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Recovery of European hotel bookings slows in final months of 2022


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The recovery of hotel bookings in Europe slowed in the final quarter of 2022, according to data from corporate technology provider HotelHub.

The company’s latest index of the hotel market showed that international bookings from European markets dipped in Q4 of 2022, compared with the “steady” increases seen during the previous two quarters. Bookings also dropped from the US market.

International hotel bookings made in Europe were only 1 per cent lower than in 2019 at the end of the third quarter of 2022, but this gap had grown to 3.5 per cent by the end of December.

Average daily rates continued to “fluctuate” across the quarter, with rates falling in key European cities such as London, Paris and Rome in Q4, compared with the prices at the end of September.

One metric to return to pre-Covid levels has been booking lead times – they averaged 14-15 days in late 2022, which was on a par with the same quarter in 2019. Lead times had fallen to just 10-11 days in the fourth quarter of 2021 when the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus was causing uncertainty.

Another trend identified by HotelHub is the continuing high level of bookings being made through online booking tools (OBTs), which reached 65 per cent of transactions in Europe during Q4, almost double the proportion in the same quarter of 2019.

Eric Meierhans, chief commercial officer of HotelHub, said: “The fact that the volume of international hotel bookings from both the US and Europe has dipped over the final quarter of the year is not particularly surprising, given that business travel’s post-Covid recovery has been impacted by so many parallel geopolitical and economic crises.

“Global inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, rising energy costs – not to mention climate change – are all affecting business travel budgets and decisions about the purpose and validity of a business trip, especially an international trip.”

Meierhans is expecting hotel rates to increase during the first half of 2023 due to the impact of high inflation, including the increased staff and energy bills faced by hotels.

source: BTN Europe