Inspite of new surges of Covid-19 in APAC, a new market report by Sabre Hospitality Alternatives implies traveller self esteem is returning and highlights strategic themes for hoteliers to seize returning travellers.
The restoration of vacation
- Bookings with ultra-small windows (<7 days) declined for the fifth consecutive month, while longer term booking windows are increasing at the same pace. This points to a return of traveller confidence to make longer term plans revolving around travel.
- Despite recent surges of Covid-19, APAC shows the highest rate of consumer confidence on the backs of declining unemployment and talks of easing restrictions to allow internal tourism. APAC bookings are driven by all channels – OTA, GDS, and Booking Engine.
- In NAM and LATAM, booking engine transactions exceeded 2019 levels in March, confirming a high demand for leisure travel via direct channel. International travel searches are on the rise as consumers are in the “dreaming” phase for future travel.
- EMEA market performance is up 7% month-on-month driven by direct channel and OTA, fuelled by talks about travel corridors in countries with high vaccination rates.
- A higher percent of vaccinated people is found in the travelling population than in the general population (13.9% vs 5.7%), thus monitoring vaccination progress across source markets could point to returning travellers.
- Business travel may recover sooner and stronger than expected, with 80% of companies considering travel or planning travel within 1-3 months.
At its current pace, the world could reach herd immunity before a
universal vaccine passport becomes the standard. Hoteliers will likely have to establish
their own safety protocols around vaccination-proof, understanding that
enforcement will be a nightmare for hotel staff.
Key distribution themes for hoteliers
- Focus on the Direct Channel – one of the quickest recovering channels. Utilise digital acquisition campaigns focused on your target audience to raise visibility and awareness of your property.
- Stay Flexible – be ready to adapt to changing market trends when selecting distribution channels and promotional techniques.
- Do More with Less – Monitor your digital promotions to identify the best performing campaigns and focus resources and funds on those.
- Prepare for Returning Business Travel – don’t wait until demand returns, get corporate programmes in place to be ready for the inevitable.
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