Hotel technology specialist HotelHub believes bookings made via the platform will hit pre-pandemic levels before the end of 2022.
The company’s optimism is off the back of a continued rise in global transactions into the fourth quarter of 2021.
The latest HotelHub Index reveals total global hotel transactions for December 2021 hit 61 per cent of volumes for December 2019 and were more than double those of December in 2020.
This compares with volumes of just 21 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in January 2021 and 31 per cent by mid-2021. The upward trend began in August and continued to rise by between five and ten per cent per month.
US hotel bookings were particularly strong, reaching 91 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes in December 2021, compared with the same month in 2019.
European hotel transactions continued to rise in Q4 2021, but still lagged 2019 levels. Volumes in December 2021 reached 53 per cent of pre-pandemic levels versus the same month in 2019.
HotelHub did not see a major increase in booking cancellations in the final month of 2021 despite the Omicron variant. The company said 23 per cent of transactions were cancelled in December, compared with a monthly average of 18 per cent for the rest of the year. The pre-pandemic monthly average cancellation rate was 16 per cent.
The majority of HotelHub transactions globally were domestic bookings. In December 2021, only 15 per cent of hotel transactions were for international travel compared with 38 per cent in December 2019.
Eric Meierhans, chief commercial officer, HotelHub, said: “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.”
The data shows average daily rates, ADR, in key cities are approximately 20 per cent lower than 2019. In London, for example, the ADR is $223 compared with $287 in 2019 while in New York, the ADR is $320 compared with $379 in 2019.
London-based HotelHub provides hotel booking technology to a range of travel management companies including American Express Global Business Travel, CWT and FCM.