Duetto: Why 2021 could be a year of industry recovery

Phone and computer
Web traffic continues to be a positive sign of recovery, indicating that consumers still want to travel but may not be able to. Photo credit: Shutterstock/GaudiLab

Duetto's latest Pulse Report—which tracks data from June 15-28 across bookings, cancellations and web traffic—shows growing consumer confidence for stay dates in 2021.

On-the-books data for the second half of 2021 in North America is already pacing strongly ahead of the same time last year, which Duetto credits to groups rebooking their hotel blocks from earlier in the outbreak. As such, the company suggests 2021 could be a year of industry recovery.

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North America's Numbers

Comparing this report to the previous one (covering June 1-14), the latest numbers show double-digit growth in net new reservations during July, August and September 2020 at North American hotels. 

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The report suggests pick-up for the North American market is still pacing 42 percent behind the same time last year, although some markets are faring better than others. Nashville and Florida, for example, both saw positive growth in the second half of June, while Chicago, Los Angeles and New York reported stagnant or even declining numbers.

LatAm

Latin America, on the other hand, reported declines in on-the-books business for 2020, which Duetto blames on new COVID-19 cases. (According to the Washington Post, Brazil is experiencing the world’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak with 1.8 million infected and 70,000 dead.) 

According to the Pulse Report data, the region's booking pace is not only behind last year, but is worse week-on-week. For example, looking at reservations for July, the progression over the past four weeks leaves on-the-books reservations at 1 percent less for the week of June 22-28 than it was for the week of June 1-7. In other words, Latin America has fewer reservations for July now than four weeks ago, which suggests the region is losing more bookings than it is gaining. 

New bookings into the market compared to the same period last year are stronger along the mid- to long-term horizon. While bookings for late 2020 and into 2021 are still behind, they are not as far behind as the short-term months (July, August, September) appear to be.

Web Traffic

Web traffic continues to be a positive sign of recovery, indicating that consumers still want to travel but may not be able to. For example, the report called Hawaii’s net new bookings “extremely poor” compared to last year’s, but web shopping traffic, especially around holiday periods (Memorial Day, etc.), shows huge spikes.

Still, the report notes that web traffic represents pure transient demand because corporate and group travelers rarely book on brand websites. Given this demand and the week-over-week increases, the report suggests transient demand is only interested in short- to mid-term travel plans, while long-term travel plans are stymied by apprehension.

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