Rise in booking lead time spurs better forecasting for hotels

30 January 2024 by
Rise in booking lead time spurs better forecasting for hotels

UK hotel booking lead times have grown by four days since 2019, according to industry commerce platform SiteMinder's latest Hotel Booking Trends report.

International travellers confirmed their UK stays 7% sooner in 2023 versus 2022, with SiteMinder's data, based on more than 115 million hotel bookings, indicating an average lead time of 41 days.

The hotel platform's vice president of ecosystem and strategic partnerships, James Bishop, analysed that this market confidence means that hoteliers can make more certain financial forecasts.

The report outlined that while prices rose, with average daily rates (ADR) jumping 8% to £193 in 2023, compared to the year prior, bookings remained strong. This was partially due to international guest check-ins to UK hotels growing by 17% to 52% of stays year-on-year, aligning with the global trend of an average 33% increase.

The top travel source markets for British hotels were the US, Germany, France, Australia and Italy.

Short stays, due in part to London being a haven for business travel, were again a driver for the majority of arrivals, with UK hotels hosting among the shortest stays in the world. Eighty-six percent were for one to two nights, compared to the global average of 81%, while 96% were for one to four nights.

ADR unsurprisingly peaked during the summer holidays, averaging £213 in June 2023, while Friday stays were the most lucrative, with an ADR of £219, followed by those on Saturday (£204) and Thursday (£197). January was again the cheapest month for guests, with an ADR of £155.

Bishop noted: "SiteMinder's data and research shows that while international travel is returning strongly, and traveller demographics are normalising, today's guests are a strong departure from those that hoteliers once knew.

"Increasingly, travellers have a nuanced approach to spending. While they are experience-driven and prepared to purchase extras beyond the cost of their room, they are more often turning to packages and promotions that allow them to continue travelling the way they know and love."

SiteMinder also reported its 2023 top hotel booking sources, based on the total gross revenue they generated via its platform, with Booking.com once again heading the list, followed by Expedia Group and direct bookings on hotels' own websites.

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