All-Inclusive Leads Industry Recovery, Experts Say

December 16, 2021 | Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Marketing Communications.

Our Pulse Live webinar, which aired yesterday – December 15, saw Duetto’s Lloyd Biddle, Director of Enterprise Solutions, take the audience through the data from our latest Pulse Report before discussing how the hospitality industry has evolved, the growing success of alternative accommodations, and what performance indicators are showing for trends in 2022.

Lloyd was joined by Kelsey Fenerty, Senior Analyst at STR, and Jamie Lane, Vice President of Research at AirDNA, who provided their expert input on how hotels and alternative accommodations will fair in 2022.

Missed the webinar? You can register to watch On Demand here: https://go.duettocloud.com/pulse-live-december22

Duetto’s Biddle talked about how the popularity of different asset classes has accelerated during the pandemic.

“Brand proliferation into different niche market segments, and the exploding popularity of short-term rentals, has many of us rethinking what lodging means today,” he said.

Diving into the latest Pulse Report data, Biddle explained how all-inclusive resorts look likely to have a phenomenal year ahead.

“All-inclusive resorts where food and beverages embedded in the room rate are among the most sought-after asset classes around the world, as evidenced by the highest consumer search activity for stays throughout 2022,” he told the audience.

Kelsey Fenerty of STR explained this further: “What came back first and what has come back strongest has been leisure.

“The very fortunate thing about non-traditional hotel types and non-hotel asset classes is that they tend to be overwhelmingly leisure-oriented, to begin with. So, they had a head start to begin recovery because their segment of demand came back first.”

She gave the example of all-inclusive resorts in Brazil, which according to STR data have performed as though there was never a pandemic.

“They got all the Brazilians that couldn't leave the country last year, and even into this year, and they all went on vacation to all-inclusive resorts,” Fenerty explained.

Jamie Lane from AirDNA added that unique units, such as tiny homes, yurts, farm stays, and treehouses, have also performed well.

“They are a unique experience that has been growing very quickly over the past year and a half,” he said.

Recovery Trends

According to AirDNA data, the alternative accommodations sector has been back at 2019 levels since April 2021.

“The recovery in demand has just been outstanding,” said Lane. “But we see a real divergence in performance. Today we see at destination resort areas - beach mountain markets - demand is now 30% higher than 2019 levels. When we look at small-town urban areas it's 60% higher than 2019 levels. Then we look in the cities and this correlates strongly with what we see in some of the hotel data. Demand is still 20-25% lower than 2019 levels, so a real change in where people are going based on the type of trips that they're doing.”

Lane remains confident 2022 will see strong performance from the vacation rental sector.

“It’s going to be another record year,” he told the audience. According to Lane, 2021 will end 3% up on overall demand and Q1 2022 is already pacing 14% higher than 2019.

“Once we get into the summer months that's where we start to accelerate. On the books today for Q2 is 34% higher than 2019.”

Fenerty provided the webinar audience with data insights from the latest Mexico/Caribbean Forward Star data.

“It’s a very all-inclusive heavy region and they're running occupancy on the books at about 80% through year-end and more than 50% through the entirety of Q1 2022,” she said.

“For most of the rest of the world Forward Star is quite a lot weaker, especially in Europe where you've got all the increased restrictions, you've got all the uncertainty around the Omicron variant. And it's led to a lot of cancellations recently, so we are seeing an interesting Forward Star trend that there's a big drop off in occupancy on the books between January and February 2022. It’s not that people are not going to travel next February, but it's more speaking to the short-term nature of hotel booking windows right now,” she explained.

Biddle outlined that Duetto Pulse Report data shows that cancellation activity is spiking but, conversely, brand.com consumer search activity shows that the appetite to travel is still very much there.

“That means revenue managers should adjust forecast and be mindful of oversell limits for any upcoming compression dates, as well as coordinate with your sales and marketing colleagues for those need periods, where web volumes and bookings are low next year.”

Catch up on the Pulse Live discussion On Demand here:  https://go.duettocloud.com/pulse-live-december22

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