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Hotel Bookings Surpass 60% Globally Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, As Europe Reopens

Friday, May 28, 2021, 12:52 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

Booking momentum has shown a 60 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic levels for the first time since March 2020, a recent analysis of Mike Ford, Founder and Managing Director of the company SiteMinder, reveals.

According to the report, the recommencement of European booking activity contributed the most to the increasing rate of booking momentum, while the markets in the Pacific and Americas have remained stable even amid the ongoing pandemic, reports.

“Across the European continent, the relationship between reopening announcements and booking activity, as we saw last summer, is again clear, with travellers looking to lock in their plans as soon as they possibly can,” the report highlights.

Last month, authorities in Portugal announced that they opened their doors for visitors from the European Union Member States and non-EU Schengen Area countries-Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, as well as the United Kingdom.

Ford’s report emphasized that such a decision pushed to a significant initial spike in booking momentum in Portugal on April 19 when lockdown measures were eased and again from early May.

According to the analysis, early May is the period when authorities in Portugal lifted their state of emergency imposed due to the Coronavirus. At the same time, the country’s land border with Spain was reopened, and plans for international travel began to be discussed.

“The viability of international travel has undoubtedly influenced the makeup of guests for local hotels. This month-to-date, 58 per cent of bookings to Portuguese hotels have been from foreign guests, compared to just 40 per cent in April,” the report clarifies.

Based on this analysis, in the United Kingdom, the easing of imposed restrictions on April 5, as well as the opening of the hotels and B&Bs from last Monday, led to about a 35 per cent increase in booking volumes to reach 66 per cent of 2019 levels.

Spain’s government previously announced that it would permit passengers from the United Kingdom to enter the country after the latter’s authorities confirmed that the imposed restrictions for Britons would be lifted.

The report published by SiteMinder also revealed that the booking numbers accelerated more sharply since May 9, when the country’s state of alarm ended.

As for France, the same report shows that “around 60 per cent of bookings made in the last two weeks have been for stays in either May or June, and less than 7 per cent have been for stays beyond August.”

Besides Europe that has shown an improvement in this regard, the United States and Mexico continue to perform very strongly, at 84 per cent and 101 per cent of 2019 booking levels, respectively.

Another year of travel bans and other restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus would be translated into massive financial losses, especially for businesses and workers, leading to another devastating situation; therefore, the governments are attempting to find the safest ways in order to help the countries’ economies recover from the COVID-19 situation.

In March this year, the World Travel and Tourism Council announced that the COVID-19 pandemic provoked about €3,8 trillion financial losses in the travel and tourism sector last year.

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