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UK and Ireland Forward-Looking Data Insights 2022

Using data from our Business Intelligence Solutions, we hope that these monthly extracts give useful insight into the UK & Ireland markets, so you can make better and more informed decisions about your business.

If you’d like a complimentary Amadeus Business Intelligence report, including forward-looking hotel and flight data, or would like to understand more about how this data can benefit your business, please reach out to our team of experts.

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Jump to |      January 2022          February 2022          March 2022          April 2022

 

April 2022

Who needs chocolate? The Easter Bunny delivered much more this year, with occupancy levels mostly higher this April, compared with 2019

COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted across the UK & Ireland and a feeling of “normality” has started to return. After 2 years of lockdowns, adjusting to new rules, and missing time with friends and family, it’s no surprise that travellers took advantage of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and surrounding weeks, to enjoy a well-earned break. We explore what Amadeus’ flight and forward-looking on the books Demand360® data is showing this Spring, and into the early Summer months.

Occupancy is comfortably above pre-pandemic levels

While it’s no surprise to see low numbers for March-May in 2020 & 2021, due to varying stages of lockdowns and recovery, it is refreshing to see that occupancy is consistently higher in 2022, compared with 2019, across both the UK & Ireland. Looking at the UK, with the exception of the week starting 17th April, which matches the 63% recorded in 2019, occupancy is currently between 2-18% above pre-pandemic numbers. Keep in mind that as this data is from 21st April, occupancy data from the week of 17th-23rd April is incomplete and, as lead times show that 18% of bookings are made within 0-1 day ahead of stay, occupancy for that week was likely above the 63% recorded. As for Ireland, all weeks already show an increase in 2022, compared with 2019, ranging between 2-46% higher this year. Occupancy levels for the UK peaked the week of 10th April at 67% and the week of 24th April stands out for Ireland at 76%.

 

Booking lead times are shifting as travel demand grows

When comparing lead times from the past 3 years, it’s clear to see the change in behaviour. While bookings made within 0-7 days pre-trip remain popular, there is now a rise in bookings made 8-30 days before stay, making up for 29%.  Bookings made 31-60 days ahead of travel account for 13%, higher than in 2020 and the same level as seen in 2021. Bookings made further out, 61+ days ahead of stay, make up for 18%. Travellers are keen to get going, with 82% of bookings being made for within the next 60 days. Don’t start thinking ahead to Summer just yet, instead, try focusing your media strategies on promoting last-minute deals, or May Bank Holiday offers to capture this increase in demand for the near future.

How are bookings being made?

When comparing the channel mix over the last 3 years, we can see that OTA bookings have decreased compared to 2021, but increased compared to 2020 and GDS bookings have increased slightly in 2022. While Direct bookings have increased in 2022, compared with 2021, they have decreased by 14% since 2020. Direct bookings are an important contributor to channel mix performance and overall revenue. Download the Personalization and Direct Bookings Playbook to see how personalization can bring direct bookings to new heights and discover additional strategies and tactics to make your website and booking engine a high-converting powerhouse.

When looking at the segment mix, we can see an increase in discount bookings made in 2022, compared with 2019. Try to avoid dropping rates as part of your strategy, as it will be harder to increase them again in the long-term, instead, add value to your rooms with special offers on drinks or meals on site, or, to really stand out from the rest, try partnering with local restaurants & attractions to include a discount or tickets as part of the room rate.

Who’s travelling to the UK & Ireland?

In both the UK & Ireland, the majority of flights in April-June 2022 are from within Europe, with Spain accounting for 14-20%. Outside of Europe, the United States makes up 5% of UK flights and 8% for Ireland. The majority of flights are from the UK, both domestically and to Ireland. Keep these top 10 countries in mind when developing targeted media strategies.

As we move further into 2022, travel demand continues to grow. Get the most out of your media campaigns by leveraging data that helps you to better understand booking behaviours.

If you’re interested in finding out more about global booking trends, download our Monthly Market Insights Report and please contact your local UK & Ireland team if you’d like to find out more about how Amadeus’ Business Intelligence data could benefit your business.

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March 2022

With few COVID-19 restrictions remaining in place across the UK & Ireland, what impact is this having on booking trends?

Passenger locator forms and testing for inbound travellers is no longer a requirement across the UK & Ireland, Ireland lifting these restrictions on 6th March and the UK following suit on 18th March. England, Wales & Ireland have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, while Scotland has lifted most restrictions and continue to review the few that remain. So how has this impacted booking trends across the UK & Ireland? We explore what Amadeus’ flight and forward-looking on the books Demand360® data is showing.

Occupancy is nearing pre-pandemic levels

When looking back at March data from the last 2 years, it’s no surprise to see low occupancy numbers. We all remember March 2020, when the pandemic began impacting the UK and the first national lockdown started. Fast-forward one year to March 2021 and the third national lockdown was still in place, with restrictions due to lift for shops and restaurants in April and hotels following in May.

But March 2022 is showing a brighter picture for the UK & Ireland. February 2022 ended with an average occupancy of 63% in the UK and 52% in Ireland and peaked in March at 65% for both the UK & Ireland. While occupancy does drop a bit after the week of 20th March, this is consistent with pre-pandemic behaviour. Comparing 2022 with 2019, we can see occupancy numbers are similar, with a gap of only 3-16% in the UK and 2-19% in Ireland.

Lead times show traveller confidence is increasing

As traveller confidence grows, so do bookings made 8-60 days pre-stay, which account for 41% of bookings, compared to just 13% in 2021. While bookings made 0-7 days ahead of stay have reduced slightly compared to 2021, they still account for 40% of bookings. The biggest shift can be seen in bookings made 61+ days ahead of travel, which accounted for 49% of bookings in 2021 and now makes up just 19% of bookings in 2022. This signifies a want and need to travel now, or at least in the near future. Be sure to keep this in mind when developing your media strategies, focus on promotions for upcoming key dates, such as the Easter break, rather than those more than a few months in the future.

Where are bookings coming from?

When comparing the booking channel mix, the most noticeable shift is from OTA bookings, which have increased from 28% in 2020 to 34% in 2022. Direct & GDS bookings have increased in 2022, compared to 2021, but have reduced slightly compared to 2020. Be sure to maintain a diverse channel mix to maximise your property’s visibility and increase direct bookings. Did you know that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences? The Personalization and Direct Bookings Playbook is full of actionable strategies and tips on improving conversion and personalising the guest experience.

Who’s travelling to the UK & Ireland?

As we look at flights from March – May 2022, we can see a steady decrease in domestic bookings each month, meaning international demand is returning steadily. Most international flights are from within Europe, with Spain accounting for 12-21% across the 3 months, for both the UK & Ireland. While for the UK, the United States is steadily responsible for around 5% of flights, there is an increase in demand from the United States in Ireland, with flights increasing each month, peaking at 8% in May. Keep these top countries in mind when developing targeted media strategies.

This data shows an increased demand in domestic and international travel, with trips being booked sooner, rather than later. Leveraging data helps you to better understand booking behaviours, meaning you can target the right audiences at the perfect time.

If you’re interested in finding out more about global booking trends, download our Monthly Market Insights Report and please contact your local UK & Ireland team if you’d like to find out more about how Amadeus’ Business Intelligence data could benefit your business.

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February 2022

With restrictions lifting across the UK & Ireland, hotel booking trends are starting to look a bit familiar again

The first 2 months of 2022 have seen big changes taking place across many parts of the UK & Ireland. England & Northern Ireland have lifted all restrictions and Wales no longer requires a COVID pass to enter events and venues. So how has this impacted booking trends across the UK & Ireland? We explore what Amadeus’ flight and forward-looking on the books Demand360® data is showing.

Occupancy is edging closer to 2020 numbers

January ended with an average occupancy of 43%, this is lower than 2020 but more than double 2021 numbers. As we look through February, occupancy peaks at 53% for the week of 13th February, and the gap between 2020 and 2022 is much smaller through to the beginning of March. While occupancy does drop a bit after the week of 13th February, this is consistent with pre-pandemic activity, and we can see that 35% of bookings are being made within 0-7 days of travel. Keep this in mind for promotions where you can target last-minute travellers with special offers.

When we look at lead times in 2020, compared to those in 2022, the numbers are almost identical, and both are very different when compared with 2021. While bookings made within 0-7 days of travel accounted for 56% of bookings in 2021, in 2022 it accounts for 35% of bookings. Similarly, the bookings made further in advance, 90+ days ahead of stay, has decreased from 25% in 2021 to 15% in 2022. The rise in bookings for 2022 can be seen largely between 8-90 days ahead of stay, with numbers approximately double those seen in 2021, making up for 50% of travellers in 2022. This change in behaviour shows an increase in traveller confidence. Half of travellers aren’t waiting until the very last minute to book or booking very far in advance to have something to look forward to in the future, they are booking and enjoying travel again at a more “normal”, pre-pandemic pace.

Where are bookings coming from?

When comparing the booking channel mix this year with last year, the most noticeable shifts are from Brand.com and OTA bookings, which have increased, and Direct bookings which have decreased. In order to maximise your property’s visibility and increase direct bookings, be sure to maintain a diverse channel mix. For tips on how to improve conversion, both on your website and through booking engines, download the Personalization and Direct Bookings Playbook.

Who’s travelling to the UK & Ireland?

As we look at flights from February – April 2022, domestic bookings in the UK & Ireland are decreasing each month, meaning international demand is returning steadily. The majority of international flights are from within Europe, with most European flights coming from Spain across the 3 months for both the UK & Ireland. The United States is responsible for 4% of flights to the UK and 5-6% of flights to Ireland across the 3 months. Be sure to use this information when developing your media strategy and target these top countries to capture the higher demand.

As restrictions ease across the UK & Ireland, demand is growing both domestically and internationally. Be sure to leverage data that will help you better understand potential customers and their booking behaviours, so you can target the right audiences at the perfect time.

And remember, once bookings are secured, it’s important to ensure your guests feel comfortable and safe in your property. Watch this video to find out how the New HotSOS Experience can help you to streamline operations, even with limited resources. Contact the UK & Ireland team to find out more.

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January 2022

2022 has begun – what is our Demand360® data telling us about booking trends in the UK & Ireland this new year?

The UK Government have started the new year by sharing the news that on 27th January, England will be moving back to Plan A, meaning rules on face coverings and COVID passports will be relaxed. So how has this impacted booking trends across the UK & Ireland? We explore what Amadeus’ flight and forward-looking on the books Demand360® data is showing.

Occupancy is consistently over double of that seen last year

Looking from mid-December to early February, we can see that occupancy is consistently more than double the previous year, peaking at 40% the week of 26th December. Occupancy does drop as we look towards the end of January and into February, but keep in mind that 43% of bookings are being made within 0-7 days of travel. Be sure to capture last minute demand with targeted promotions.

Last year, travellers were booking more last-minute stays, or trips far in advance, with 57% of bookings being made either 0-1 days pre-stay or 91+ days ahead of travel. This booking behaviour now only makes up for 38% of bookings. This could signify an increase in traveller confidence, as 41% of bookings are being made 8-90 days before travel. Utilizing data is the key to ensuring your media strategies are aligned with current trends, enabling you to more easily capture demand.

Who is travelling to the UK & Ireland?

We can see from the top 10 source countries, that while the UK is still responsible for 36-47% of flights to the UK & Ireland, international travel is steadily coming back. While most international flights are from Europe, the United States currently remains in the top 10 for both the UK & Ireland throughout January-March. When developing your media strategy, be sure to leverage this information and target the countries that are showing an increase in demand with dedicated campaigns for last minute bookings to capture the 43% of travellers that are booking within 0-7 days of travel.

Where are bookings coming from?

When comparing the booking channel mix this year with last year, we can see a 6% increase in bookings made through Brand.com and an 11% decrease in direct bookings. There is also a noticeable shift in OTA bookings, which have increased by 7%, while GDS bookings have decreased by 2%. It is important to maintain a diverse channel mix in order to maximise your property’s visibility and increase direct bookings. Download the Personalization and Direct Bookings Playbook for tips on how to improve conversion, both on your website and through booking engines.

Ensure your property is well positioned to take on this new year by leveraging data that will help you better understand potential customers and their booking behaviour. With this information, you can target the right audiences at the perfect time to secure more all-important bookings. And don’t forget, the guest experience is more important now than ever before. Invest in technology to help you streamline operations, seamlessly manage groups and events, and maintain lasting relationships to help build life-long, returning guests.

It’s important when starting a new year to look back on the one we’ve just had, so we’ve put together a collection of highlights from 2021 on how Amadeus has helped to rebuilt travel. Explore our Year in Review to learn more and contact us if you would like to learn more about how you can build back stronger in 2022.

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