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The latest edition of the Pulse Report, which tracks data for the month of February, indicates that most markets are continuing to show modest signs of positivity in terms of pick up and web traffic as vaccination roll outs continue across the globe. With many parts of Europe still in lockdown, but the number of COVID cases coming down, the data reflects a steadily growing confidence in travelers as they look towards the rest of the year. In the Americas it’s a similar story where, despite the US CDC’s order requiring negative test results to return to the US coming into force in January, Latin America has seen some really promising increases in booking activity.
This month’s data shows that the majority of both North and Latin American markets are still showing signs of modest positivity with web traffic and booking activity. It’s an encouraging indication that markets are on the road to recovery, albeit a slow and steady one.
Although new bookings are still behind pre-pandemic levels, compared to the last few months of 2020, momentum is picking up and there are signs of more improvement to come.
New bookings made in February 2021 for stays throughout the calendar year increased in 8 out of the next 11 months, compared to bookings made in January 2021, as consumers’ confidence is strengthened by ongoing and successful vaccination roll outs and a continued drop in COVID-19 cases.
Looking at web shopping, it seems that appetite for travel is beginning to grow again with web traffic up for all stay months in 2021 across the region. April is looking particularly positive, with a significant rise of 235% compared to web shopping for the same month in January 2021, most probably due to the Easter holidays.
Latin America is also seeing continued positivity, carrying on from last month. February saw a 120% increase in net new bookings while March was up by 204%. This is impressive and somewhat surprising when we take into account the fact that the US CDC’s order (requiring negative test results to return to the US) was declared on January 12 and came into force later in the month.
In terms of web shopping, the data shows that despite the pick up in new bookings for short-term stays, web traffic declined by -27% in February, while March, April and May grew by only 12%, 13%, and 10% respectively.
Europe is still under various levels of lockdown and subject to strict border controls. However, this month we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. In countries such as Germany, the UK, Spain and Portugal COVID-19 infections have decreased and so restrictions are starting to be loosened. In addition, on February 22, 2021 the UK government announced that international travel will be allowed from the end of May 2021. Subsequently, the data is reflecting rising consumer confidence as they look towards the remainder of 2021.
Comparing pick up during February 2021 to January 2021, there are positive increases for the region as a whole up to the stay month of September 2021, with the exception of June. It’s important we note the very low levels of activity in January but it is still encouraging to see increases of 232%, 1741%, and 97% for February, March and April 2021 respectively.
However, it is vital to remain cautious as the region is clearly not out of the woods just yet. In some countries, COVID infection rates have begun to rise again and so there is still lots of uncertainty and plenty of reasons to expect more volatility ahead.
In terms of web shopping, following some really quiet months, January saw some positive signs that appetite for travel was re-emerging. February continues on from this with a further jump in web traffic across the entire year, although it is mostly focused on the short-term. February saw an increase of 46%, while March saw 82% and April saw 34%.
After an entire year of COVID-19 restrictions, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt severely across APAC. The region still remains reliant on local domestic travel as almost all countries' international borders are still closed.
The situation is really quite varied from country to country. In Greater China, there was a surge of new bookings (275% increase) in February compared to the previous month, thanks to the Lunar New Year holidays (Feb 11-17) and Valentines Day which is always a peak booking period for Hong Kong.
However, in South East Asia (SEA), it’s a different story as they’ve experienced a decline in net bookings for February from the previous month and to last year. The restrictions on internal travel within the sub-region have had a real effect on net bookings this month.
Taking a look at web traffic, with vaccination plans well underway throughout APAC, there has been a significant increase in web activity for the next six months, with every month showing increases compared to the last Pulse Report.
The Duetto Pulse Report is a monthly report available for free to hoteliers from around the world. It tracks key metrics for North America, Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Subscribe here: https://www.duettocloud.com/pulse-signup
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