With the rise in the number of vaccinated individuals and the lifting of COVID-related curbs across the United States, people are looking forward to travel during the Independence Day holiday weekend. A new travel trend data from travel technology company Amadeus shows that hotel stays have been booked further in advance than any other holiday since the beginning of the pandemic.
The top 10 most popular hospitality destinations were at over 68 percent occupancy two weeks prior to the holiday, while the overall U.S. occupancy leading up to the holiday was at 37 percent—a 236 percent increase over 2020.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, the most significant volume of bookings (72 percent) were made within seven days of travel. Looking at Independence Day 2021, there has been a significant increase in booked occupancy in the weeks leading up to the holiday when compared with the previous year.
The top destinations based on hotel occupancy include markets like Hawaii, Florida, beach destinations in Maryland, South Carolina, and areas close to the National Parks.
In addition to occupancy, another important metric for market performance is the hotel average daily rates (ADR). At the height of the pandemic, the U.S. saw ADR decline to $94 in April 2020. Looking ahead to the 2021 Independence Day holiday, Amadeus sees the ADR at $170 for the region, a 25 percent improvement over the 2020 holiday performance and closely aligned with pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.
A change from previous holiday periods, markets over 50 percent occupancy are more broadly spread throughout the United States, perhaps reflective of reduced COVID restrictions across the country. Florida and California have the highest number of markets over 50 percent occupancy. Interestingly, Hawaii only has three markets over 50 percent occupancy, though all of them are included in the top 10 markets for the holiday. As reference, for Memorial Day, the states with the highest number of markets over 50 percent occupancy were Florida, Texas, and California.
With regards to air travel, searches in the month of June indicated that people are ready to venture beyond domestic borders. Of the 50 top-searched destinations for travel around the holiday, 17 were international. Based on booked flights till June 18, 2021, Amadeus identified Hawaii, Cancun, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle as the top five flight destinations for the Independence Day holiday weekend.
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