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Pulse Report: Good Summer Ahead for Latin America

April 8, 2021 | Claire Middleton, Contributing Editor

The latest edition of the Pulse Report, which tracks data for the month of March, indicates some real and solid signs of positivity in the North and Latin American markets with significant increases in pick up and pace. In fact, Latin America is showing early signs that June and July 2021 may actually outperform June and July 2019. For APAC, however, there has not been much change since last month with many areas still under strict border controls. Similarly in EMEA, rises in COVID cases in some countries and slower vaccine rollouts continue to have an effect on traveler confidence and desire to book.

North America

Comparing net new bookings in March 2021 with February 2021, the news is generally good. For bookings made in March 2021 for stay dates in April 2021 there was a healthy increase of 275%, while stay dates in May 2021 were up by 187%, 183% for June and 200% for July and August. This is great news as it seems we are finally seeing some real positivity for this market.

In terms of pace for North America, it’s beginning to increase rapidly alongside the strong growth in net new bookings. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen pace lag behind bookings by as much as 50%. This month that decreased to a 40% lag indicating booking pace is rising and gaining momentum.

Latin America

For LATAM, we saw an exceptionally positive increase of 110% in net new bookings made in March 2021 compared to February 2021. Most of the new bookings are for stays in June and July, with double-digit increases in bookings for these two months, compared to the same months in 2019. This, however, did not translate to strong production in April and May 2021, which is in stark contrast to market norms. This seems to suggest that while travelers are not willing to travel to LATAM in the immediate future, they will be willing to do so during the Summer months.

Unsurprisingly, pace continues to be behind for Latin America as a whole with April 2021 behind April 2019 by 31% and May 2021 behind May 2019 by 11%.

However, the shining beacon of hope is that June and July of 2021 are ahead of pace when compared to June and July of 2019 by 7% and 4% respectively, which is the first time we’ve seen this since the pandemic began. To clarify, this early data suggests that summer 2021 for LATAM could outperform summer of 2019, which is definitely something to be positive about.

“We know that the hotel industry moves in a cycle, similar to the broader economy, which can feel like a roller coaster at times with a slow steady climb up, followed by a rapid descent. The hotel industry experienced a disruption during this past cycle, not a traditional downturn. So, this recovery is shaping up to be more like a bounce-back or rebound than a traditional recovery. For example, Duetto Pulse data shows that domestic leisure demand is driving revenue growth around the world in the months ahead. This is a divergent trend from the past because leisure was among the last segments to recover in past downturns,” said Lloyd Biddle, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Duetto.

“It's important to keep your head, hands, arms, and legs inside the roller coaster whenever it's moving. You can put your hands in the air initially, but you should safely return them inside of your car for the remainder of the ride.”

EMEA

There is still a lot of uncertainty in Europe at the moment. There are real concerns about a fourth COVID wave, and vaccinations are rolling out at different rates across countries. 

Some countries, such as the UK which is still subject to strict restrictions, are starting to open up as cases drop drastically and vaccines reach a large proportion of the population. However, a fourth COVID wave has hit hard in other countries such as France, Italy and even Germany to some extent, forcing governments to reapply restrictions. 

However, despite this uncertainty, we continue to observe a steady increase in confidence and need for travel reflected in the monthly pick up figures. Comparing pick up during March 2021 compared to February 2021 we can see a positive increase for the EMEA region as a whole all the way until the stay month of December 2021. In the short-term we see booking activity accelerating with 549%, 128% and 3,183% increases for April, May and June respectively. This high level of short-term booking activity can be observed across all regions. 

In terms of web traffic for EMEA, it appears to be very focused on the short-term for now. This month’s figures show a 61% increase in web searches for the entire year compared to February 2021, mostly focused in the short-term - April to June - with monthly increases of over 100% compared to February 2021. We can also see a much higher level of web traffic for the summer months, also reflected in the pick up figures.

“March has been a very interesting month with mixed reports. Some countries are starting to come out of restrictions and reopen hospitality, but other reports show that some countries are experiencing new outbreaks and therefore lockdowns are being reintroduced, meaning the hospitality sector is remaining closed,” said Juan Ruano, Director of Hospitality Solutions for EMEA and Pulse Report author. 

“However, the best news is that most vaccination rollouts are doing well, which is going to increase consumer confidence and will hopefully lead to hotel bookings increasing. Web traffic is showing clear signs of an appetite to travel with very strong increases compared to previous months. These increases are particularly strong in the UK (96%) and also in Iberia (76%). 

“It’s also exciting to see that web searches for September are also up, which shows that not only is there light at the end of the tunnel for the summer, but for the autumn also.”

APAC

Travel remains status quo in APAC since the last Pulse, as almost all countries' international borders remain closed and the vast majority have interstate/province travel restrictions in place. 

For Greater China, bookings have boomed for the entire year ahead since last month, as travel restrictions are being eased in regions within the country. For South East Asia (SEA) activity is steady when looked at on a macro level, maintaining small positive increases in net bookings compared to the previous month and to last year. On a micro level these positive increases are largely supported by Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. The restrictions on internal travel within the countries in the sub-region are having a real effect on net bookings in the month. 

In terms of web traffic, there has been a remarkable increase for the next six months since our last Pulse Report for all APAC sub-regions. This is an exceptional turnaround in comparison to last month for SEA where interest is piquing, particularly for the next six months. In Australia, it’s encouraging to see that the winter months are where we’re seeing the most activity, particularly for May and June searches where there are 458% and 273% increases compared to last month. All in all there are good indications that this winter will be seeing higher occupancies than past years for the APAC region.

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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