ForwardKeys joined forces recently with the team at Transparent Intelligence to jointly share the current booking trends each data provider is noticing. And guess what? Many similarities were emphasising how intertwined and dependent the hospitality sector is on government travel restrictions and the rights to fly.

Holiday Rentals bask in the Sun

Despite the pandemic and stop-start flights, the holiday rental market demonstrated strength and resilience in 2020 with supply evolving upwardly since 2018. “To-date, there has been a growth in 3.4 million rooms in the past three years,” says Pierre Becerril, CEO of Transparent Intelligence.

“This is actually the total number of hotel rooms currently available in all of Italy, Germany, France, and Spain – just to put things into perspective about this fast-growing sector of hospitality,” adds Becerril.

Holiday rentals based in urban centres such as Paris and Madrid, however, suffered the most as the trend in 2020 and now in 2021 is to be based in more leisure destinations. Similarly, the Air Ticketing Data by ForwardKeys for Q3 and Q4 of 2020 also captured this trend to fly to sunnier and remote destinations such as Heraklion in Crete or Catania in Italy.

Last-minute bookings are the New Normal

Just as ForwardKeys had reported, demand still does exist but seasonality and any forward planning have been pushed aside due to the on/off travel announcements.

“All through-out 2020, we witnessed dramatic spikes of flight searches and instantaneous bookings once governments announced re-opened borders or flight corridors. This took place from the UK to Portugal over the summer and now in China, travellers are booking in less than 4 days for domestic flights,” says Juan Gomez, Analyst at ForwardKeys.

“We are seeing the same trend in rental room bookings, with people booking up to 5 days beforehand,” adds Becerril. “This all just makes it harder to prepare, withstanding if you are B&B or destination organisation.”

Trends to Watch

With bookings for holiday rentals so reliant on the current rules of international flights of play during the pandemic, there has been a natural switch of focus, one geared more towards locals, regional travel, and domestic tourism.

“Since mid-2020, Mexico has been faring well considering the world status on travel by attracting US travellers south of its border, “adds Gomez.

Looking at the most recent Air Ticketing Data for 2021 between January and April, Cancun tops the chart in terms of traveller volumes from the US.

Adds Becerril: “Indeed, we have also seen an increase in guest rentals from the US to Mexico.”

Another trend to keep in mind as the pandemic prolongs is the move towards remote working from abroad. Many destinations are trying to tap into this market by offering Digital Nomad Visas such a Dubai.

“As a consequence of the pandemic we have noticed an increase in mid-term rentals, stays over 30 days,” says Becerril.

So, in short, some people are still travelling when the can, and when they book it’s last-minute to a destination that is non-urban, that offers smart initiatives such as free health insurance like in the Dominican Republic or Digital Nomad Visas and staying for longer. Happy days if you happen to tick all those boxes.

Learn more about ForwardKeys Nexus or why not learn how to build your data dashboard for destination marketing with Transparent Intelligence.