Hospitality Data Alert: Top U.S. Thanksgiving Destinations by Hotel Occupancy

Anna Ransom

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Based on hotel bookings for the week of November 22-28, Amadeus sees potential improvement in Thanksgiving holiday forward-looking occupancy compared to Labor Day


As Americans approach what is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year – the day before Thanksgiving – many people want to know if it will maintain its status, albeit under very different circumstances as COVID-19 cases continue to rise again. Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, with its unique ability to track forward-looking occupancy in major markets around the world, is seeing a positive trend in U.S. hotel bookings the week of Thanksgiving. While overall occupancy remains below 2019, there are many areas showing higher occupancy levels one week out, indicating the 0-7 day booking window has increased slightly.

Top Thanksgiving destinations with over 50% hotel occupancy are (see Figure 1):

1)     Moab, UT

2)     Sedona, AZ

3)     Key West, FL

4)     St. George, UT

5)     Sierra Vista, AZ

6)     McAllen, TX

7)     Vail, CO

8)     Prescott, AZ

9)     Brownville, TX

10)  Santa Barbara, CA


Destinations in national park hot spots continue to be popular with Moab, UT, and Sedona, AZ, at the top of the list and nearing 80% occupancy, both with access to parks known for the red rock formations – Arches National Park and Red Rock State Park, respectively.

Figure 1: Top US markets by occupancy and weeks the bookings were made for the week of Thanksgiving

Booking windows are lengthening, but last-minute travel remains popular (see Figure 2):

According to Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Hospitality, Amadeus, “For the summer holidays of Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day, we saw a steady occupancy build-up from weeks 3 to 2 to 1, with Labor Day at a final occupancy of 41%.

“For Thanksgiving, occupancy levels are trending higher compared to the summer holidays, and we are encouraged by seeing a number of markets with occupancy above 50% and in some cases nearing 80%.”

Figure 2: Booked hotel occupancy according to booking window.

Travelers are escaping the big cities

Where are these people coming from? Travelers who have booked trips with a hotel stay appear to be taking a break from big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago, for destinations with wide, open spaces. Top cities with travelers getting away with a hotel stay for Thanksgiving are:

1)     New York – Northern New Jersey – Long Island, NY-NJ-PA, US

2)     Los Angeles – Long Beach – Santa Ana, CA, US

3)     Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta, GA, US

4)     Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, TX, US

5)     Chicago – Naperville – Joilet, IL-IN-WI, US

6)     Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown, TX, US

7)     Washington – Arlington – Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, US

8)     Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach, FL, US

9)     San Francisco – Oakland – Fremont, CA, US

10)  Philadelphia – Camden – Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, US


Your trusted source for industry-leading forward-looking market insight

Amadeus Demand360® is the only business intelligence solution that provides actual forward-looking occupancies for your hotel and your selected competitive sets. The data provided is updated twice per week and occupancy information represents actual rooms sold, including market segment and channel statistics, so you know who is traveling and how they are booking their reservations. If you want to know what is happening in your market contact us today.

For more best practices on leveraging data to build an effective marketing strategy, please visit our Planning for Hospitality Recovery resource center.


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