With all that’s been happening, it’s so encouraging and hopeful to see a gradual uplift in bookings.
The best way to move forward is to be aware of recent booking patterns, so we can make informed decisions and predictions. We’ve done an indepth analysis of the latest booking trends from June 2020 – our stats are based on bookings made from 1st June 2020 until 30th June 2020, and compared with the same period in 2019.
As the glorious summer months, June, July & August are usually vital to a hotel’s profitability. COVID-19 had other plans, and most hotels were forced to close around March 19th this year.
Thankfully, open day for hotels has come and gone, with some already up and running, while others are planning to wait a little longer – perhaps opening later this month. There are a few stark habitual changes we know will make an impact on bookings over the coming months. They include:
- There will be virtually no international visitors travelling into Ireland this summer
- There are no cultural or sporting events taking place in cities
- Most companies have travel bans in place, eliminating any corporate business
- This also means that there are no conferences taking place and are unlikely to take
place for the rest of 2020
- For bookings that have been made since June 5th, these are mostly for July & August.
The lead time has decreased significantly, meaning that for hotels receiving
bookings, they are short term, making it difficult to plan for the months further ahead
- The properties that are seeing bookings being made currently are resort properties or
coastal properties, where guests have the opportunity to practise social distancing and enjoy more spacious, outdoor activities
Let’s take a look at general bookings
This graph highlights the impact on the volume of bookings made for all Net Affinity clients from 1st Mar to 30th June 2020. If we take a close look, it shows clearly the impact that announcements regarding COVID-19 and the reopening of the economy have had on booking levels for Republic of Ireland hotels.
Once the announcement was made regarding the earlier open date of June 29th, we saw an almost immediate pickup in bookings. Then, as we edge closer to June 29th, bookings continue to increase. Evidently, there are small troughs in bookings made after June 5th, however it’s important to note that these are on weekends – and traditionally we’d see a decrease in bookings at this time of the week anyway.
What does website traffic look like?
If we take a look at the level of website traffic to our clients for the same period, there are a few key findings that help to tell a similar story. We can see an increase in traffic since 5th March, with it only starting to surpass last year’s numbers in the last days of the month.
Note the fluctuations between midweek and weekend again – they’re significant, as the last two days in June 2019 were a Saturday & Sunday whereas they were a Monday & Tuesday in 2020.
Where are the bookings coming from – and when are they coming?
The vast majority of bookings being made in June 2020 are from guests in Ireland, and the majority of these bookings are being made for July & August. We’re not seeing many coming in yet for September or October, but this isn’t too dissimilar a pattern to the bookings we saw in June 2019.
What this also shows us is the drop in volume of US bookings coming into Ireland (ROI & NI) for 2020. Specifically, there’s a drop of 90% in bookings now compared to the same time last year. This is to be entirely expected – what with the travel bans and the developing situation around Covid-19 in America, we’re certainly not expecting an increase in visitors from the US this year – like we’ve been saying over the last few weeks, focusing on the domestic market and how you can appeal to this market is key.
We’ve got more to share with you – for the full report, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org