We are well into the second wave of the crisis, and the start of 2021 shows a notable shift in the industry’s expectation for financial recovery, from 2022 to 2023.
We are even seeing increasing numbers of Hoteliers expecting to financially recover to 2019 levels in 2024.
Meanwhile, booking behaviour continues to change in light of the times we live in, and Hoteliers must continue to adapt in 2021.
Mobile bookings and domestic travel are on the rise, and our results show that the majority of hoteliers are focusing on strengthening their direct channels and reshaping their offers to meet these demands.
There is a Latin aphorism that has been widely quoted throughout the ages: "Knowledge is power." Putting this into context, the only way the industry can recover faster is by continuing to share information.
This will ultimately help Hotels be in a stronger position to bounce back when the upturn comes. Will you use your voice to support your fellow Hoteliers in 2021 and beyond?
To get a head start with this, you can take our February 2021 Survey HERE.
Pedro Colaco, CEO of Guestcentric & Editor of The Hotelier PULSE Report
January Hotelier PULSE Survey - Key Takeaways
1/ Market Trends
- The traditional January lift in bookings did not happen, and the trend of bookings continues downwards. Booked nights in January 2021 comprise just 21% of bookings over the same period in 2020.
- The start of 2021 indicates the weight of domestic travel will continue to grow. In January, Domestic bookings comprised 52,06% of total bookings - surpassing International travel for the first time since 2015.
- Since the 1st Edition of the Hotelier Pulse Report, the Direct Channel shows the smallest reduction in reservations compared to the major OTAs and all other channels. By the end of 2020, Direct generated 58,62% of total bookings generated in 2019, 17% more than Booking (41,46%).
2/ Occupancy Expectation
- The monthly occupancy expectation continues to decline for February 2021, from 18% in January 2021 to just 12% today.
- Resorts represent the majority of respondents who expected to meet the average occupancy level anticipated for January 2021, at 28,13%.
- On the flip-side, only Bed & Breakfasts expect occupancy levels to increase in February 2021 at 12,38%, compared to 10% expected for January 2021.
3/ Financial Recovery Forecast
- This edition marks a notable increase in hotels expecting to financially recover to 2019 levels in 2023, with a notable shift toward 2024.
- 53,86% of Resorts, 52,95% of City center Hotels, and 35% of Bed & Breakfasts expect to increase their revenue in 2021 compared to 2020.
- The majority of Resorts still expect to financially recover to 2019 levels in 2021.
4/ Concerns, key priorities & short-term strategies
- The expectation for ‘Business Travel’ (International and Domestic) has hit an all-time low in this edition, while an increasing number of Hoteliers expect ‘International leisure’ travel to be a strong contributor to recovery.
- Bed & Breakfasts represent the majority of Hoteliers who expect Business travel to be the strongest contributor to recovery, at 33,33%.
- 88,89% of Resorts expect either ‘International’ (22,22%) or ‘Domestic’ (66,67%) leisure to be the strongest contributor to recovery.
5/ Guest Behaviour and Hotel expectations
- Out of all property segments, City Center Hotels are most likely to decrease ADR - rating it 3,41 out of 7.
- The majority of Hoteliers across all property segments continue to expect that Direct Bookings will significantly increase in importance over the next 12 months, rating it 5,48 out of 7
- Resorts represent the majority of respondents expecting to increase marketing spend, rating it 4,23 out of 7.
6/ Sales & Marketing Priorities over the Next 12 Months
- This edition marks the highest number of respondents who rank the ‘Hotel Website’ as 'Extremely Important', at 61,25%.
- OTAs have dropped to 4th place, ranked as ‘Extremely Important’ by 41,25% of respondents.
- Rich Media in 3rd place for the first time. 45% of hoteliers view photos, videos and visual materials as extremely important.