Pulse Report finds cancellations down

The latest edition of Duetto’s Pulse Report, which compares data from February with January, and cross-references this with previous years’ performance, shows continued recovery across the majority of regions, with group bookings leading the way. Group on-the-books (OTB) pace is on par with 2019 in June.

Duetto group market segment data shows steady improvement from September-November 2021, but future group bookings pulled back in December and January, and remained lower in February, decelerating from pre-Omicron levels.

The pace of new group sales from last month increased by double digits from April through July, with group business OTB at its highest in June.

In terms of web shopping, consumer web searches increased around the world, led by travelers in the U.S. and Europe. However, not all are only looking, as global bookings are up by 50%, led by Latin America.

North America
Cancellations slowed down in February, with a significant decline for stay dates in March as well. Pick up for March bookings are up by 221%, showing that the short-term booking trend continues.

The exceptional pricing power seen in February carries through into May and, after a short reprieve during the summer vacation travel months, the high OTB ADR growth propels OTB room revenues to hover around 2019 levels through the majority of the fall and winter months. In terms of meeting space, properties that have it report a 4% year-over-year (YOY) increase in committed occupancy for the balance of the year, while those without meeting space see a 4% decline. Furthermore, OTB ADR growth for properties with meeting space is 4% higher than properties without during the 10 remaining months of the year.

For web traffic, as with other regions, figures remain increased in the short-term with searches—including regrets—tracking high in February, March and April.

Latin America
Cancellations for Latin America are also down every month for the remainder of 2022, and pick-up is up by 104% for March.

Continuing the strong performance in February, OTB room revenues are pacing ahead in three of the next four months and, for 2022 from the beginning of March, properties with meeting space post OTB room revenues 10% higher, with properties lacking meeting space report OTB room revenues 16% lower.

Web search activity continues to mirror pick up and is up by 17% for March compared to previous reports.

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Things are also looking good for the industry in EMEA as cancelation activity—which has been previously elevated—has started to subside for stay dates in May onward. Pick up for February was up 73% and grew by 319% for March.

In addition, thanks to various contributing factors, European hospitality is experiencing some of the best performance since the beginning of the pandemic, with March OTB room revenues pacing ahead of 2019. This is consistent for the rest of the year, with the exceptions of April and May, which is attributable to soft group occupancy. Rooms OTB growth for the balance of the year is much higher for properties with meeting space than not but, conversely, OTB ADR growth is substantially lower for properties with meeting space.

In terms of web traffic, Duetto is seeing the same short-term trend seen with pick up. Strong figures have been posted for February, March and April.

The picture is a positive one for this region with cancelations having abated quickly, and improvements being seen from March through June stays. There were also lower cancellation rates in eight out of the 10 remaining months of 2022. In terms of pick up, bookings were up by 68% in February, compared to January figures, and up by 228% in March.

In terms of OTB, as of the beginning of March, room revenue sequentially improves until achieving a level comparable with 2019 in July. Interestingly, properties without meeting spaces report slightly better performing OTB room revenues than properties with meeting spaces; they are down 10% and 13% YOY, respectively, during the balance of the year.

The short-term trend is also being seen in terms of web traffic, with web searches for the short-term recording high numbers through to April.

“Harken back to last year—March 2021—one full year into the pandemic,” said Lloyd Biddle, director, enterprise solutions, Duetto. “COVID-19 case counts were receding after the first winter surge and the hospitality news cycle changed direction, almost on a dime, as the easy year-over-year comparisons replaced darkness with light. The rebound that followed, driven by pent-up leisure demand was swift. Today, faced with similar levels of uncertainty in the group market segment, we look ahead to the forthcoming bounce back in the events and meetings space.”

He continued, “Overall, consumer web searches for lodging accommodations remain highly elevated around the world, led by travelers in the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, not all potential guests are only looking, because global bookings are up by 50%, led by Latin America. This intensified activity resulted in a 34% jump in committed occupancy for the balance of 2022 at a double-digit ADR increase from the prior year, which surpasses the soaring inflation rates seen for most other goods and services.”