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Summer 2021 Could Outperform Summer 2019 for LATAM Bookings

April 2021 | Pulse Report

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April, 2021 | As COVID cases drop and vaccine rollouts continue successfully across most of the world, we finally start to see some real signs of positivity within the hotel industry. Latin America in particular is enjoying some strong glimmers of hope, where data is suggesting that June and July 2021 could actually outperform June and July 2019. However, in Europe, rising cases and less successful vaccine rollouts mean that some restrictions remain in place, which is having a continued effect on the booking data we are seeing this month.

  • North America

  • LATAM

  • EMEA

  • APAC

Key Dates in North America

[+] expand key dates

DEC 11: US granted first emergency use authorization for vaccine to Pfizer-BioNTech.

JAN 26: US Center for Disease Control mandates that any traveler returning from abroad must have a negative test before boarding a flight.

MAR 30: US surpassed 550,000 deaths.

MAY 1: President Biden’s target date for every adult American to be eligible for the vaccine.

Weekly Net Pick Up by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_NA-Weekly Net Pickup by Stay Month

This graph shows the volume of net room night pick up (new bookings minus cancelations) broken down by stay month made during the most recent calendar month (March 2021).The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the prior month (February 2021).

This time around we are looking at March 2021 net new bookings versus February 2021 net new bookings, and generally the news is good. For bookings in March 2021 for stay dates in April 2021, we saw a 275% increase in net new bookings; 187% in May bookings; 183% in June bookings; and roughly 200% increases in July and August. This is great news, showing that bookings during US Spring Break are benefiting a wider booking window.

Interestingly, we can now begin to compare March 2021 to March 2020 and March 2019 to get a clear image of pre-pandemic, the worst of the pandemic, and the tail end as we emerge. These numbers show a great deal of promise, as we compare March 2021 to March 2020, the numbers are nearly on par. For the stay month of April 2021, net new bookings compared to April of 2019 were only 21% down; whilst they were down by 18% for both May and June 2021.


On The Books vs. STLY by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_NA-OTB

This graph shows the evolution of reserved status room night volume for future stay dates broken down by stay month over the last three months.The percentage indicates the variance compared to same time last year for the most recent month’s data.

Pace for North America is beginning to increase rapidly with the strong growth in net new bookings. Whereas we have watched as pace has remained behind by 50-55% for the majority of the pandemic, we now see pace lagging behind 2019 by ~40%, showing that the rate at which rooms are being booked is accelerating.


Volume of Web Traffic by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_NA-Web-Traffic

This graph shows volume of web traffic data (bookings, regrets and denials on brand.com) for future stay dates, broken down by stay month.The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the last Pulse Report.

Web traffic to Brand.com for North America has closed the gap for the short-term with April 2021 being down by only 3% compared to April 2019; May 2021 being up by 8% to May 2019; and June 2021 being down by only 3% to June 2019. Notably, anything after this (July, August, September, etc.) continues to show disappointing numbers when compared to their 2019 equivalents. While it is great to see the booking window opening up to several months out, it is equally disappointing to see the pace for Q3 and Q4 as far behind as it is with August 2021 being 37% behind August 2019 in web traffic pace.


Key Dates in LATAM

[+] expand key dates

DEC 21: Brazil first country to complete phase III of China’s SinoVac vaccine. Reports efficacy rate of at least 50%.

DEC 24: Mexico began its first vaccine campaign with Pfizer-BioNTech.

JAN 26: US Center for Disease Control mandates that any traveler returning from abroad must have a negative test before boarding a flight.

Weekly Net Pick Up by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_LATAM-Weekly Net Pickup by Stay Month

This graph shows the volume of net room night pick up (new bookings minus cancelations) broken down by stay month made during the most recent calendar month (March2021).The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the prior month (February 2021).

Latin America as a whole continues to show a great deal of volatility in terms of net new bookings. We saw an exceptionally positive increase in net new bookings when comparing the booking month of March 2021 to the booking month of February 2021. Across the observed period, we saw an average of a 110% increase in volume.

What is interesting is that most of the new bookings were focused on the months of June and July with double digit increases when compared to 2019 bookings windows. This large upshoot in new bookings did not translate to strong production in April and May 2021. Obviously, this is in contrast to market norms. It seems to suggest travelers are not willing to travel to LATAM now, but will be willing to do so during the summer months.

This analysis was consistent across all of Latin America regardless of whether Mexico was split out or not.


On The Books vs. STLY by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_LATAM-OTB

This graph shows the evolution of reserved status room night volume for future stay dates broken down by stay month over the last three months.The percentage indicates the variance compared to same time last year for the most recent month’s data.

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%.

June and July of 2021 are ahead of pace when compared to June and July of 2019 by 7% and 4% respectively, signaling the first time we’ve seen this since the pandemic began. To clarify, this early data suggests that summer of 2021 for LATAM could outperform summer of 2019. In digging deeper into the data, we also note that ADRs are roughly the same showing that rate slippage is not quite as prevalent as we would have expected.

Mexico alone (minus the rest of LATAM) shows June 2021 pacing 15% ahead of June 2019 and 10% ahead of July 2019.


Volume of Web Traffic by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_LATAM-Web-Traffic

This graph shows volume of web traffic data (bookings, regrets and denials on brand.com) for future stay dates, broken down by stay month.The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the last Pulse Report.

Web traffic into Latin America has increased dramatically since our last Pulse Report, achieving triple digit percentage increases across the board when we compare March 2021 to February 2021. Most of these search increases were specifically for the next few months through the summer. On average, across the observed period on the chart, we saw an increase of 122% in total search traffic.

Compared to 2019 numbers, the increases are even more bold, in some cases over 300%.


Key Dates in EMEA

[+] expand key dates

DEC 08: UK rollout of COVID vaccine commences.

DEC 27: Vaccinations begin across the EU starting shortly after Pfizer vaccine is approved.

JAN 06: EU approves Moderna vaccine and expects to accelerate vaccination rollout.

JAN 29: EU gives final approval to AstraZeneca COVID vaccine.

FEB 22: UK government announces that international travel from England will be banned until May 17 2021.

MARCH-APRIL: Germany, France and Italy reinstate different levels of lockdown.

Weekly Net Pick Up by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_EMEA-Weekly Net Pickup by Stay Month

This graph shows the volume of net room night pick up (new bookings minus cancelations) broken down by stay month made during the most recent calendar month (March 2021).The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the prior month (February 2021). 

Despite the vaccination rollout gaining momentum across Europe there is still lots of uncertainty ahead of us. Is Europe going to be able to control the fourth COVID wave on time to rescue the hotel summer season 2021? Are vaccination supplies going to meet expectations over the next few months? Will there be new outbreaks? Following news reports on COVID, the EMEA region and particularly Europe, is a tale of many stories right now and the data shows exactly that.

Countries like the UK, which are still under high levels of restrictions, are starting to open up as cases drop drastically and vaccines reach a large proportion of the population. In the meantime, a fourth COVID wave has hit hard in countries such as France, Italy and even Germany to some extent, forcing governments to reapply restrictions.

Despite the 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. 

Moving into the summer months, July and August show 78% and 71% increases compared to the previous month for the whole region. In March, we reported increases of just 20% and 25% so the pace of new bookings continues to increase month after month. Breaking it down by region, UK & Ireland show a 118% and 96% increase for these two months, with DACH 43% and 106% and Iberia 66% and 62%.

It is also interesting to note that even though the increases of new bookings reported for September and October are moderate at 27% and 46% respectively, these percentages start to show an increase in confidence of business slowly returning to city hubs partly influenced by a return of business travel. The UK & Ireland show an increase of 175% and 173% for September and October, with London in particular showing increases of 1646% and 556%. However, the London figures must be seen in the context of the previously reported low figures. In the DACH region, with an important weight of business travel, September and October show increases of 790% and 254% respectively.


On The Books vs. STLY by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_EMEA-OTB

This graph shows the evolution of reserved status room night volume for future stay dates broken down by stay month over the last three months.The percentage indicates the variance compared to same time last year for the most recent month’s data.

Italy was the first European country to enter a national lockdown back on March 9, 2020, followed soon after by the rest of Europe’s countries. It means that the data displayed in these graphs already show the early impact of COVID on last year’s figures.

It’s very interesting to see how, despite all the positive pick up reported in the previous section, the OTB still continues to pace behind where business was at this point last year. New waves of cancelations sadly followed, so if the positive trends remain in 2021 we will soon start observing these two booking curves (2021 vs 2020) diverging again.

Business on the books compared to the end of March 2020 currently shows a deficit of -6%, -61% and -53% for April, May and June respectively. If we compare these same periods (April, May and June) against the end of March 2019 instead, we can observe a deficit in business on the books of -84%, -78% and -67%. Bringing in a comparison against 2019 helps us understand how long the road to recovery ahead of us is.

Naively, this time last year we were still holding on to our summer plans. It means that this month we have not seen a big shift in business OTB pace for the summer months compared to the figures reported last month, although this will change over the upcoming weeks. OTB pace for July and August for the EMEA region was at -56% and -50% respectively compared to March 2020 at the end of last month (as per February 28). Currently it is at -53% and -47% against 2020 and -67% and -55% against 2019 figures.


Volume of Web Traffic by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_EMEA-Web-Traffic

This graph shows volume of web traffic data (bookings, regrets and denials on brand.com) for future stay dates, broken down by stay month. The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the last Pulse Report.

Hotel web searches continue to give us a very good insight on what’s to come and the appetite for travel. This month’s figures show a 61% increase in web searches for the entire year compared to February 2021. The increases are 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.

Region by region, UK & Ireland has seen the highest rise with an average increase of 96% compared to February 2021, followed by Iberia with an average of 79% and finally DACH with 72%. DACH web searches are clearly focused in the short-term with for now slower traffic going into the summer months.


Key Dates in APAC

[+] expand key dates

FEB 02: Malaysia is extending its movement control order (MCO) by a fortnight to February 18, with even stricter restrictions as COVID infection rates continue to increase.

FEB 17: The rollout of a cautious vaccination program began in Japan, just over five months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

FEB 22: Australia begins COVID vaccination rollout.

FEB 26: Hong Kong begins COVID vaccination rollout.

FEB 28: Thailand begins COVID vaccination rollout.

APR 5: Concerns of a fourth wave of COVID in Japan with just 15 weeks remaining until the Tokyo Olympics.

Weekly Net Pick Up by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_APAC-Weekly Net Pickup by Stay Month

This graph shows the volume of net room night pick up (new bookings minus cancelations) broken down by stay month made during the most recent calendar month (March 2021).The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the prior month (February 2021). 

Travel within APAC is status quo, there have been no changes since the last Pulse. 

Almost all countries' international borders remain closed and the vast majority have interstate/province travel restrictions in place. The Maldives and Sri Lanka are the only countries with open international borders. Both have been well controlled with length of stay and internal travel restrictions. 

Greater China: With travel restrictions being eased within regions in mainland China, bookings since February have boomed for the entire year ahead. 

For the next three months, confirmed bookings are now on average 50% behind 2019. Considering all the bookings are from the domestic market, this is a positive.

South East Asia (SEA): SEA is steady when looked at 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 an effect on net bookings in the month. 

Oceania: The positive net bookings continue to build, including for the upcoming winter months, which in the past have been a little quieter. Net bookings for 2021 compared to 2019: March -21% and April -6%. This turns to positive figures as winter progresses: May 4%, June 17% and July 9%.


On The Books vs. STLY by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_APAC-OTB

This graph shows the evolution of reserved status room night volume for future stay dates broken down by stay month over the last three months.The percentage indicates the variance compared to same time last year for the most recent month’s data.

Greater China: As in the net bookings we also see great shifts in the OTB figures in this region, all directly related to mainland China.  March 2021 vs 2020 has increased OTB from 13% to 58% and there was great progress from -75% to -56% 2021 vs 2019. For April 2021 vs 2020 there was a huge swing from negative to positive, going from -45% to 25%, and from -78% to -59% for 2021 v 2019. May 2021 vs 2020 also shows a big swing from negative to positive, going from -66% to 9%, and from -70% to -67% for 2021 v 2019. 

South East Asia (SEA): In comparison to Greater China, the movement in the sub-region is not as grand, compared to 2019 the deficit has closed from -61% to -50% and for the following months we see OTB figures shifting negatively compared to the last Pulse. May has gone from -55% to 58% whilst June has gone from -60 to -67%.

Oceania: Regional and local travel is supporting this region and the reliance on international travelers is not felt as severely as in South East Asia. Looking at comparisons to 2019; March has shifted from -30% to -24% since the last Pulse. With Easter in the first week of April we can see the impact, going from -22% to -13% 2021 vs 2019. May is also moving in a positive direction, going from -41% to -24%. June, traditionally a month with lower occupancies, has shifted since the last Pulse from -22% to only -8% for 2021 vs 2019.


Volume of Web Traffic by Stay Month

graphs-pulse-report-2021-april_APAC-Web-Traffic

This graph shows volume of web traffic data (bookings, regrets and denials on brand.com) for future stay dates, broken down by stay month. The percentage indicates the variance in comparison to the last Pulse Report.

With vaccination plans underway throughout the region, there has been a remarkable increase in web activity for the next six months, showing increases since our last Pulse Report for all the sub-regions in APAC. This is an exceptional turnaround in comparison to last month for South East Asia where interest is piquing, particularly for the next six months. In Australia, it’s encouraging to see that the winter months is where we’re seeing the most activity, particularly with May and June searches where there are 458% and 273% increases since February. All in all there are good indications that this winter may see higher occupancies than previous years.


Written by Duetto Industry Experts

Hannah Weller Barrise

Director of Hospitality Solutions, Americas

Hannah is the newest member of Duetto's team of Solutions Engineers and brings with her nearly 10 years of Revenue Management experience. Prior to joining Duetto Hannah held the role of VP of Revenue at London-based Ennismore where she focused on the US expansion of the innovative hotel brand The Hoxton. Hannah's hospitality career also includes the roles of Regional Director of Revenue at Hersha Hospitality Management and Area Director of Revenue at Denihan in New York City.

Juan Ruano

Director of Hospitality Solutions, EMEA

Juan’s current role overseeing the Solutions Engineering function within the EMEA region at Duetto follows on almost 4 years in Customer Success supporting some of our most valued customers. Prior to joining Duetto he worked for a specialist Revenue Management consultancy supporting many of the best known hotels in London (United Kingdom). Juan’s hospitality career has included working in operations internationally for some famous hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental, Como Hotels and Resorts and The Savoy.

Tasneem Mukadam

Director of Customer Success, APAC

With 15 years of experience in hospitality, specializing in Revenue and Distribution, Tasneem has been involved with streamlining and restructuring teams across international markets, implementing and creating policies and procedures, training and leading teams in developing revenue and distribution strategies and systems. Tasneem thrives on collaborating with dynamic teams, cultivating evolution and growth. She values developing strong relationships with foundations of trust and dependability.

Daniel Lofton

Director of Hospitality Solutions, Americas

Daniel has served in several roles throughout his time at Duetto over the last four years, with the lion’s share of his time spent in consulting, working in the field with Duetto customers to optimize their revenue strategy. Prior to that, he was a Director of Revenue Management at Landry’s Hospitality where he worked with both their gaming and non-gaming hotels. Over the course of seven years with them, he handled property openings, brand transitions, and expansions.

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