Global hotel occupancy is “closing in” on pre-Covid levels as travel demand continues to rebound in 2023, according to the latest data from travel technology firm Amadeus.
In a new report on the hotel sector, Amadeus revealed that occupancy reached 63 per cent in the first quarter for the year – just below the 67 per cent level seen during the same period of 2019. It was also well ahead of the 53 per cent occupancy rate recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
“The trend is mirrored throughout the rest of 2023, with bookings close to 2019 levels and ahead of those recorded in 2021 and 2022,” said Amadeus in its Catalysts for Change report.
Figures from Amadeus Demand360, the company’s hospitality market intelligence platform, found that global hotel occupancy for June was at 32 per cent in early May, which was just three percentage points lower than at the same point in 2019.
Amadeus added that some leading European destinations, such as Rome and Paris, were seeing hotel occupancy levels in June ahead of the same month in 2019. This was also true of some major Asian cities, such as Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore, “illustrating a robust, global recovery”.
The company’s data revealed that global average daily rates (ADRs) at hotels are also now above pre-pandemic levels – standing at $216 per room for June 2023 compared with $184 in June 2019.
The very late-booking pattern for hotels seen during the pandemic period is also dissipating and returning to pre-2020 trends. Last year, 64 per cent of hotel reservations were being made within seven days of travel, according to Amadeus, but this has dropped to 51 per cent in 2023, which is close to the 50 per cent figure seen during 2019.
“Travel confidence is on the rise in 2023, demonstrated by the 14 per cent of hotel reservations booked 61-plus days out, matching 2019 figures,” added Amadeus in its report.
Amadeus also explores the latest trends and expectations of hotel guests including personalisation, which is now “of paramount importance” to travellers.
“Today, various travel players are moving in this direction, but this has not yet been applied at every step of the customer journey – something that would achieve the truly personal end-to-end experience travellers are looking for,” said the report.
“In keeping with a demand for personalisation, travellers increasingly expect the hospitality sector to offer seamless journeys. This refers to travel using a variety of modes of transportation – all organised through a single booking process or ticket.”
Travellers are also seeking “value-driven” digital solutions, as well as looking for travel providers to “offer peace of mind” during a trip and options that “protect them” should major changes impact their travel plans.
Amadeus added that business travellers also have “different needs” following the pandemic, including a desire for more pre-paid content when booking so they do not have to cover any costs personally. This has also led to an increase in the popularity of virtual cards as a payment method.
Combining a work trip with leisure time is also a trend that has “continued to accelerate following the pandemic”, according to the report.
“Travellers are looking to maximise the value of their time - and this can mean adding on family time at the end of a trip or arriving at a destination a day or two ahead of a meeting to enjoy the cultural side of a location,” added the report.
Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, president, hospitality at Amadeus, said: “Travellers want more options; they want them to be tailored to their preferences and they want the process to be frictionless.
“To continue to drive demand across these sectors, providers need to be able to personalise their offering to maximise their revenues. For travel sellers, having access to this integrated content is a gamechanger.”