ROCKVILLE, MD – A review of the August 2019 data contained in Kalibri Labs’ “U.S. Hotel Industry Performance Overview” reveals that booking lead time for group reservations continues to extend further out to just shy of 51 days, up more than 5% year-over-year (YOY).
Group business is not alone in the growth of booking lead time as brand.com, voice and GDS channels all showed modest gains, while property direct, OTA and FIT/wholesale displayed declines in booking lead time for August versus the same time last year. Across all channels, booking lead time averaged nearly 26 days out for August hotel stays, while year-to-date (YTD) that figure is 24.3 days and a modest increase of 0.5% YOY.
Continuing the prominent trend from previous months throughout 2019, loyalty contribution continues to accelerate, up 7.1% YOY in August, bringing the total loyalty contribution to 54.6% of all August room nights. This acceleration is further proof consumers are finding value in their loyalty program memberships. Brand.com loyalty contribution exceeded 87% in August, while 15% of OTA booked room nights were loyalty members.
One market showed notable performance improvement, as San Francisco rebounded strongly from a very disappointing July to post solid gains YOY for August in most measures.
“While occupancy rates remain strong overall, ADR growth has been extremely sluggish,” said Mark Lomanno, partner/senior advisor at Kalibri Labs. “Look for hotels to continue to try to squeeze more profit contribution out of existing room revenues and current guest paid ADRs as revenue leaders keep a close eye on cost of customer acquisition as we close out the year.”
Per Lomanno’s comments on booking costs, those costs did increase 2.4% YOY for August across all channels, despite booking costs being down marginally YTD (-1.2%).