Officer HotelHub, said: “At the end of last year, we were predicting that global transaction volumes made by our TMC customers using HotelHub would not reach pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2022. But global bookings are increasing far more rapidly than expected and US hotel bookings have already reached 100% of 2019 levels, according to the data from our latest quarterly HotelHub Index.
“This is very encouraging and a clear indication that recovery in the hotel sector is escalating rapidly, despite the dip in volumes at the start of the year due to the impact of Omicron.
“However, the share of international travel versus domestic is still relatively low, especially from the US to Europe, and this is potentially due to the war in Ukraine causing hesitancy and uncertainty.”